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Czechoslovak Legions

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jul 2008 5:36    Onderwerp: Czechoslovak Legions Reageer met quote

The Czechoslovak Legions (Československé legie in Czech and Slovak) were Czech and Slovak volunteer armed forces fighting together with the Entente powers during World War I.

Overview

Small armed units were organized from 1914 onwards by volunteer Czechs and Slovaks. Their purpose was to help the Entente and win their support to the creation of an independent country of Czechoslovakia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Later, many Czech and Slovaks captured during the war joined these units; with help of émigré intellectuals and politicians (Tomáš Masaryk, Milan Rastislav Štefánik and others) the Legions grew into a force of tens of thousands. The independence of Czechoslovakia was finally obtained in 1918.

After three years of existence as a small brigade in the Russian Army (Česká družina), the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia were created in 1917 (see below). Other Czech and Slovak units had been fighting in France since the war's beginning (including volunteers from America), and later in Italy and Serbia. Their membership consisted of Czech and Slovak prisoners of war in Russia, Serbia and Italy, and Czech and Slovak emigrants in France and Russia who had already created the "Czech company" in Russia and a unit named "Nazdar" in France in 1914.

The Legions were actively involved in many battles of World War I, including Vouziers, Arras, Zborov, Doss Alto, Bakhmach, and others.

The term "Legions" was not widely used during the war but was adopted shortly afterwards. It is primarily based on their French connection - they reported to France and were, in a general way, thought of as related to the French Foreign Legion.

Czechoslovak Legions in Russia


As World War I broke out, the ethnic Czechs living in the Russian Empire petitioned Emperor Nicholas to let them set up a national force to fight against Austria-Hungary and he gave his assent.

A "Czech company" (Czech sotnya or Czech Druzhina, Česká družina) arose in 1914 and was attached to the Russian army. From May 1915, the force was composed of many prisoners and deserters from the army of Austria-Hungary which were from the territories of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. In February 1916 it was turned into the Czechoslovak Riflemen Corps (Československý střelecký sbor) of a regiment in size, and in May 1916 into the Czechoslovak Riflemen Brigade (Československá střelecká brigáda, 7,300 persons). Masaryk and Štefánik came to Russia (spring and summer 1917) to negotiate expansion of the units, to bring them under their control and to turn them into an independent Czechoslovak army, which they succeeded in.

The brigade consisted of three regiments:

* 1st Riflemen Regiment (of Jan Hus), created in February 1916 from the "Czech company"
* 2nd Riflemen Regiment (of Jiří z Poděbrad), created in May 1916
* 3rd Riflemen Regiment (of Jan Žižka z Trocnova), created in March 1917

In September 1917 the brigade was turned into the First Hussite Riflemen Division and in October 1917 it was merged with Second Riflemen Division (created in July 1917) into the "Czechoslovak Corps in Russia", numbering some 38,500 men, which was already a genuine Czechoslovak army. The corps peaked at around 61,000 men.

4,112 Czech and Slovak legion members lost their lives in Russia in World War I.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jul 2008 5:37    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The transit through Siberia (aka The Siberian Anabasis)

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolshevik government concluded the separate Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The Bolsheviks and the corps agreed to evacuate the Legion to France to join the Czechoslovak corps and continue fighting there. Because Russia's European ports were not safe, the corps was to be evacuated by a long detour via Siberia, the Pacific port of Vladivostok, and the USA. Although there was need to increase their fighting power and mobilization was officially announced (as officially as non-existing country can), no Czech or Slovak prisoner of war was forced to serve in the Legion - joining the Legion was voluntary and numerous Czechs and Slovaks declined this risky decision and returned home. 50,000 Mosin-Nagant rifles (made in the US from Russian models) were sent via Vladivostok to equip the Legions in Siberia to aid in their attempt to secure passage to France.

Masaryk advised the Legion to stay out of Russian affairs but, as it turned out, this was not possible.

The slow evacuation by the Trans-Siberian railway was exacerbated by transportation shortages – as agreed in the Brest-Litovsk treaty, the Bolsheviks were at the same time repatriating German, Austrian and Hungarian POWs from Siberia. Around this same time Leon Trotsky, the then People's Commissar of War, under intense pressure from the Germans, ordered the disarming and arrest of the Legion, thus betraying his promise of safe passage.

It was a confusing time. Various governments along the way, requested that the Czechs give up increasing numbers of their guns. It all came to a head in May 1918 with what is generally referred to as The Revolt of the Legions. There are a number of versions of how it all started. Clearly, there was a bit of conflict between trains of Legionnaires going to fight on the Allied side and German and Austro-Hungarian prisoners (including some Czechs and Slovaks) going back to fight for their side. As one version goes, the legionnaires stopped a Hungarian train at Chelyabinsk and shot a soldier who had apparently thrown something at their train. Then, the local Bolshevik government arrested some of the Czechs. To free them their comrades had to storm the railway station, and subsequently occupied the whole city. This incident triggered hostilities between the Legion and the Bolsheviks. All up and down the line, the Legion - clearly being denied their safe passage - fought back.

In the beginning, the various parts of the Legion were strung out and separated on the railway. A complicated series of battles took place with the primary objective of re-connecting the various groups and getting to Vladivostok - for their exit to the Western front. As it became clear that this was the only organized fighting force in Russia (the Red Army under Trotsky was still small and disorganized), the Allied governments largely agreed that the Czechs might be useful re-opening an Eastern Front. Elements within the Allied governments (notably Winston Churchill), concerned about the Bolsheviks, had a different agenda. And the Czechs, of course, had their agenda - do what the Allies said (they were technically reporting to the French and General Janin) so that they would be on the winning side.

At its peak, the Legion took over a considerable area around the railway from just east of Volga River all the way to Vladivostok. In the process, they captured large amount of military and civilian equipment and material and tried to provide a fair and orderly presence in the middle of the chaos of Russia and revolution. Their existence played a role in the rise of other anti-Bolshevik groups and Siberia-based independence movements. The Allies instructed the Czechs to push back up the line, which they did - reaching Yekaterinburg. The fact the Czech Legion was just a day away appears to have been one of the motivating forces behind the hasty execution of the Czar and his family.

Meanwhile, Masaryk and others were working to achieve Allied recognition. This was achieved, capped by the Pittsburgh Accord and the Oppressed Nations Treaty.

With the need to fight the Czech Legion as a clear motivation, Trotsky got his act together and the Red Army grew - with a number of German and Austro-Hungarian POWs as troops. Eventually, there were 3 million men under arms, and the Czech Legion was pushed back.

Meanwhile, with World War One now over, the Allies began the Siberian Intervention, with troops from the U.S., France, Great Britain, and Japan landing in Vladivostok, where the Czechs had been in charge for some time. In Vladivostok, however, the Allied rescue of the Czech Legion got sidetracked. The Japanese forces arrived in April with 500 Marines followed by 50 British soldiers in May and 500 Americans in June and 600 more British and some French in late June 1918. They arrived to find everything changed in their mission with open warfare going on between the Bolsheviks and Czech Legions and White Russians. On top of that World War One would end in a few short months, Nov 1918, making the whole mission to bring the Czechs and Slovaks to France and fight on the western front pointless. The confusion as to what to do now only got worse. The Japanese got themselves directly involved in the fighting on the side of the Czech Legion and White Russians as their Government saw this as an opportunity. By September 1918 there were 70,000 Japanese, 829 British, 1,400 Italian, 5,002 American and 107 Annamese troops under French command in and around Vladivostok. The chaos in Siberia included the arrival of eight train cars of gold bullion from the Imperial reserve in Kazan. The chaos also included atrocities by both Red Army and White Russian forces - particularly the Cossacks of Ataman Semenov, now in the pay of the Japanese.

Exhausted by their trek across Siberia, disgusted by the brutality around them, and eager to return to their brand new nation, the Czechs cut a deal with the Bolsheviks – gold and the-then leader of the anti-Bolshevik army Admiral Kolchak for the free passage home (1920). Eventually, with the help of the American Red Cross, and their own funds, most of the Legion - altogether 67,739 soldiers - were evacuated via Vladivostok[1] and returned to become the core of the army of the First Republic.

A small number of Czech and Slovak communists stayed behind. (One early Legionnaire to join the Bolsheviks was Jaroslav Hašek, later the author of The Good Soldier Švejk. He returned to Czechoslovakia a more comfortable way, with a Russian bride to boot - which surprised his Czech wife, but not others who knew him.) A few others stayed with the White Russian forces for a while, and, as an interesting sidebar, General Radola Gajda, who later became boss of the Czech fascist movement provided significant arms to the Korean independence movement. These arms helped the Koreans win the Battle of Chingshanli in 1920.[2]

The retreat through Siberia became an element of the heroic military cult around the legions, compared to the Anabasis of Greek mercenaries across Persia.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jul 2008 5:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Czechoslovak Legions in France

Enrollment of Czechoslovak volunteers in the French Foreign Legion started in Paris on August 21, 1914. August 31 marked the creation of the 1st Company, Battalion C of the 2nd Infantry Regiment of the Foreign Legion in Bayonne (In some sources this company is noted as "compagnie C1, 2e Régiment de Marche Étranger"). Meeting in the city the soldiers greeted each other with „Na zdar!“ (a greeting used by members of the Sokol movement) and hence arose the name „Nazdar!“ Company ("rota Nazdar" in Czech). The company was part of the French army's Moroccan division, and took part in heavy combat during assaults near Arras on May 9 and June 16, 1915, where it suffered heavy casualties. Because of these, Battalion C, as well as "Nazdar!" Company, was disbanded, and volunteers continued to fight in various French army and Foreign Legion units.

An autonomous Czechoslovak army was established from December 19, 1917 by decree of the French government. On January 12, 1918 the 21st Czechoslovak Rifle Regiment was formed in the town of Cognac. It fought as part of the French 53rd Infantry Division. On May 20, 1918 the 22nd Czechoslovak Rifle Regiment was created, initially fighting as part of the French 134th Infantry Division. On June 29 the government of France officially acknowledged the right of Czech and Slovaks to independence, and the next day both regiments took an oath of allegiance in presence of the French president Poincaré as well as Czechoslovak independence movement officials, including Edvard Beneš. Today, June 30 is celebrated as the "Day of Czech Armed Forces".

In 1918 a Czechoslovak brigade, under command of the French general Philippe, consisting of the 21st and 22nd Rifle regiments, was formed in France, and saw combat near Vouziers. The brigade returned home in the autumn of 1918. It had about 9,600 soldiers.

650 Czech and Slovak legionnaires died in France during World War One.

The role of the First Serbian voluntary division in the formation of the Czechoslovak legion

The formation of the Czechoslovak legion followed the formation of the first Serbian voluntary division in 1916, since the formatoon of voluntary military units by war prisoners was a case without precedent from the standpoint of the international war law and the Hague convention. Following the Hague convention, it was not allowed to engage war prisoners even in tasks which would indirectly cause harm to their fatherland. And as the Russian Tzar Nicolas the second was one of the initiators of the Hague conference in 1898, the consequence of which was afterwards the Hague convention of 1907, the Russian government hesitated to respond to the desire to form voluntary units, the Czech and Slovaks were the first to express such a wish already back in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War, followed soon also by the Polish.

A similar movement occurred among the captured Serbs and to a certain extent Croats and Slovenes, Austro-Hungarian subjects, after Serbian victories over Austria-Hungary in autumn of 1914. At that time many of the Serbian war prisoners reverted to the Serbian embassy in Petrograd, e.g. ambassador Mr. Miroslav Spalajković; who upon approval by the Serbian government began negotiations with the Russians, with a lot of support later on by the Serbian military attache in the Russian supreme command, colonel Lontkijević and the Serbian consul in Odessa Cemović.

The negotiations were not only tough, but also slow. The Russian aristocratic circles, considered the once given military oath as sacred, which could not be annulled for any reason. Whereas there was a fear from the pragmatic point of view of reprisal against the already captured Russians; and then also reprisals against close and remote relatives of the volunteers. Still, the negative standpoint of the Russian government was related mostly to the issue of the violation of the Hague convention. The opposed principle by the supporters of the voluntary movement about the voluntary dedication to fight not against one's fatherland, but against the oppressors, was not considered as sufficient. A change in the standpoint of the Russians and the allies came about only following the presentation of proofs by the Serbian government about the violation of the Hague convention by the Austro Hungarian's main power was poots.

Thus, only in autumn of 1915 did a group of volunteers, mainly Serbs, reach Serbia through Odessa and Romania, just a little before its collapse, to join the Vlasina unit in the fight against the Bulgarians. The following one was stopped in Reni (a Russian little town where the river Prut flows into the Danube) because of the withdrawal of the Serbian army through Albania and Montenegro and had to go back to Odessa.

The Serbian voluntary unit was formed from it, then battalion, then regiment. And when the Serbian military emissary in Russia reported to the government on Corfu, that around 12,000 volunteers had already gathered in Odessa and on the road to it, in February 1916 a division command unit was formed and in Odessa its temporary headquarters.

While the Serbian government sent from Corfu to Odessa 130 people: regiment and battalion commanders and other units' commanders, clerks of all units of arms and formations, including also the medical unit members. The group had to go around through Italy, France, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden to Russia.

It was necessary to show that the first Serbian voluntary division belonged by international and legal standards to one of the sides in war, at that time the kingdom of Serbia, wherever it was located, on whatever front it waged the war. Thus the highest command posts in that division were entrusted to the Serbian officers, not by the criterion of nationality, but by citizenship. The decision factor was thus not the fact that the division was by its voluntary composition before that, following the criterion of nationality, and without these 130 sent Serbian citizens, 90% Serbian. Even if the proportion had been different, it had to be done this way from the standpoint of the precedent.

Spectacular[citation needed] inspections followed: On May 16 (following the Gregorian calendar) by the prime minister of the Serbian government Nikola Pašić, on May 21 by the chief commander of the Russian front general Brusilov, on May 22 by Tzar Nicolas the second, although the division was armed with old stuff. The volunteers took new oaths to the Serbian king Peter the First the Liberator. The commands were in Serbian language; and following the official Serbian protocol; and end of June 1916, the division was given in a ceremony in front of the cathedral in Odessa the flags of the former Serbian infantry regiments of the second calling: 2, 6, 7 and 11. The complete world public was thus informed about what this was all about. The road was thus also paved to the formation of similar voluntary units from the still non-existent countries at the time, such as Czechoslovakia. Thus, the first Serbian voluntary division was joined, in the lack of better choices, by a certain number of Czech and Slovak officers, noncommissioned officers and solders.

However, when the formation of Czechoslovak regiments began end of August 1916 in Kiev, the Czech and Slovak members of the first Serbian voluntary division at the time, were given the right to choose. 86 Czech and Slovak noncommissioned officers and soldiers left the first Serbian voluntary division, stationed in Reni, which was waiting together with the Russian units for Romania to join the war, however among these there were none from the 75 Czech and Slovak officers, who said that before going to the front they could not leave the soldiers with whom they had exercised all the time and become very familiar. All 75 officers went to Dobruja, fought bravely, and eight got killed. After the war they were all awarded medals of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which general Stevan Hadžić, the former commander of the first Serbian voluntary division and the military minister at that time, personally gave to the survivors or the family members.

After the war

Members of the Legions formed a significant part of the new Czechoslovak Army. Many of them fought in the 1919 war with Hungary over Slovakia.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jul 2008 5:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Timeline:

This amazing story runs from 1914 to 1920 - beginning with World War One and Thomas G. Masaryk forming his “Mafia,” and ending in 1920 with the last of the Legion coming home to The First Republic.
[Includes materials prepared by Milan Zuffka-Runco of the Czech Army]

June 28, 1914 - Archduke Ferdinand Assassinated - boneheaded diplomacy, resulting in...
August 1914 - World War One Begins
_/_/1914_ Masaryk goes to Rotterdam - writes letters - including letter to Wickham Steed of London Times and British Intelligence.
_/_/1914 Masaryk forms the “Mafia”
August 20, 1914 - Russia Approves Formation of The Druzina .
August 1914 - Company Nazdar Formed. [French Foreign Legion - 600 soldiers]
October 1914 - Druzina Starts Combat Operations
December 24, 1914 - Cecek’s Christmas Eve Patrol

-/-/1915 Masaryk publishes Independent Bohemia
April 3, 1915 - Czech Division 28th Prague Surrenders to Russians Voluntarily
May, 1915 - 8th Czech Regiment Surrenders [Now an estimated 50,000 Czech POWs in Russia]
May 1915 - Company Nazdar fights near Arrason Western Front [600 soldiers – 240 casualties]
August 1915 - Ceska Druzina grows in Russia
September 1915 - Benes Escapes to Switzerland and Masaryk Goes to England - King’s College

February 1916 - Durich Out [as leader of Czechs in Russia]
February 1916 - Druzina Becomes Czechoslovak Rifle Regeimant
July 1916 - Stefanik to Russia
August 17, 1916 - Masaryk Receives Assurances from French
December 16, 1916 - France establishes Czech army of West [6000 soldiers 277 officers]

January 17, 1917 - The Odbocka - Czechs meet in Kiev.
January 24, 1917 - Czech Revolutionary Council - Czech Bolsheviks establish revolutionary council.
March 1917 - Russia - Army Mutinies, Czar Nicholas Abdicates [March 15]
April 6, 1917 - USA Declares War.
April 6, 1917 - Kiev meeting/declaration
May 15, 1917 - Masaryk Arrives in Petrograd
May 21, 1917 - Czechs placed in Storm Battalion
[Czechs moved to own section of front.]
July 2, 1917 - Battle of Zborov - Major victory for Czech forces - for the rest, not so good.
July 1917 - Kerensky Relents - Agrees to formation of Legion. [Four regiments formed]
August 2, 1917 - Masaryk in Kiev – Reviews 1st Division
August 6, 1917 - Borispol–Masaryk reviews new 2nd Division - gives speech - “Beware my boys!”
September 26, 1917 - New Czech Army Corps
October 1917 - Czechs begin to commandeer trains for anticipated relocation.
November 7, 1917 - Russian Revolution - Bolsheviks Overthrow Kerensky [It’s often called the October Revolution because the Russians were using an old Julian calendar.]
December 3, 1917 - Russians [Lenin & Trotsky] Sign Armistice with Germany. Peace talks begin.

December 1917 - The RRSC (Russian Railroad Service Corps). US railroad engineers assigned to assist in the operation of the TransSiberian Rail-road. They arrive in Vladivostok.
December 15, 1917 - Soviet-German Armistice.
December 23, 1917 - Anglo-French Treaty Partitioning Russia. (Merry Christmas)

January 12, 1918 - Japanese Cruiser Arrives in Vladivostok. Start of Siberian Intervention. [The Japanese will not leave until 1922.]
February 18, 1918 - German Advance into Russia.
March 3, 1918 - Bolsheviks Sign Treaty of Brest-Ltovsk with Germany. Soon after, the Germans begin pressuring Trotsky to disarm the Czechs - who are heading east to Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian Railway
March 7, 1918 - Equipment handed over to Czechoslovak Legions in Penza
March 4-13 1918 - Battle of Bachmach Junction - Two German Panzer Divisions attack - a rear guard defends, showing in the words of a German commander, “class, offensive enthusiasm, good discipline, and marksmanship.” All Czech divisions make it onto the Trans-Siberian.
March 18, 1918 - Stalin’s Agreement - Commissar Josef Stalin agrees to evacuation of Czechs.
March 26, 1918 - Stalin’s Agreement - Agreement for return via Vladivostok.
April 4, 1918 - First Czechs Arrive in Vladivostok.
April/May - Stalled on the Tracks. During this period, Czech progress East is delayed, while ex-POWs headed West (Germans and Austro-Hungarians) are being expedited. Tensions rise.
May 5, 1918 - Masaryk Given a Hero’s Welcome in Chicago. Returning to the city where he taught, the Czech press estimated the crowd at 150,000.









May 14 1918 - Revolt of the Legions. Beginning with the "Celyabinsk Incident." [6th Hanacky Rifle Regiment and 3rd J. Zizka z Trocnova Rifle Regiment], Legion begins fighting Bolsheviks.
May 21-26 1918 - Trotsky’s Orders. Leon Trotsky, Commander-in-Chief of the Red Army - orders his forces to disarm completely and intern the Legions - This is followed by an unexpected raid on their transports at Marianovka, Irkutsk, Zlatouste and Krasnoyarsk.
May 25-26 1918 - Occupation of Mariinsk and Novonikolajevsk regions [7th Rifle Regiment]
May 29, 1918 - Occupation of Syzran, Samara, Orengurg and Ufa [1st and 4th Rifle Regiments]
May 31, 1918 - The Pittsburgh Accord. In the agreement, the American Czechs and Slovaks for the first time in a public, written paper, pledged support for a common country. At the same time, the agreement affirmed the independent nature of the two republics.
June 7, 1918 - Occupation of Omsk - the centre of Siberia - [2nd and 6th Rifle Regiment]
June 9 1918 -The Tatarskaja Connection - joining of the Siberian and Omsk´s group at the Tatarskaja station.
June 19, 1918 - Masaryk Meets with Wilson.
June 28, 1918 - US State Department issues strong statement supporting the freedom of Slavic people from Austro-Hungarian rule. (Shortly thereafter, both France and England recognize Czecho-slovakia as an Allied nation with the Czech National Council as the official government.)
June 29 1918 - Vladivostok. Forces commanded by General Diterichs occupy Vladivostok.
July 1918 - Allied Supreme War Council supports Siberian Intervention.
July 5, 1918 - Occupation of Nikolsko Ussurijske by the 5th and 8th Regiment;
July 6, 1918 - Occupation of the major part of the Siberian Railway from the Volga to Irkutsk . Joining of all Czechoslovak troops that are located to the west of lake Baikal ;
July 14 - August 16 1918 - Legion gains control of the tunnels by Baikal by means of an end-run over mountains and the lake.








July 17, 1918 - Bolsheviks murder Royal Family in Ektarinaberg. The Czechs are a day away.
July 18, 1918 - Czechs enter Ektarinaberg.
August 7 1918 - Kazan. Ground and river operations combine to occupy city of Kazan. August 9, 1918 - Over 10,000 Cars. Gathering of 259 Legionnaire trains, 531 passenger coaches and 10,287 train cars in Vladivostok ;
August 1918 - Americans Land in Vladivostok. Major mission - to assist Czechs.
August 20 1918 - Death of Usakov - Capture and death by torture of Lieutenant Colonel Usakov, Commander, Eastern Group at Posolskaja Station.
September 1, 1918 - joining of the Eastern and Vladivostok groups at the station of Olovjannaja;
September, 1918 - United States declares Czech National Council "de facto belligerent government."
October 18, 1918 - Czechoslovakian Declaration of Independence prepared by Masaryk to remind US of shared values and prevent possible federation with Austria-Hungary.
October 26, 1918 - "Tragedy at Aksakovo." Suicide of Colonel Svec, Commander of 1st Rifle Division at Aksakovo Station, when exhausted troops refuse orders. Shamed by his suicide, they go into battle and fight well.
October 28, 1918 - Czechoslovakian Independence (Austria-Hungary had surrendered the day before)
November 1, 1918 - Arrival of General Stefanik, Minister of Military Affairs (in December Gen. Janin).
November 10 1918 - Awarding of Standards to Czechoslovak Units [2nd Rifle Division.
November 11, 1918 - Armistice. End of WWI.
December 1918 - General Janin arrives.

January 15-30 1919 - Transfer to White Russian Forces - handing over the front to the Russian anti-Bolshevik Army;
February 1, 1919 - Establishment of the 3rd Rifle Division in Krasnoyarsk ;
February 1-15 1919 - Occupation and organized defense of the set area of the Siberian route;
April 1919 - Far Eastern Republic (Envisioned as buffer state between Japan and Russia)
April/May 1919 - Deep pursuit actions of Red Army units to the south up to the Mana river;
June 1919 - Suppression of major rebel and subversive forces along the Siberian Railway;
October 1919 - Begin transfer of Czechoslovak troops to Vladivostok (directives from the homeland);
June 28, 1919 - Treaty of Versailles - This includes the new nation of Czechoslovakia.
November 1919 - Ataman Semenov - Interception of Czechoslovak troops with Ataman Semenov’s Wild Cossack Division;

February 7 1920 - Truce w. Bolsheviks. Signing of truce at Kujtun Station - after passing all Czechoslovak trains, the Russian Golden Treasure will be handed over to the Council of People's Commissars;
March 1920 - Transfer of all Legion trains from Irkutsk region completed; Preparation and implementation of evacuation of the Legions from Vladivostok back home.
September 1920 - Departure of Last Czechs from Vladivostok.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czechoslovak_Legions
http://web.mac.com/czechlegion/iWeb/TheCzechLegion/LegionTimeLine.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jul 2008 5:53    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Milan Rastislav Štefánik ;
born July 21, 1880 in Košariská - died May 4, 1919 in Ivanka pri Dunaji) was a Slovak politician, diplomat, and astronomer. During World War I, he was General of the French army, at the same time the Czechoslovak Minister of War, one of the leading members of the Czechoslovak National Council (i.e. resistance government), and he contributed decisively to the cause of Czechoslovak sovereignty. (The status of Czech- and Slovak-populated territories, among others, was in question until shortly before the disintegration of Austria-Hungary in 1918.)

Štefánik's personal motto was: To Believe, To Love and To Work (Veriť, milovať, pracovať).

In 1912, he received French citizenship, recognition and access to the French elite. In 1914, he was made Grand Officier of the Legion of Honour. At the same time, however, he had some personal problems and a serious stomach illness (which did not get better even after a medical operation). Moreover, the World War I started in Europe.

Štefánik understood that a defeat of Austria-Hungary (and Germany) in this war meant a chance for the Slovaks and Czechs to gain independence from Austria-Hungary. Therefore, he insisted on participating in the war as an aviator (of the French army) although He suffered from a gastric disease. After a short training, he was sent as a pilot to Serbia in May 1915. He flew 30 missions to enemy territories in sum. His excessive effort almost caused his death. Finally he survived, but could not fight anymore, so that he returned to Paris at the end of 1915.

Back in Paris, he became acquainted with Edvard Beneš and got into contact with his former professor Tomáš Masaryk. In 1916, these three men founded the Czechoslovak National Council (the supreme body – government - of Czecho-Slovak resistance abroad leading to the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918). Since 1917, he was the vice-president of the council. Thanks to his diplomatic skills, Štefánik helped Masaryk and Beneš to meet and obtain the support of some of the most important personalities of the Entente. He for example organized Masaryk’s meeting with the French prime minister Aristide Briand.

In 1916, Štefánik and the Czecho-Slovak resistance started to create Czechoslovak troops (legions) that would fight against Austria-Hungary and Germany. For this purpose, Štefánik (as the Czechoslovak Minister of War and as a French General) went to Russia and then (in February 1917) to the USA. He also organized legions in France and Italy. It was largely due to his personal diplomatic skills and contacts that the Allies (Entente) recognized the Czechoslovak National Council as a government-de-facto and the Czechoslovak troops as allied forces in the summer and autumn 1918. In May 1918, Štefánik went to Siberia in Russia, where he was supposed to make the Czechoslovak legions there renew the second, i. e. Eastern, front (because Russia had switched the sides and signed peace with Germany and Austria-Hungary in March 1918, and Czechoslovak legions very successfully rebelled against a subsequent Russian order to disarm, thus showing their abilities to the Allies). But in Russia, Štefánik saw that this was not possible anymore.

In January 1919, when the war ended, Štefánik went from Russia to France and Italy, where he organized the retreat of Czechoslovak troops from Siberia in March in Paris. In addition, his diplomatic skills were needed in order to solve quarrels between the French and Italian missions in Czechoslovakia. In April, he went from Paris to Rome to negotiate at the Italian Ministry of War, where he also met his fiancée Juliana Benzoni for the last time. Then he went to the main Italian military base in Padua, where he agreed with General Armando Diaz on the dissolution of the Italian military mission in Czechoslovakia. At the same time, severe quarrels arose between Štefánik and Beneš (but also Masaryk), mainly around the position of Slovakia within Czechoslovakia. In April, for example, Beneš wrote to a county president in Slovakia: "I had a conflict with Štefánik. . . Everything is over between us. I mean absolutely (over). But keep it totally secret...".

Death


Finally, Štefánik wanted to return home to see his family. He decided to fly from Italy and to use an Italian military plane. On May 4, 1919 around 11 AM, his plane tried to land near Pozsony (which was threatened by Hungarian troops of Béla Kun at that time), but crashed near Ivanka pri Dunaji. Štefánik died along with two Italian officers. The reason for the plane crash is disputed until today. The official explanation at that time was that the plane was shot down ”accidentally“, because its Italian tricolor was mistaken for the Hungarian tricolor. Štefánik’s sudden death in combination with his preceding quarrels with Beneš contributed to Slovak suspicion towards the Czechs during the First Republic of Czechoslovakia. Národnie noviny (National news) wrote his funeral:" Pozsony city's descent of Hungarian and German inhabitants were interested in about Štefánik's airplane crash also. It is prove much funeral flags on the streets and the local news's leading articles. The people understood that's possible to be heroes for the poor Slovaks finally. Although the city's population boycotted the celebrations which were in Pozsony when the Slovak government formed. But more 1000 people are there with people from the countryside from over the solders's protective cordon in a 3 km's area now. The members of the city council put a wreath with a epitaph in 3 language: it is a signs about Pozsony city's deep sorrow at his catafalaque which was a barrack in Pozsony. At his catafalaque Samuel Zoch Pozsony county's Slovak governor made a speech in Slovak language and Richárd Kánya the last Hungarian mayor of the city made a speech in German language." Štefánik's tomb was built in 1927-28 on the Bradlo hill in Brezová pod Bradlom. The monumental yet austere memorial was designed by Dušan Jurkovič.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Rastislav_%C5%A0tef%C3%A1nik
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jul 2008 6:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Dr. Robert Faltin and Associates


These images are part of a collection documenting the trans-Siberian trek of the Czech
legion during the Russian Revolution. More to come.

© http://drfaltin.org/archive.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Jul 2008 6:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

knappe beelden op die laatste link Yvonne thanks
http://drfaltin.org/archive.htm
een van de 11 foto pagina's



Of toen de USA in oorlog was met de Rusland
En de slag bij Toulgas 11/11/1918

Nogal een verhaal dat van die Expeditie
De eerste Amerikanen die op Russische bodem tegen het communisme vochten is later gewoonweg verzwegen geworden .




hier een goede link voor het volledige verhaal
http://grobbel.org/pbma/westriding/polar_bear_news.htm

stukje eruit
The new strategy devised by the British and French involved:
• sending forces to Murmansk and Archangel to keep the stockpiles of military supplies from falling into Bolshevik or German hands
• mounting an offensive that would reach a spur of the Trans-Siberian railroad at Kotlas, thus enabling a rescue of the Czech Legion.
• transporting the strung-out Czech Legion to Kotlas, so that with combined forces, they could take on and defeat the Bolshevik army, drive the Soviets from power and resurrect the Eastern Front.
It was on the basis of these ambitious plans that they convinced the reluctant President Wilson to commit troops to Russia. Highly dubious of the chances of recreating an Eastern Front, Wilson nonetheless agreed to send the AEFS to protect the Czech Legion elements already in Vladivostok and to send the AEFNR to guard the war materiel in Archangel. However, no plan survives the first engagement with the enemy and subsequent events in North Russia would quickly change the planned role of the AEFNR.
On July 22, 1918, the men of the U.S. Army's 85th Division boarded troop ships in New York City and set sail to join the Great War. Thirteen days later, they docked in Liverpool, England from where the 339th Infantry Regiment and the 310th Engineers were sent by train to Camps Cowshot and Stoney Castle (near Brookwood, Surrey) for additional training prior to heading for France - or so they thought.
General John J. Pershing, the commander of all American forces in Europe, had just received the Allied Intervention directive from President Wilson and decided to change the orders for the 339th Infantry Reginment, the 1st Battalion of the 310th Engineers, the 337th Field Hospital and the 337th Ambulance Company. Instead of continuing to the Western Front with the rest of their 85th Division counterparts, these units were designated to be re-equipped and re-trained before joining the British and French Allies in Archangel as the American Expeditionary Force North Russia

Zie ook topic

http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?p=76749#76749
http://polarbears.si.umich.edu/index.pl?node_id=272
http://www.michiganhistorymagazine.com/portfoli/pdf/jf99rus.pdf

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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Aug 2008 18:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote







http://warandgame.wordpress.com
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Jul 2009 18:04    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Voor beschrijvingen hoe het Tsjechisch legioen en de Serviers tekeer gingen gedurende Admiraal Kolchak’s wit Rusland in Omsk lees de volgende belevenis
Tagebuch Eines Kriegsgefangenen Sibirien 1914 – 1920
http://www.kilb.at/bertl.strasser/

uit topic
http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?p=19119#19119

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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Aug 2011 21:29    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Foto's van het Tsjechoslowaakse legioen 1914-1918.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldphoto-info/collections/72157625850839837/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Jul 2018 11:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Actuele reportage over het ontstaan van de republiek Tsjechoslowakije: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/drafts/Wetenschap/100-jaar-geleden-tsjecho-slovaken-krijgen-erkenning/.

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