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1930–35: Drill of the František Palacký 11th Infantry Regiment

” — Ninth exhibition of Šechtl & Voseček Museum of Photography.

Perutz 29 shots

Drill session of the František Palacký 11th Infantry Regiment, headquatered in Písek, and photographed sometime between 1930 and 1933. The date may have been slightly later, but not earlier, as indicated by the presence of reservists. Note that unit has been separated into two opposing formations (usually blue and red).

Helpless soldier in the sidecar, left alone without his driver. The ribbon on his hat indicates which side he is on – the winners or the losers.
Mobile canteen. The mysterious acronym on the sign marks the 11th Infantry Regiment of František Palacký. A few years earlier, the same regiment had the name of, “Jan, Prince of Saxony”.
Soldier wringing hands is a sergeant in the reservists.
The army of the first republic travelled either by foot or by so-called “hipomobile” (animal drawn). This photograph records very clearly both alternatives. Sitting soldiers are carrying rucksacks, and are wearing helmets from 1916 of German type, inherited from Austria, with a French clove added. This combining of inherited Austrian equipment and French or other foreign add-ons was typical during the first republic. The idea that combining two good elements will result in one that was twice as good, was always overly optimistic.
Schwarzlose heavy machine gun in anti-aircraft configuration. A proven water-cooled gun, used in the Army of the first republic during its whole existence (the last ones were confiscated by the Wermacht in 1939) illustrates our understanding of conservative Austria and progressive first republic. The photo can be considered somewhat posed, because the non-commissioned officer with binoculars is looking intensely at the “enemy” aircraft, while the gunner appears to be sleeping. Maybe he is just concentrating deeply.
As mentioned earlier, soldiers sitting in cars were seen more in the movies. In practice, the army travelled either by foot or on horses.
Warrant officer in service. Because of his wrongly worn hat, we can imagine that either
a) he has been in service too long,
b) he is a reservist,
c) he has a good sense of self irony, or
d) all of the ab ove.