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1968 Czech invasion. How it went down…. Warsaw Pact. A military treaty which bound its signatories to come to the aid of each other should any one of them be the victim of foreign aggression (NATO?) Jamie – what countries were in the Warsaw Pact?

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1968 Czech invasion

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1968 czech invasion

1968 Czech invasion

How it went down…

Warsaw pact

Warsaw Pact

  • A military treaty which bound its signatories to come to the aid of each other should any one of them be the victim of foreign aggression (NATO?)

  • Jamie – what countries were in the Warsaw Pact?

  • Although it was supposed to be based on equality it became a powerful political tool for the soviet union to harness the powers of a combined military

Rejection insert lame picture

Rejection (insert lame picture)

  • Czechoslovakia rejected the call for more military integration within the Pact and sought a great role in developing strategy for non members.

  • Czech with a history of Democracy prior to WW2

Prague spring

Prague Spring

  • Leaders put forward plans to democratize the armed forces

  • Jack – democratize means?

  • Various documents stated that Czech should base its defence strategy on its own geopolitical interests and that the threat from the west was overstated.

  • Alexander Dubcek – reassured S.U that Czech would stick with the Pact – however the damage had been done

Leonid brezhnev

Leonid Brezhnev

  • Feared; liberalization, ending of censorship, defection, loss of Czech as an industrial base, spread to Poland and East Germany, the presence of NATO.

  • Czech never intended to leave the Pact but S.U could not be certain of their actions.

  • Bratislava Conference – Pact signed unshakeable fidelity to Marx/Leninist, declaring a struggle against bourgeois ideology

  • Soviet Union expressed its intention to intervene if bourgeois system established



  • August 20, 1968 – invasion between 150-500,000 troops in blitzkrieg fashion

  • 108 killed

  • Meticulously organised – airport seizure

  • No resistance – “a resolute protest with the requirement that the illegal occupation of Czech be stopped without delay and all armed troops be withdrawn”

Bad boys

Bad Boys

  • Warsaw countries had entered without the Czech consent, denying the soviet claim that they had been invited to preserve socialism

  • Objections were demonstrated through mass gatherings and passive resistance.

  • Mitch – where was NATO?

  • LBJ(not LeBron) was involved in Vietnam and was trying to pursue an arms control treaty with the Soviets



  • Czech military prisoners in own barracks which lead to suspicions among troops and neighbouring countries about the ability of Czech forces

  • Czech left to wonder about their own “allies”

  • October 16 – partial withdrawal, sizeable soviet influence remains as “temporary stationing”.

  • The S.U successfully stopped the liberalization reforms and strengthened the CPCz

Cold war context

Cold War Context

  • In terms of the CW, what effect do you think the invasion had on perceptions of the S.U, the Warsaw pact, and relations with western countries?

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