Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
The Dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which took effect on 1 January 1993, was an event that saw the self-determined split of the federal state of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, entities that had arisen before as the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic in 1969 within the framework of a federal republic. It is sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce, a reference to the bloodless Velvet Revolution of 1989 that led to the end of the rule of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the restoration of a capitalist state in the country. Czechoslovakia was created with the dissolution of Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I. In 1918, a meeting took place in Pittsburgh, United States, where the future Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and other Czech and Slovak representatives signed the Pittsburgh Agreement, which promised a common state consisting of two equal nations and Czechs. Soon after, the philosophy of Edvard Beneš pushed for a single nation.
Some Slovaks were not in favour of this change, in March 1939, with pressure from Adolf Hitler, the First Slovak Republic was created as a satellite state of Germany with limited sovereignty. Occupation by the Soviet Union after World War II oversaw their reunification into the third Czechoslovak republic. In 1968, the Constitutional Law of Federation reinstated an official federal structure, but during the "Normalization period" in the 1970s, Gustáv Husák returned most of the control to Prague; this approach encouraged a regrowth of separatism after the fall of communism. By 1991, the Czech Republic's GDP per capita was some 20% higher than Slovakia's. Transfer payments from the Czech budget to Slovakia, the rule in the past, were stopped in January 1991. Many Czechs and Slovaks desired the continued existence of a federal Czechoslovakia; some major Slovak parties, advocated a looser form of co-existence and the Slovak National Party complete independence and sovereignty. In the next years, political parties re-emerged, but Czech parties had little or no presence in Slovakia, vice versa.
In order to have a functioning state, the government demanded continued control from Prague, while Slovaks continued to ask for decentralization. In 1992, the Czech Republic elected Václav Klaus and others who demanded either an tighter federation or two independent states. Vladimír Mečiar and other leading Slovak politicians of the day wanted a kind of confederation; the two sides opened intense negotiations in June. On 17 July, the Slovak parliament adopted the declaration of independence of the Slovak nation. Six days Klaus and Mečiar agreed to dissolve Czechoslovakia at a meeting in Bratislava. Czechoslovak president Václav Havel resigned rather than oversee the dissolution which he had opposed; the goal of negotiations switched to achieving a peaceful division. On 13 November, the Federal Assembly passed Constitution Act 541 which settled the division of property between the Czech lands and Slovakia. With Constitution Act 542, passed on 25 November, they agreed to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia as of 31 December 1992.
The separation occurred without violence, was thus said to be "velvet", much like the "Velvet Revolution" that preceded it, accomplished through massive peaceful demonstrations and actions. In contrast, other post-communist break-ups involved violent conflict. Czechoslovakia is the only former socialist state to have an peaceful breakup. A number of reasons are given for the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, with the main debates focusing on whether dissolution was inevitable or whether dissolution occurred in conjunction with, or in contrast to, the events that occurred between the Velvet Revolution of 1989 and the end of the joined state in 1992; those who argue from the inevitability stance tend to point to the differences between the two nations, which date back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, other issues. There are ethnic differences between the Slovaks; these issues included, but were not limited to, problems with the shared state during communism, the success of the communist state in Czech lands and its failure in the Slovak lands which still resulted in the adoption of communism, because the Czechs were more influential in the running of the state than Slovaks, the 1968 constitution, which had a minority veto.
Those who argue that events between 1989 and 1992 led to dissolution point to international factors such as the breakaway of the Soviet satellite nations, the lack of unified media between the Czech and Slovak republics, most the actions of the political leaders of the two nations. Since the coat of arms of Czechoslovakia was a composition of those of the historic geographic areas forming the country, each republic kept its own symbol – the Czechs the lion and the Slovaks the double cross; the same principle was applied to the two-part bilingual Czechoslovak national anthem that comprised two separate pieces of music, the Czech stanza Kde domov můj and the Slovak stanza Nad Tatrou sa blýska. Disputes occurred only with respect to the Czechoslovak national flag. During the 1992 negotiations about the details of dissolution of Czechoslovakia, on demand made by Vladimír Mečiar and Václav Klaus, a clause forbidding the use of the state symbols of Czechoslovakia by its successor states was inserted into the Constitutional Law about the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
Czechoslovak border fortifications
The Czechoslovak government built a system of border fortifications as well as some fortified defensive lines inland, from 1935 to 1938 as a defensive countermeasure against the rising threat of Nazi Germany. The objective of the fortifications was to prevent the taking of key areas by an enemy—not only Germany but Hungary and Poland—by means of a sudden attack before the mobilization of the Czechoslovak Army could be completed, to enable effective defense until allies—Britain and France, the Soviet Union—could help. With the rise of Hitler and his demands for unification of German minorities, including the Sudeten Germans, return of other claimed territories—Sudetenland—the alarmed Czechoslovak leadership began defensive plans. While some basic defensive structures were built early on, it was not until after conferences with French military on their design that a full scale effort began. A change in the design philosophy was noticeable in the "pillboxes" and larger blockhouses similar to the French Maginot line when the massive construction program began in 1936.
The original plan was to have the first stage of construction finished in 1941–1942, whilst the full system should have been completed by the early 1950s. Construction was rapid, by the time of the Munich Agreement in September 1938, there were completed in total 264 heavy blockhouses and 10,014 light pillboxes, which means about 20 percent of the heavy objects and 70 percent of the light objects. Moreover, many other objects were near completion and would have been functional at least as shelters despite missing certain heavy armaments in some structures. After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia border regions as a result of the Sudeten Crisis, the Germans used these objects to test and develop new weapons and tactics and practise the attacks used against the Maginot Line and Belgium's forts, resulting in astounding success. After the fall of Belgium and the low countries, the Germans began to dismantle the "Beneš Wall", blowing up the cupolas, or removing them and the embrasures, some of which were installed in the Atlantic Wall.
In the war, with the Soviet forces to the east collapsing the German front, the Germans hurriedly repaired what they could of the fortifications just bricking up the holes where the embrasures once were, leaving a small hole for a machine gun. The east–west portion of the line that ran from Ostrava to Opava, a river valley with a steep rise to the south, became the scene of intense fighting, it is unknown how vital those fortifications were to German defense, but after hurried patching of some buildings leaving holes for machine-gun nests they were used against the Soviet advance from 17 to 26 April 1945. During World War II the Germans had removed many armored parts like domes and embrasures from the majority of the objects; some objects became subjects of German penetration shells or explosives testing and are damaged. In the post-war period, many of the remaining armoured parts were scrapped as a result of a loss of their strategic value and general drive for steel. After the war they were further stripped of useful materials, sealed.
A couple of the large underground structures continued to be used long after as military hardware storage, some still are to this day, by the once again independent Czech Army. The basic philosophy of the design was a mutual defensive line, that is, most of the firepower was directed laterally from the approaching enemy; the facing wall of all the fortifications and small, was the thickest, covered with boulders and debris, covered again with soil so the largest caliber shells would have lost most of their energy before reaching the concrete. The only frontal armament was machine gun ports in cupolas designed for observation and anti-infantry purposes. Any enemy units that tried to go between the Blockhouses would have been stopped by anti-tank, anti-infantry barricades, MG and cannon fire. A few of the larger Blockhouse, or Artillery Forts, had indirect fire mortars and heavy cannon mounts. Behind the major structures were two rows of smaller four-to-seven-man pillboxes that mirrored their larger relatives, with a well protected front and lateral cross fire to stop any enemy that managed to get on top of the fort, or come up from behind.
Most of the lines consisted of just the smaller pillboxes. The "light objects" were simple hollow boxes with one or two machine gun positions, a retractable observation periscope, grenade tubes, hand operated air blower, a solid inner door at 90 degrees to a steel bar outer door; the machine gun was mounted near the end of the barrel, so that the port hole was only large enough for the bullets and a scope to see through, unlike most other designs where a large opening is used. A heavy steel plate could be slid down to close the tiny hole for added protection; the "heavy objects" were infantry blockhouses similar to the southern part of the Maginot Line, but with substantial improvements. Just like the pillboxes, the cannons and machine guns were pivoted at the tip, this time enclosed, protecting the occupants from all but the heaviest of cannons; the fortresses had a full ventilation system with filtration so chemical attacks would not affect the defenders. Besides grid power, a two-cylinder diesel engine provided internal power.
These fortifications had full toilet and wash basin amenities, a luxury compared to its French counterpart casemates – however, these facilities were designed to be used only during the combat. While hollow with a few concrete walls as part of the structure, each chamber was further divided into smaller rooms by simple brick and mortar walls, with a last gap at the ceiling filled wit
Ministry of Defence (Czechoslovakia)
The Ministry of National Defense of the Czechoslovak Republic refers to the defence ministry, responsible for defense of Czechoslovakia during its existence, from 1918 to 1992. Czechoslovak Army Czechoslovak People's Army Ministry of Defence Ministry of Defence Ministers of Defense of Czechoslovakia 1918–1992 Gallery Ministry of Defence
The Panzerkampfwagen 38 was a Czechoslovak tank of pre-World War II design. After Czechoslovakia was taken over by Germany, it was adopted by the German Army, seeing service in the invasions of Poland and the USSR. Production ended in 1942. In all, over 1,400 Pz. 38s were manufactured. The chassis of the Pz. 38 continued to be produced for the Marder III with some of its components used in the Jagdpanzer 38 tank destroyers and its derivative vehicles. The stands for tschechisch, the German word for Czech. Manufacturer's designations included TNH series, TNHPS, LTP and LTH; the special vehicle designation for the tank in Germany was Sd. Kfz. 140. The Panzer 38 was a conventional inter-war tank design, with riveted armour; the armour varied in thickness from 10 mm to 25 mm in most versions. Models increased this to 50 mm by bolting on an additional 25 mm armour plate to the front portion of the hull; the sides received an additional 15 mm increase of armour from Ausf. E production runs onward; the two-man turret was centrally located, housed the tank's main armament, a 37 mm Skoda A7 gun with 90 rounds of ammunition.
In addition, a 7.92 mm machine gun was in a ball mount to the right of the main gun. This machine gun could be trained on targets independently of the main gun, or coupled to the main gun for use as a conventional coaxial machine gun; the driver was with the radio operator seated to the driver's left. The radio operator manned the hull-mounted 7.92 mm machine gun in front in addition to operating the radio on his left. Minor adjustments, such as adjustable seats for the driver and firmer footing for the commander/gunner and loader, were provided in German service. A total of 2,550 rounds were carried for the turret machine guns; the driver could fire the hull machine gun with a trigger fitted on the left tiller bar. In German service, a loader position was added to the turret by reducing the ammunition capacity by 18 rounds. All future Panzer 38 tanks were rebuilt according to this specification and those in service were modified accordingly; the commander had to fire the main gun in addition to his role as commander.
The engine was mounted in the rear of the hull and powered the tank through a transmission at the front of the hull with five forward gears and one reverse gear. The track ran under four rubber-tired road wheels and back over a rear idler and two track return rollers; the wheels were mounted on a leaf-spring double-bogie mounted on two axles. In 1935, the Czechoslovak tank manufacturer ČKD was looking for a replacement for the LT-35 tank they were jointly producing with Škoda Works; the LT-35 was complex and had shortcomings, ČKD felt there would be orders both from the expanding Czechoslovak army and for export. ČKD decided to use a leaf-spring suspension with four large wheels for their new tank with an export success under the name "TNH". With small variations for each customer, 50 were exported to 24 each to Peru and Switzerland. Lithuania ordered some; the British Royal Armoured Corps had one trial model delivered on 23 March 1939 to Gunnery School at Lulworth. A report stated that "the gunner could not sit back comfortably as the wireless set was in the way of his left shoulder".
The report stated that, due to the shudder while the vehicle was on the move, it was impossible to lay the gun. At the speed of 8.05 km/h, accuracy was poor. As a result, the British did not purchase the Panzer 38 and the trial model was returned. In the fall of 1937, the Czechoslovak Armed Forces launched a contest for a new medium tank. Škoda Praga submitted the existing joint production export model mentioned above. ČKD entered a prototype separate from the above, the interesting V-8-H, which proved to have numerous mechanical problems. Tatra, known for its smaller, wheeled armoured cars, submitted a paper entry, a novel concept that changed the layout of a tank, which concept they patented in 1938. On 1 July 1938, Czechoslovakia ordered 150 of the TNHPS model, although none had entered service by the time of the German occupation. After the takeover of Czechoslovakia, Germany ordered continued production of the model as it was considered an excellent tank compared to the Panzer I and Panzer II that were the Panzerwaffe's main tanks during the outset of WWII.
It was first introduced into German service under the name LTM 38. The small turret of the Panzer 38 was incapable of mounting a cannon powerful enough to defeat more armoured tanks such as the T-34, so production of the Pz. 38 halted in June 1942 when more than 1,400 had been built. Other examples of the Pz. 38 were sold to a number of other Axis nations, including Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria. The main advantages of the Panzer 38, compared to other tanks of the day, were a high reliability and sustained mobility. In one documented case, a regiment was supplied with tanks driven straight from the factory in 2.5 days instead of the anticipated week, without any mechanical breakdowns. In the opinion of the crews, the drive components of the Pz. 38 - engine, steering, suspension and tracks - were in tune with each other. The Pz. 38 was considered to be easy to maintain and repair. After production of the Pz. 38 ceased, the chassis was used for tank destroyer desi
Zaolzie is the Polish name for an area now in the Czech Republic, disputed between interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia. The name means "lands beyond the Olza River". Equivalent terms in other languages include Zaolší in Olsa-Gebiet in German; the Zaolzie region was created in 1920, when Cieszyn Silesia was divided between Czechoslovakia and Poland. Zaolzie forms the eastern part of the Czech portion of Cieszyn Silesia; the division did not satisfy any side, persisting conflict over the region led to its annexation by Poland in October 1938, following the Munich Agreement. After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the area became a part of Nazi Germany until 1945. After the war, the 1920 borders were restored; the largest specified ethnic group inhabiting this area were those identifying as Poles. Under Austrian rule, Cieszyn Silesia was divided into three, into four districts. One of them, Frýdek, had a Czech population, the other three were inhabited by Poles. During the 19th century the number of ethnic Germans grew.
After declining at the end of the 19th century, at the beginning of the 20th century and from 1920 to 1938 the Czech population grew and Poles became a minority, which they are to this day. Another significant ethnic group were the Jews, but the entire Jewish population was murdered during World War II by the Germans. In addition to the Polish and German national orientations there was another group living in the area, the Ślązakowcy, who claimed a distinct Silesian national identity; this group enjoyed popular support throughout the whole of Cieszyn Silesia although its strongest supporters were among the Protestants in eastern part of the Cieszyn Silesia and not in Zaolzie itself. The term Zaolzie is used predominantly in Poland and commonly by the Polish minority living in the territory. In Czech it is referred to as České Těšínsko/Českotěšínsko, or as Těšínsko or Těšínské Slezsko; the Czech equivalent of Zaolzie is used. The term of Zaolzie is used by some foreign scholars, e.g. American ethnolinguist Kevin Hannan.
The term Zaolzie denotes the territory of the former districts of Český Těšín and Fryštát, in which the Polish population formed a majority according to the 1910 Austrian census. It makes up the eastern part of the Czech portion of Cieszyn Silesia. However, Polish historian Józef Szymeczek notes that the term is mistakenly used for the whole Czech part of Cieszyn Silesia. Since the 1960 reform of administrative divisions of Czechoslovakia, Zaolzie has consisted of Karviná District and the eastern part of Frýdek-Místek District. After the Migration Period the area was settled by West Slavs, which were organized into the Golensizi tribe; the tribe had a important gord situated in contemporary Chotěbuz. In the 880s or the early 890s the gord was raided and burned, most by an army of Svatopluk I of Moravia, afterwards the area could have been subjugated by Great Moravia, however questioned by historians like Zdeněk Klanica, Idzi Panic, Stanisław Szczur. After the fall of Great Moravia in 907 the area could have been under the influence of Bohemian rulers.
In the late 10th century Poland, ruled by Bolesław I Chrobry, began to contend for the region, crossed by important international routes. From 950 to 1060 it was under the rule of the Duchy of Bohemia, from 1060 it was part of Poland; the written history explicitly about the region begins on 23 April 1155 when Cieszyn/Těšín was first mentioned in a written document, a letter from Pope Adrian IV issued for Walter, Bishop of Wrocław, where it was listed amongst other centres of castellanies. The castellany was a part of Duchy of Silesia. In 1172 it became a part of Duchy of Racibórz, from 1202 of Duchy of Opole and Racibórz. In the first half of the 13th century the Moravian settlement organised by Arnold von Hückeswagen from Starý Jičín castle and accelerated by Bruno von Schauenburg, Bishop of Olomouc, began to press close to Silesian settlements; this prompted signing of a special treaty between Duke Władysław of Opole and King Ottokar II of Bohemia on December 1261 which regulated a local border between their states along the Ostravice River.
In order to strengthen the border Władysław of Opole decided to found Orlová monastery in 1268. In the continued process of feudal fragmentation of Poland the Castellany of Cieszyn was transformed in 1290 into the Duchy of Cieszyn, which in 1327 became an autonomic fiefdom of the Bohemian crown. Upon the death of Elizabeth Lucretia, its last ruler from the Polish Piast dynasty in 1653, it passed directly to the Czech kings from the Habsburg dynasty; when most of Silesia was conquered by Prussian king Frederick the Great in 1742, the Cieszyn region was part of the small southern portion, retained by the Habsburg monarchy. Up to the mid-19th century members of the local Slav population did not identify themselves as members of larger ethnolinguistic entities. In Cieszyn Silesia various territorial identities pre-dated national identity. Consciousness of membership within a greater Polish or Czech nation spread in Silesia. From 1848 to the end of the 19th century, local Polish and Czech people co-operated, united against the Germanizing tendencies of the Austrian Empire and of Austria-Hungary.
At the end of the century, ethnic tensi
The Austro-Hungarian Army was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy from 1867 to 1918. It was composed of three parts: the joint army, the Imperial Austrian Landwehr, the Royal Hungarian Honvéd. In the wake of fighting between the Austrian Empire and the Hungarian Kingdom and the two decades of uneasy co-existence following, Hungarian soldiers served either in mixed units or were stationed away from Hungarian areas. With the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 the new tripartite army was brought into being, it existed until the disestablishment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I in 1918. The joint "Imperial and Royal Army" units were poorly trained and had limited access to new equipment because the governments of the Austrian and Hungarian parts of the empire preferred to generously fund their own units instead of outfitting all three army branches equally. All of the Honvédség and the Landwehr regiments were composed of three battalions, while the joint army k.u.k.
Regiments had four. The long-standing white infantry uniforms were replaced in the half of the 19th century with dark blue tunics, which in turn were replaced by a pike grey uniform used in the initial stages of World War I. In September 1915, field gray was adopted as the new official uniform colour; the last known surviving member of the Austro-Hungarian Army was World War I veteran Franz Künstler, who died in May 2008 at the age of 107. The major decisions 1867-1895 were made by Archduke Albrecht, Duke of Teschen, the nephew of the Emperor Franz Joseph and his leading advisor in military affairs. According to historians John Keegan and Andrew Wheatcroft: He was a firm conservative in all matters and civil, took to writing pamphlets lamenting the state of the Army’s morale as well as fighting a fierce rearguard action against all forms of innovation…. Much of the Austrian failure in the First World War can be traced back to his long period of power…, his power was that of the bureaucrat, not the fighting soldier, his thirty years of command over the peacetime Habsburg Army made it a flabby instrument of war.
Austria-Hungary avoided major wars in the era between 1867 and 1914 but engaged in a number of minor military actions. The general staff maintained plans for major wars against neighboring powers Italy and Russia. By contrast, the main enemies Russia and Serbia had engaged in large scale warfare in the decade before the First World War. In the late 19th century the army was used to suppress unrest in urban areas of the empire: in 1882 and 1887 in Vienna and notably against German nationalists at Graz and Czech nationalists in Prague in November 1897. Soldiers under the command of Conrad von Hotzendorf were used against Italian rioters in Trieste in 1902; the most significant action by soldiers of the Dual Monarchy in this period was the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the summer of 1878. When troops under the command of Josip Filipović and Stjepan Jovanović entered the provinces expecting little or no resistance, they were met with ferocious opposition from elements of both Muslim and Orthodox populations there.
Despite setbacks at Maglaj and Tuzla, Sarajevo was occupied in October. Austro-Hungarian casualties amounted to over 5,000 and the unexpected violence of the campaign led to recriminations between commanders and political leaders. In 1868, the number of active-duty troops in the army was 355,000, the total could be expanded to 800,000 upon mobilization. However, this was less than the European powers of France, the North German Confederation and Russia, each of which could field more than one million men. Though the population of the empire had risen to nearly 50 million by 1900, the size of the army was tied to ceilings established in 1889. Thus, at the start of the 20th century, Austria-Hungary conscripted only 0.29% of its population, compared to 0.47% in Germany, 0.35% in Russia and 0.75% in France. The 1889 army law was not revised until 1912; the ethnic make-up of the enlisted ranks reflected the diversity of the empire. From a religious standpoint, the Austro-Hungarian army officer corps was dominated by Roman Catholics.
In 1896, out of 1000 officers, 791 were Roman Catholics, 86 Protestants, 84 Jews, 39 Greek-Orthodox, one Uniate. Of the pre–World War military forces of the major European powers, the Austro-Hungarian army was alone in its regular promotion of Jews to positions of command. While the Jewish population of the lands of the Dual Monarchy 4.4% including Bosnia-Herzegovna), Jews made up nearly 18% of the reserve officer corps. There were no official barriers to military service for Jews, but in years this tolerance eroded to some extent, as important figures such as Conrad von Hötzendorf and Archduke Franz Ferdinand sometimes expressed anti-Jewish sentiments. Franz Ferdinand was accused of discriminating against Protestant officers. Following the 1867 constitutional arrangements, the Reichsrat was dominated by German Liberals, who regarded the army as a relic of feudalism. In Budapest, legislators were reluctant to authorize funds for the joint army but were generous with the Hungarian branch of the army, the Honvédség.
In 1867 the military budget accounte
Czechoslovak People's Army
The Czechoslovak People's Army was the armed forces of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic from 1954 until 1990. From 1955 it was a member force of the Warsaw Pact. On 14 March 1990 the Army's name was reverted to the Czechoslovak Army removing the adjective "People's" from the name; the Czechoslovak Army was split into the Army of the Czech Republic and the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993. On 25 May 1945 the Provisional organization of the Czechoslovak armed forces was approved, according to which there was a reorganization of the Czechoslovak army. Soldiers who had fought against Nazism on all fronts of World War II returned; the territory of Czechoslovakia was divided into four military areas in which emerged over 16 infantry divisions, which complemented the Tank Corps and Artillery Division. The Czechoslovak I Corps which had served under Soviet control became the 1st Czechoslovak Army, before becoming the 1st Military Area.
Initial optimism about the plans to rebuild the army was replaced by disillusionment, stemming from a broken post-war economy and the lack of human and material resources. The Czechoslovak Army after the war was commissioned to expel Germans and Hungarians, was involved in helping the national economy. In addition, units of the National Security Corps participated in the fighting against the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists. After 1948, when the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia took power, there were significant changes in the military. More than half of the officers began to experience persecution as well as soldiers, many were forced to leave; the political processes focused on soldiers who fought in World War II in Western Europe, but paradoxically there was persecution of soldiers fighting the war on the Eastern Front. The army came under the power of the Communist Party and in 1950 there was a major reorganization of the Soviet model, the military areas were disbanded. In 1951 there was signed between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union the Agreement on the manner and terms of settlement for the supplied equipment and material provided by the USSR loan of 44 million rubles for the purchase of military equipment aircraft and radars.
There has been an increase in proliferation and increasing the number of members of the army, which since 1953 has reached 300,000 people. The ČSLA was composed of Ground Air Forces and Air Defence Forces. Of the 201,000 personnel on active duty in the ČSLA in 1987, about 145,000, or about 72 percent, served in the ground forces. About 100,000 of these were conscripts. There were two military districts and Eastern. A 1989 listing of forces shows two Czechoslovak armies in the west, the 1st Army at Příbram with one tank division and three motor rifle divisions, the 4th Army at Písek with two tank divisions and two motor rifle divisions. In the Eastern Military District, there were two tank divisions, the 13th and 14th, with a supervisory headquarters at Trenčín in the Slovak part of the country. Czechoslovak military doctrine prescribed large tank columns spearheading infantry assaults. While the armoured columns secured objectives, the infantry would provide close support with mortars, anti-tank guns and medium artillery.
The majority of the soldiers in the Ground Forces were recruited through conscription, compulsory military service of 24 months for all males between 18 and 27. The Czechoslovak Air Force was equipped with supersonic jet fighters, attack helicopters, air defence systems and electronic tracking equipment; the Army's air defence had anti-aircraft missile units, fighter interceptor aircraft and radar and direction-finding units, known, in accordance with Soviet terminology, as radio-technical units. The final Report of the Commission of Inquiry of the Federal Assembly for clarification of events November 17, 1989 characterized the Czechoslovak People's Army as follows: "... the Czechoslovak Army, next to the SNB and LM, was understood as one of the direct power tools designed for control over society and for the immediate management of internal political problems. Vojín – Private, Airman Svobodník – Private First Class, Airman First Class Desátník – Corporal, Senior Airman Četař – Sergeant Rotný – Staff Sergeant Staršina – Platoon Sergeant, Flight sergeant Rotmistr – Sergeant First Class, Technical Sergeant Nadrotmistr – Master Sergeant Štábní rotmistr – First Sergeant Podpraporčík – First Warrant Officer Praporčík – Warrant officer Nadpraporčík – Senior Warrant Officer Štábní praporčík – Chief Warrant Officer Podporučík – Sub-lieutenant Poručík – Second lieutenant Nadporučík – First lieutenant Kapitán – Captain Štábní kapitán – Senior Captain Major Podplukovník – Lieutenant colonel Plukovník – Colonel Brigádní generál – Brigade General Divizní generál – Divisional General Generálmajor – Major General Generálporučík – Lieutenant General Sborový generál – Corps General Generálplukovník – Colonel General Armádní generál – General of the Army Army of the Czech Republic Armed Forces of the S