Admiral Miklos Horthy (1868-1957) served in the Austro-Hungarian navy in World War One, rising to the rank of Admiral. At the end of the war, returned to Hungary, and his nationalistic instincts put him in a position to inherit power after Budapest had been looted by the Rumanians who had overthrown the communist regime of Bela Kun.

Horthy was appointed Regent in 1920, and survived some half-hearted coup attempts from supporters of the former King Karl IV of Hungary. His governorship of an authoritarian oligarchy state would last up to the second world war, whereupon Horthy installed a collaborating pro-German government, but was overthrown in 1944 and arrested by the Nazis for attempting to surrender to Soviet troops. It has been suggested that was this change of sides was due after a failed attempt by Horthy to prevent the deportion of Hungarian Jews and workers to concentration camps, although earlier a range of laws had been brought into Hungary to make life harder for the Jewish population.

After the war, Horthy was a witness at the Nuremberg trials and, being unable to return to a Soviet Hungary, lived out the remainder of his life in exile in Portugal.

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