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Brothers Jan and Jaroslav Kratochvíl

As usual, there are also some czechoslovak weapon designers are better known, while others are less well known and some know almost nothing at all. Much has been written about Václav and Emanuel Holkov, and almost nothing about their third brother František. Quite often it was also written about the Koucký brothers, but practically nothing more is known about the Strakonice brothers Kratochvíl, Jan and Jaroslav. It is true that - in comparison with the above - they worked in the arms industry for a relatively short time, only until the transfer of development and production of weapons to Brno in 1954. Nevertheless, they introduced into service of the Czechoslovak armed forces three of their weapons: self-loading pistols vz. 50 and vz. 52 and self-loading rifle vz. 52 ( later version 52/57 ). Perhaps now is the time for these white spaces in the history of Czechoslovak arms industry to fill at least a little. As children, Jan and Jaroslav lived with their parents in southern Bohemia, in the village of Budislav near Soběslav. Father Lambert worked there as the head of a cooperative distillery, mother Katerina had a lot of housework. They had five children together. The eldest, after his father Lambert, died as a child, but then he was followed by brothers "gunners" Jan and Jaroslav, sister Marie ( married Závodná, a clerk who then lived in Deštná near Jindřichův Hradec ), and Bohumil ( who later became deputy director of Pedagogical Institute in České Budějovice ). After her father's death, her mother Kateřina moved to the village of Sedlečko, a little east of Karlovy Vary, where children and grandchildren regularly went on holiday with her.

F. Kriegel - politician who saved the Czechoslovak honor (1)

100 years ago, on April 10, 1908, František Kriegel was born in Stanislawów. It has made a remarkable impression on our modern history. The poor Jewish boy from Galicia was the only Czechoslovak top prisoner-politician who said NO! to Brezhnev in the turbulent days of August 1968 and did not sign the Moscow dictatorship and thus saved our Czechoslovak honor. The well-known Czech philosopher Karel Kosík once said that he tried to find a similar act in Czech history: it can only be compared to Jan Hus's actions in Constance.

F. Kriegel - politician who saved the Czechoslovak honor (2)

František Kriegel, a Czechoslovak politician who did not sign the consent to the dictates of Moscow in August 1968, would have lived to be hundreds of years old these days. In the second of the three parts, we will find František Kriegl during the Prague Spring and the invasion of the five armies of the Warsaw Pact. This portrait of František Kriegl was also published in a slightly different form in the exile "Roman" Letters and will be reminded by Letters No. 2/2008, published this month.

F. Kriegel - politician who saved the Czechoslovak honor (3)

František Kriegel, a Czechoslovak politician who did not sign the consent to Moscow's dictates in August 1968, would be 100 years old last Thursday. The final part of the recollections is devoted to the period after 1968, when the then communist regime tried to make František Kriegl's life unpleasant in every possible way. But they couldn't break him. His signature appeared among Charter 77 among the first. This portrait of František Kriegl was also published in a slightly different form in the exile "Roman" Letters and will be reminded by Letters No. 2/2008, published this month.

General Bonifác Káňa

Soldier of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Serbia, Russia and Czechoslovakia. Legionary, general and prisoner and victim of the Gestapo.

In search of Secret Police

In the summer of 1956, the arrival of British citizens, Royal Air Force veteran Karel Kasal and his wife, former film actress Helena Bušová - Kasalová, in Czechoslovakia caused ( not only ) a stir in the West.

Ing. Jeronym Kynčl - Unknown acquaintance (1.díl)

"During the occupation, Janeček's armory internally worked on anti-tank (PT) rifles, an automatic rifle and a machine gun without a piston. After the war Ing. Kynčl prepared a machine gun with a dynamic conclusion, tested under the brand ZJ 483 or later KP 5. […] prepared [prototype repeater] ZJ 480 (whose further development led to K 5), a number of versions of self-loading rifles AK with and without a piston, after which, at the beginning of 1948, he tested his prototype ZJ 481. Experiments with PT 9/7 and 15/11 mm rifles also continued after the war. For the second shot, Janeček's armory designed two PT rifles - a repeater and an automatic one. Ing. J. Kynčl. "
Šáda, M .: Čs. small arms and machine guns. Prague 1971

Ing. Jeronym Kynčl - Unknown acquaintance (2.díl)

In February 1947, the VTÚ informed the Strakonice and Brno armories that it was going to order prototypes of automatic rifles for testing, and also told them the " preliminary general conditions ". ČZ submitted two proposals, Brno's Zbrojovka in the Janeček plant in Nusle also two - AK with a piston and AK without a piston, Prague's Zbrojovka design office, led by Josef Koucký, its design with a piston. Prototypes were ordered from all solutions ...

Karel Miloslav Kuttelwascher

He was born on September 23, 1916 in Svatý Kříž near Německý (today Havlíčkův Brod) in the family of a railway inspector. There he spent his youth and attended business school. However, he worked only briefly in the colonial shop in Kladno, such a career certainly did not attract him. She enchanted his planes.

The one who didn't sign

This year we commemorate the 46th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by "brotherly" armies. Numerous articles and books have been written about August 1968 and related events, and countless programs and reports have been made. However, there is one person, a politician, who is worth repeating, even though he was a communist ( and tough one ). He is the ONLY ONE WHO DID NOT SIGN. As one of the few Czechoslovak and Czech politicians in our history, he showed the courage to confront the external threat to the republic. He is undoubtedly a contradictory figure, just as our history is contradictory.

They called him brother "Cultivator"

Biography of the army general in memoriam Karel Kutlvašr (* 27.1.1895 - + 2.10.1961). Commander of the insurgents during the Prague Uprising and a participant in the three czechoslovak resistance.

Weapons par excellence - Brothers Josef and František Koučtí (part 1)

Josef and František Koucký are the world-famous fraternal pair of Czechoslovak designers-gunsmiths. Unfortunately, there is not much information about Josef's private life, because his son Josef lived in Germany for many years and also died there a few years ago. So if any estate after his famous father has survived, it is irretrievably lost. However, the situation is somewhat better around František: his son Vojtěch, who lives in his native house in the Krnsko region, has already forwarded most of the documents to him for publication (for two TV shows about his father, among others), but he still has something left - including memories. That is why the information about František and his life is much more detailed than about Josef.

Weapons par excellence - Brothers Josef and František Koučtí (part 2)

The ZK 483 machine gun was originally designed as a test for the development of a 20 mm caliber weapon. The Military Technical Institute (VTÚ) was instructed to work on this weapon in the middle of 1948, and since 1949 this machine gun has appeared in Konstrukt as ZK 492. However, the development was gradually suppressed, until in 1951 it stopped working completely.

Weapons par excellence - Brothers Josef and František Koučtí (part 3)

Already in the years 1950–1960, small arms ( self-loading pistols vz. 50 and vz. 70, 6.35mm pistols „Z“ and DUO, air pistol ZVP, already mentioned ZKP 493, automatic gas gun APP, signal model 67, Grand revolver or starting pistol UB 70 and UB 71 gradually became a typical Uherské Brod product. ). And so there was very fertile ground for the new 9 mm Para pistol, exhibited for the first time in Madrid and marked by the trade press as a "bomb from Madrid" - the CZ 75 pistol of František Koucký. At that time, unfortunately, no one knew how revolutionary the construction was, nor that the weapon would become the flagship of Česká zbrojovka for many years to come. And the result? - Absolutely insufficient patent protection of the structure meant that variants of this weapon are now produced in the world by literally anywhere ...

Who is Karel Köcher?

On Friday, June 15, 2006, Jan Kraus invited Karel Köcher, a former StB first and second administration agent, to relax. The gentlemen joked about Köch's career, as he was the only communist spy to break into the American CIA, and is strikingly similar to President Václav Klaus, with whom he was employed at the Forecasting Institute in the late 1980s. putsch. Nothing about whether it was moral to work for communist counterintelligence and intelligence, nothing about reporting his acquaintances… Köcher finally looked like a hero. The audience at the Ponec Theater applauded him. So what is it really like dr. Karel Köcher?