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Czechoslovak Legion (Munich Goes Sour)

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Czechoslovak Legion
Československé legie
Czechoslovak Legion Standard (Munich Goes Sour) obverse Czechoslovak Legion Standard (Munich Goes Sour) reverse
Standard of the Czechoslovak Legion
Active 10 January 1939
Country Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Allegiance Czechoslovak government-in-exile
Size In France:
Two infantry divisions
One mountain infantry brigade
One mechanized cavalry brigade
One fighter squadron
In the United Kingdom:
One corps
Three infantry divisions
One armoured division
One motorised infantry brigade
In the Soviet Union:
One corps
Three infantry divisions
One tank division
Motto "Pravda vítězí" ("Truth prevails")
Engagements World War II
Commanders
Notable commanders Lev Prchala
Rudolf Viest
Ludvík Svoboda

The Czechoslovak Legion (Československé legie) refers to the Czechoslovak military formations formed to fight alongside the Western Allies against Nazi Germany and its allies. (Other Czechoslovak forces were raised within Soviet territories).

The formations, loyal to the Czechoslovak government-in-exile, were first formed in France and its Middle East territories following the defeat and occupation of Czechoslovakia by Germany and Hungary in October 1938. After the fall of France, the formations were recreated in the United Kingdom. Making a large contribution to the war effort, the Czechoslovak military in the West was composed of army and air forces.

Czechoslovak Legion in France (1938–39)

Formation

Organisation

Commander: arm.gen. Lev Prchala

  • 1ère Division des Grenadiers Tchecoslovaque
    • Commander: div.gen. Sergěj Ingr
    • 1st Grenadier Regiment
    • 2nd Grenadier Regiment
    • 3rd Grenadier Regiment
    • 1st Light Artillery Regiment
    • 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment
    • 1st Engineer battalion
    • 1st Signals battalion
  • 2e Division des Chasseurs Tchecoslovaque
    • Commander: div.gen. Rudolf Viest
    • 4th Fusiliers Regiment
    • 5th Fusiliers Regiment
    • 6th Fusiliers Regiment
    • 2nd Light Artillery Regiment
    • 2nd Heavy Artillery Regiment
    • 2nd Engineer battalion
    • 2nd Signals battalion
  • 1e Brigade de cavalerie blindée Tchecoslovaque
    • Commander: brig.gen. Jaroslav Eminger
    • 1st Armored Batallion (12 Renault R35)
    • 2nd Armored Batallion (12 Renault R35)
    • 1st Cavalry Regiment
    • 1st Anti-Tank Battery
  • Brigade autonome de chasseurs de Sudètes
    • Commander: brig.gen. František Marvan
    • 1st Chasseur Battalion
    • 2nd Chasseur Battalion

Air Force

The Czechoslovak Air Force in France comprised 63 aircraft (20 Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 and 43 Caudron C.714) in three squadrons, one and a half of the squadrons being fully operational while the rest were in various stages of training. Approximately 120 Czechoslovak pilots participated in the fighting in France, achieving some 38-45 victories at a loss of 20 men.

  • GC I/145 (Groupe de Chasse Tchecoslovaque)
  • 1st 'Bohême' Fighter Squadron
  • 2nd 'Moravie' Fighter Squadron
  • 3rd 'Slovaquie' Fighter Squadron

Operations

Czechoslovak Legion in British service (1939–46)

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