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Les aviateurs tchécoslovaques dans la bataille de France (1939-1940)

Abstract : Between mid-1939 and mid-1940, about one thousand Czechoslovak airmen, including ground personnel, left their country for France in order to fight Nazi Germany. Among them, more than a hundred joined the French Air Force, mostly in fighter units. These airmen went through a peculiar experience, very different from the Czechoslovak land army units under French command. Indeed, infantrymen complained from the French patronage, struggled to be sent to the frontline and were evacuated in dreadful conditions during the chaotic last days of the campaign. Airmen, on the contrary, albeit dispersed in French squadrons and deprived of any autonomy, benefited from an early access to modern aircrafts and combat opportunities. It allowed these men to rank very high in the track record of the most successful fighter pilots of the Battle of France. However, their subsequent exploits in the Royal Air Force and the postwar communist hostility towards “Western veterans” contributed to erase this experience from collective memory in Czechoslovakia.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 11, 2022 - 2:19:09 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 6, 2022 - 2:26:57 PM

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Jean-Paul Lenormand. Les aviateurs tchécoslovaques dans la bataille de France (1939-1940). Nacelles, Passé et présent de l'éaéronautique et du spatal / Past and present of aeronautics & space, 2021, Bataille de France, 1940. Repenser les forces aériennes au combat, 10. ⟨hal-03566237⟩

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