This article explores how the U.S. and British governments' wartime strategy against Germany affected their policies toward Hungary, a country that had allied itself with Germany when World War II began. U.S. and British leaders wanted to facilitate an Allied landing on the French coast by diverting German troops to other theaters, thinning them out as much as possible. To this end, the United States and Britain were cool toward Hungary's peace overtures in 1943 and were willing to brook Germany's military incursions into Hungary and Romania in 1944 because German troops operating there could not be quickly redeployed to the west. Germany's occupation of those two countries led to the destruction of what remained of the once-large Jewish communities there, a tragic price that Allied leaders were ultimately willing to risk. The failure of Hungary's secret peace overtures also contributed to the later Soviet occupation of Hungary and the grim fate that befell the country after the war.

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