Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung May 1849

From the Theatre of War

Source: MECW Volume 9, p. 368;
Written: by Engels on April 30, 1849;
First published: in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 286, May 1, 1849.

No reports of further victories. On the contrary, we hear now that the Austrians are retreating in the greatest confusion on all fronts.

The brutal butcher Welden has landed himself in a fine mess. He is as good as cut off from Vienna, and the only line of retreat still open to him is that to Styria via Vesprim, along the Plattensee and through the pathless mountains.

Wohlgemuth, completely cut off from the main body of the army, is in a totally indefensible position between Sellye on the Waag and Bös on the Danube, on the Schütt Island. The path to Pressburg is open to Klapka’s right wing, which faces Wohlgemuth there.

Pest is now actually occupied by the Hungarians (on the evening of the 23rd). The imperial forces were given sufficient time for their retreat, since on that condition they promised not to bombard Pest. The pretence of the imperial forces to wish to defend Ofen is without significance, for Ofen could have been held only by threatening to bombard Pest.

Welden has again been in Ofen. He obviously does not know where to turn.

Jellachich’s Croats have had to turn back; the Danube below Pest was occupied by the Hungarians with artillery. But they will nevertheless attempt to break through to Croatia.

Jablonowsky has already passed through Raab with his brigade, which is going to Oedenburg.

There is great excitement in Vienna. The workers are rejoicing. The mail to Hungary has not been dispatched from there for the past three days.

Fifty thousand Russians are said to have received orders to march into Transylvania from the north and south.

The Olmütz Ministry has now certainly requested Russian intervention in Hungary as well.

The Berlin National-Zeitung quotes the following alleged conditions under which the Hungarians would be willing to conclude peace:

(1) Recognition of the Kingdom of Hungary in its old boundaries, hence including Croatia, Slavonia and the Military Border.[282]

(2) Union with Transylvania as resolved and determined last year by the Transylvanian and Hungarian Assemblies .[283]

(3) A general amnesty throughout Austria; the immediate release of all the October prisoners and compensation for the families of those murdered.

(4) Demobilisation to Hungary of the Hungarian regiments still serving in Italy and the other parts of the Empire.

(5) Recognition of the Hungarian Constitution of 1848.[284]

(6) Hungary to remain under the government of a provisional executive power originating from the Assembly, until the succession to the throne is established by law, and the King, who is to be elected, has been crowned in Buda-Pest and has sworn loyalty to the Constitution.

(7) Galicia to enter into the same relationship to the Austrian union of states in which Hungary stands now and will stand in future, and be called the Polish Kingdom of Galicia; hence Galicia will be linked with Austria in a personal union and will have its own army and its own finances.

(8) The share of Hungary in the Austrian National Debt to be determined by the Hungarian Assembly by a simple majority.