Army General Ludvik SVOBODA
Chief Commander of the Czechoslovak Defence Force
In 1919, he became an officer of the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia. After Nazi Occupation of the Czechoslovak Republic, he left to Poland, where he organised a Czechoslovak military unit, which he transfered to the Soviet Union in September 1939. At the new location, he commanded a battalion, then a brigade followed by a corps. During 1945 and 1950 he served as Minister of National Defence. In 1945 he had a post of the Chief Commander of the Czechoslovak Defence Force. He strongly supported the military build-up according to the Soviet example. During 1968 and 1975, he was president of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.