The outset of the Czechoslovak armed resistance

Based on the Munich agreement, Czechoslovakia was forced to leave areas along borders, which were populated by German inhabitants. At night from 14th to 15th March 1939 German units crossed the fortified Czech borders. The so called Second Republic ceased to exist as an independent state by this occupation.

Occupation of Czechslovakia

The March occupation saw the beginning of a new fight of the dismissed Czechoslovak army members for state and national existence. The first Czechoslovak military units were formed already in 1939 in Poland. Some of the soldiers, approximately 1200 men, were sent by ship transports to France.

At the beginning, Czechoslovak citizens could enter as soldiers only French Foreign legions. Czechoslovak military units were built later in France, after an agreement on the reestablishment of Czechoslovak army had been made. Based on this agreement, the first infantry division was founded in France. The first to join the war were Czechoslovak aviators in December 1939. After France had collapsed, about 5 000 men were dispatched to Britain.

Czechoslovak units in France

Czechoslovak soldiers fought also in the Middle East and in North Africa. The fundament of the unit consisted of the Czechoslovak volunteers who remained in Syria after France had succumbed and who, after agreement with British authorities, managed to reach Palestine in late June 1940. Together with other volunteers enlisted for military service straight in Palestine, they formed the 4th Czechoslovak infantry regiment in that very month. Officially, this military unit was set up after a ceremonial vow on the territory of a British military camp in Gedera on July 20th, 1940. After the matter was settled with the British headquarters in London a reorganization of the unit into Czechoslovak Infantry Battalion 11 – East took place on the 1st November that year.

After training and guarding service in prison camps in Syria, the battalion was moved into besieged Tobruk, where Czechoslovak soldiers fought side by side with Polish and British units from October 1941 until April 1942. In May 1942 the battalion was reorganized into Czechoslovak Light Anti-aviation Regiment 200 – East, which was in summer 1943 removed to Great Britain in relation to the disposal of Czechoslovak military units in the Middle East.

Czechoslovak units in Balkan