MILITARY- HISTORICAL CLUB GARDEKORPS - PRAHA

Holder of the HONOR MEDAL of Czech Union of Freedom Fighters and the medal of the Historical Group of the Intelligence Brigade "THROUGH THE TRUTH TO FREEDOM". Member of the Central European Napoleonic Society - CENS.

The MILITARY-HISTORICAL CLUB GARDEKORPS - PRAHA was founded in 1996 as a voluntary civil association interested and engaged in military history of the period 1805 - 1945. We combine persons interested in military themes, regalia and public displays and exhibits of military uniforms of the period, with an emphasis on the professional look, behaviour and personal discipline of it’s members.

With about 30 members now we are one of the largest groups in Czech Republic. We take a part in all well-organized and worthwhile military - historical events, concerning the Czech and Czechoslovak national history and traditions of our army, which took place in the historical area of Czech Lands, or which played an important role in the history of our state.


Our activities consist mainly of the public displays and shows in uniforms of the military units of the different historical periods, which are:

NAPOLEONIC WARS
Napoleon’s Young Guard - 1er Regiment des Tirailleurs-Grenadiers

PRUSSIAN-AUSTRIAN WAR 1866
1st Prussian Guard Infantry Regiment - 1. Preussische Garderegiment zu Fuss

WORLD WAR I
1st Bosnian-Hercegovinian Infantry Regiment of Austro-Hungarian army- k.u.k. B.H.I.R.1

CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC (untill 1939)
5th Infantry Regiment „T.G.Masaryk’s“ (Prague),
Paramilitary Gendarmery Emergency Unit Prague

WORLD WAR II
Wehrmacht-Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland,
Soviet Guard Rifle Regiment



Some of the important actions, jubilees and re-enactments of real battles and historical events, that our club took part in, were and are for example:

Battle of Austerlitz 1805, battle of Kulm 1813, battle of nations-Leipzig 1813, Grossgörschen 1813, Waterloo 1815, commemorial actions and cellebrations in Hamburg, Remagen, Vilnius, Elba and Corse, battle of Königgrätz, Königinhoff, Jicin a Wissokau 1866, Zborov 1917, Bachmač 1918, Dukla pass 1944. Every year we also take part in the jubilee celebrations of the Czechoslovak mobilization of 1938, in the past years by infantry fortifications Březinka, Jordán, Cihelna and fortress Bouda.

The first large-scale action KVH Gardekorps Praha was organized in cooperation with the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters (ČSBS), district of Náchod, Czechoslovak Legioner’s Organization(ČSOL) and Army for the Czech Republic(AČR) in September 1998. This event, commemorating the 60th anniversary of Czechoslovak mobilization of 1938, as well as 80th anniversary of a foundation of Czechoslovak Republic, took place by artillery fortress Dobrošov by Náchod. For organizing this event our club was decorated with the Honor Medal of the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters in November 1998. Later on, in the year 2000, together with the City Hall Office of Prague-4 district, ČSBS, AČR and Military-Historical Institute Prague-Military-Historical Museum at Lešany we organized an even larger, more detail-prepared and very succesfull action "THE BARRICADE 1945". This was for the first time after a half century, not counting military parades in the communist regime and a „friendly help“ that we got from our so-called-allies in 1968, that armored vehicles and even tanks appeared on streets of Prague.

In cooperation with the same organizations we took up the organizing of another commemorative action in the year 2002 in memory of the end of World War II in Europe. The title for this was „THE MEETING ON THE ELBE“. The next year, in 2003 for the third time we linked up with same cooperating organizations and another Military-Historical Club, KVH 2nd RCT to commemorate the anniversary of the end of the war. The result of this cooperation was at that time the largest ever event and included historical vehicles and a large number of participants. It was titled "FROM SUPRESSION TO FREEDOM" and showed two parts of WWII history on the scene, including a full-size replica of village pub, more than 200 participants in historical uniforms, four tanks and 20 other historical military vehicles to the thousands of onlookers.

We are currently organizing a similar large-scale action to commemorate 60th anniversary of the end of WWII in the Czech lands for the year 1945.

Another important action for us is a celebration event on the October 28th-anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovak Republic-in Pantheon of the National Museum as an honor guard for the speech of Czech Republic prime ministers or chairmen of Czech Parliament and also as a honor guard by the Czechoslovak WWI overseas Legions memorial on Palacký square in Prague.
In years 1996-2002 with re-enactments from different periods we took part in the program of the Day of Ground Troops of the Czech Republic-„ACTION BAHNA“. Concerning the point of view that the army has towards the civilian sector, and the lack of cooperation with Military Historical Clubs that the army displays now this action is no more a priority for us. We succesfully cooperate every year not only with Czech Union of Freedom Fighters, Home Resistance Association and Intelligence Brigade, but, also with other Military-Historical Clubs and organizations from Czech Republic and overseas, like for example: KVH 2.RCT Praha, Central European Napoleonic Society, Guard of the city Hradce Králové, KVH Rota Nazdar, KVH Čs. Úderníci a ZÚ "BA" 19.HP.

An important activity of the KVH GARDEKORPS-PRAHA is a cooperation with Military-Historical Institute Praha (VHÚ). We help in it’s military-historical exposition in the Military-Technical Museum at Lešany with preservation of exhibits and preparation of expositions, as well as with every year’s celebration opening of their season as a unit in historical uniforms. We also take a part in the museum’s other events of military history, like Tank ar Artillery Days. First contact with VHÚ was established in 1997 and soon the cooperation agreement was signed. Our members began to help with the preservation and restoration of exhibits in the museum in April 1997. Occasional help was given to the Air Museum Kbely as well.
The first public military-historical event of our club for VHÚ was a celebration opening of season in uniforms of the 5th infantry regiment „TGM“ of the Czechoslovak pre-war army, with a honor salvo and erecting of the national flag, which we still do. After very good experiences for both sides the cooperation was expanded and lead in participetion in organizing before mentioned large-scale military-historical events. An outcome of the cooperation is a restoration of two pieces of Cs.half-tracked vehicles, OT-810, given by the museum to our club for use, accurate to the shape of it’s german WWII equivalent, SdKfz.251.

Our members have spent hundreds of hours of work and a lot of our own money in this task, but, needless to say, the result is worth it. We have also had some very good cooperation with the Police Museum of Prague. After several years of cooperation has our club became a member of CENS-Central European Napoleonic Society at the begining of the year 2005.

The sign and the name of Military-Historical Club GARDEKORPS - PRAHA is inspired by a Guard star. The symbols in the center represent our interest in the military history of the years 1805-1945. They are: traditional crossed swords underlayed with a laurel wreath, representing the era of 20th century and it's important military clashes and events, important for Czech national history are the years 1914-45, and a crown as a symbol of Emperor’s and King’s armies of Napoleonic France since 1805, and Wilhelm’s Prussia of 1866. The name „GARDEKORPS“, meaning „Guard Corps“, we choose for most of units we re-enact has a status of the Guard or an elite unit at least.

It’s not too difficult or expensive to become a member of the KVH GARDEKORPS-PRAHA, as it may seem. Anyone can join us, aged 16 or over (from the age of 15 we accept membership with written parent’s permission only. Uniforms and equipment of course cost money which needs investors, but much of it can be borrowed from our common fund and we try to pay for some items from club money entirely. Apart from that it only requires a willingness to join in events and training and to follow rules given. The reward for this is a chance to become a member of a team who know something, who have done a lot before and, I believe, will do a lot in the future as well.



CONTACTS

Adress of the Club:

KVH GARDEKORPS - Praha
Čapkova 12
140 00
Praha 4

Tel.: chairman: 603 211 295
Fax: + 420 261 223 335
E-mail: info@gardekorps.com Http: www.gardekorps.com



Pavel Kmoch, chairman, KVH GARDEKORPS-PRAHA