Czechoslovakia in the Gulf War

Czechoslovakia in the Gulf War
Czechoslovakian soldiers stand in formation as they prepare for a visiting dignitary during Operation Desert Shield.

Czechoslovakia sent a force of 200 to take part in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm as part of the Coalition of the Gulf War. This operation was the sole military operation carried out by Czechoslovakia during the democratic period prior to its breakup. It was also the first armed conflict Czechoslovak troops took part in since World War II. The unit deployed to Saudi Arabia specialized in chemical defense and decontamination, a major concern in the Gulf War due to Saddam Hussein's use of mustard and nerve agents in the Iran-Iraq War. Czechoslovakian forces were equipped with UAZ-469 all terrain vehicles equipped with chemical detection gear, Tatra T-815 transporters, and a variety of trucks designed for decontamination. The two platoons were headed by Colonel Jan Valo. In the wake of the Gulf War, investigations were carried out by the Czech and Slovak government into claims of Gulf War Syndrome amongst returned veterans. Czechoslovakian forces recorded the release of toxins such as Sarin in Iraqi territory, that were attributed to as the causes of the Syndrome.


  • "Reports of Exposure of Coalition Forces Resulting from the Fallout of the Bombings of Iraqi Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Facilities (Group II)." Chapter 3, Part 1. Web. 5 Nov. 2009. <Reports of Exposure of Coalition Forces Resulting from the Fallout of the Bombings of Iraqi Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Facilities (Group II)>

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