The Czechoslovak Review/Volume 2/Czechoslovak Army in France

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Czechoslovak Army in France

An important landmark in the history of the movement for the independence of Bohemia is the decree regulating the status of the Czechoslovak army in France. Its great significance consists in this, that France, if not all the Allies, has officially proclaimed the Czechoslovak people for her ally and has given recognition to the Czechoslovak National Council as the revolutionary government of Bohemia. The decree is known in Bohemia, as the Vienna Neue Freie Presse published in it full. Following is the text of the decree:


Upon the Recommendation of the Premier, the Minister of War and the Minister of Foreign Affairs,


Article I. Czechoslovaks organized in an autonomous army and recognizing from the military standpoint the supreme authority of the French High Command will fight under their own flag against the Central Empires.
Article II. This national army is placed from the political standpoint under the direction of the National Council for Czech and Slovak Lands with headquarters in Paris.
Article III. The equipment of the Czechoslovak Army as well as its further maintenance is assured by the French Government.
Article IV. Provisions governing the French Army as regards organization, military ranks, administration and discipline are applicable to the Czechoslovak Army.
Article V. The autonomous Czechoslovak Army is recruited:
  1. From Czechoslovaks actually serving in the French Army;
  2. From Czechoslovaks of other jurisdictions who may be permitted to transfer to the Czechoslovak Army or who may volunteer for service in this army for the duration of the war.
Article VI. Further ministerial instructions will govern the application of this decree.
Article VII. The premier, the minister of war and the minister of foreign affairs are charged, each in his own department, with the execution of this decree, which shall be published in the Journal Officiel of the French Republic and inserted in the Bulletin des Lois.

Done at Paris, the 16th day of December, 1917.

By the President of the Republic,

Premier and Minister of War,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Flags of three regiments of the 1st Czechoslovak Brigade in Russia. Below officers of the First Regiment with Prof. Masaryk.

Flags of three regiments of the 1st Czechoslovak Brigade in Russia.
Below officers of the First Regiment with Prof. Masaryk.

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