Proud to Be
Before my brother boarded his plane back to Canada we went to excellent Russian Revolution, Hope,Tragedy, Myth show at the impressive British Library. Nothing new but a well integrated mix of films to watch, documents to read, testaments to listen to and posters to remind.
Although I live by the Thames I have the waters of the Jordan and the Vltava in my veins. So it was good to learn more of the amazing Czech Legion who played such a dramatic and exciting part in those heroic days of yore. First they were a regiment in the Russian Czarist Army . As the First War progressed prisoners of war and deserters anxious to free the Czechs and Slovaks from Vienna swelled the ranks until they numbered nearly 60,000.
With the collapse of Russia in 1917,the Legion wanted to get to the Western Front and carry on the fight for the Allies. The Germans were not going to let that happen. So they determined to go across Russia to the Pacific coast and get the slow boat home.
As one of the few totally effective and coherent units in civil war torn Russia the legion conquered as they travelled East along the Trans Siberian railway. The Germans as part of their peace terms ordered the Soviets to stop them. This meant the Legion became allied with the Whites in the civil war. The Allies also ordered the legion to help the Whites. During this period the Legion captured most of the Czarist treasure. Though most was handed to the Soviets some made it back to Prague to found a bank.
With the end of civil war in 1920, 60,000 members of the Legion protected by Japanese troops made their exit through Vladivostok and onto home.
Dobra Prace Chlopci. Hostorie Pozdravi Vas. Great Legion ,shame about the language.