When the First World War broke out many Hungarians of the ruling classes thought that it would quickly bring to an end the period of general social and political unrest which preceded it. A rapid victory over the Serbs and their Russian and other allies, while Germany dealt, if necessary, with France and England, would restore the prestige of the dual system and bring back the stability of the late nineteenth century. But the opposite happened. The war went on and on, and the Austro-Hungarian armies suffered enormous losses, and had to rely more and more on the Germans. There were serious shortages of food and fuel at home, and social unrest increased. After the Russian revolutions of 1917, and Russia’s withdrawal from the war, many Hungarians saw no point in continuing it. But it still dragged on, and became ever more brutal and hopeless. Hungary now had to contend with internal revolutionary threats, and with prisoners of war from Russia who returned full of Communist propaganda. The position began to get out of hand.