Czechoslovakia

Country Profile

The Country

Note: This page covers Czechoslovakia up until 1 January 1993. After this date the Czech Republic and Slovakia are covered separately. Slovakia’s existence during WW2 is also covered under the same heading.

Geography

Czechoslovakia is located in Central Europe. Between 1918 and 1993 (except for World War Two) Czechoslovakia comprised the territory of what is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The borders were Poland to the north, USSR (Ukraine) to the east, Hungary to the south east, Austria to the south, Wset Germany to the west and East Germany to the north west. Czechoslovakia occupied an area of 127,869 km2 (49,370 sq miles) and had a population of 14.9 million (1976 data). The capital city was Prague.

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National History

Summary Narrative History

Timeline – Key Dates in Czech History

Further National Information

wikipedia: Czechoslovakia
wikipedia: History of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia History
Background Note: Czech Republic
Country Guide: Czechoslovakia

Aviation

Text to be added on the development of aviation in Czechoslovakia.

Markings

Civil Aircraft Registrations

The registration sequence L-BAAA onwards was used between 1918 and 1928, eg: L-BAAC. The registration sequence OK-AAA onwards was used from 1928, eg: OK-TDG.

All-time Czechoslovakia Czech Republic – civil aircraft register (L-Baaa OK-aaa) [TO BE ADDED].
[Get involved with the Aeroflight Cloud.]

Aircraft Operators

Military Air Arms

Army Air Force (Ceskoslovenske Letecky Sbor) [1918-1939]
Air Force (Vzdusne Sily Armady Ceske Republiky) [1945-1992]

Central Government Agencies

Government Aviation (Government Flying Service) [1990-1992]
Gendarmerie Aviation (Cetnicke letecke hlidky) [1935-1939]
Security Aviation (Bezpecnostni letectvo) [1945-1991]
Aviation Authority (Statni letecka inspekce)
Flight Inspection (CSDDL)
Agricultural Aviation (Agrolet) [1950-1990]
Cadet Aviation (Masarykova Letecka Liga) [1927-1939]
Cadet Aviation (Svazarm) [1950-1991]

Public Service Aviation

Police Aviation (Letecka Sluzba Policie Ceske Republiky) [1991-1992]

Commercial Aviation

CSA Czechoslovak Airlines
Skoda Air
Slov-Air

The World’s Airlines: Czechoslovakia

Private Aviation

To be added

Industry

Aircraft Manufacturers

To be added

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.

Airfields

Civil Airports & Airfields

Brno-Turany Airport (ICAO: LKTB)
Mosnov-Ostrava Airport (ICAO: LKMT)
Pardubice International Airport (ICAO: LKPD)
Prague-Ruzyne Airport (ICAO: LKPR)

Military Air Bases & Airfields

Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

On Show

Aviation Museums

Vojenske Muzeum – Exposice Letectva a Kosmonautiky (Military Museum – Air and Space Section), Kbely
Narodni Technicke Muzeum (National Technical Museum), Praha

Airshow Dates

Key Airshow Dates

More Information

Aviation-Related Magazines

Magazines Guide for the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakiac

Aviation Bibliography

Czechoslovak Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Web Links

Czechoslovak Aviation History
(Concise history of aviation in Czechoslovakia)

Czechoslovakia National History


Formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the independent state of Czechoslovakia was first established on 28 October 1918. Inheriting the major part of the industrial capacity of Austro-Hungary, the new nation became the only state in the region in which parliamentary democracy flourished.

However, from 1933 the minority ‘Sudeten’ German population increasingly agitated for incorporation into Hitler’s Reich. The Munich Crisis of September 1938 resulted in Britain and France weakly acquiesing to the German occupation of the ‘Sudetenland’. This area comprised one third of all Czechoslovak territory and much of it’s strong border defences. [In fact a British-French-Soviet League of Nations Coalition mooted at the time could have easily faced down the German threat and possibly delayed the start of World War II by up to 2 years. The extra 2 years would have been sufficient for the European nations racing to re-arm to finally catch up with Germany and offer a robust defence to any Nazi attack. No small part in that defence would have been played the impressively strong Czechoslovak armed forces.] In March 1939 the rest of Czechoslovakia was also annexed by Germany, with Slovakia becoming a pro-German independent state and the Czech portion becoming the German protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia.

The German occupation was overthrown by a national uprising and Allied troops in the Spring of 1945. Immediately, over three million Germans were expelled as collaborators. The new middle-of-the-road socialist goverment was replaced by a rigorous and intimidating Communist regime following ‘elections’ in May 1948. In May 1958 Czechoslovakia signed the Warsaw Pact defence treaty. In January 1968 the liberal Slovak Alexander Dubcek took over as Communist Party leader and set about rejuvenating the stagnating Czech economy and society. A federal constitution was introduced in 1968. On 20-21 August 1968, Czechoslovakia was invaded by almost a quarter of a million Warsaw Pact troops and Dubcek was later replaced by a Soviet-style hardliner.

In late November 1989, the Communist regime was suddenly brought down by mass demonstrations and strikes, after similar events in East Germany earlier that month. Following free elections, a federal coalition government was elected. The country was renamed the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (CSFR). The Warsaw Pact organisation was dissolved in March 1991. The new government chose to pursue a ‘fast’ conversion to a market economy. During the transition period, the Slovaks appeared to suffer more than the Czechs, and this resulted in divergent political and economic policies. A hastily negotiated ‘velvet divorce’ was arranged between the two republics, with effect from 1 January 1993, whereby Slovakia and the Czech Republic became independent states.

Czechoslovakia Key Dates

4th C. AD    Moravia settled by Germans and Celts.
6th C.    Slavs (ancestors of the present occupants) settle in Bohemia.
late 8th C.    Slavs arrive in Moravia.
mid 9th C.    Great Moravian Empire established, including Bohemia and parts of Poland and Hungary. Broken up in 906.
10th C.    Kingdom of Bohemia expands to include Moravia and part of Poland.
11th C.    Slovakia falls under Hungarian domination.
1200-1400    Many German miners and artisans settle in Sudeten region of Bohemia and Moravia.
14th C.    Kingdom of Bohemia incorporated into Holy Roman Empire.
1355    Prague becomes imperial capital under Charles IV (Charles I of Bohemia).
15th C.    Religious wars between Roman Catholics and Hussites.
1526    Bohemia and Moravia fall under the control of the Austrian Hapsburg monarchy.
1620    Czech revolt against Austria harshly put down. Defeat at the Battle of the White Mountain results in Bohemia and Moravia becoming provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1742    Industrialisation of Bohemia and Slovakia accelerated.
1848    European revolutions inspire Czechoslovak nationalists.
19th C.    Bohemia and Moravia become the arsenal of the Hapsburg Empire.
Jan 1916    Czechoslovak National Council (CNC) formed for the creation of an independent nation from the provinces of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia.
28 Oct 1918    CNC declares itself the government of Czech lands, with the imminent defeat of Austro-Hungary in WW1 looming.
14 Nov 1918    Union with Slovakia formed.
1919    National assembly established.
1919-1920    Military dispute with Poland.
29 Feb 1920    New constitution adopted.
June 1920    Ruthenia added to Czechoslovakia from Hungary (Treaty of Trianon).
Sept 1920    Treaty of St Germain – Allied powers and Austria recognise Republic of Czechoslovakia.
1929-32    Severe recession sparks Sudeten German separatist movement and Slovak resentment of Czech-dominated government.
1935    Edvard Benes becomes President.
30 Sept 1938    Munich Agreement – Sudetenland ceded to Nazi Germany.
5 Oct 1938    Benes resigns as President.
Oct 1938    Teschen (Cesky Tesin) ceded to Poland.
Nov 1938    Autonomy given to Slovakia – Czechoslovakia reorganised as Federated Republic of Czecho-Slovakia.
Mar 1939    Germany invades Czechoslovakia without resistance. Bohemia & Moravia becomes a German Protectorate, while Slovakia becomes an independent fascist state.
Mar 1939    Part of Slovakia (Ruthenia, renamed Carpatho-Ukraine) ceded to Hungary.
1940    Benes establishes government in exile in London.
May 1942    Savage reprisals follow assassination of ‘Protector’ Heydrich.
1944    Soviet troops liberate Slovakia.
5 May 1945    National uprising against German occupation starts in Prague.
9 May 1945    Soviet troops enter Prague, while US forces liberate much of Bohemia.
May 1945    Czechoslovakia reconstituted from liberated lands.
May 1945    Anti-fascist ‘Popular Front’ government appointed by Edvard Benes.
July 1945    Carpathian Ruthenia (Zakarpatska) incorporated into the Soviet Union.
Oct 1945    Benes restored as President. Orders the expulsion of more than 2.5 million Sudeten Germans and over 500,000 ethnic Hungarians.
1945-46    Two thirds of industry, banking and public utilities pass into state ownership, through the expropriation of ‘collaborators’, ‘profiteers’ and expelled Germans and Hungarians.
early 1946    Soviet and US troops withdraw from Czechoslovakia.
May 1946    National elections result in communist-socialist coalition government. A communist becomes Prime Minister.
Feb 1948    Communist party seizes power in advance of scheduled elections.
March 1948    Fraudulent elections see communists secured in power. Harsh Stalinist regime imposed.
7 June 1948    Benes resigns as President. Replaced by a communist.
9 May 1948    New constitution establishes People’s Democratic Republic of Czechoslovakia.
1952    Leading communists executed after show trials.
1953    Repression of workers protests in Plzen and Ostrava.
1955    Czechoslovakia joins the Warsaw Pact.
1960    Czechoslovakia becomes Czechoslovak Socialist Republic under new constitution.
Jan 1968    Alexander Dubcek becomes communist party leader, and launches a programme of reforms known as the Prague Spring.
20 August 1968    Soviet-led Warsaw Pact forces invade Czechoslovakia. Dubcek taken to Moscow and forced to end reforms. Censorship imposed. Liberal leaders ousted.
1968    Federal constitution introduces Czech Socialist Republic and Slovak Socialist Republic.
17 April 1969    Dubcek replaced as communist party leader. One third of communist party members expelled.
1977    Charter 77 human rights group founded, including playwright Vaclav Havel.
April 1987    Mikhail Gorbachev visits Czechoslovakia, raising hopes of imminent reforms.
Aug 1988    Mass demonstrations mark 20th anniversary of 1968 invasion.
early 1989    Police disperse numerous mass protests against human and civil rights violations. Police brutality sparks further protests.
Oct 1989    Fall of East German communist regime.
17 Nov 1989    Peaceful student protest in Prague violently put down by Police. Widespread mass protests and strikes in favour of free elections follow.
19 Nov 1989    Civil Forum anti-government coalition formed, calling for resignation of communist party leader and introduction of democracy.
24 Nov 1989    New government includes some non-communists.
25-27 Nov 1989    Mass demonstrations and general strike.
29 Nov 1989    Communist constitutional hold on political power abolished.
10 Dec 1989    ‘Government of National Unity’ takes power. Interim government without a communist majority.
29 Dec 1989    Vaclav Havel elected interim President. ‘Velvet Revolution’ completed.
April 1990    Country renamed Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (CSFR).
June 1990    First free parliamentary elections since 1946, won by Civic Forum and its allies.
July 1990    Vaclav Havel publicly elected President.
Feb 1991    Civic Forum disbanded. Privatisation of state-owned enterprises begun.
June 1991    Soviet forces (present since 1968) complete their withdrawal.
June 1992    Slovak separatists gain strong support in elections.
23 July 1992    Agreement reached on separating Czech and Slovak lands.
Nov 1992    Legislation adopted to allow federation to be disbanded.
1 Jan 1993    Czechoslovakia splits into two separate countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. ‘Velvet Divorce’

Aviation Magazines in Czech Republic

Introduction

This is a survey of Czech Republic & Czechoslovak aviation, defence and aircraft scale modelling magazines. All magazines are Czech text only, unless otherwise stated. Magazines published in Slovakia after the split are listed separately.