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This is a picture of my grandfather. Paul Boratko. We think he was born in Austria, but married a woman from Slovakia and immigrated to the USA after WWI.

I'm trying to identify the uniform in this picture. I apologize for the reflection from the glass, but hope there is enough detail to ID the uniform.

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    Unless this is hanging in a museum or something, it seems like it ought to be possible to take it out of the frame and get a better picture of it. That cropped off left shoulder might have important information on it too.
    – T.E.D.
    May 17, 2021 at 21:49
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    Likewise, please improve the visual quality; but I'd advise to make a flatbed scan, if at all possible. "Boratko" is primarily a Slovakian name itself, so why "Italian"? When did he emigrate? Any other details available? Dates or anything on the border or backside of the picture? May 18, 2021 at 11:15
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    Is the original colored, or has the color been added by your camera? May 18, 2021 at 12:21
  • @LаngLаngС Italy, France, Russia employed Czechoslovak Legions against the Austro-Hungarians.
    – NSNoob
    Feb 19, 2022 at 8:17
  • @NSNoob The goal is not to get (half-)answers in comments, but to extract as much info as possible from such a Q itself. As it is, there still is some tension between title & body, with biographical details in body not really suggesting any Italian connection just given out of the blue in title & tags. If any QOP knows sth more about a pic to ID, than it helps us tremendously if it's spelled out in the Q itself. Feb 19, 2022 at 18:51

2 Answers 2

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Hi Denis Grandpa and Grammy are Slovak. Grandpa served in Austria hungry army. Was in pow camp in Italy until ww1 ended. The original photo was black and white. The uniform I think is Italian army. Hope things are well with you. Hopefully one of your other cousin answered your question. Mike Boratko

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    – Community Bot
    Feb 19, 2022 at 1:21
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    This answer is hard to understand. Can you clarify how an Austrian, POW in Italy until the end of the war, ended up in an Italian uniform to photograph? Feb 19, 2022 at 18:54
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Your grandfather was, judging by the name, and Italian connection mentioned by you and the uniform, a member of the Czechoslovak Legion in the Italian Army circa WW1. They joined Entente powers with the aim of winning independence of Czechoslovakia from the Austro-Hungarian Empire with help of the Allies.

Speaking specifically of the Italian side there were 13,653 non-coms and 489 officers in the Italian Czechoslovak legion. Their ORBAT is as follows:-

  • Royal Italian Army
    • Sixth Army
      • Esploratori Cecoslovacchi
    • Sixth Division Czechoslovak
      • Czechoslovak Italian Legion VI. Division and VII. Division
        • 31 Regiment
        • 32 Regiment
        • 33 Regiment
        • 34 Regiment
        • 35 Regiment

However it is impossible to know precisely which formation your grandfather fought with, unless he wore a shoulder patch.

Samples of uniform for the legion:-

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Members of the legion in Italy:-

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Their uniforms, serving under different armies:-

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