Battle of Bakhmach
|Battle of Bakhmach|
|Part of the Eastern Front (World War I)|
Memorial plaque of Battle of Bakhmach in Olomouc (Czech Republic). Statue of legionar in winter uniform was made by Otakar Španiel.
|Commanders and leaders|
Johannes von Eben|
Franz Rohr von Denta
2,800 Czech soldiers|
4,700 Soviet soldiers
|6,000 Austro-German troops|
|Casualties and losses|
|145 killed, 210 wounded, 41 missing||around 300 killed, hundreds wounded|
Battle of Bakhmach (Bitva u Bachmače in Czech), was one of the last battles on the Eastern Front in World War I between the Entente-backed Czechoslovak Legion, Soviet Russia and the Central Powers occupying Ukraine after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The battle lasted from March 8 to March 13, 1918 over the city of Bakhmach (Бахмач), today in Ukraine and was the last engagement in World War 1 for the Soviets. Following a Legion victory, the Germans negotiated a truce.
On March 8 Germans troops reached Bakhmach, an important rail hub, and in doing so threatened the Czech Legion with encirclement. The threat was so grave because captured legionnaires were summarily executed as traitors of Austria-Hungary. The 6th "Hanácký" and 7th "Tatranský" Rifle Regiments, together with the Assault battalion of Czechoslovak Army Corps of the Legion, set up defenses at the town against incoming German 91st and 224th Infantry divisions.
The battle was notable because the troops were not only fighting for Bakhmach railway junction (victory of Stanislav Čeček), but also for the bridge over the river Desna, which led to bloody battles at Doch. The climax of the fighting occurred on March 10. Thanks to the Legion victory, the Germans negotiated a truce, during which Czechoslovak armoured trains could freely pass through Bakhmach railway junction to Chelyabinsk.
The Czechoslovak Legion (about 42,000 soldiers) during the truce set up for escape from Russia via the Trans-Siberian railroad. Armies of Germany and Austria-Hungary then started to occupy the land without much resistance.
Losses of the Legion were: 145 killed, 210 wounded, 41 missing. Estimate of German losses is around 300 dead and hundreds wounded.
- Václav Cháb: "Německý vpád na slovanský východ : kus dějin - kus boje o budoucnost", Prague, 1938
- Václav Cháb: "Bachmač : březen 1918", Prague, 1948
- Karel Goš: "Bitva u Bachmače byla slavnou epizodou Hanáckého pluku : největší oslavy proběhly v roce 1938", article in newspaper Olomoucký den, March 20, 1999, page 10
- PRECLÍK, Vratislav. Masaryk a legie (Masaryk and legions), váz. kniha, 219 str., vydalo nakladatelství Paris Karviná, Žižkova 2379 (734 01 Karviná) ve spolupráci s Masarykovým demokratickým hnutím (Masaryk Democratic Movement, Prague), 2019, ISBN 978-80-87173-47-3, pages 50 - 70, 72 - 100, 124 - 128,140 - 148,184 - 190
- M. Vlachynský: "V březnu 1918 bojovali legionáři u Bachmače", article in newspaper Českobudějovické listy, March 14, 1998, page 12
- Adolf Kubíček: Hanáci v revoluci (Hanakians in revolution: The Chronicle of 6th Czechoslovak Rifle Regiment), Olomouc, 1928