The Czech Legion 1914-20 Paperback
Illustrated by Ramiro Bujeiro
Part of the Men-at-Arms series
The Czech Legion was not just a single military unit, but a volunteer army that fielded up to 100,000 troops on the Allied side on all three main fronts of the war.
Since only the defeat of Austro-Hungary and Germany offered any hope for Czech national independence, they were amongst the most motivated and steadfast of the Allied forces.
After the Bolshevik Revolution, they fought their way across Russia, captured the Russian national gold reserves and used this as a bargaining chip to force the Bolsheviks to allow them to return home.
Today the Legion is recognized as the founding fathers of Czech nationhood.
This very colorful force of World War I has never before been detailed in English and is illustrated with an astonishing array of never-before-published photographs.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 48 pages, Illustrations (some col.)
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publication Date: 10/06/2008
- Category: European history
- ISBN: 9781846032363
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Review by jcbrunner
Osprey's Men-at-Arms series is in need of a face-lift. It needs as many color illustrations as the more recently launched series and it needs more pages. Given the exotic topic, the author is forced to cram too many topics into too few pages. The (rather few) Czechs fighting on the Western front for the Allies should either have been accorded their own title, so that much more space could have been allocated to the Czech anabasis, the wild journey of 60.000 Czech soldiers who, from fighting alongside the Russians on the Eastern front, became short term players in the Russian Civil War and ended up fighting alongside the Japanese in Russia's Far East. While there is no shortage of books about this episode in Czech, modern French and English accounts are rather scarce. This booklet is thus highly welcome and has benefited from much Czech support (the military museum in Prague features splendid exhibits from the Czech anabasis). Hopefully, this crazy episode in both Russian and Czech history will receive a book-length (or even cinematic) tribute soon. In the mean time, this Osprey does yeoman's service.