Czechoslovak units in the Soviet Union

The military group in Poland was reorganized and regrouped several times from April to September 1939, last time at the beginning of September 1939 when the Legion of Czechs and Slovaks was founded, incorporated into the Polish army and being subject to its commander. Gradually, it was being removed in the eastern direction and on September 18th, 1939 it reached the territory occupied by Red Army.

The first Czechoslovak military unit set up in the Soviet territory and recognized by the government of the Soviet Union was the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion. It was formed gradually from the beginning of 1942. Its base comprised a group of about 90 members of the Legion. On the grounds of the Czechoslovak-Soviet military agreement from September 1941 it was supplemented with a recruitment of Czechoslovak citizens living in the territory of the Soviet Union. At the end of 1941 Soviet military authorities designated for the arising Czechoslovak military group a stronghold in Buzuluk. In 1942 the unit was, under the leadership of lieutenant colonel L. Svoboda, trained, armed and on behalf of its own request transferred to the front. In March 1943 it took part in the fights near Sokolov and was later withdrawn from the front in order to extend its numbers. By the decision of the Czechoslovak-Soviet Mixed Committee from the 29th April 1943 the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Battalion was reorganized into the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Brigade in the Soviet Union.

The brigade participated in liberation of Kiev and took part in heavy fights on the right-bank side of the Ukraine near Biela Cerekve and Ziaskov. A year later the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps was formed in the Soviet Union, a part of which were a paratroop brigade and a tank brigade. On the outset of 1944, a group of Czechoslovak aviators left Great Britain to head off to the Soviet Union and found the basis of a Czechoslovak aviation unit in the eastern front.

The corps units fought in the Slovakian national insurrection and in a series of heavy fights – especially during the Carpathian-Dukla operation – they had a share in the liberation of the Czechoslovak territory.

Czechoslovak units in the Soviet Union