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1st Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion (1942-1943)
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1st Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion (1942-1943)

From-To: 12.02.1942 - 10.05.1943
Subordinate to: Voronezh Front [1]
03.03. - Soviet 3rd Tank Army [2], 25th Guards Rifle Division [3]
07.03. - Soviet 3rd Tank Army, 62nd Guards Rifle Division [4]
Commander: Colonel Ludvík Svoboda
Number: 30.01.1943 - 974 persons (including 38 women)
National composition: Czechs (?), Slovaks (?), Rusyns 264 (27,1%), Jews (?) [5]
Composition: 26 officers, 244 non-commissioned officers, 10 technical-sergeants, 694 soldiers
Transfers: Buzuluk (12.02.42-30.01.43) - rw Ostrogozsk (18.02.) - rw Valujki (19.02.) - Olhovatka - Volohovka - Volchansk - Murom - Brodok - Bessonovka - Belgorod - Kharkov (01.03.) - Cherkasskie Tishki - Sokolovo [6] (04.03) - Ternovaja (14.03.) - Mohnach (15.03.) - Velikij Burluk (17.03.) - Zacharovka (20.-25.03.) - Veseloe (31.03.-04.05.) - Novy Oskol - rw Valujki - rw Novohopersk (09.05.)
Main combat operations: battle of Sokolovo (08.-09.03.1943)
Total losses: the battalion lost at least 112 soldiers (including 3 company commanders and 10 platoon commanders) in combat operations during this period


Weapons and equipment

Czechoslovak recruits coming to Buzuluk were dressed in civilian or prisoner clothes. Only the first group that arrived from Oranky was dressed in the Red Army working uniform. Fortunately, the previous occupants of the Buzuluk barracks where the Czechoslovaks were quartered had been General W. Anders’ Polish Army, which had left behind 3,000 British battle dresses. After negotiations with the Soviets, the Czechoslovaks began to use the British uniforms. In addition, they filled out their kit by acquiring fur caps, officers’ fur coats and winter boots. The first weapons arrived only in autumn 1942 [7]; until then, the Czechoslovaks had drilled with wooden ones.

Pistols and revolvers 47
Rifles [Mosin-Nagant] 192
Semiautomatic rifles [Tokarev SVT-40] 553
Sniper rifles 10
Submachine guns [Shpagin PPSh-41] 47
Light machine guns [Degtyarev DP-27] 40
Heavy machine guns [Maxim 1910] 12
14.5 mm antitank rifles [PTRS-41] 16
45 mm antitank guns 2
50 mm mortars [PM-40] 9
82 mm mortars [PM-41] 9


Structure of the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Battalion

08.03.1943

subordinate units


[1] - Commander – General N.F. Vatutin.
[2] - Commander – Lieutenant General P.S. Rybalko.
[3] - Commander – Major General P.M. Shafarenko.
[4] - Commander – Major General G.H. Zaitsev.
[5] - E. Kulka states in Jews in Svoboda’s Czechoslovak army that about 70% of the battalion was Jewish.
[6] - Sokolovo was in the 1st Company’s defense sector; the rest of the ballation was deployed in the villages of Artukhovka and Mirgorod until 11.03.1943.
[7] - First delivery on 21.10., second on 15.11.1942.

abbreviations:
rw = railway

Czechoslovak military units in the USSR (1942-1945) | © 2005-2017 Michal Gelbič | supported by www.czechpatriots.com