- I knew this question is gonna come up. While in Ukraine, all carpathian groups such as Lemko's, Boyko's and Rusyns were quickly Ukrainianized, post war governments of Poland and Czechoslovakia actually encouraged the rusyn movement for the reasons that it would diminish the size of Ukrainian national minority (similarly as Rusyn or another ficticious nationality "Slovac-Greeco Catholic" were encouraged during the interwar years). The more people sing up as Rusyns - the less Ukrainians will be shown. I believe as late as 2002 - Polish gov. while conducting national statistics introduced "lemko" subgroup in its questionaire, which caused quite a stir among Ukrainian community.Ruthenia/Carpatho-Ukraine became part of the Ukrainian SSR even before there was a Communist government in Czechoslovakia, so I fail to see where these "Communist myths" come in.
- What is your source for this? I just checked History of Ukrainian Army - once again, its states that when the Czechs started to attack the gov. building, Sitch dissarms the Czech units in the vicinity. Seeing this resistance, gen. Prhala orders Czech units to stop the combat and withdraw.The Sich Guard completey failed to disarm any Czech Army units. On the contrary, the Czech Army suppressed the uprising in Khust within hours and the Sich in the capital had to surrender.
- Well the gov. and militia began to form on 4th of December, 1938 to be more precise, the coat of arms was actually OUN emblem (sword with trident). On 12th of January the Sojm of Carpatho-Ukraine was formed which prety much made it an authomomy already.The Sich Guard captured no Czech tanks, only the buildings of the autonomous government in Khust just long enough for a quorum of the Carpatho-Ukraine autonomous government to declare independence, appoint a government, declare the Sich the national army, adopt a flag and the trizul, sing the national anthem, and send a telegramme to Hitler asking for recognition. (He replied that the Carpatho-Ukraine should surrender itself to the Hungarians).
- Holding off a MUCH LARGER, proffecional army equipped with tanks, artilleryand planes i still prety good job. When retrieving to Irshava, Sitch members even managed to capture number of Hungarian troops and two carts with ammo. Khust was was tanken only on 16th of March in the evening. (History of Ukr. Army, pg. 601)It is true that about 600 Sich Guards tried to halt the Hungarians outside Khust with small arms (and often dressed in conspicuous grey-blue uniforms), but they were overwhelmed in a couple of hours in a single afternoon.
As I posted above, the Hungarian commander was recorded by a Canadian journalist as complimenting the Sich on their courage. However, they were not very effective.
- Can you post the memuars?
In late 1938 the Czechoslovak Army offered to give the Sich Guard weapons training under Ruthenian army officers, but the Sich Guard was too chauvinistic to accept. It preferred to steal weaponry from Czechoslovak depots.
- What is your source for this?
As a result, the Sich was both under-trained and under-equipped in March 1939 and was soundly and rapidly beaten by both Czechs and Hungarians. In reality, whatever its pretensions, the Sich Guard was more a paramilitary political organisation than an effective military force.
- Again, compared to any army in the world, Sitch would have been underdeveloped, but it lacked weapons due to Czech restrictions and spontanity of events. As for the tank - Czech gov. used tanks and armored wehicles when they attacked the Sojm. One of such tanks (TNHS) was captured and used against Hungarians. This is not a widely known fact, however I do have the memuars where this is mentioned. Also, let it be noted, that the Polish army invaded Carpatho-Ukraine from the North on 18th of March and Polish boarder guard units attacked those who tried to cross into Poland. Hungarians on the other hand, executed en-masse a good half of the Sitch POW's, while the smaller half was sent to concentration camp in Variu Loposh near Nirel'gaza. Further war-crime of Hungarian army was exectuion of known Ukrainian civil figures.
- Well am sure Czech or Hungarian book on the subject would be no less nationalistic. Am not too happy with the Osprey book - i found many mistakes.Sterchko's book is useful, considering that it emerged from an area notorious for extreme Ukrainian exiled nationalist sentiment. I shall look out the Osprey book.
P.S. What I don't understand is why Czech government didn't try to fight off the Hungarians? Am surprised to see that Czechs who were known for their "pan-slavism" would rather hand over the area to Hungarians as opposed to having weak and (probably much easier to manipulate) Ukrainian state.