Frantisek Perina

Paying homage to a little known hero

Free Czechoslovak Air Force

General of the Skies
Generál nebe
František Peřina
* 8 April 1911
† 6 May 2006

František Peřina was born 8 April 1911 in the village of Morkůvky. The village was in a remote farming area about 30km from Brno in the Moravia region of Czechoslovakia. He was the second son of Josef and Kateřina and his father was a farmer. Peřina was 14 before he visited Brno, his nearest big town. He completed his elementary school education and then spent the next three years at grammar school. Peřina then joined, as an apprentice, the first engineering firm in Brno. He served a three year apprenticeship, training to be a lathe machinist. During this apprenticeship he also attended a vocational school He completed his apprenticeship and continued working at that firm.

František Peřina se narodil 8.4. 1911 v obci Morkůvky. Obec se nachází…

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4 thoughts on “Frantisek Perina

  1. This is an incredibly interesting posting for a number of reasons. It presents information of which I was unaware and raises questions, among which are the following:

    1. I never knew that the Munich Agreement resulted in the Poles annexing Czech territory. I have never read the Munich Agreement — I’ve only heard about it; never seen it. Did it provide for other countries to take over portions of Czechoslovakia?

    2. I find the statement, “The Polish Authorities, who recognized the new State of Slovakia, had showed little interest in the Czechoslovak Air Force airmen who were crossing into their country in groups and would not allow independent Czechoslovak units to be established on its territory,” very interesting. Did the Poles simply ignore the onslaught of Czech airmen until they became an embarrassment in their relationship with other countries? What of Czech army officers and men. Did they also remove to Poland and then, later, to France? The intrigue surrounding these maneuvers, if they can be typified as such, would make a good plot for an Alan Furst novel.

    NOTE: I have already posted this comment on the Free Czechoslovakia Air Force site. I am posting the comment again here with the hope that someone might answer my questions.

  2. I received the following reply from the Free Czechoslovak Air Force website moderator and permission to repost it here for readers of Lest We Forget:

    “Thank you for visiting our website:

    and for your comment. In responding to your first question these 3 articles will give an understanding of the Munich Agreement – or Munich Dictact as its know to the Czechs – from a Czech perspective and how Czechoslovakia had to cede territory to Germany, Poland and Hungary because of it:

    In respect of question 2, within days of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on 16 March 1939 Cz airmen and soldiers were starting to cross the border to Poland. On our site we specialize in just the airmen and some examples of some of their escapes are here:

    The initial reaction from the Polish Authorities is that initially they did not want to antagonize neighboring Nazi Germany as they did not want to provoke them. This resulted in the Polish authorities not entertaining any Czech military units being formed in Poland. This resulted in the Czechoslovak Consulate in Paris negotiating with the French authorities for those escaped Czechoslovaks to be brought to France. However there was a catch as French law did not permit foreign military units to be based on her territory in peacetime. This meant the Czechoslovaks, before they would be permitted to travel to France had to commit to enlisting in the French Foreign Legion for a period of 5 years. But there was an agreement that should war be declared the Czechoslovaks would be released from their Foreign Legion service and transferred into French military units. However if any of the Czechoslovaks were not prepared to commit to that 5 year contract the Poles would return them to Czechoslovakia which would invariably mean incarceration and probably execution. In all some 1200 Cz airmen travelled to France – also Cz soldiers – during those few months before Germany invaded Poland. But by August the Polish authorities were realizing that it was only a matter of a short time before the Germans invaded and took active steps to prevent the Czechs leaving Poland and instead to join Polish forces. A bio of one of the Cz airmen who fought with the Poles is here:

    Hopefully this should help to get a better understanding of those times, but any questions just ask.”

    Such interesting information. Until today, I had not known that Czechoslovakia had to cede territory to Poland and Hungary in addition to Germany.

    Someone once said that there is nothing new except the history you don’t know.

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