The Evolution of Czechoslovak Defence Planning, 1918-1992


  • Stanislav Polnar University of Defence, Brno, Czech Republic



Throughout its existence (1918–1992), Czechoslovakia had to fight to maintain its state sovereignty and independence. This struggle owed much to its geographical location in the heart of Europe, where the superpower interests of the main actors in global politics regularly clashed. As a rule, Czechoslovak operational plans did not reflect national interests. Nor did war plans, in many cases, correspond to real Czechoslovak economic and military capabilities, and the often offensive nature of such plans is somewhat surprising. On the other hand, the content of operational documents does reveal many features specific to Czechoslovakia – considerations regarding the shape of the state territory, the small depth of defence, and the factor of the German presence. Despite these strong foreign influences, Czechoslovak war plans still express a wealth of domestic military thought and military science.