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Czech Legion in Russia

Discussion in 'Czechoslovakia' started by Martin Antonenko, May 26, 2021.

  1. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Dear Planeteers!

    A friend sent me the following picture by the painter Aleksandr Jeshow with the request for identification ...:


    This is a cavalry officer of the so-called "Czech Legion" in parade uniform.

    A force that was formed in 1917 from released former Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war from Czech nationality in Russia who actually only wanted to return to their homeland. Since the direct route was blocked by acts of war, they decided to make their way along the Trans-Siberian Railway through all of Russia to the Pacific - and from there to start their journey home to Europe by ship.

    Initially unintentionally, they became a war party in the Russian civil war. The troops were around 60,000 strong, well armed and well trained.

    Since the country behind the Urals was still in the hands of the "whites" under their "supreme regent" Admiral Kolchak at that time, they cooperated militarily with the "whites" - and temporarily brought the entire "Trans-Siberian" under their control.

    After the collapse of the white front, they only fought for self-defense. They carried most of the tsar's gold with them.

    At the beginning of 1920, a contract with the Soviets regulated unhindered onward transport to Vladivostok. At the same time, the commander-in-chief of the Allied intervention troops in Siberia, Maurice Janin, placed Kolchak under the "Allied protection" of the legions.

    In return for free withdrawal, the Czechoslovak legions in Irkutsk received 30 wagons of coal and handed over the white military leader, Admiral Kolchak, to the Bolsheviks who executed him.

    The first ship left Vladivostok on January 15, 1920, the last on September 2, and the soldiers of this transport reached Prague on November 20, 1920. In total, more than 60,000 legionaries left the civil war country as a result.

    These soldiers later formed the core of the new national army of the independent Czech Republic.






    Chris Oldfield, valiant and winfield like this.
  2. Nap Moderator

    Great references and interesting uniforms

    Cheers for sharing details

  3. Airkid A Fixture


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