Table of Contributors   Table of Contents   Return to Encyclopedia Home Page

Bedich Bloudek

Bedich Bloudek (1815-1875), commander of the Slovak volunteers corps was born into a merchant family and served until 1848 as an officer in emper or's troops in Lichtenstein. Wishing to support national emancipation of the Slavs, he took part in the Slavic Congress, held in Prague in 1848. During the Prague uprising he issued a leaflet agitating village citizens to help fight in Prague. On the barricades he showed admirable abilities as a commander and a military specialist. The representatives of the Slovak national movement tried to acquire him and also other Czechs for collaboration in a military rising they were preparing. With S lovaks he took part in the negotiations with Ban Jelacic Later he led a campaign of volunteers in Vienna. At the end of August, he and Bernard Janecko illegally travelled throughout Slovakia to inform patriots of preparations for a military uprising. Before the start of the uprising, he was elected to the membership of Slovak National Council and appointed to command the troops. Responsible for the military side of the September upheaval, he directed military operations in Myjava, Brezova pod Bradlom and Stara Tura. Though the revolt was initially successfulful, it ended in defeat. Partially, Bloudek was to blame. He was a strict military commander who rejected any unprofessional form of fighting. He demanded the unexperienced and spontaneous rebels gathering mainly from the small villages peasants who could not possibly follow strict discipline and restraint tactics. Obviously, it was not suitable for them as was demonstrated in the decisive struggle near Senica, where they were d efeated by the emperor's soldiers and Hungarian guards. Though Bloudek originally wanted to leave for Croatia and join the Croatian army, he decided to take part in Winter voluntary campaign which he pursued in the imperial government. On November 16, he was commissioned by the government to organize and to command the Slovak volunteer corps. The corps were acting as an independent formation under the over-all command of General K. Götz. Under the command of Bloudek, volunteers occupied the no rthern, central and eastern part of Slovakia during January 1849. From the military staff in Presov, he was to ensure order over a great part of Slovakia and to shield rear divisions of General J. Ramber near Kosice. As a liberal, Bloudek was worried about the strengthening of the conservative powers in the monarchy during March and especially about the emperor's constitutional decree (see Austrian Constitution of the Reich). He established relations with the local advocates of the Hungarian revol ution and admitted a possibility of the Hungarian and Slovak alliance, provided Pest would recognize national demands of the Slovaks. After the attack of the Hungarian army, he left eastern Slovakia in the middle of April and retreated to the west. At the end of the retreat he dismissed his corps near Jablunkov in the northern Moravia. Bloudek had good military skills, but he was a poor psychologist. He was unable to deal effectively with the political representatives of the Slovaks and with his subordinates. As a demanding commander he was disappointed by their military abilities, irresoluteness and hesitation. On the other hand, his strict commands spawned disagreement. Volunteers several times demanded his dismissal, and some officers even refused obedience to him at the beginning of April 1849. Leaders of the Slovak national movement L.Stur and M. Hurban, tried to soften the conflicts, but the ministry of war in Vienna intervened in directing the troops under Bloudek's command. After the retreat of the corps, he entered the emperor's army and was on duty until his death.
Dusan Skvarna


Goln, Karol "Revolucny portrét Bedricha loudka, vodcu slovenského povstania 1848-1849" Slovenské pohl'ady 1932, 454-474, 585-587, 610-617, 715-725.

Rapant, Daniel Slovenské povstanie 1848-49 Bratislava: Martin, 1937-72, vols I-V.

Slovensky biograficky slovnik Bratislava: Martin, 1986, I, 266.

Table of Contributors   Table of Contents   Return to Encyclopedia Home Page

JGC revised this file ( on October 14, 2004.

Please E-mail comments or suggestions to

© 1999, 2004 James Chastain.