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The Annexation of Slovakia was the splitting of the Slovak Republic, a German puppet state, between Germany and Hungary in December 1944. The annexation was sparked from the Slovak National Uprising, where the Slovak Resistance attempted to overthrow the Slovak puppet government. After the uprising failed, the Slovak government was seen as weak and vulnerable by Germany, and so the country was split between Germany and Hungary.

Slovak National Uprising

Uprising begins

Rebels began the uprising on August 29th at 8:00 p.m. under the command of Ján Golian. German troops stationed in the country disarmed most of the Slovak Army on 2 days later, with most either sent to camps or joining the resistance. On September 5 Ján Golian became the commander of all the rebel forces in Slovakia and was given the rank of General. Slovak forces in central Slovakia mobilized 47,000 men. He predicted that the insurgents could resist German attacks for about two weeks.

By September 10th the rebels had gained control of large areas of central and eastern Slovakia, including two airfields.

Momentum Lost

The pro-German government of Tiso remained in power in Bratislava. Germany moved 40,000 SS soldiers to suppress the uprising, which detained and disarmed two Slovak divisions and 20,000 soldiers.

800px-Nastupeni povstalci

Slovak mutineer forces in 1944

Various Slovak factions began to argue among themselves, each seeking operational control. Despite repeated efforts, General Golian could not persuade the different sides to coordinate their efforts. Golian could not control the situation when political rivalries resurfaced in the face of military failure.

Counteroffensive

On September 19th, German command replaced SS-Obergruppenführer Berger, who had been in charge of the troops fighting the Uprising, with General Höfle. By that time Germans had 48,000 soldiers; they consisted of eight German divisions, including four from the Waffen-SS and one pro-Nazi Slovak formation.

A major German counteroffensive began on October 17–18 when 35,000 German troops entered the country from Hungary. By the end of October, Axis forces (six German divisions and one pro-Nazi Slovak unit) had taken back most of the territory from the insurgents and encircled the fighting groups. Battles cost at least 10,000 casualties on both sides.

Insurgents had to evacuate Banská Bystrica on November 27th just prior to the German takeover. Thousands retreated to the mountains, away from the German advance. The rebels prepared to change their strategy to that of guerrilla warfare. On November 28th, Viest sent London a message that said the organized resistance had ended. On November 30th, General Höfle and President Tiso celebrated in Banská Bystrica and awarded medals to German soldiers for their part in the suppression of the uprising.

Annexation of the Slovak Republic

After the uprising had ended, Hitler feared further uprisings in Slovakia or even a coup to overthrow Tiso's government. So, it was decided on December 24th that Slovakia would be split between Hungary and Germany. Present-day, these annexed areas are subject to close observation by the SS, with anyone seeming like a rebel supporter being shot.