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Vazac, Bohumil

Date of birth:
November 5th, 1913 (Hradec Kralové, Austria-Hungary)
Date of death:
July 22nd, 2003 (Châlons-en-Champagne, France)
Czechoslovakian (1918 - 1948, Republic)


Bohumil Vazac was born on November 5, 1913 in Hradeck Kralové in Czechoslovakia. His father was an architect.

He followed the courses of the School of Arts and Crafts of Prague and, on leaving the School, was incorporated into the Army as a Reserve Officer Cadet in July 1934, at the 28th IR; a few months later he is an aspirant.

From 1935 to 1937, he was a pupil of the Special Military School of Hranice.

From 1937 to 1939, he served with the 1st Mountain Infantry Regiment.

After the dismantling of Czechoslovakia, he escaped via Poland and landed in France, at Boulogne-sur-mer, in June 1939.

Arrived in Paris, he enlisted for 5 years in the Foreign Legion and, after two months of internship, he was assigned to the Czech Army in France, to the 1st IR, as lieutenant, commanding the Compagnie Régimental d'Engins .

In June 1940, Bohumil Vazac was detached to the 59th IR and assigned to the 3rd Battalion where he led a group of 25 anti-tank guns.

He then participated in the retreat to Paris and the South-East of France and he arrived with his detachment in Agde. In July, he went to England with the survivors of the Czech Army.

In April 1941, he joined the Free French Forces in London as a lieutenant. In June, after two months of training with the Battalion of Chasseurs de Camberley, he was sent to Brazzaville and joined the 1st Battalion of the 13th Demi-Brigade de Légion Etrangčre (13th DBLE) in August 1941. Lieutenant Vazac was in charge of the command of the section of 75 anti-tanks of the Heavy Company. With the 1st BLE, he was seconded to the 2nd French Free Brigade under General Cazaud.

In October 1942, he took part in the battles of El Alamein.

In April 1943, he took part in the Tunisian campaign and in June was promoted to the rank of captain. Two months later, Bohumil Vazac took command of the 4th Cie of the 1st Battalion of the Foreign Legion.

In March 1944, his company was transformed into a machine gun company and in April, he participated in the offensive on the Garigliano during the Italian campaign during which he was wounded without being evacuated. In May and June 1944, he distinguished himself by his calm and courage and obtained a magnificent performance from his unit.

Landed in France in August 1944, Captain Vazac took part in the French campaign, fought in Alsace where he distinguished himself again, paying for himself by making particularly dangerous links between units very distant from each other.

In March 1945, he was attached with the Foreign Legion to the Army of the Alps where he ended the war.

In October, he joined the 1st BLE in Tunis and took the Command of the 1st Cie.

In 1946, Bohumil Vazac resigned from the Legion and returned to Czechoslovakia after having been appointed foreign lieutenant-colonel in the French colonial troops.

In September 1946, he was reinstated in the Czechoslovak Army as an unassigned lieutenant, then quickly appointed captain and assigned to the School of War.

In 1947, he was promoted to commander and assigned to the staff of a mechanized division. In 1948, he taught as a professor of General Tactics at the Special Military School of Hranice where he became Director of Studies.

Again assigned, in 1949, to the War School as a professor until 1952 when he was removed from the Army staff by "special measures" (political reasons - service in the West - French wife ).

He then became employed, in the civil sector, at the Institute for Research on Organization and Safety at Work, then Engineer in charge of research in public works.

In February 1958, Bohumil Vazac left Czechoslovakia and moved to France where he became Warehouse Director and logistics manager for a distribution group in Nancy, Châlons-sur-Marne and Metz.

In 1978, he retired.

In 1992 he was rehabilitated by the Czech Army and promoted on an exceptional basis to the rank of retired colonel.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
March 7th, 1945
l' Ordre de la Libération
Second World War (1939-1945)
with 3 citations
Croix de Guerre
Second World War (1939-1945)
with 2 citations : 1 palm
Croix de Guerre (1939-1945)
Second World War (1939-1945)
with clasps "Libye", "Tunisie"
Médaille Coloniale