SINITSYN F.L. Czechoslovak Military Units in the USSR During the Great Patriotic War: Political and Legal Problems of Formation and Combat Use

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.1.14

Fedor L. Sinitsyn

Doctor of Sciences (History), Assosiate Professor, Leading Researcher,

Department of the New and Contemporary History, Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

Prosp. Leninsky, 32a, 119334 Moscow, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2299-204X


Abstract. Introduction. The article is devoted to the identification and analysis of political and legal problems that arose during the formation on the territory of the USSR and the combat use of Czechoslovak military units in the Great Patriotic War.

Methods and materials. The methodological basis of the research presented in the article is the principles of scientific objectivity and historicism, as well as general and special methods typical of historical studies. The source base of the research includes both published and unpublished documents found by the author in the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History and the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

Analysis. The Czechoslovak formations were part of the Czechoslovak armed forces and were subordinate to the emigrant government, and in operational and military-technical matters were under the Soviet supreme command. However, the presence of several actors (the Czechoslovak government in exile, the leadership of the USSR, the command of Czechoslovak units and the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia) led to a number of political and legal conflicts in this process. Firstly, the intention of the emigrant government to save military forces (in fact, supported in some way by the leadership of the USSR) was in conflict with the plans of the KSČ leadership and the commander of the Czechoslovak units, Svoboda L., who advocated maximum possible participation of Czechoslovaks in combat operations on the territory of the Soviet Union. Secondly, the Soviet side sought to put the Czechoslovak formations under its control. The third manifestation of the contradictions was “the case of the Army of A. Hasal” (autumn 1944), with which the problem of belonging to Transcarpathia was closely intertwined.

Results. Despite the existence of a number of political and legal conflicts, they did not become an obstacle to the creation and combat use of Czechoslovak military formations on the Soviet-German front. In addition, the Soviet-Czechoslovak relations themselves developed quite constructively during the Great Patriotic War.

Key words: World War II, Great Patriotic War, USSR, Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovak Army Corps, Czechoslovak Military Mission, Ludvik Svoboda, Edvard Beneš.

Citation. Sinitsyn F.L. Czechoslovak Military Units in the USSR During the Great Patriotic War: Political and Legal Problems of Formation and Combat Use. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2023, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 152-161. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.1.14.

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Czechoslovak Military Units in the USSR During the Great Patriotic War: Political and Legal Problems of Formation and Combat Use by Sinitsyn F.L. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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