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The Black Battalion (Cerný prapor)

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The Black Battalion
Černý prapor
The Black Batalion-poster.jpg
DVD Cover
Country CZE.jpg Czechoslovakia
Directed by Vladimír Cech
Release Date 1958
Language Czech
Studio Štúdio umeleckých filmov Bratislava
Distributor Československý státní film
Main Cast
Character Actor
Václav Malý Jaroslav Mareš
Legionnaire Peter František Peterka
Commander Ketham Zdenek Kryzánek
Sgt. Storch Kurt Oligmüller
Commander Wolf Hannjo Hasse
Major Ladislav Chudík

The Black Battalion (Czech: Černý prapor) is a 1958 Czechoslovakian B&W historical drama film about the Czech members of the French Foreign Legion, who fight for the French during the First Indochina War. At war's end, they are returned to their homeland on the basis of amnesty. The film depicts the story of one of those who did not return.

The following weapons were used in the film The Black Battalion (Cerný prapor):

Submachine Guns


Both main characters are seen with a French MAS-38.

MAS-38 Submachine gun - 7.65x20mm
Václav (Jaroslav Mareš) hands ​​a weapon to Commander Wolf.
Newly appointed Commander Wolf (Hannjo Hasse) holds his MAS-38.

MP 40

The French Foreign Legion uses the MP 40.

MP 40 - 9x19mm
A Legionnaire fires his MP 40 at Vietnamese villagers.
Legionnaire Peter (František Peterka) fires his MP 40 during a firefight.
Sgt. Storch (Kurt Oligmüller) and another Legionnaire carry MP 40s.

Sten Mk II

Sten Mk IIs are used by both sides during the Indochina War.

Sten Mk II - 9x19mm
File:Zdenek Kryzánek-Sten.jpg
The commander Ketham (Zdenek Kryzánek) carriers his Sten.
A VPN guerrilla fighter hiding in the bushes mows down French troops with his Sten
Legionaries carry Sten and MP 40 submachine guns as they move through the jungle.


M1 Carbine

The legionnaires also use M1 Carbines of various types.

M1 Carbine - .30 Carbine
A legionnaire hastily leaves the battlefield with a slung M1 carbine.
M1A1 Carbine - .30 Carbine
Václav Malý (Jaroslav Mareš) carries an M1A1 Carbine in the jungle.
An M1A1 Carbine hangs from a bed.

M1 Garand

M1 Garand rifles are also seen.

M1 Garand with leather M1917 sling - .30-06 Springfield
A Garand is seen at the left.

Machine Guns

MG 34

MG 34 machine guns are used by legionnaires.

MG 34 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
An MG 34 is mounted on a car.
Legionnaires with an MG 34.


A DShK is also seen.

DShKM on tripod - 12.7x108mm
Cerny prapor-DShK-Add1.jpg
Cerny prapor-DShK-Add2.jpg


Hand Grenade

The legionnaires and guerillas carry "pineapple" hand grenades. They can be compared to the Mills Bomb in size but have a different shape. Possible guesses are the Italian S.I.P.E. or, even more likely, Ottoman Empire "Type 2" grandes (both of First World War vintage).

For comparison: Italian S.I.P.E. hand grenade
For comparison: Turkish Type 2 hand grenade
A legionnaire carries "pineapple" grenades on his belt.
VPN troops carry the same grenade.

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