Alex, Robert Fico and Dukla

Today is the 71st anniversary of the KDO (Carpathian Dukla Operations) one of the worst battles of WW2 and also known as the Battle of Dukla ( My town of Svidnik was rebuilt by the Russians after the war to commemorate it. The sheer number of casualties, both dead and wounded, is staggering. This is also a battle within living memory (the bus loads of old people in town today attest to that). Svidnik was utterly destroyed in WW1 during fighting between the Germans and the Russians, and then again in WW2.

As part of a school trip from the Gymnasium, my younger boy Alex went to the Dukla memorial, on the border of Poland and Slovakia, some 15 miles out of town. As this is such a major event for Slovakia, both the Prime Minister and President attended, along with survivors of the battle and the modern military from both Slovakia and Poland. The photo is of Alex at Dukla with the Prime Minister Robert Fico, who’s currently doing a damned good job sticking up for Slovakia’s rights in Europe. Alex doesn’t have a problem with confidence – he just walked right up and asked the PM for a photo.

Alex said he also spoke with an army nurse who’d attended the wounded during the battle. She’d saved 122 lives and was apparently covered in medals. After visiting the Dukla memorial, all parties then headed to the giant Soviet monument in the town.

Published by Carpathian Adventure

My name is Edward O'Toole and I live in one of the wildest, most beautiful parts of Europe, in the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Slovakia. Life is an adventure - both physically and metaphysically... I've been living out here for the last 22 years, along with my wife, 3 kids and Jack Russell. My main interests involve bushcraft, prepping, survival and wilderness living (self-sufficiency and self-reliance), ecological, green, smart and natural solutions, motorcycles and motorbike club life, writing and art (I have 7 published books), and exploring the paranormal. For more about my lifestyle, art and writing visit

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