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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Czechoslovakian hockey team plane crash of 1948

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Old
09-07-2011, 10:30 AM
  #1
VanIslander
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Czechoslovakian hockey team plane crash of 1948

A tragic plane crash decimated the Czechoslovakian active national team over a half century ago. What do we know about it?

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In the next world championship (it was held in 1948 in St. Moritz, Switzerland) Team Czechoslovakia almost repeated last year’s success, winning in seven games and played one match of a tie (with Canada – 0:0). Canadians received two sets of gold medals thanks to a better balance slaughtered and missed pucks. A few days later, the team, which form the basis of the national team of Czechoslovakia visited Moscow where he held several matches, including three with the best hockey players of the USSR – 3:6, 5:3, 2:2.

November 18, 1948 team Czechoslovakia had a grievous stroke, in a plane crash killed the goalie Z. Yarkovsky, full-back Pokornyi M., V. Shtevik and Z. Schwarz, forwards K. Stibor and L. Throyak. Y.Drobnui left Czechoslovakia and emigrated to the UK (along with him O. Zabrodsky). Nevertheless, Czechoslovakian team once again became the world champion of 1949 in Stockholm, the team won Canada (3:2). From this moment story of Czechoslovakian team was suspended. Before the World Cup of 1950, almost all national team players were charged with treason, attempted to emigrate and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment or disqualified.
http://www.nphu.com/2009/07/07/history-of-hockey/

What more do you know?

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09-07-2011, 10:45 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Is the use of "full-back" a mistranslation?

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09-07-2011, 11:38 AM
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Pear Juice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Is the use of "full-back" a mistranslation?
No idea, but the word full-back instantly gets me into 'football-mode' where a full-back is playing on the far left or right side of a traditional backline of 4 players (In e.g. a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1).

However, back in 1948, teams across Europe used to employ a 2-3-5 formation. Back then, the full-backs were the two defensemen positioned right in front of the goalkeeper. I would therefore guess that the term full-back is relative to our use of the term defenseman. Seeing that football was and is a way more popular sport than hockey in Europe, I would not be surprised if football terminology was used in hockey aswell.


Last edited by Pear Juice: 09-07-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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09-07-2011, 12:01 PM
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Theokritos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Is the use of "full-back" a mistranslation?
I think so. There are many flaws in the text, like "superseriya", "VHA – a league-konkurentke NHL" and so on.

An interesting note about the aftermath: the plane obviously had crashed into the sea and it has never been found, as far as I know. This led the Czechoslovakian secret service to the suspicion that there hadn't been a crash really and that the players had actually defected to the West. The authorities didn't trust their top athletes and not completely without reason, but the real defections were far less spectacular than a made-up plane crash: defecting players like Jaroslav Drobný and Vladimir Černík (in 1949) simply refused to return to Czechoslovakia and stayed abroad.
The destruction of the Czechoslovakian national team in 1950 was born out of the very same mistrust of the authorities and did more damage to Czechoslovakian hockey than the 1948 plane crash.


Last edited by Theokritos: 08-04-2012 at 07:57 AM.
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09-07-2011, 12:05 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Wasn't there some speculation that the Soviets sabotaged the plane to deal a blow to the Czechoslovakian hockey program, which was ahead of the USSR at the time?

Or was that just speculation in hindsight after the Communist authorities had most of the National Team arrested in 1950?

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09-07-2011, 12:14 PM
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Theokritos
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Wasn't there some speculation that the Soviets sabotaged the plane to deal a blow to the Czechoslovakian hockey program, which was ahead of the USSR at the time?

Or was that just speculation in hindsight after the Communist authorities had most of the National Team arrested in 1950?
Speculation? I think it's even speculation to suggest that the Soviets were behind the 1950 measures. People associate Communism with the Soviet Union and when they read "hockey players arrest by Communist authorities in 1950" they assume that "Communist authorities" refers to the Soviet Union, but in fact it were the Czechoslovakian Communist authorities that destroyed their own country's National Team.

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09-07-2011, 03:12 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Speculation? I think it's even speculation to suggest that the Soviets were behind the 1950 measures. People associate Communism with the Soviet Union and when they read "hockey players arrest by Communist authorities in 1950" they assume that "Communist authorities" refers to the Soviet Union, but in fact it were the Czechoslovakian Communist authorities that destroyed their own country's National Team.
Communist Czechoslovakia was a puppet government of the USSR, and I don't think anyone really knows where their motivations came from with regards to that particular incident, do we?

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09-07-2011, 03:31 PM
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slovakiasnextone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Communist Czechoslovakia was a puppet government of the USSR, and I don't think anyone really knows where their motivations came from with regards to that particular incident, do we?
The 1950s in Czechoslovakia were times of huge fabricated processes (show trials), the most famous one the one with Milada Horáková. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milada_Hor%C3%A1kov%C3%A1
The fate of those players was a result of those times...:/

As for the plane crash, we will never know exactly what happened for sure, the knowledge we have is blurry....

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09-07-2011, 07:34 PM
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Theokritos
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Communist Czechoslovakia was a puppet government of the USSR, and I don't think anyone really knows where their motivations came from with regards to that particular incident, do we?
Exactly, we absolutely don't know it, but people are automatically assuming that the Soviets were behind it. Pure speculation. As if the Czechoslovakian Communists weren't merciless enough. Yes, they surely took orders from Moscow, but that doesn't mean that everything they did was done on such an order. Destroying the National Team in favour of the Soviet Team? I don't believe it until someone shows me some evidence.
There were a lot of trials against "anti-state conspiracy" in that period of time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying those those trials were not "inspired" by Stalin's measures in the USSR. Maybe the Communist party of Czechoslovakia was even told to act accordingly by the KPSS. But 1) it were still the Czechoslovakian authorities who did it and 2) without any evidence I don't believe for a second that hockey interests were behind it. There are much more likely explanations: See trials against "anti-state conspiracy", which had nothing to do with hockey and everything with people voicing dissatisfaction with the regime.

BTW: The Soviets weren't ready to participate in the IIHF world championship before 1953 and eventually participated for the first time in 1954.


Last edited by Theokritos: 09-07-2011 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old
09-07-2011, 08:02 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Is the use of "full-back" a mistranslation?
Probably, but it echoes back to history.

"Back" was sometimes used to describe a defenseman in the early years of the game (especially in the US), before the position names became more standardized.

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09-08-2011, 01:37 AM
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Pear Juice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Probably, but it echoes back to history.

"Back" was sometimes used to describe a defenseman in the early years of the game (especially in the US), before the position names became more standardized.
As mentioned earlier, football defensemen are still called backs in UK english football terminology. In ice hockey (and all kinds of team sports, basically), the Swedish word for defenseman is still 'back'. The literal translation of defender into Swedish is 'försvarare', which is somewhat used, but 'back' is by far the more used term.

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09-09-2011, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
A tragic plane crash decimated the Czechoslovakian active national team over a half century ago. What do we know about it?


http://www.nphu.com/2009/07/07/history-of-hockey/

What more do you know?
Not much. Team was preparing for the Ice Hockey World Championship and they should have played friendly match against United Kingdom. They flew from Paris to London.

Those players, who died, didn't receive visas, so they couldn't go with the rest of the team few day before. And unfortunately, this fact caused they passed away.

Reasons are still unknown, plane debris has not been found, yet.

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