I was a member of the 2nd Czechoslovak Independent Parachute Brigade
Jozef Gula was born on August 23, 1921 in the village of Orešany in Slovakia. In October 1942 he received a call-up order and began basic military service. He was selected to study a non-commissioned officer school and after graduating he was transferred to the Eastern Front in Crimea, where soldiers of the then Slovak state were to fight alongside Nazi Germany. At the end of 1943, the entire Slovak division, to which Jozef Gula belonged, voluntarily gave up to the Soviets. In the prisoner of war camp in Usmani, Ukraine, Slovak soldiers applied for admission to the Czechoslovak foreign army. They received approval and on January 19, 1944, the 2nd Czechoslovak Independent Parachute Brigade was officially established. It numbered almost 3,000 men and it was the first airborne unit in the history of the Czechoslovak army, its command was taken over by Col. Vladimír Přikryl. They underwent accelerated but very intensive parachute training and were subsequently to be sent by air to help the Slovak national uprising. But due to the unfavourable development at the Dukelsky Pass, which the Red Army was to go through together with the Czechoslovak foreign army to help the Slovak uprising, the units of the 2nd Czechoslovak brigades were first transferred to Dukla. Jozef Gula became the commander of one of the mortar platoons. In extremely difficult battles, the witness, like most of his comrades-in-arms, experienced his first combat deployment. Nevertheless, soldiers from the 2nd Czechoslovak Parachute Brigade survived at Dukla. After a week, the brigade withdrew from the fighting at Dukla and its soldiers were gradually sent by air directly to the centre of the Slovak uprising. Here, too, the situation did not develop as expected, the insurgent army retreated before the Germans, and even the much-anticipated and self-sacrificing help of the Czechoslovak para-brigade units could not prevent the defeat of the Slovak uprising. Commander-in-Chief of the uprising, general Rudolf Viest, resigned from the leadership, after which the army gradually disintegrated. The remaining units had to switch to guerrilla warfare. Jozef Gula spent four winter months in the Low Tatras, without winter equipment, without food, without medical assistance, with running out of ammunition, under constant pressure better materially equipped and trained for guerrilla warfare German troops. Dozens of soldiers died during the crossing of the mountain ridge near Chabence. Jozef Gula witnessed the journalist and communist MP Ján Šverma dying. He experienced the atrocities committed by the Germans on his captured comrades-in-arms. After crossing the Low Tatras, he re-joined his brigade and the end of the war caught him in Žilina. After the war he graduated from the military academy in Hranice. After graduating, he was assigned to the artillery. He became one of the commanders of the heavy artillery division in Jičín, where he remained until leaving for civilian life. He ended his military career with the rank of colonel. For his participation in the fighting of World War II, he received the status of a war veteran.