Czechoslovakia: Anvil of the Cold War

By John O. Crane; Sylvia E. Crane | Go to book overview

3 The Legions Anabasis to the Sea

By the terms of the troop withdrawals, negotiated by Tomáš Masaryk with Soviet Commander-in-Chief Muravieff on February 10, 1918, and confirmed by the Moscow authorities on March 26th, the Soviets agreed to provide trains to transport the Czechoslovak troops across Siberia to Vladivostok. From there, they would be evacuated to Vancouver or Seattle by ships to be furnished by England. The Czechoslovak troops would relinquish most of their military equipment, retaining only minimal sidearms for self-defense. The last proviso removed what had proved to be a major sticking point for Defense Commissar Léon Trotsky, who did not want foreign troops wandering across Soviet soil heavily armed.

When communications between the Czechoslovak leaders and their troops were disrupted, the Czechoslovak Legions gradually became involved in anti-Bolshevik fighting in the field, contrary to the arrangements negotiated by Masaryk and approved by the Czechoslovak National Council. The field commanders subsequently seized control of military operations and affected political realignments.

According to an important Czechoslovak military leader, Capt. Vladimìr Hurban, in exchange for their unmolested passage eastward, the forces were "determined to leave Russia without a conflict."1 Straightaway, however, the Czechoslovak Legions had no choice but to fight their way out of German encirclement at the railway junction of Bachmach against heavy odds. Hurban noted in his report that "relations with the Bolsheviks were still good... We refrained from meddling with Russian internal affairs and we did not react to the

-30-

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Czechoslovakia: Anvil of the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction xvii
  • Notes xxvi
  • 1- The Independence Movement Commences 1
  • Notes 10
  • 2- Founding of the Legions: Entrapment in Anti- Bolshevik Intervention 11
  • Notes 26
  • 3- The Legions Anabasis To the Sea 30
  • Notes 46
  • 4- Masaryk in America 50
  • Notes 62
  • 5- Drawing the Frontiers 63
  • Notes 70
  • 6- Internal Stabilization 72
  • Notes 84
  • 7- The Beneš Succession: Storm Warnings (1935-38) 85
  • Notes 101
  • 8- The Sudeten Fires Flare (1938) 103
  • Notes 121
  • 9- Summer Turmoil (1938) 124
  • Notes 130
  • 10- The Runciman Mission (summer 1938) 131
  • Notes 148
  • 11- Munich (september 1938) 151
  • Notes 169
  • 12- Aftermath of Munich (1938-41) 172
  • Notes 185
  • 13- War on Two Fronts (1941) 187
  • Notes 202
  • 14- Wartime Conferences And Treaties 205
  • Notes 215
  • 15- The Slovak Uprising: The Government's Return Home 218
  • Notes 232
  • 16- The Government Reconstituted On Home Ground (1945) 235
  • Notes 245
  • 17- Nationalities Transfers And Allied Army Withdrawals (1945) 247
  • Notes 255
  • 18- Democratic Socialization (1945-46) 257
  • Notes 271
  • 19- Cold War Beginnings (1946) 273
  • Notes 287
  • 20- Storm Signals (1947) 290
  • Notes 306
  • 21- The Communist Coup (1947-48) 308
  • Notes 318
  • 22- The Death of Jan Masaryk (1948) 320
  • Notes 332
  • Abbreviations 333
  • Bibliography 335
  • Index 343
  • About the Authors 353
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