One of the most painful events in Czech national history is without any doubt Soviet (Warsaw Pact) Invasion in August 1968, which abruptly ended so called Prague Spring, hope of further democratizing of Czech Communist society in that time.
It is not too publicly known, but the real reason of this event with vast national consequences came from the most unexpected direction, and the United States were of course involved, but this time completely differently than expected.
It showed as serious, even fatal mistake, to allow the American filmmakers to shoot their upcoming war movie “The Bridge At Remagen” (1969) in Czech Republic. They couldn’t use the original location on the Rhine river in Germany, where that famous battle in March 1945 happened, from ship traffic reasons, so they had to look for an alternative bridge. And they found one most suitable for filming purposes: near Davle village (20 km south of Prague), on the Vltava river (close to Stechovice, so a conspiracy, related to alleged buried Nazi treasure, where even fission material and plans for advanced nuclear weapon should be included, was suspected: particularly, that Americans tried to prevent Czech Intelligence assets from uncovering the stash, and constructing a Czech nuclear weapon, as happened later).
The 20th century 60s in Czech Republic were defined by slow warming of Communist regime and ending many political crimes of the 50s, including improving relationships with the West. But ironically, this desired reunion turned to be a very questionable blessing: making this particular movie requested importing of U.S. military equipment behind the Iron Curtain, particularly 8 light M-24 “Chaffee” tanks, and of course Jeeps, American uniforms and weaponry.
Although U.S. soldiers in the film were depicted by Czech students, the Russian Military Intelligence operatives deliberately spread rumors, that there is an American invasion into the Czech republic pending, with risk of disrupting the pro-Soviet direction of the Czech government, and photos of the U.S. military hardware in Davle were used as a hard proof.
This completely fictious fact became the basic justification of following Warsaw pact military intervence into the Czech republic, which happened on infamous 21st August of 1968, and it subsequently became one of the blackest days in Czech national history.
In the end, although Czechs blame Russians because of this invasion till this day, it was not the Russians who caused this operation: it was the Czech state and people itself, who allowed this questionable movie making, which could be easily misused as serious provocation – and it really happened.
Even today, this 1968 invasion influences Czech-Russian relationships heavily, but Russians are blamed in fact incorrectly. It was Czech mature people who voted for Communists in 1946 last free and democratic elections – and it was Czech people who allowed Communists to become rulers of the state later.
It was millions of their Grandfathers and Grandmothers, who not only allowed this all to happen: they directly voted for it, so why to wonder today, what happened next? The Czech nation should accept responsibility for its own fate, and stop blaming others for their own mistakes, particularly Russians.
After so called Velvet Revolution in 1989, the Czechs declined from Russia to the corrupted, decadent imperialists, United States of America, as an example of democracy and healthy Capitalist society to follow, to fulfill their dreams about prosperity and wealth. But 25 years later, it became clear that the U.S. strength has its firm limits, and this weakening superpower will now have to concentrate on defending its own borders, after lost wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which caused further instability into affected regions, whereas China is rising massively.
Now, the Russians seem like a logical and natural ally in the European affairs, when also the EU failed horribly in many matters, and it doesn’t promise any sustainable future for the nation. And it was also the Czech people, who voted to enter into EU in 2003, after massive propaganda massage by the EU-inclined authorities. They got what they wanted eventually: the desired membership in the EU, which seems as a complete failure today, and some evil tongues predict its collapse soon (Greek exit, 2015 refugee crisis, Ukraine crisis, and another affairs).
Update 2016: After almost 50 years, it seems, that certain revenge for this aggression is being executed, but not against Russia: against Poland, participating in the invading forces too, and it was third Polish military incursion into Czech national territory in just 50 years (!), so this bold plan of Concerned Czech Muslims, an alleged Jihadi organization from Teplice, has silent support of majority of Czech citizens, and even Polish officials, while being backed by Russian Intelligence services. It concerns the disputed territory of Silesia.