Czechoslovak Legion

The Great War and the Revolution

Russia 1918.0531

Czechoslovak Legion

World War I in eastern Europe and the Russian Revolution (31 May 1918)

Historical Map of Russia & the former Soviet Union

Large numbers of Czechs and Slovaks had joined the Russians during the War, forming a Czechoslovak Legion to fight for the independence of their homeland (then part of Austria-Hungary). After the Soviets made peace with the Central Powers, they agreed to let the Czechoslovaks travel to France via Siberia to continue their struggle. However German pressure first slowed the evacuation and then led to a Soviet attempt to disarm the Legion. The result was a disaster for the Soviets as the Czechoslovaks revolted and began occupying cities along the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Main Events

British land in Murmansk

Revolt of the Czechoslovak Legion

Forces of the Czechoslovak Legion, a volunteer force of Czechs and Slovaks fighting on the Allied side, clash with the Bolsheviks at several points along the Trans-Siberian Railway after the evacuation of the Legion from now-neutral Soviet Russia stalls. By June, the Czechoslovaks will have seized much of the railway between Penza and Krasnoyarsk, capturing the entire length of the railway by September.

Independence of Georgia

The Democratic Republic of Georgia declares independence from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. It will be followed two days later by the Democratic Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

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