Jan Šinágl angažovaný občan, nezávislý publicista


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Nejnovější komentáře

  • 13.09.2018 23:18
    Situace v Diplomatickém servisu byla zhodnocena komplexním ...


  • 24.08.2018 12:01
    Tento případ boje politických stran proti nepohodlnému vysokému ...


  • 24.08.2018 11:58


  • 18.08.2018 07:31
    Pane Mikolášku, bohužel odkaz není funkční? Prosím o zaslání ...


  • 18.08.2018 07:16
    Vážený pane Pánku, první zpráva, potomci JAB o tom moc neví.


  • 18.08.2018 06:37
    www.mikolasek.net/cz/68 (http://www.mikolasek.net/cz/68) ...


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„Komunismus znamená v pravém a úplném smyslu bludné učení, že nikdo nemá míti žádné jmění, nýbrž aby všechno bylo společné, a každý dostával jenom část zaslouženou a potřebnou k jeho výživě. – Bez všelijakých důkazů a výkladů vidí tedy hned na první pohled každý, že takové učení jest nanejvýš bláznovské, a že se mohlo jen vyrojiti z hlav několika pomatených lidí, kteří by vždy z člověka chtěli učiniti něco buď lepšího neb horšího, ale vždy něco jiného než je člověk.“

Karel Havlíček Borovský ve svém časopise „SLOVAN“ 26.7.1850


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Nash Bata JohnBy John NashBata Jan Antonin

The man who supplied Czechoslovakia with strategic defense materials and industries prior to WWII remains unknown

It is just incredible that one of the most important Czechs, responsible for the acquisition of a tremendous supply of raw materials as well as the development of key defense industries in Czechoslovakia is unknown to Czechs. This article discovers a lost piece of Czech history that shows how one man and his nationwide organization of more than 40,000 Czechs and Slovaks was preparing enough raw materials to sustain the Czech Army for at least two years. This effort involved the development of specialized industries to convert the raw materials into necessary defense items like tires, gas masks, and other strategic materials to support the Czech Army and defend the nation. This article traces the acquisition of the raw materials until the events of Munich. After Munich, these raw materials and specialized industries were disassembled in Zlin and transported to areas of the world that were still free. And finally, how these industries were reassembled and repurposed to support the Allied Cause. Readers will discover importance of the Czech businessman who was the mastermind and financier of this effort. Incredibly, this story is completely unknown to the Czech people.

Two years before the Munich, Jan Bata and the Bata people were preparing for Czechoslovakia’s defense. The Czechoslovak Army needed a huge supply of raw materials to defend against Germany in the event of war. General Syrovy, the Chief of the General Staff, General Jaroslav Cizek, and Frantisek Machnik, the Minister of Defense went to Jan A. Bata and urged him to help them to assemble a two year supply of raw materials to support the Czechoslovak Army in the event the country was invaded. These materials included: rubber, leather, cotton, tannin, etc. The effort entailed the acquisition of tremendous stocks of these essential raw materials. There was no one other than Bata who had the people, the investment capital, and the organization that could accomplish such an enormous task in such a short period of time. Beyond the supply raw materials, the general staff needed Bata to develop defense related industries for the production of tires, gas masks, acticarbon, synthetic rubber, etc., to be manufactured from the stores of raw material. The build up moved forward at lightning speed. By May of 1938, Jan Bata and his organization had collected a fantastic amount of raw materials; enough to supply the Czech army for at least a year. The German invasion would take place in ten months. Jan Bata would have less than a year to assemble the second year’s supply.

Shortly before Munich, word came from the highest general in the army that the republic would not defend itself. It became clear to Bata at this time that all of the raw materials they had collected could fall into the hands of the Germans. Bata decided to put a stop to it and immediately sent Frantisek Malota to Switzerland to call all of the buying stations (seventy of them) around the world to stop any shipments of materials to Czechoslovakia until further notice. Any materials that were in process were quietly stopped in European ports.

"For Batamen in India the war actually began on the 29th of September, 1938, the day of Munich. Since that day, Batanagar began [to] directly or indirectly feel all the sufferings and hardships that go hand-in-hand with any war.”

"In this situation, Mr. Bartos received on the 13th of October, 1938 (No. 13 this time was unhappy), a letter from Zlin which said: 'you are aware of Munich happenings; it seems worse things will follow. Forget Zlin now, put the factory on its own footing, depend on the ability of your people and the experience of the instructors we have sent you.'"

"Towards the end of October 1938, Director Rojt (now deceased) arrived in Batanagar on the way to Singapore. He also told us we might expect some more machinery and equipment from Zlin. This was more a hint than an actual statement."

"Then came the 15th of March, 1939, the day of the final occupation of Czechoslovakia."

"Then in the shoe and leather journals that used to come from the U.K. and the U.S.A., the people of Batanagar read surprising items of news of the great exodus of machinery and men from Zlin. We quote only one such item published in Leather World, the official organ of the British leather and shoe industry:

It is reported that shoes, shoe material and machinery from Czechoslovakia recently reached Southampton in the steamer Newan. Last week the freight comprising 10,200 heavy cases was transferred to Arthurtown for shipment to the Bata Shoe Co. in Tilbury. This was the first cargo of its type to reach the port.”

The Bata Shoe Co. at Tilbury at that time was directed by Jan A. Bata, Brig. General Edward Spears, and former MP Frederick Whyte.

“Now, the same kind of reports were pouring in from France, Yugoslavia, Canada, and East Africa. Director Rojt from Singapore telegraphed: 'Got my machinery, did Batanagar receive theirs from Zlin?' And, Mr. Gerbec of Manila, in the Philippines: 'Awaiting my machines, can you trace them from Calcutta? but please do not refer to Zlin!' The whole world seemed to be receiving machinery from Zlin. What happened?”

"In April 1939 a telephone message from Port Commissioners of Calcutta announced that a whole cargo of one ship containing shoe machinery was waiting for Batanagar -- 'Do something with it.'"

"On about June 1939, Mr. V. Klvac arrived from Czechoslovakia with the explanation of all the arrivals of machinery. Everyone in Europe knew that it was a matter of months now. Zlin, therefore, dismantled as much machinery as possible and, right under the noses of the Germans, sent its machinery and its people abroad, so that as little as possible was left for Hitler."

Immediately after the May 1938 mobilization, J.A. Bata, the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Bata A.S., Zlin was expeditiously signing gate passes for the machinery and equipment to be shipped out of the country. Bata instructed John Hoza to get the machinery shipped out to Tunis, Africa, Java, India, Malaya, Canada and other destinations. Some machines were shipped directly to these locations, but many were shipped directly to warehouses in Baltimore, Maryland, King's Lynn, U.K., and Calcutta, India where they were reshipped to other locations. Baltimore was used as a warehouse point for the Western hemisphere, Western Europe, and Western Africa, as well as the Philippines.

Additional orders were given by Jan Bata for the establishment of small factories in Peru, Morocco, Nairobi, Belgian Congo, Iraq, etc. Each of these plants was designed to supply between 20-50 stores. He also ordered the establishment of larger plants in the United States, Canada, as well as technical centers to be located in the U.S.A., Canada, Yugoslavia, and India.

The machinery, tools, equipment, and raw materials shipped around the world were reorganized, reassembled and repurposed. Many of the Bata plants made significant contributions to the Allied Cause throughout the war.

Jan Bata was in contact with President Benes from the moment he left the country. Bata visited Benes in exile in Putney, a district in Southwestern London, offering him all the help he needed with his exiled government.

Upon his arrival to the United States, Jan Bata declared to the authorities that besides being an industrialist, described his occupation as “Czech Patriot.”

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Jan Antonin Bata Archive:

JAB The First Decade of Batanagar 1945 Excerpts 1 2

JAB The First Decade of Batanagar 1945 Excerpt 3









* * *

The Stormy Years of an Extraordinary Enterprise: Bata 1932 - 1945

Batanagar’s Support for the RAF Exceeds 1 Billion U.S. Dollars


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J.Š. 27.4.2015

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