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During World War I, he fought in Czechoslovak Legion and lost his right eye in the Battle of Zborov . Later he was in command of the Legion and anti-bolshevik forces on the Trans-Siberian railway. After the war, he was Chief of Staff of the Czechoslovak Army (1927-1933) and then its general inspector (1933-1938).
As a prime minister, he was forced to accept the terms of the Munich Agreement on September 30. When Edvard Beneš resigned a few days later on October 5, he served as the acting president of Czechoslovakia until the election of Emil Hácha to the office on November 30 1938.
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