Czechoslovak Regiments within British Army?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Blade-Runner, May 12, 2013.

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  1. Visiting the Military Museum in Prague, I came across this picture in the WW1 section if memory serves me correctly. It only took my attention as I noticed what looks like a British Military Cross on this Officer. Firstly, I wasn't aware that we issued our medals to non Commonwealth troops, and secondly were we in charge of whole Czech Bns in WW1? I can understand Czechs (if they escaped) coming under us in WW2 to form a Czech Legion. Apologies for the photo being on its side. Don't know why it's done that as it is the right way up on my pc.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Blade Runner, you've posted some really interesting pics so far. Could you please post them the right way up as I am old and feeble and it hurts my neck.

    Cheers!
     
  3. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    CZ.jpg
     
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  4. Thanks Sixty. For some reason the uploader is rotating them 90 degrees.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. The French Army fighting within France contained a regiment, later brigade of Czechs. A small corps of Czech ex-Austrian Army POWs was formed within Russia and was extracted via Vladivostok with some British help but in neither case was there any direct British command.


    An interestting puzzle.
     
  6. Er

    He is a Second Lt. However, whether that is a British of Czech decoration I do not know. Will find out.
     
  7. It is a striking match to the Military Cross, so it is a wonder how he got it if it is.
     
  8. Bushranger asked
     
  9. And the uniform does not strike me as British.
     
  10. I've seen a few British WW1 groups with obscure Serbian etc medals tacked on the end. Did we give other nations an allocation of medals in a reciprocal display of alliance solidarity?
     
  11. It surely has to be something to do with the Czechoslovak Legion and the Siberian Intervention. The link below - about a Czech Legionnaire awarded the DCM - states that "290 such decorations were awarded to Czech Legionnaires" but "no verification has been found for this particular award".

    A rare Great War D.C.M. Group to a Czech Legionnaire | eMedals

    Will keep searching, but I'll bet now that the chap in the OP won his MC in similar circumstances.
     
  12. And here's our man, Rudolf Vobratílek - Vobratílek, Rudolf :: V :: Confirms the MC, and service in the unit listed below his photo.

    Got another link about him, in Czech though, will let Google translate it the now.
     
  13. Nothing much interesting from the translated link. It seems his MC was awarded in 1920 when he was a Major whilst serving on the Staff of the Czechoslovak Legion.

    Odd that the pic lists him as a 2nd Lt. Is he wearing 2nd Lt. insignia in the above pic? Can't see anything to denote his rank. The link lists him being promoted to Lieutenant in 1917.
     
  14. Nice one on the find! I did a few google searches on his name but got random links to Vladivostok and Bolshevik atrocities :crash:
     
  15. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    brit czechs and poles were at tobruk and quite proud of the fact. many escaped through the balkans to join up in north africa, a bunch were left in lebanon after the french surrender - we kind of stole them and made up a battalion with the rest that turned up.

    like the poles though most ended up staying here rather than be imprisoned and shot going home.