45 years ago, 21.8.1968…

…the Warsaw Pact armies invaded Czechoslovakia, ending the slow but steady Czechoslovak return from failed communism attempt that ended in one party dictatorship to normal society. Half a million Soviet, Polish, Hungarian and Bulgarian soldiers participated in the “operation Danube”. Sporadic resistance from the people of Czechoslovakia led so some dramatic events and roughly a hundred dead on both sides (most invader casualities came from accidents).

Many people, who lived thru that time, remember the tanks rolling down the streets of Prague and the fear of the occupying forces, who were often as much confused as the citizens of Czechoslovakia, not knowing where they are, who they are “fighting” and what are they doing there.

Whole gallery can be found on Radio Liberty’s website.

Some unique colored photos from Czech news:

Burning T-54, set alight by the demonstrators


A man, trying to help people, who where wounded (some of them killed) by Soviet invaders


Protests against the invasion


This time, Soviet troops were not welcomed as they were in 1945: someone did paint a nazi swastika on Soviet vehicle

Prague 1968 / Burning Tank / Photo

Soviet soldiers on the streets of Prague

Prague 1968 / Tanks in Prague / Photo

Prague 1968 / Tanks in Prague / Photo

108 thoughts on “45 years ago, 21.8.1968…

      • This is true. The common Soviet soldiers often didn’t know which country they are in. In the other regions (especially north-east Bohemia), locals intentionally destroyed or sabotaged traffic signs and entire units got lost.

          • Why an article about USSR attacking Poland? Why not an article about USSR occupying Baltic states?

            Get over it ffs. Poland isn’t the most important country in the world.

            • But Poland was the first attacked country. In the last days of August was sabottaged (even forced a radio station!) and on the 1st Sept. Nazi Army crossed the polish border. We deffended our country better than you all think – our cavalary won many times against Rommel’s and Guderian’s tanks and attacked German lands! They made panic in Nazi Headquaters! Also on the 17th we were the first country attacked by Soviets.

            • I agree, Poles think they’re Christ of Nations, that they were hurt more than others.

              That’s one major BS, I’m sick of how Poles are egoist about WW II history.

            • “But Poland was the first attacked country.”
              You might be missing the Czechs there…

          • “I agree, Poles think they’re Christ of Nations, that they were hurt more than others.

            That’s one major BS, I’m sick of how Poles are egoist about WW II history.”

            Sadly, but Polacks are egoist at everything. :D

            • Tell me if you can call a “winner” country that is smaller after the war than before…

            • Sure, Poles was so egoist defending England, liberating Netherlands or fighting in Africa and Italy during II WW.

              We’re no egoist, we don’t like people that are trying to lie about history. It’s true that II WW in Europe started in Poland and that USSR were attacking us as well as Germany. And concentrations camps were made by Germans on polish teritorry. It wasn’t Polish camps, it wasn’t even (some mythological) Nazi camps, just German.

            • “Tell me if you can call a “winner” country that is smaller after the war than before…”

              Of course Poland was bigger before war, because they occupied some territories which weren’t Polish – half of Belarus, Vilnius Region, some parts of Ukraine.

            • LoL. and you call this “occupation” now… 70years passed with borders fixed in place so you got used to having them when they are now, but for previous 700years they were somewhere else…
              That way you can justify that Poland is not a nation and shouldn’t have their country only be a part of Great Mother Russia.

            • “LoL. and you call this “occupation” now… 70years passed with borders fixed in place so you got used to having them when they are now, but for previous 700years they were somewhere else…
              That way you can justify that Poland is not a nation and shouldn’t have their country only be a part of Great Mother Russia.”

              Learn some English, because I couldn’t understand a word.

            • Romanian soldiers did not took part of the cehoslovacia invasion. So it was a matter of balls. From all Varshovia Pact countries only Romania refuse the soviets.

    • <>

      At least Ceausescu who was the communist leader of Romania had the decency not to attack a fellow country. He fucked up alot during his reign, but in `68 he`s small brain actually worked.

      • @0beta, MatPL Jakim bezmozgiem trzeba byc zeby pod artykulem o tak tragicznej dla Czechow dacie wpierdalac sie z waszym “Polska jest stronk, Powstanie Warszawskie uber alles”? Tym bardziej ze to czolgi z Polska szachownica toczyly sie po bruku Pragi. Jesli w tym momencie wydaje wam sie ze pokazujecie swoj patriotyzm, to jestescie w bledzie. Jedyne co przebija z tych postow to umyslowe ograniczenie.

        Sorry for Polish rant. Here is rough translation:
        How absolutely brainless You have to be to put Your “Polska is stronk, Powstanie Warszawskie uber alles” bollocks under an article about such a tragic date for Czechs. Especially that there were tanks with white and red chequer rolling on the cobblestone of Prague. If You think that You’re showing Your patriotism, You are sorely mistaken. The only thing provenin these posts is You’re mentally retarded.

        SS, in great scheme of things it means shit, but I just wanted to say that we, Poles remember what part did we take and we’re sorry…

          • So everyone already forgot that Poland participated in partition of Czechoslovakia along with nazi Germany?

            • Yes, that’s true. I admit this is another point of my country’s history I am ashamed of. Although we didn’t cooperate with Germans, we used moment of tragedy our neighbor had. But reminding of others faults is like neverending story – now I could say Czechs did pretty much the same in 1919 when both countries were still very young, and you could remind of our mistakes, wars and etc., for as long as much we know history. It shows us how much faults of our past affects common people today, even if they don’t know each other at all. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want our history to bo forgotten or corrupted, I’d like us to speak about it, and then drink beer or vodka together, despite differencies we have. I really don’t mind spending time with some German or Russian or anyone, until we both know that whatever happend in those shit times, it does not change our attitude towards each other. But I know this idea is so hard in realization, that I may be shitstormed from every side, even folks from my own country, which will say I am traitor or something.

  1. Pragues’ spring had quite an impact in the west as well. It was pretty dramatic for the time and marked a pretty bad low for soviet union.

    • This is all western propaganda. Soviets merely tried to help their Czech comrades. I thought everybody knew that…

    • The shame is that all the western countries didn’t have the balls to help the Checks (as they didn’t help the Hungarians earlier). They called it real-politics and respecting world peace but de facto they were quite content with all their wealth and why risk that?

      • It is a shame, but don’t underestimate the impact. Hungary was mostly ignored in the West, but the Prague Spring was quite well known and cemented public opinion against the FSU. The impact is magnified today, since Prague is now regarded as one of Europe’s jewels and people pay a lot more attention to its history.

  2. it’s a shame how fast people forget.. comunists are still at power in both czech and slovakia and sheeps are still voting for them..

    • There are communists and than there are “communists”. And when you dont make distinctions your re not better than a Stalinist.

      A famous german solicialist leader R. Luxenburg once said:

      “Freiheit ist auch immer die Freiheit des anders Denkenden!”


      Freedom also means freedom for people with divergent opinions.

      • if voting would change anything it would be illegal. its an illusion of choice. the system is build this way. time to wake up.

          • if you dont belive me prove me wrong. your attempt to insult me just made you look like an idiot.
            its all always the same old story! vote for us and we will change things, after 4 years or so, people are tired of the bullshit so they vote the other party which will, for a change, lie about everything and fuck everybody else for the personal gain. It’s amazing that we ve been getting fucked that long!

        • Mmm yeah. That’s Carlin right?

          When we go to the MALL we can choose 50 types of ice cream 1000 types of shoes and clothes but when it comes to choices that matter – you get to choose the same old pricks funded by the same old corporations.

          The illusion that your choice actually matters is the beauty of the system and why it continues to function. ^_^

      • Hitler came to power by regular democratic elections.. so is it right to allow such people to candidate and vote for them?

        • Actually, I think that the democratic rights of people should include the right to cancel democracy by vote.

          In this case: if it hadn’t been Hitler, it would have been someone else. The circumstances of the time gave rise to war, not one person. Sure, someone other than Hitler might not have gassed Jews, but maybe he had gassed Poles. Nobody can know.

      • She said that. But it was only meant as a propaganda tool as long as socialists were the weak ones. If you read her theoretical work you will soon find that freedom of speech was never meant for capitalists and counter-revolutionary rubble.

      • Heh.

        Don’t let them.

        Do anything in your power to stop them.

        Currently Bulgaria is rules by the communist party in coalition with the turkish/muslim party (we have a significant chunk of turks who can vote despite not living in our country or speaking the language) and a neo-nazi party who made a coalition to outnumber the European Party.

        Now they are selling us out to Russia and stealing government money via debt and economic loop holes.

        Anyway I just wrote all of this to warn you – do not let these greedy animals get in a position of power. They are only hungry for power and money. Nothing else. They have no morals they have no humanity.

        I hope they don’t get elected in your country.

        No one deserves this nightmare.

      • What shame do you mean?
        Is Alexander Dubček was not a communist?
        Communism has many faces, it’s such true as true that not all liberals are like Robespierre.

    • The top two photos of this article look like the same tank from different angles with that bus in the background. Funny how the coloured one seems to affect you more looking more ‘modern’ than the black and white one.
      Also the front of the T-54 looks a lot steeper than I thought too.
      Good photos, thank you for the article.

  3. But don’t dare try saying anything on the WoT website against the commies…

    They’re “Liberators” and “Heroes of the Soviet Union”…

    • Your cheap sarcasm is quite worthless when you see people with anti-communist avatars and/or signatures, in open violation of the TOS, who post freely on the European forum…

      • They did, and truth be told he actually constructed most of modern Romania’s infrastructure & industry. That was his legacy.
        I am the kind of guy that gives credit to where credit is due

        HOWEVER, I still full-heartly believe that those odd 50 years of communism were our country’s greatest plague, since it completely corrupted our mentality.
        The complete dependency on state-provided services and paranoia induced by the Securitate are ALSO his legacy…

        • But what he got was…
          Anyway, at that time, there was too much shit being thrown around for anybody to escape “clean”…

  4. This historical revisioning and white washing isn’t limited to the former Warsaw Pact. Japan says it was clean of all crimes in the war, while the U.S. can be argued of supporting it now with the view that we pushed the Japanese into the war with our economic sanctions.

    People nowadays don’t bother with history.

    Kinda like my observation that people don’t care about the tank in history, but just the tank in game.

      • Any chance of it appearing ingame?

        I do have some vague memory of SerB saying no in a Q&A but I’m not certain.

          • Yes, it is ASU-85. I think it would fit perfectly as tier 6 vehicle of the 2nd russian TD line. Its fast, mobile but with not so good gun. Its a pity that it wont be introduced in WoT :(

            • It’s gun is 88/71 level of performances (1050m/s V0), to be balanced on tier 6 it would need horrible soft performances (like SU-100Y). My bet is tier 7 and even possibly (by really good soft stats) tier 8 with limited MM, kind of like Soviet style E-25.

          • Thanks.
            Looked a bit on Wikipedia (not reliable but I’m lazy) to see if I could figure out some resonable stats for that gun.
            I’m just your average joe with no real knowledge of these things but it’s fun to speculate.

            I Compared the 85 mm D-48, which uses the same shells but have a longer barrel with the 8.8 cm KwK 43 and found that they have similar muzzle velocity with BR-372/PzGr 39 (the 8.8 beating the 85 by 90 m/s, 1040 vs 1130)

            Ingame the 8.8′s gold pen is 237 mm and with a ~10% loss of velocity with similar weight the 85 mm D-48 would have around 210 mm pen. Considering that the D-70 have a shorter barrel than the D-48 (L67 vs L74, ~10% difference) and we should end up with a pen value of 185-190 mm at 100 meters.

            As these guns don’t use normal AP I guess it would use APCR as standard ammo like the top mediums and T71 with HEAT and HE as alternative ammo. Suddenly I realize how crap I am at math but as far as I can understand the HEAT projectile penetrated ~220 mm (192 mm at 30 degrees from vertical).
            The HE shell weighs 9.66 kgs but I don’t really know much about it and have nothing to compare it to but I can guess that it’s the same/similar to the chinese light’s top 85 mm’s shell.

            My newby research gives me a gun with 185/220/43 mm pen (APCR/HEAT/HE) and probably 200/200/320 dmg. The accuracy should be around 0.32 (based on the 85 mm 64-85TG mounted on the Wz-132)

            The gun might be a bit overkill at t6 but the chassie would never do it at t7 (mobillity and armor on par with the SU-85B)… Actually, it would be a nice counterpart to the E-25, worse armor and mobillity but better gun. The issue is that there already is a t7 premium TD in the USSR tree.

            Look at me go! I have way too much time :P

            NOTE: I’m a nobody and all of what I said is speculations, I suspect that you can’t just work with raw percentages and get anything realistic.

            • SPMBT has the 85mm D-48 gun as
              AP: 190mm pen
              Sabot: 250mm pen
              HEAT: 200mm pen

              57mm CH-51m gun (on ASU-57) has
              AP: 110mm pen
              Sabot: 160mm pen
              HEAT 110mm pen

              Note: SPMBT does not distinguish between APDS and APCR. The shells in question are almost certainly APCR.

            • Nice info there Anon but the ASU-85 mounts the 85 mm D-70, not D-48. The D-70 have a shorter barrel so the penetration of the AP and APCR will be lower.

              I was also trying to see how it would preform ingame as many gun don’t have their historical penetration values.

            • я думаю асу-85 будет в ветке со су-152 “Таран” например такая ветка асу-57(6лвл)-асу-85(7лвл)-су100р(8лвл)-су-152р(9лвл)-су–152 “Таран”(10лвл)

  5. As a Polish – I’m sorry. Communist party or not, regular people, soldiers were part of this and there is no one in Poland that would say invading Czechoslovakia was a good thing to do.

    • its not your blame nor the peoples. this was just the part of the bigger game where nobody gives a f*ck about lifes of civilians or soldiers. barbaric politics struggling for power and wealth. no more divide and conquer. let us learn from history and focus on the common goals, things that unite us, not divide us. borders are fictionary, races irelevant. we are all human here to live the life of our dreams woot!

    • You have to remember that some people protested our participation even back then. One man took extreme measures – set himself on fire in fornt of 100 thousand people…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryszard_Siwiec While I do not support such form of a protest it shows how desperate people were. More massive protests would be taken down bloodly like the events in Poznań in 1956 (57 killed). Fortunately people were brave, and by protests in thr 70′s and 80′s helped to take down the communist.

  6. Why does some tanks in-game always look more flat than in real photographs? Do I need glasses?

    • There is a setting, it’s screen ratio or something like that. Fiddle around with that. The one with 4:3, 16:9, 16:10

      • Honestly I have world of tanks and everything properly setup for my 16:9 widescreen. I just always look at pictures from people visitting the tank museums and think the WOT tanks (especially my russian ones) to look more flat than the photos…

  7. ” not knowing where they are, who they are “fighting” and what are they doing there.”

    True. As if US forces knew what where they doing in Afg or Iraq. Just like those videos on YT about engaging insurgents. When all they do is spray some bullets at some invisible ones called rocks lol! Have they found the nukes yet?

    • There’s a difference between conscripts of the Warsaw pact armies, or the US army in Vietnam, and the professional soldiers of the last decade.

  8. I’ve been always ashamed of the fact that Hungarians also took part in it. Of course, the soldiers had 0 choice to do otherwise. It was the decision of the Hungarian Communist Party. Bastards.

  9. It’s about people and not conquering
    Hitler was a paranoic mass murderer,
    and comunist leaders were not far to him, some times even more…
    see Stalin

  10. good article, there is never too many occasions to remember those who fought and died because of communists. I hope u will post an article in october about the hungarian and one in june about the berlin anti-communist revolutions.

  11. Pfff, guys, I’m a fucking Serb, meaning we had war here just a bit ago. Almost all countries of ex Yugoslavia participated and brothers were killing brothers, but today in WOT we all say the same fucking Pozz for Hello, we all speak the same fucking language (different languages but very alike) and we support each others, no matter that we are of different nationality. Like all of us in former Yugoslavia, you guys of former Eastern block should get your shit together and stop hate and start cooperation in WOT!!!

    p.s. I understand some Polish, Czech, Slovak and Bulgarian and if I can I help guys speaking these languages!

    p.p.s. I help all the player in WOT if I understand them!

  12. I`m only sorry the Russians didn`t repeat this in 1990., all over the Eastern Block.
    If they did, the world would be a much better place now.

    • You can go fuck yourself. If you love shit so much then go to Russia and be there. Communist piece of shit.

    • Apparently they seriously considered a similar intervention when Solidarity started acting up in Poland. IIRC the verdict from the military analysts was quite simply that *it wouldn’t succeed*, and Kremlin concluded their Polish satellite regime had to sink or swim on its own.

      By ’89 there seem to have been a rather few people left willing to try seriously defending the system all around.