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Czechoslovak military units in the USSR (1942 - 1945)
1st Czechoslovak Independent Brigade


General facts

From - to: 10.05.1943 - 10.04.1944
Subordinate to: 1st Ukrainian Front 1
23.10. - Soviet 38th Army 2, 51st Rifle Corps 3
15.11. - Soviet 40th Army 4, 51th and 50th 5 Rifle Corps
03/1944 - Soviet 13th Army
04/1944 - Soviet 18th Army
21.04. - Soviet 3rd Guards Army
Commander: 12.06. - Colonel 6 Ludvík Svoboda
Number: 30.09.1943 - 3 517 persons (including 82 women)
National composition: Czechs 563 (16%), Slovaks 343 (9,7%), Rusyns 2 210 (62,8%), Jews 204 (5,8%), Russians 6, Poles 5, Latvians 2, Germans 2, Hungarians 13 and Soviets 169 (4,8%)
Composition: 114 officers (including 21 officers of the Red Army), 25 technical-sergeants, 3378 soldiers (including 148 specialists from Red Army for technical positions, which could not have been filled by own specialists)
Transfers: Novohopersk (09.05.-30.09.) - rw Voronezh - rw Kursk - rw Lgov (13.10.) - rw Vorozhba - rw Konotop - rw Bahmach - rw Nezhin - rw Priluki (17.10.) - Petrovka tb - Novy Bykov tb - Kazackoe - Kalita tb - Ljutezh (23.10.) - Jablonka (04.11.) - Kiev - Borshchagovka (06.11.) - Vasilkov (08.11.) 7 - Kiev (15.12.) - Fastov (23.12.) - Stavische (29.12.) - Krasnolesy - Ruda (30.12.) - Biela Cerkov - Trushki (03.01.) - Nenadikha - Budenivka (05.01.) - Buzovka (17.01.) - Sabarovka (26.01.) - Zhashkov - Tetiev - rwtb Denikhovka - rw Kazatin - rw Berdichev - rw Polonnoe - rw Slavuta - rw Zdolbunov - rw Rovno - Lutsk - Starokonstantinov - Kamenec Podolsky - rw Chernivtsi
Main combat operations: Battle of Kiev (03. - 06.11.1943)
Combat operations around Vasilkov (09. - 11.11.1943)
Battle of Ruda (30.12.1943)
Battle of Biela Cerkov (31.12.1943 - 02.01.1944)
Combat operations around Zhashkov (17. - 26.01.1944)
Total losses: The brigade had at least 384 killed in action during combats.
Unit awards: Order of Suvorov (2nd class) - battle of Kiev
Cs. medal "For gallantry in the face of the enemy" - battle of Kiev
Cs. war cross from 1939 - battle of Kiev
Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky (1st class) - battle of Biela Cerkov


Weapons and equipment

01.10. 8
Radio sets26
Semiautomatic rifles [Tokarev SVT 40]2 133
Sniper rifles25
Submachine guns [Shpagin PPSh]467
Light machine guns86
Heavy machine guns24
Antitank rifles43
45 mm antitank guns10
Heavy antiaircraft machine guns7
37 mm antiaircraft guns4
76 mm guns12
122 mm howitzers6
50 mm mortars18
82 mm mortars12
Horses410
Motorcycle27
Light trucks [Dodge WC-51, Willys]
18
Truck [US-6 Studebaker, Chevrolet, GAZ]
195
Light armored cars [BA-64B]10
Light tanks [T-70M]10
Medium tanks [T-34/76] 910


The Czechoslovaks also used enemy weapons and equipment they had captured in combat.


Structure of unit


subordinate units

Notes:
  1. The Voronezh Front was renamed to the 1st Ukrainian Front (20.10.1943) while under General N. F. Vatutin’s command.
  2. Commanded by Colonel General N. E. Chibisov who was replaced by Colonel General K.S. Moskalenko (former commander of the Soviet 40th Army) before the Kiev operation (28.10.1943). At that time Soviet 38th Army consisted of 21st, 23rd, 50th, 51st Rifle Corps, 7th Invasive Artillery Corps, 5th Guards Tank Corps and 1st Czechoslovak Independent Brigade.
  3. Commanded by Major General P. P. Avdeenko.
  4. Commanded by Colonel General F. F. Zhmachenko.
  5. Commanded by Major General S. S. Martirosyan.
  6. Promoted to General on 16.12.1943.
  7. During combat operations in the vicinity of Vasilkov, one brigade task command attacked the village of Chernahov (09.11.1943) while another fought at Kommunna Chaika and Petrivka (11.11.1943).
  8. V. Goncharov’s statistics (Battle for the Dnieper, 1943) confirm the numbers of mortars, artillery and tanks but show different figures for personnel (3 281) and 122 mm howitzers (5).
  9. 8 of the T-34/76 Type 1943 and 2 other tanks, probably T-34/76 Type 1942/43 were named "Jan Žižka", "Jánošík", "Podkarpatský partyzán", "Sokolovo", "Lidice", "Ležáky", "Kapitán Jaroš", "Bachmač", "Zborov", "Praha" in accordance with Special Order No. 91 of 30.09.1943.

Abbreviations:
rw = railway, tb = tank battalion, rwtb = railway only tank battalion, iu = infantry units.


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