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Remembered Today:

The Czechoslovakian Army in Serbia

Sgt Stripes

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Hi. I was checking the criteria for the award of the Czechoslovakian medal of the revolution "Medal for volunteers" and it states that bars were issued with the medal including Serbia (SERBIE).Does anyone have information on the Czechoslovakian army in Serbia. I have not been able to find any information that links the Czechoslovakian army with Serbia. Thank you     

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In January 1918 under the ‘Corfu Pact’ Croats and Slovenes agreed to join the Serbs and fight for a ‘Yugoslavian’ state, but there is no mention of Chechs or Slovaks. In June that year a Yugoslav Brigade from former Croat, Bosnian and Slav soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army was formed and eventually a Yugoslav division was created. However the fact that Chechs and Slovaks are not specifically mentioned, does not mean that there weren't any in the Yugoslav Division. The Yugoslav division would go on to serve with distinction in the Autumn offensive in September 1918 that ultimately led to the defeat of the Bulgarians and the Austro-Hungarians.

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Nothing concrete as such, but I came across the following comment. The Serbian volunteer unit in Russia


also featured a number of Czech and Slovak officers before they transferred to the Czechoslovak armed forces gathering in Russia.

Alfred J. Rieber 2014, p. 575–580.
Alfred J. Rieber (2014). The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands: From the Rise of Early Modern Empires to the End of the First World War

Given the standing of the Czech and Slovak volunteers in the birth of their nation in postwar Europe, I would have thought that an e-mail to the Czech Military Museum at Prague would be likely to get a definitive explanation, and preferably quoting the sources from whence such information came from.

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  • 1 month later...

Czech independence movement increased when the WWI broke up as war goals of Germany and Austro-Hungaria were incompatible with expectations of non-German nationalities in Austro-Hungraia (Poles, Czechs, Italians, Croats, Romanians etc.). It soon became Czechoslovak i.e. joined of Czechs (from Austria) and Slovaks (from Hungary). As early as in summer 1914 Czechoslovak volunteers joined French Army (Compagnie Nazdar), Russian Army (Czech Druzhina) and Serbian Army as well. Up to the end of war Czechoslovak volunteer army on the Entente side rose up to 100000 strength built up mainly from volunteered former Austro-Hungarian POWs of Czech and Slovak origin.

Concerning Serbian Army there were several waves of Czechoslovak presence. The first one in 1914 had been already mentioned. But there were only a limited number of circa 20 Czechoslovak volunteers of whom is little known then. In 1915 there were attempts to create Czechoslovak units in Serbia from former Austro-Hungarian POWs of Czech and Slovak origin but this never materialised due of Serbian collapse in autumn 1915. Those Austro-Hungarian POWs of Czech and Slovak origin who survived evacuation from Serbia through Albania in winter 1915/16 joined Czechoslovak units in France. After the fall of Serbia in 1915 a Serbian volunteer army was organised in Russia. Six hundreds Czechoslovak volunteers from former Austro-Hungarian POWs in Russia entered the 1st Serbian Division in Odessa and took action against Bulgarian Army in Dobrudzha in 1916. Then majority of Czechoslovak volunteers left Serbian Army in Russia and joined Czechoslovak Corps in Russia. Some of them remained and were deployed with Serbian Army from Russia on the Saloniki Front in Greece in 1917. Several Czechoslovak volunteers from Australia joined Serbian army there as well. All remained Czechoslovak volunteers in Serbian Army were transferred from Greece to Czechoslovak units in Italy and France in early 1918.

Some pictures here:


Edited by TomasJakl
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Many thanks for this information Tomas. Puts a little bit of light on this unknown unit in the Salonika Campaign.  

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