History of military intelligence - after the Second World War
From the point of view of the existing political system, the period of 1945 - 1948, which was decisive for further political orientation of the liberated Czechoslovakia, is considered to be a democratic period. The Parliamentary elections of May 1946 are assessed similarly, as well. Some materials, usually from activities of the then intelligence services, declassified after 1989 can arouse different assessment of political situation of other people. It concerns in particular the influence of the Interior Ministry upon the Communist seizure of political power in the country. This period is also significant for the Military Defense Intelligence because, in this exact period, the basis was established for further use of the military counter-intelligence capabilities in favor of the totalitarian power till early 1990.
Four intelligence services were operating in Czechoslovakia in this period - Military Counter- Intelligence (OBZ), Military Intelligence Service (The 2nd Section of the Defense Ministry), Security Divisions of the Historical Countries II (ZOB II) and State Security (StB). By means of their activities, these intelligence services took part in fulfilling a wide-range spectrum of different tasks concerning the efforts to reconstruct economy - devastated by the war - as well as public life, and to build-up armed forces, security bodies etc. The activities of these services were aimed at fight against the rest of the Nazi underground, protection of the border area, purge of the public life from collaborators and traitors, purge of the officers and warrant officers army personnel and revealing war criminals who had come to our territory from abroad.
The intelligence services of that time themselves did not determine the political development in the republic, but the political party which had gained the decision-making influence upon them, the Communist Party at that time, disposed of information not available for other parties within the political fight. Gaining control of the Interior Ministry was a key to such an information. Nowadays, we know that Military Counter-Intelligence headed by Bedřich Reicin played the decisive role in the grasp of the Interior Ministry by the Communist Party. The historical context of Military Counter-Intelligence establishment and its activities in the first half of 1945 indicate why exactly this security body gained a privileged position in comparison with other members of the intelligence community, and, at the same time, why it was necessary to separate this counter-intelligence component from the activities of the military offensive intelligence.