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Armed Forces


Early Arms

The Eagle

The Lion

Crested Arms

Crowned Arms

Royal Arms




Back to Česko




Czechoslovakia was created in 1918 by uniting parts of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Bohemia and Moravia had been ruled by the Habsburgs for centuries. Slovakia had been, from the ninth century,  a part of the Kingdom of Hungary. For a short time it had been disputed by Poland and Ruthenia.

In 1939 the country was divided into a Bohemina-Moravia part, Slovakia and Sudetenland, the north-western region inhabited by a majority of German speaking people. Ruthenia was annexated by Hungary. The Republic was restored after the fall of the German Empire but came within the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union and Ruthenia was annexed by Ukraine.

In 1960 the republic was renamed Czecho-Slovakian Socialist Republic (ČSSR).

After an unsuccesful attempt to establish a liberal communist regime (The Prague Spring of 1968) a puppet regime was established by the Soviet Union.

After the collapse ofthe Soviet Union in 1989 Czechoslovakia regained its sovereignty but because of the diminished external pressure old rivalries between both parts of the federation revived.

In 1990 the name of the republic was changed in Czecho-Slovak Federal Republic (ČSFR)  but the form of government with more autonomy for both sub-governments was not to the wishes of the Slovaks. In 1993 they left the federation and the separation became a fact on 1 January 1993.


Czechoslovak National Council



Czechoslovak National Council (or Czecho-Slovak National Council) was an organization founded by Czech and Slovak émigrés during World War I to liberate their homeland from Austria-Hungary.

On 14 October 1918 co-chairman Evard Beneš formally upgraded the Czechoslovak National Council to the Czechoslovak provisional government, a move which was promptly recognized by France. At that time, Masaryk was designated president of the republic, Beneš was to serve as acting foreign minister and Štefánik as acting minister of war.This arrangement was accepted by Czech leaders in Prague who declared their independence on 28 October. Two days later, Slovak leaders approved their inclusion in the new Czechoslovak state at a meeting held at Turčansky Svätý Martin..

Czechoslovak People’s Council

Russian Department


Arms of the Czechoslovak National Council




State emblem of Czechoslovakia, 1919

The first national emblem was decribed in Government Decree No. 300/1919 Coll. z. and n. (issued conform Section 14 of the Provisional Constitution, No. 37/1918 Coll., etc.).

According to § 1 of this decree:

"Until the adoption of a definite emblem of the Czechoslovak Republic its emblem will be the arms of the Bohemian Kingdom being on a red shield a silver double-queued lion rampant to the dexter  crowned with a golden diadem.”


Republika  Československá



The  final national emblems of the Czechoskvak Republic were  adopted by law of  30 March 1920, signed by Tomas . G. Masaryk


They were:

  • A national flag
  • A lesser and a medial coat of arms
  • An achievement
  • A presidential flag

Also a smaller and a greater seal were adopted


National Flag


The national flag is of two breadths of white and red and has a blue triangel at the mast-end


Lesser Arms

Medial Arms


Lesser Arms: Gules, a double-queued lion Argent, crowned langued and clawed Or, on his breast an escutcheon Gules, a double cross Argent on athree-topped hil Azure    


Medial Arms: Quarterly: 1.  Gules, a double cross Argent on athree-topped hill Azure for Slovakia; 2. Per pale, the dexter barry of seven pieces Azure and Or, the sinister Argent, a bear Gules for Ruthenia;  3. Azure, and eagle chequy Argent and Gules billed and clawed Or; 4. Or and eagle Sable, billed and clawed Guleson his breast a crescent trefoiled Argent for Silesia. And an inescucheon Gules, a double-queued lion Argent, crowned, langued and clawed Or.  


Arms: Czechoslovakia. lime-leaves in the field



Achievement in St. Vitus Cathedral Prague


Arms: Quarterly and a base tierced: 1. Slovakia; 2. Ruthenia; 3. Moravia; 4 Silesia; 5. Azure an eagel Or (Tesin), 6. Per pale Gules and Argent (Opava), 7. Per pale the dexter Azure an eagle Or, the sinister impaled of Argent and Gules (Ratibor). And an inescutcheon over all of Bohemia.

Supporters: Two lions Or, langued Gules

Compartment: Branches of lime in saltire Or

Motto: PRAVDA VITEZI in blue lettering on a golden scroll.

Great seal

Seal: Achievement



Presidential flag


World War II in Czechoslovakia


In 1939 the Republic of Cechoslovakia fell apart in four parts: Sudetenland was incorporated in Germany in 1938 and made into a district (Reichsgau) in October 1939. Slovakia proclaimed its independence on the 14th of March 1939 and Bohemia and Moravia came under the protection of Germany one day later. Western Ruthenia (Podkarpatska Rús) was annexed by Hungary in the same year.

For the parts of the former Republic new coats of arms were created or older blasons used in the new context.


Protektorátu Čechy a Morava /

Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren





On the 19th of September 1939 the arms of Cechoslovakia of 19th of May 1919 were readopted for the Protectorate. The larger arms were quarterly of Bohemia and Moravia, using the drawings of 1920 in their design.


II. Slovenska Republika




For this new independent republic the coat of arms for Slovakia of the 30th of March 1920 were adopted as the national arms. Sometimes the arms were surrounded by golden branches of lime.


III.  Reichsgau Sudetenland




For this district a new coat of arms was created:


Arms: Parted per fess, the chief per pale: 1. Gules, an eagle Sable, beaked and clawed Argent; 2. Parted per pale Argent and Sable, an eagle parted per pale, the dexter Sable, beaked and clawed Gules, the sinister chequy Argent and Gules, clawed Argent; 3. Gules, the bars saltirewise attached to another bar per fess at the partition Argent.


For more see: Bohemia, Slovakia, Sudetenland.


Československá Socialistická Republika



On the 17th of November 1960 a new national emblem was adopted by Act No.163. It was designed by M. Hegar and was supposed to represent the so called “completion of the building of socialism” in Czechoslovakia. In fact, the emblem was at variance with the rules of heraldry, though it did at least preserve the lion as a symbol of Bohemia.

The arms are inspired again by the arms of Bohemia. Above the head of the lion appeared the socialist star  and the arms of Slovakia disappeared and was replaced by a red shield with a blue mountain of the High Tatra in base, charged with a yellow fire representing the “Fires of the Partisans”. The shape of the shield became of a Hussite pavese to the memory of the resistance of the Hussites against Emperor Sigismund.


Art. 1. The national emblem of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic consists of a red shield in the shape of a Hussite pavis with a five-pointed star at the top and a white two-tailed lion rampant with a red escutcheon on its chest showing a blue silhouette of Mount Kriváň and a bonfire in gold colour. The emblem drawings are golden, too


The traditions of resistance and free-thinking symbolized by the new coat of arms, could of course also be interpreted as a disadvantage to the Russians.


A change of the arms was proposed in August 1968 by the Slovaks who wanted to reintroduce the double cross but to keep the “fire of the partisans”.

Proposal for new arms of state

By Dr. Z.M.. Zenger, 11.08.1968 [1]


With the invasion of the Soviet Union of Prague on 20 August however, nothing came of any change anymore.

Presidential flag 1960-1990


After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 the star was removed from the arms and replaced by a crown. Also the ancient form of the shield was restored.  


Castle Guard, 1962-1990

Collar Badge


Česká a Slovenská Federativní Republika

Česká a Slovenská Federativna Republika



It was only natural that the changed political climate resulting from the fall of the totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia after November 1989 required a change in the national emblem into one that would not only express the restoration of democratic principles and continuity of historical development but would also represent the federative constitutional framework of the state of Czechoslovakia. After some very complicated discussions, the Constitutional Act No.102/1990 Sb. of April 20, 1990 eventually introduced a new national emblem of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, though not before the National Councils of the two constituent republics had adopted national emblems of their own. The Czech National Council, in its Act No. 68/1990 Sb. of March 13, 1990, adopted a lesser and a greater national emblem, designed by Jiri Louda. The Slovak National Emblem Act No. 50/1990 Sb. of the Slovak National Council had passed already on March 1, 1990.


Bij het totstandkomen van de ČSFR in 1990 werd het staatswapen wederom veranderd. Een vrijwel gelijke plaats werd nu ingeruimd voor het boheemse en het slowaakse wapen. Niettemin stond in het nieuwe wapen dat gekwartileerd was, toch weer de boheemse leeuw op de belang­rijkste 1e en 4e plaats en het slowaakse dubbelkruis op de 2e en 3e.

The Constitutional Act N° 102-1990 Sb. of March 1990 reads as follows:

Para 2/Art. 1 The national emblem of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic consists of a quartered shield with the first and fourth red fields showing a silver, right-looking, two-tailed roaring lion rampant with golden claws, a golden tongue thrust out, and a golden heraldic crown. The second and third red fields show a silver patriarchal cross rising from the middle prominent summit of three blue hilltops. The quartering of the emblem is marked with silver lines.


Coat of arms




Presidential flag


1990 Description: Flag and standard of the President of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic is white with a border consisting of rows of alternating white, red and blue flaming triangles. The corners are blue. In the middle of the white field there are the arms of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. Below the red ribbon is a silver (white) inscription "VERITAS VINCIT". Above both ends of the ribbon are golden branches of lime of  two leaves.


The inscription on the ribbon is in Latin so as not to give preference to Czech before Slovak and vice versa. The first flag in 1990 had the inscription on one side in Czech: "PRAVDA VÍTĚZÍ" and on the other in Slovak: "PRAVDA VÍŤAZÍ". Foreigners did not understand the change of a single letter, so it was decided to write the motto  in Latin.




The law about the first emblems of the state reads as follows:




ze dne 30. března 1920, ć. 252 kterým se vydávají ustanovení o státní vlajce, státních znacích a státní pečeti.


Národní shromáždění republiky Československé usneslo se na tomto zákoně:


§ 1 Vlajka státní (národní) skládá se ze spodního pole červeného a vrchního bílého, mezi něž jest vsunut modrý klín od žerdi do středu vlajky. Poměr jednotlivých částí vlajky jest patrný z připojeného obrazce.

§ 2 Standarta presidentova jest bílá s okrajem skládajícím se z plaménků střídavě bílých, červených a modrých. Uprostřed bílého pole vetkán velký státní znak.

§ 3 Vláda se zmocňuje stanoviti pro rozličné obory správy státní příslušné vlajky a prapory a vydati ustanovení o užívání barev státních v životě veřejném.

§ 4 Malý znak republiky Československé jest: Na červeném štítě stříbrný dvouocasý lev ve skoku v pravo hledící, úst rozžavených, s jazykem vyplazitým, drápy a čelenkou, vše zlaté barvy, nesoucí na svých prsou červený štítek s třemi modrými vrchy, z nichž na prostředním vyšším vztyčen jest stříbrný kříž patriarší

§ 5 Střední znak republiky Československé má dva štíty, přední a zadní. Na předním (srdečním) jest znak český: na červeném štítě stříbrný dvouocasý lev ve skoku v pravo hledící, úst rozžavených, s jazykem vyplazitým, drápy a čelenkou, vše zlaté barvy.

Zadní štít jest čtvrcený. V jeho horním pravém poli jest znak slovenský: na červeném štítě tři modré vrchy, z nichž na prostředním vyšším vztyčen jest stříbrný kříž patriarší. V levém horním poli znak Podkarpatské Rusi: štít na zdél rozdělený; v pravém, modrém poli tři zlatá břevna, v levém, stříbrném poli stojící červený medvěd v pravo hledící. V pravém spodním poli znak moravský, na modrém štítě v pravo hledící orlice s čelenkou, stříbrně a červeně šachovaná. V levém spodnímpoli znak slezský: na zlatém štítě v pravo hledící černá orlice s čelenkou o červené zbroji se stříbrnou pružinou na prsou, zakončenou jetelovými trojlístky a uprostřed zdobenou křížkem.

§ 6 Veliký znak republiky Československé skládá se ze štítu předního a zadního.

Na předním jest znak český: na červeném štítě stříbrný dvouocasý lev ve skoku v pravo hledící, úst rozžavených, s jazykem vyplazitým, drápy a čelenkou, vše zlaté barvy.

Zadní štít jest rozdělen na sedm polí třemi vodorovnými pruhy tak,že vrchní dva jsou rozpůleny, třetí spodní třikráte dělen. V horním pravém poli jest znak slovenský: na červeném štítě tři modré vrchy, z nichž na prostředním vyšším vztyčen jest stříbrný kříž patriarší. V levém horním poli jest znak Podkarpatské Rusi: štít na zdél rozdělený; v pravém, modrém poli tři zlatá břevna, v levém, stříbrném poli stojící červený medvěd v pravo hledící. V pravém spodním poli znak moravský: na modrém štítě v pravo hledící orlice s čelenkou stříbrně a červeně šachovaná. V levém středním poli znak slezský: na zlatém štítě v pravo hledící černá orlice s čelenkou o červené zbroji se stříbrnou pružinou na prsou, zakončenou jetelovými trojlístky a uprostřed zdobenou křížkem. V pravém spodním poli znak Těšínska: na modrém štítě zlatá orlice v pravo hledící. Ve spodním středním poli znak Opavska: štít červeně a bíle rozpůlený. V levém spodním poli znak Ratibořska:štít rozpůlený; v pravém modrém poli zlatá orlice s čelenkou v pravo hledící, levé pole bílé a červeně rozpůlené. Po pravé i levé straně štítu stojí zlatý lev dvouocasý s čelenkou jakožto strážce štítu. Pod štítem vine se stuha, na níž se čte heslo:

"Pravda vítězí." Podrobnosti jednotlivých znaků jsou patrny z připojených obrazců.

§ 7 Vláda se zmocňuje stanoviti nařízením, kdy kterého znaku má býti užíváno.

§ 8 Státní pečeti chová předseda vlády. Na malé státní pečeti jest vyobrazen malý státní znak, kolem něhož čte se v kruhu nápis: Republiky Československá. Na veliké státní pečeti umístěn jest veliký státní znak i se strážci štítu a heslem. Kolem něho v kruhu čte se nápis: Republika Československá.

§ 9 Státní pečeti chová předseda vlády. Vláda se zmocňuje, aby zvláštním nařízením stanovila, kdy kterou pečetí státní pečetiti a jakých pečetí a razítek mají užívati veřejné


§ 10 Užívání státní vlajky, státních znaků, jakož i jeho částí v životě veřejném, dále podniky výdělečnými a na tiskopisech vůbec, povoluje příslušné ministerstvo v dohodě s ministerstvem vnitra. Vláda se zmocňuje nařízením vydati podrobnější pravidla o podmínkách a způsobu, jak povolení toto se udílí nebo odnímá.

Ministerstvo vnitra má právo pozměňovati znaky veřejné kromě znaku státního.

Každé nepřiměřené užívání praporův a vlajek státních, jakož i všech znaků veřejných, jest zapovězeno.

§ 11 Přestupky tohoto zákona trestají se - bez újmy stíhání trestními soudy, jde-li o čin podléhající zákonům trestním - úřady politickými (na Slovensku policejní administrativní vrchností) a to pokutou až doKč 20.000, nebo vězením (uzamčením) až do šesti měsíců; při nedobytnosti budiž pokuta peněžitá proměněna v přiměřený trest nasvobodě v nejvyšší míře šesti měsíců.

§ 12 Ministr vnitra se pověřuje, aby v dohodě se zúčastněnými ministry provedl tento zákon, jenž se stává ihned účinným.

T. G. Masaryk v. r.

Tusar v. r.

Švehla v .r.




The Law about the emblems of state of 1960 reads as follows:


Národní shromáždění Československé socialistické republiky 1960

III. volební období


Vládní návrh


ze dne.1960

o státním znaku a o státní vlajce

Národní shromáždění Československé socialistické republiky se usneslo na tomto zákoně:

§ 1

Státní znak

(1) Státní znak Československé socialistické republiky tvoří červený štít tvaru husitské pavézy s pěticípou hvězdou v horní části, na kterém je bílý dvouocasý lev nesoucí na hrudi červený štítek s modrou siluetou Kriváně a vatrou zlaté barvy. Kresba znaku je zlata (čl. 110 odst. 1 ústavy).

(2) Podrobné vyobrazení státního znaku je v příloze 1 tohoto zákona.

§ 2

Stání vlajka

Státní vlajka Československé socialistické republiky se skládá ze spodního pole červeného a vrchního bílého, mezi něž je vsunut modrý klín ad žerdi ke středu vlajky (čl. 110 odst. 2 ústavy). Při slavnostních příležitostech lze užívat praporu utvořeného podle státní vlajky.

(2) Vyobrazení státní vlajky a vzájemný poměr rozměrů jejích polí a klínu jsou uvedeny v příloze 2 tohoto zákona.

§ 3

Standarta presidenta republiky

(1) Standarta presidenta republiky je bílá, s okrajem z bílých, modrých a červených políček. V jejím středu je státní znak, po jeho stranách jsou lipové ratolesti. Pod státním znakem je heslo "Pravda vítězí" na stuze červené barvy. Písmena nápisu jsou barvy zlaté.

(2) Podrobné vyobrazení standarty presidenta republiky a vzájemný poměr jejích rozměrů jsou uvedeny v příloze 3 tohoto zákona.

§ 4

Státní pečeť

(1) Státní pečeť Československé socialistické republiky tvoří státní znak s lipovými ratolestmi po stranách, kolem něhož je kruhový nápis "Československá socialistická republika".

(2) Státní pečeť Československé socialistické republiky uschovává president republiky.

Užívání státního znaku a státní vlajky

§ 5

(1) Státního znaku a státní vlajky užívají Národní shromáždění, president republiky, vláda, Slovenská národní rada, národní výbory, ministerstva a ostatní ústřední orgány státní správy, československé zastupitelské úřady, soudy, prokuratura, jakož i orgány státní správy, které určí vláda.

(2) Státního znaku a státní vlajky užívají též ozbrojené síly a bezpečnostní sbory Československé socialistické republiky.

(3) Státního znaku a státní vlajky užívá dále Československá akademie věd, školy, kulturní a vědecké ústavy a státní organizace, které se zřetelem na povahu jejich úkolů určí vláda.

(4) Podrobnosti o užívaní státního znaku a státní vlajky v ozbrojených silách stanoví president republiky, na ostatních úsecích vláda.

§ 6

Státního znaku a státní vlajky mohou užívat při slavnostních příležitostech dobrovolné společenské organizace pracujících, podniky a jiné organizace i jednotliví občané.

Přechodná a závěrečná ustanovení

§ 7

Dosavadní státní znaky se postupně nahradí státním znakem stanoveným ústavou Československé socialistické republiky. Přechodná opatření blíže stanoví vláda.





Federální kriminální policie / Federal Criminal Police


The Federal Criminal Police was a continuation of the Kaiserlich- und Königliche Kriminalpolizei from the Habsburg era founded in 1872. [2] It was organized in local corpses,, for example of Prague and Pilsen. During the Protectorate the police was organized in a single government police and this organization was continued after the restoration of the federation in 1945. In 1992 the service was split up in a Czech and a Slovak part. [3]


Executive Police Organ until 1939

Economic Police, 1936



Criminal Service 1945-‘62

Criminal Service  1962-‘90


Federal Criminal Police, 1990-‘92


 Czechoslovak Gendarmerie



The Czechoslavakian Gendarmerie (Československé četnictvo) was managed by the Ministry of Interior. In 1942 it merged with police and fire brigades. After the liberation in 1945 a unified police force was created — the Corps of National Security (SNB)—that amalgamated gendarmerie, police and intelligence.


Cap badge 1918-1920 [4]



 Cap Badge 1920-1939


National Security Corps



The Sbor národní bezpečnosti, known as the SNB (Slovak: Zbor národnej bezpečnosti; ZNB), or National Security Corps, was the national police in Czechoslovakia from 1945 to 1991.


Cap badge 1945-1952


Cap badge 1950-‘60


The emblem of the army on an award by the Minister of  National defense, 1959


In the 1950-ties a new cap badge for the Police, the Army and for other armed corpses was gradually introduced: a red fivepointed star (a mullet or Red star of communism) charged with the Czechoslovak lion. There is no decree about it, but the same emblem was used for Military colours, on ID´s of Czechoslovak citizens, and even on stationary of the Supreme command of the Armed Forces. It was gradually canceled in 1960, when the new arms of the CSSR were introduced. The red star with the lion was also used between 1955-1960 on the flag of Czechoslovak military vessels/Czechoslovak Ensign. [5]



Cap Badge 1961-1990


Armed Forces


Flag of the Cechoslovak Army, WWI


Czechoslovak Legion



The Czechoslovak Legion (Československé legie in Czech, Československé légie in Slovak) or Czech legion were volunteer armed forces composed predominantly of Czechs with a small number of Slovaks (approximately 8 percent) fighting together with the Entente powers during World War I. Their goal was to win the Allies' support for the independence of Bohemia and Moravia from the Austrian Empire and of Slovak territories from the Kingdom of Hungary, which were then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the help of émigré intellectuals and politicians such as the Czech Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and the Slovak Milan Rastislav Štefánik, they grew into a force of over 100,000 strong.


Czechoslovak Army in Italy

In Italian Foligno, the recruitment of Czechoslovakia was carried out until the end of 1918. The volunteersof the Czechoslovak legions retired to Czechoslovakia in December. Foligno was also one of four locations (others were Gallarate, Avezzano and Fonte d'Amore), recruiting CS. Domobrane battalions. They were made up from the prisoners and trained after the formation of Czechoslovakia, and returned to their homeland in January 1920. Some of these battalions, however, were enough to engage in fighting in Slovakia.

Cap badge of the Czechoslovak legion in Italy


Signboard of the Czechoslovak Army in Italy. (136 ´ 160 cm) [6]

The shield hung on the building of the Czechoslovak Supplemental Headquarters in Foligno from June 1918 to July 1919. It is of an oval, metal covered wooden board. It is decorated with the arms of the Czechoslovak Republic. Above is the inscription: Deposito = Czecoslovaco, and below Doplňovací velitelství Česko=slovácké (Additional Czechoslovak headquarters) The arms were painted in June 1918 by MS. volunteer V. Urban, in September 1918 the shield was repainted by academic painter volunteer F. Diblík.

This shield was transferred to the collections of the Resistance Memorial in 1920 from the Directorate of the Assistance Offices of the MNO.


In Russia, they took part in several battles of the war, including the Zborov and Bakhmach against the Central Powers, and were heavily involved in the Russian Civil War fighting Bolsheviks, at times controlling the entire Trans-Siberian railway and several major cities in Siberia.

After three years of existence as a small unit in the Imperial Russian Army, the Legion in Russia was established in 1917, with other troops fighting in France since the beginning of the war as the "Nazdar" company, and similar units later emerging in Italy and Serbia. Originally an all-volunteer force, these formations were later strengthened by Czech and Slovak prisoners of war or deserters from the Austro-Hungarian Army. The majority of the legionaries were Czechs, with Slovaks making up 7.4% of the force in Russia, 3% in Italy and 16% in France.


Signboard of the Czechoslovak People’s Council

Russian Branch

Military Department


An oval wooden shield, charged with the czech lion without a crown on a red field. Surrounded by the legend Czechoslovak People’s Council,  Russian Branch Military Departement in czech and russian.

The shield was placed in 1919 on the Yekaterinburg Building which houses the Military Departement of the Czechosloavk National Council. It passed to the Resistance Memorial in 1921. [7]


Banner of the Czechoslovak 1st Rifle Regiment  in Russia

Czechoslovak army in Siberia 1919-‘20


Czechoslovak Army in France

An autonomous Czechoslovak army was established from 19 December 1917 by decree of the French government. On 12 January 1918 the 21st Czechoslovak Rifle Regiment was formed in the town of Cognac. It fought as part of the French 53rd Infantry Division. On 20 May 1918 the 22nd Czechoslovak Rifle Regiment was created, initially fighting as part of the French 134th Infantry Division. On June 29 the government of France officially acknowledged the right of Czech and Slovaks to independence, and the next day both regiments took an oath of allegiance in presence of the French president, Raymond Poincaré, as well as Czechoslovak independence movement officials, including Edvard Beneš

Banner of the 21st Czechoslovak Rifle Regiment 1918


Československá armáda



Cap badge 1919-‘21


Cap badge 1922-1950



Czechoslovak Army (Czech and Slovak: Československá armáda) was the name of the armed forces of Czechoslovakia. It was established in 1918 following Czechoslovakia's independence from Austria-Hungary.

Although modelled after Austro-Hungarian Army patterns, the army of the newly established state also incorporated former members of the Czechoslovak Legion fighting alongside the Entente during World War I. Czechoslovak Army took part in the brief Polish-Czechoslovak War in which Czechoslovakia annexed the Zaolzie region from Poland. In the interbellum the force was fairly modern by contemporary standards, with the core of the force formed by LT vz. 38 and LT vz. 35 tanks, as well as an extensive system of border fortifications. Mobilised during the Munich Conference, the force did not take part in any organised defence of the country against invading Germans due to international isolation of Czechoslovakia.


World War II

The army was disbanded following the German takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1939. During World War II the Czechoslovak Army was recreated in exile, first in the form of the new Czechoslovak Legion fighting alongside of Poland during the Invasion of Poland and then in the form of forces loyal to the London-based Czechoslovak government-in-exile.

Czechoslovak volunteers in the French Army

1914-1918 / 1939-1945




Czechoslovak Legion of 1939 was formed in the Second Polish Republic after Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939. While about 4,000 Czechs and Slovaks joined the French Foreign Legion, about a 1,000 chose to go to Poland, which looked likely to be involved in hostilities with Germany in the near future, and which gave permission for a formation of a dedicated Czechoslovak unit, in tradition of the First World War Czechoslovak Legions.


After the war Czechoslovak units fighting alongside the Allies returned to Czechoslovakia and formed the core of the new, recreated Czechoslovak Army. However, with the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, it was being increasingly Sovietised and in 1954 was formally renamed to Czechoslovak People's Army. The army of Czechoslovakia returned to the former name in 1990, following the Velvet Revolution, but in 1993, following the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia, it was disbanded and split into modern Army of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Armed Forces.


Czechoslovak People’s Army Flag 1961-1990

For the Fatherland , For Socialism



Army Badge, 1991-‘93


The army badge was the coat of arms of the CSFR in gold, silver or bronze without enamel. [8]


General Staff emblem


Badges of Branches and Services


Air Force


The Czechoslovak Air Force (Československé vojenské letectvo) was the air force branch of the military of Czechoslovakia. It was known as the Czechoslovak Army Air Force (Československé letectvo) from 1918 to 1939.

Future Aviation  ČSR

letectvi budoucnost CSR




Badge, 1923-1960


When Czechoslovakia was divided into the "Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren" (Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia) and Slovakia, all Czechoslovak aircraft were absorbed into the Luftwaffe – and the huge Czechoslovak manufacturing base was converted to produce German aircraft and engines.


Many Czechoslovak pilots successfully escaped to Poland and France, where they helped to fight against the German "blitzkrieg" during the Battle of France

Later, in Great Britain, the Inspectorate of the Czechoslovak Air Force was established on July 12, 1940, as a co-ordinating and liaison body. Brigadier General Dr Karel Janoušek was appointed to head the Inspectorate by the British Ministry of Defence. Janousek joined the ranks of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) and was given the rank of Acting Air Commodore (and the RAF eventually promoted him to Air Marshal). Czechoslovakian airmen were enlisted into the RAFVR and the formation of Czechoslovak fighter and bomber squadrons within the Royal Air Force was put in hand..


After the end of the war in late 1945 four Czechoslovak RAF squadrons, Numbers 310, 311, 312, and 313 were all dispatched to Czechoslovakia and became part of the Czechoslovak armed forces

In September 1945 the amalgamated squadrons were deployed back to Czechoslovakia with the first Rearmament of Czechoslovak fighters.

310 Czechoslovak Squadron

311 Czechoslovak Squadron

312 Czechoslovak Squadron

313 Czechoslovak Squadron


Czechoslovak Air Force 1961-1990


Air Force Headquarters 1990-1993


Air Force Badge, 1961-1990


Roundel 1948-1990


After November 1989 the two parliaments of the two new states the Czech republic and Slovakia, dissolved their union on 1 January 1993. The assets of the former air force were divided 2:1 in the Czech favor, and thus the Czech Air Force and the Slovak Air Force were formed. The 18 MiG-29s then in service were divided 1:1 between the new countries.

A 1992–93 reorganisation resulted in a completely new structure of the Czech Air Force which came into effect in the course of 1994 One of the first units which closed down as a direct result of the transfer of a large number of aircraft to Slovakia was the 9th Fighter Bomber Air Regiment (9. SBoLP) at Bechyně.




To Ć  Czech Republic



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 © Hubert de Vries 2018-06-15. Updated 2018-09-02




[1] https://www.tyden.cz/rubriky/domaci/historie/jdi-domu-ivane/11-srpen-1968-striptyz-a-prohra-prazske-slavie_74958.html Lidová Demokracie 11th of August, 1968

[2] https://www.polizei.gv.at/wien/publikationen/geschichte/kriminaldienst.aspx

[3] Pictures from: https://sluzebni-odznaky.webnode.cz/album/fotogalerie/scan0002-jpg/

[4] http://lusik.com/index.php?prehled=2&kat=23

[5] Info: Aleš Křížan. Picture of ensign:  Flags of All Nations Vol. II. Admiralty

[6] http://www.vhu.cz/exhibit/vyvesni-stit-z-doplnovaciho-velitelstvi-cs-legii-v-italii/

[7] http://www.vhu.cz/exhibit/vyvesni-stit-ceskoslovenske-narodni-rady-1919/

[8] https://www.armyshop-online.cz/produkty/odznaky---vylozky---hodnosti/odznaky---ceska-armada/odznak-csfr---moreny/1649.html?kat=armady Info: Aleš Křížan


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