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Ervin Tarczay (HU880)

Föhadnagy Ervin Tarczay (HU880)
with Tiger I E tank.

Ervin Tarczay (pronounced ehir-vin tarts-zay) was born in Pécs in 1919. Initially he served with the Border Guards before retraining in 1942 and joining the 3rd Armoured Regiment in January 1943 as a Föhadnagy (Lieutenant).

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From April 1944, Tarczay served with the 2nd Company, 1st Battalion of the 3rd Armoured Regiment in Galicia as part of the 2nd Armoured Division. Tarczay earned much experience fighting in a Turán II tank and then, after the division was partially re-equipped with German tanks in May, commanded a company of Tiger I E heavy tanks.

The Soviets launched an offensive in July that pushed back the Hungarians to the frontier in the Carpathian Mountains. The 2nd Armoured Division withdrew and received another batch of German tanks, including five Panther A tanks for Tarczay’s company.
Ervin Tarczay (HU880)
Ervin Tarczay (HU880) In September 1944, Tarczay and the 2nd Armoured Division were moved to the Romanian border with the aim of securing Transylvania from the Romanians.

On 5 September, Tarczay’s company quickly overcame token Romanian resistance on their way towards Torda. Ten days later Tarczay’s Panthers led the assault east of Torda. Despite becoming separated from the rest of the battalion they fought on through artillery fire without infantry support and destroyed two enemy infantry companies and three anti-tank guns.
The next day the company was back in action outflanking advancing Soviet tanks. The Soviets were forced to withdraw. In the afternoon Tarczay took his own Panther forward to secure the left flank of the battalion’s position. He knocked out two tanks and an anti-tank gun.

Tarczay continued to hold off Soviet probes, taking a toll on the enemy until 6 October. During the fighting around Torda, Tarczay and his Panthers knocked out 11 tanks, 17 anti-tank guns, 20 machine-gun positions, and a Katyusha.
Ervin Tarczay (HU880)
Ervin Tarczay (HU880) Despite this, the Allied offensive could not be held and the 2nd Armoured Division was withdrawn back to the Tisza River on the Hungarian Plain. On 25 October, during an action near Polgár, Tarczay’s company overran a Soviet anti-tank battery, destroying three guns and capturing another three. During the action, two T-34 tanks approached from the flank. Tarczay let them come within short range before knocking them out.
The Panthers destroyed 16 enemy tanks and assault guns during the fighting between 6 and 25 October. Tarczay directed his tanks from the open hatch of his Panther, with little regard for his own safety.

On 30 October, Tarczay’s company was surrounded. He led the breakout, smashing his way through a Soviet rifle battalion. His Panther took a hit, but the thick armour deflected the round. Tarczay crushed the offending anti-tank gun under his Panther’s tracks. They next ran over an artillery battery, quickly destroying it.

By late November Tarczay and his company were withdrawn north of Budapest to halt the Soviet advance. The division fought a withdrawal back to lines northwest of Budapest.
Ervin Tarczay (HU880)
Ervin Tarczay (HU880) In January 1945 Tarczay was promoted to Százados (Captain). He took delivery of 27 Panzer IV and two Panther tanks on 8 January 1945. Until the end of February they fought around Székefehérvár between lakes Balaton and Velence.

Tarczay was Knighted (and gained the title ‘vitéz’ meaning valiant) on 15 March and he went on leave to marry. He rejoined the remnants of the 2nd Armoured Division on 17 March and was engaged in the battles against the Soviet drive on Vienna until his death, around 19 March, from wounds.

Ervin Tarczay in Flames Of War

See Hungarian Bagration: Axis Allies Command Cards...

Tiger designed by Evan Allen
Tarczay figure designed by Anton Ducrot
Painted by Wayne Turner

Ervin Tarczay (HU880)
Ervin Tarczay (HU880) Ervin Tarczay (HU880)

Last Updated On Tuesday, January 24, 2023 by Wayne at Battlefront