Projects per year
In the 1950s, Czechoslovakia launched an ambitious program of military assistance to countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Driven by the desire to obtain political influence and hard currency, the program involved the delivery of arms, military technology, and training to select clients. However, Czechoslovakia faced many challenges, as the country struggled to offer quality training to Third World partners and to control foreign soldiers who often challenged military discipline and social order. Moreover, Prague also struggled to make the program commercially viable, as arms sales and student numbers dropped in the early 1960s. This paper reconstructs the inception, structure, operational challenges, and debates surrounding the key objectives of the Czechoslovak military training program for the Third World in the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, it focuses on the ‘tug of war’ waged by key stakeholders running the assistance program, which set political and geopolitical interests against commercial gain. By interrogating the challenges of Czechoslovakia’s military assistance programs to the Third World, this paper provides a rare insight into Prague’s foreign policy at a crucial juncture, when it fashioned a new, activist role in the Third World. It challenges the assumption that this highly sensitive area of Czechoslovak foreign policy was defined either by politics or by commercial interests, rather arguing that it was shaped by a constant struggle between these two often competing priorities.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||The International History Review|
|Publication status||Published - 12 May 2020|
- Cold War
- Czechoslovakian history
- arms trade
- Prague Spring
- Soviet Union
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Banking on military assistance: Czechoslovakia's struggle for influence and profit in the third world 1955–1968'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Finished
Winning the Development Endgame: The Political Economy of Soviet Cold War in Africa, 1974-1991
1/09/17 → 31/08/20
Project: Research Fellowship
- 6 Citations
- 1 Special issue
An introduction: the secret struggle for the global south – espionage, military assistance and state security in the cold warRichterova, D. & Telepneva, N., 18 Jun 2020, In: The International History Review. 43, 1, p. 1-11 11 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Special issueOpen AccessFile
Webinar: The Soviet Union's Relations with their Allies
Natalia Telepneva (Speaker) & Mikulas Pesta (Speaker)10 Dec 2021
Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk
Contribution to podcast "The Secret Struggle for Cold War Dominance"
Natalia Telepneva (Contributor)24 Dec 2020
Activity: Public Engagement and Other Activities › Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation
Secret Struggle for the Global South: Espionage, Covert Action and State Security during the Cold War
Natalia Telepneva (Organiser) & Daniela Richterova (Organiser)13 Sept 2018 → 14 Sept 2018
Activity: Participating in or organising an event types › Organiser of major conference