War hero Antonin Bukový dies at 98

01-05-2015

WWII veteran and war hero Antonin Bukový, decorated for bravery at the Battle of Sokolovo, has died at the age of 98, the ctk news agency reported. He was one of the founders of the First Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion, which fought together with the Red Army. The Battle of Sokolovo took place on March 8 and 9, 1943, near the town of Sokolovo near Kharkiv in Ukraine when the on-going attack of the Wehrmacht was halted by joint Soviet and Czechoslovak forces. It was the first time that a foreign military unit fought together with the Red Army. Under the command of Ludvík Svoboda, later President of Czechoslovakia, the Czechoslovak soldiers effectively prevented any further advance of Germans across the Mzha river. Only ten war veterans from the First Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion are still alive. Some of them will be taking part in the upcoming celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.