The Czechoslovak Legion Military Formation in Kaiserreich Chronicles (1936 AD.) | World Anvil

The Czechoslovak Legion

The nationalism that emerged in Europe in the late 19th Century would have many far reaching consequences. One of which was the creation of this curious force. Initially an attempt to win independence for the lands of the Bohemian Crown in the Great War, many who joined for this cause found themselves halfway around the world fighting for an entierly differnt one.   While aware of discontent within the Hapsburg Empire, and the desire for greater autonomy and independence many of its peoples had. The Russian Government of the time was understandably wary of letting what were citizens of a hostile power join its own army. Nonetheless, a few were allowed, and after demonstrating their dedication and proficiency, the Druzina or "Companion" Battalion was formed from Czech and Slovak soldiers. It shall be noted here, that the force was primarily Czech with a Slovak minority, this would remain the case for its entire existance.
  1917: Provisional Government approves the expansion of Czechoslovak forces and creates the Czechoslovak Legion.   1918: Caught in the Civil War, the Legion seeks to leave Russia and travel to the Western Fron of the great war, however, unable to leave, they align with Admiral Kolchak's Siberian Army and begin to fight the Reds. As the year progresses, and with the Great War going poorly for the Allies, many in the Legion begin to see victory in the Russian Civil War as their best hope for gaining independence.   1919 & 1920: The Legion proves to be a capable force in the Russian Civil War, however many become concerned for the long term consequences of the Legion, its members, and what it might do next.   1920: After the civil war ends, the decision is made to make the Legion a permanent part of the Russian Army.   1936: The Legion remains part of the Russian Army, with most of its initial members now retired from active service, the majority of its manpower comes from exiled Czechs and Slovaks living in Russia, other non-Russian slavs, the children of previous members, and a few foreign volunteers who are ineligible to join most of the Russian Army.   At present the make up the Legion is as follows: The Chzeko-Slovak Rifle Regiment (The Legion's mascot and elite unit, but also a fully active unit as well) 1st Czechoslovak Division: 4 regiments: 1st-4th Czechoslovak Regiments 2nd Czeckolovak Division:4 regiments: 5th-8th Czechoslovak Regiments.   In total, the Legion typically numbers just over 40,000 men, with an authorised strength of 45,000. The majority are Czech, with a substantial Slovak minorty, followed by other non-Russian Slavs such as southern Slavs, other foreigners, and an increasing number of sons of previous veterans of the Legion.   Thanks to its performance during the two wars, it has a reputation as one of the Russian Army's foremost units, and seeks to keep it that way in the long, though sincere, hope of one day returning home.



The legion's size has varied dramatically over the years, from a fairly small force of a few battalions to almost an army in its own right with tens of thousands of men.


The Legion uses equipment standard to the rest of the Russian Army, the only substantial difference is to be found in rank names and insignia. Which are in Czech.


It is a curiosity of Russian forces that what it terms a regiment is often thought of as a brigade in most other modern armies. For example, while the British and Russian infantry regiment both use battalions as their primary subunit, in the British Army, the regiment is an administrative unit only, battalions are brigaded into brigades for active operations. By contrast in the Russian Army the battalions of a regiment normally fight together effectively acting as a brigade. Russian Battalions are also larger than in western armies, commonly numbering 1,000 men when most other armies organise 600-800 men in an infantry battalion.
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