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The Czech Legion 1914-20 (Men-at-Arms) Paperback – November 17, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Czech Legion was not just a single military unit, but a volunteer army that fielded up to 100,000 troops on the Allied side on the three major fronts of the war. Since only the defeat of Austro-Hungary and Germany offered any hope of Czech national independence, they were amongst the most motivated and steadfast of the Allied forces." -Game Trade Magazine (April 2008)

"It is the story of men that was heavily suppressed while Czechoslovakia was under first Nazi and later communist rule. A fascinating read and a book I can highly recommend to you." -Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness/modelingmadness.com (December 2009)

About the Author

David Bullock holds a PhD in European Military History and has been an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Currently, he writes official histories as a military historian for the Department of Defense and is an adjunct Associate Professor at Colorado Technical University, Colorado Springs. He is the author of New Vanguard 83 Armored Units of the Russian Civil War: White and Allied and New Vanguard 95: Armored Units of the Russian Civil War: Red Army. The author lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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Product Details

  • Series: Men-at-Arms (Book 447)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; 2009 Edition edition (November 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846032369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846032363
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. William Thomas on December 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Many people think the term "Czech Legion," or more correctly as the author states inside the book - "Czechoslovak Legion," pertains only to the units that fought in Russia. However, the "Legions" in France, Italy and Russia together became the basis of the army of the new Czech Republic. "Legionnaires" came from these three fronts (and also from a few other minor side shows mentioned in the book). The author has correctly balanced these fronts in the text and plates according to their proportional numbers and contribution to the overall war effort. The introduction gives a quick but necessary insight into early Czech and Slovak history.

Surprisingly, after so many years, this is the first and only book in the West on these uniforms. The plates are balanced well, the first three covering the three main fronts in World War One and the last five depicting the colorful and unique uniforms of the Russian Civil War period. Dr. Bullock, with the assistance of Czech uniform specialists in Prague, has even compiled a chart of shoulder shield patches.

The photos are also excellent and I have not seen them before in the few history books available in the West. Perhaps the best of the recent Men at Arms series books.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on December 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
The legend of the Czech Legion, fighting its way across Siberia during the Russian Revolution, is one of those unusual, heroic against-the-odds stories that tends to grab the reader's attention, but which has merited very little historiography in English. Thus, David Bullock's The Czech Legion 1914-20 offers what Osprey does best - provide a quick, informative look at heretofore neglected topics in military history. Overall, this volume is one of the better recent Men-at-Arms titles, but it does suffer from certain distractions. Readers will find that this volume does not solely focus on the Czech Legion in Russia, but also looks at volunteer units in France and Italy, which tends to water down the space devoted to the main topic. Given the 48-page constraint of the MAA series, this is a serious diversion. However, the B/W photos and color plates are both excellent and well worth the cost of the volume. Note that the cover displayed on Amazon is not the cover actually used, nor does that artwork appear in the volume.

The author begins with a 3-page section that discusses the rise of Czech nationalism and how this contributed to the creation of Czech volunteer units in the First World War. Again, this is wasted space for a volume that is supposed to focus on strictly military details, but appropriate for the author's earlier Essential History volume on the Russian Revolution. The author then spends 8 pages discussing Czech volunteer units on the Russian, Italian and Western Fronts, although he later opines that they had little effect on the outcome of the war. He does not actually begin discussing the Czech Legion in Russia until one-third through the volume and then provides only 17 pages of text on their operations in 1918-20.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Adams on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As obscure history goes, this book reviews a particularly little known set of uniforms in a particullarly little known army, representing a country that did not exist until after that army had served and won for itself a free nation, not to mention having single handedly starting the Russian Civil War, stealing $300,000,000 in gold from the Bolsheviks, and also fighting on two other fronts of the Great War.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on March 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Another well-done book! While much has been written about the Czech Legion in various histories there are rarely illustrations to go with them. This book makes up for this with a vengeance, not only providing details on the Czech forces fighting on the Eastern Front but going further, discussing the Czech units which fought on the Western and Italian fronts. As with practically all Osprey books this slim volume is well-illustrated with color artwork, photographs and graphics. A good addition for serious students of the Great War.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By weesp on April 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Osprey book "The Czech Legion 1914-20" was the inspiration for Harbor Designs' Czech Legion in winter uniforms. The multiple photos and color plate form the the basis for this new line of figures. Please check them out at: [...]

This book is a wealth of information for both the historian and miniature wargamer. It is a "must have" book for those interested in this army and period.
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this is a forgotten story of history, In the middle of the Russian Civil War an entire army of Czechs who had fought for the Czar and were now trapped in Russia fought and bullied their way east to escape home to Czechoslovakia , It became a major news story as the Legion headed east while holding the Russian gold reserves hostage.A good story for everybody interested in the First World War and it's aftermath.
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