The Czech and Slovak Legion in Siberia, 1917-1922
During World War I, a specialized Russian battalion comprised of ethnic Czechs and Czech and Slovak prisoners of war—the Legion—became a pawn in an international game of power and deceit. The Legion’s detour through Siberia became the greatest human interest story of the war, chronicled weekly in the New York Times and New York Herald. More than half of the Legion’s troops lost their lives as the evacuation of Czech and Slovak POWs through Vladivostok precipitated the murder of the Russian royal family and forced the Legion to act as protectors of the Russian treasury and the Trans-Siberian Railway while the White and Red armies battled. For political purposes, tales of the Legion’s odyssey have been buried or expunged. This volume offers the seminal account of this hidden yet epic journey, shedding light on a fascinating but forgotten facet of World War I.