This is a story that I knew absolutely nothing about until about two years ago when I stumbled upon it while researching for the Russian Revolution episodes last year. It is the story of Czech, Slovak, and other eastern European soldiers as they journeyed, quite literally, around the world. At one point they would control almost the entirety of the Trans-Siberian railroad and they would be, arguably, the most powerful military force in Russia during that time. The Legion would slowly move eastward along the rails all the way to Vladivostoke where they would be evacuated by Allied ships bound for the United States and then back to Europe. This journey would not be a quick one, with troops spread out over thousands of miles it would take years before some of their journeys were completed. So that is our story for the next two episodes, however, the story does not begin in Russia, but instead in Austria-Hungary before the war. There, before the war, many of the men that would eventually make up the Legion were a critical piece of the Austro-Hungarian society, and when the war started they were a critical part of its armies. However, much like other minorities within the Empire, they dreamed of a country of their own.
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