Events of August 1968

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wissy
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Postby wissy » 09-Jun-08 13:05

I found this link to the famous and excelent black and white photographs taken by Josef Koudelka of Prague during the 1968 invasion.

http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP=XSpecific_MAG.ExhibitionDetail_VPage&pid=2TYRYDKOQZSX[url][/url]
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Postby Daniela Marie » 09-Jun-08 13:24

Very interesting photos!!
Thanks for posting them!!
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zavorka
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Postby zavorka » 09-Jun-08 14:17

The government and army were aware of such a possibility. They even prevented the first attempt on invasion.

thank you for the open discussion, after so many years there are things I have not focused on enough, that can teach us a lot, and make us aware also for the future...
What/when was the first attempt of invasion?

The pictures make me thing of TienAnMen square, before the arrival of the mongolian army that could not communicate in chinese....

I speculated (imagining what could have happened) if the airport radars could have been supported by a freely-to-act chain of commands: seeing the flying armades on the radars, and deciding an operational strategy (which one...can't say: to occupy with trucks the descending field?)
the question is open, but what about a russian countermove, what if , through radio communication, the military was threatened with a possible bombardement on civil houses or military caserms, so to force the generals and politicians to let open the air space and the landing?
nobody knows if among the trasport of military, there was any bomb carrier?
thanks for the nice topic
Miro
"and in the end all ends up to this: you do your things, don't look behind, and keep going" The White Squall.
wer
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Postby wer » 09-Jun-08 21:03

zavorka wrote:What/when was the first attempt of invasion?

The first invasion was planned on May 9th 11:00 CET. Two tank divisions of general Jaškin was supposed to cross the borders by Český Těšín and to continue to Brno, to split there and to continue further to Tábor and České Budějovice.
The action was canceled practically at the last moment because of the Czechoslovak tank units displaced in between of Český Těšín and Karviná.

The pictures make me thing of TienAnMen square, before the arrival of the mongolian army that could not communicate in chinese....

You are on the right track, the Chinese action was inspired by Soviet action in Czechoslovakia. The soldiers of all invading armies were demoralized by discussions with Czechoslovak people and nearly to revolt. Unfortunately, the Soviets managed to replace them with non-Russian speaking soldiers from the Far East.

I speculated (imagining what could have happened) if the airport radars could have been supported by a freely-to-act chain of commands: seeing the flying armades on the radars, and deciding an operational strategy (which one...can't say: to occupy with trucks the descending field?)
the question is open, but what about a russian countermove, what if , through radio communication, the military was threatened with a possible bombardement on civil houses or military caserms, so to force the generals and politicians to let open the air space and the landing?
nobody knows if among the trasport of military, there was any bomb carrier?
thanks for the nice topic
Miro

You still misunderstand the situation, that was not conflict of two independent armies! The Czechoslovak army was subjugated to the Red Army for years before the invasion started.
It’s inappropriate to speak about radars here, the pro-Soviet men in the Czechoslovak general staff and civil administrative were informed in advance by the Soviets!
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Postby scrimshaw » 10-Jun-08 0:38

To byl smutný den. Ruské tanky v ulice Prahy.

Vzpomínám si dobře ale ten euforie, když Berlínská zed' padl.
Nebyl jsem tam osobně, ale bylo to všude v televisi.
Všechno se potom změnil tak rychle.
Celá věc byl nezastivitelná moc.
Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?
Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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Postby Ark1tec » 26-Jun-08 13:52

The USA was losing a war in Vietnam and were faced with Riots from students in Chicago as well as putting an end to black/white apartheid in the south. A lot to deal with at home and abroad. I think a USA attack would have made things worse rather than solving the problem.
A Polish guy living in the UK on holiday in Italy,Venice told me his brother was sent to Czechoslovakia without being told where he was being sent and what he was being sent for, when he got their he told me his brother and the soldiers he was with refused to fight and instead gave the people flowers saying,"we don't want to fight, we don't know why we are here," I found this quite upsetting and made me think how people are used as pawns in one big chess game.
The photos are excellent thought provoking I can't imagine what it would be like to be in a situation like that, the czech people were very brave going up against the soviets.
It reminded me about how i felt when i saw a film documenting the student riots in chicago again in '68. very emotional.
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zavorka
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Postby zavorka » 30-Jul-08 15:15

I found the following descriptions, and was inspired to report them here:

H. summoned the Czech President for meeting him.
The disorders and an unilateral action in Slovakia provided H. with the long-waited excuse to move against Czechs. The army was ready and pressing on the borders to start the green plan. Czech President was afraid to fly, so he travelled by train together with a group of collaborators. He was left waiting until 1 a.m. in the morning, then token to the office of H. to be informed that his country was to be invaded. H. imposed to the president to order the czech army to surrender. As soon as he heard that the airplanes were already on the czech skies, the president fell on the ground. Regaining consciousness, he called to Prague and transmitted the request to his generals. At 9 o'clock on the 15th of march the first units were in Prague.

(1939: that evening, Hitler was in Hradcany proclaming the annession of Bohemia and Moravia to the Reich)

The second citation is from a novel by Dacia Maraini.
The city was in revolt. The radio stations were broadcasting that the prime minister, as new communist party leader, and a new defence minister were nominated, and that the country was to exit from the Warsaw Pact.
The resident russian army was leaving to the boarders, retiring from the country. A delegation left for New York to present a speech at the United Nations. One day later, the city was invaded by 3000 russian tanks. It was said later that one of the party leaders, K., was summoned in Moskow and forced to make a request of help to the friend Russians, giving the opportunity to enter the country invited by an in-force member of the main party. The citizens fighted against overwhelming forces.
15000 died, in respect to few hundreds russians, destrying more than 100 tanks. The workers insurrected inside factories, but were bombed by planes, after having fighted with cannons against the tanks. The factory was destroyed with all the people inside. Nobody trying to resist was left alife. Youngs found with a gun in hand were shot in the head.

If I didn't know that this is the invasion of Budapest, 4.11.1956, I could think that it is a repetition of the 1968 antefacts and motivations.
Kadar=Svoboda/Husak and the stalinist group,
same international rumors afterward, same official protests, but no power of western contries to change the situation because of counterbalanced activities in an opposite part of the world (bombing on Egypt and Sinai war, Vietnam war)
"and in the end all ends up to this: you do your things, don't look behind, and keep going" The White Squall.
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kibicz
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Postby kibicz » 31-Jul-08 0:07

I need my czenglish corrected! (including this signature;)
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wissy
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Postby wissy » 31-Jul-08 16:43

Really great photographs kibitz, thanks for posting the link. They convey the suffering and bravery of the people at the time.
scrimshaw
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Postby scrimshaw » 31-Jul-08 18:22

Wissy is right, that is a great archive of photos, Kibicz. People expressing themselves in front of an overwhelming military force. Must have been very depressing to witness that.
People posting their thoughts with messages, cartoons, statements in windows and painting the injustice on the walls.
Sad pictures of the funerals of the young victims.

The one cartoon in the window read...'Tak nám zabili contrarovoluci Pani Můllerova'.
I would not have got the reference, if I had not read first pages of 'Osud
dobrého vojáka Švejka za světové války'
Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?

Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.

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