Bulgarian 37mm ATGs

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YAN
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Bulgarian 37mm ATGs

Post by YAN » 11 Nov 2009 17:04

Hi, I know that the main AT gun used by the Bulgarian infantry companies was the Solothurn 20mm Heavy ATR, but I am sure they used 37mm ATGs in the regimental AT gun company, but what type of 37mm, was it one of the listed below.

37mm PaK 35/36
37mm M/36 Bofors
37mm M.1937 Skoda

They may of had even larger ATG as the war progressed (before the Soviet take over).

Thanks Yan.

dibo
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Re: Bulgarian 37mm ATGs

Post by dibo » 04 Feb 2010 13:10

In 1936 the Bulgarian army had only 18 converted to ATG "Gruson", leftovers from WW1. In the beginning of 1939 the army still does not have any ATGs. By the end of 1942 there are 549 ATG (99 37mm PAK 35/36 and 450 37.2mm vzor 37 (Škoda A4)). In 1943 until 02.1944 additional 404 50mm ATG PAK 40, 137 75mm ATG PAK 40, 100 ATG 75mm converted French 97/38 - PaK 97/38 and the number of the ATG reached 1190.

By 1.12.1939 the Bulgarian army has 308 20 mm ATR S.18/100 Solothurn. In 1943-1944 additional 300 7.92 mm ATG Panzerbüchse 38 and 39 are ordered and 150 are confirmed to have been delivered from Germany.

The Infantry Regiment in 1939 has 6 20mm ATRs in the ATG platoon of the Regiment's Special Weapon company. In 1942/1943 each Infantry Regiment received also 2 37mm ATG as part of the ATG platoon in the Regiment's Special Weapon company. In 1943 the Special Weapon Companies are upgraded into "drujina" (Battalion) and the ATG platoon becomes a company with 2 37mm ATG platoons (3 ATG each) and 1 20mm ATR platoon (6 ATR).

In 1939 the Bulgarian Infantry Division had 18 20mm ATR, but no ATG. In January 1944 each Infantry division receives a divisional ATG "drujina" (battalion) - 410 men, 18 ATG (6 75mm and 12 50mm).

In 1940 each Army Arty Regiment receives an ATG battery with 9 37mm ATGs. In March 1942 at army level for 1st-4th army an army ATG "drujina" (battalion) was formed with 3 companies with 37 mm ATGs. In 1943 these battalions were motorized and upgraded with 50 and 75mm ATGs.

So Anti-tank weapons until 09.1944:

20mm S.18/100 Solothurn - delivered 1936-1938 - 308 total (160 - 1936, 88 - 1937, 60 - 1938)
7.92 mm Panzerbüchse 38 and 39 - delivered 1939-1943 - 150 total
37mm PAK 35/36 - delivered 1939-1941 - 99 total
37.2mm vzor 37 (Škoda A4) - delivered 1939-1941 - 450 total
50mm PAK 40 - delivered 1943-1944 - 404 total
75mm PAK 40 - delivered 1943-1944 - 137 total
75mm PaK 97/38 - delivered 1943-1944 - 100 total.

All these, except for the Army level ATG "drujina", which is motorized, were horse drawn. The organization of the Cavalry, Armoured and Frontier Guards ATG units was different, although they also used the same pool of ATG weapons shown above.

YAN
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Re: Bulgarian 37mm ATGs

Post by YAN » 25 Feb 2010 17:09

thanks for the reply Dibo, good works as allways.
Yan.

dibo
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Re: Bulgarian 37mm ATGs

Post by dibo » 20 Nov 2017 22:47

Some corrections and additions to the my post above:
75mm PAK 40 - delivered 1943-1944 - 137 total - actually 240 were to be supplied under the Barbara's programme from Germany, 137 have been delivered by 02.1944, 180 by 06.1944
the rest of the numbers in the pool above appear correct.

Army ATG Drujinas 1943-1944 (5 - one for each army) - 3 companies of 6 75mm ATG each, completely motorized - 18 Ford Maultiers, 18 Steyr 440/640
Divisional ATG Drujina 1943-1944 - 3 companies (2 with 50mm ATG, 1 with 75mm ATG) - 12 50mm, 6 75mm ATG, 6 Ford Maultiers (only the 75mm ATG company is motorized initially, later Steyr 640 and Ford Maultiers are used as tractors for the 50mm ATGs)
Cavalry Brigades (2) and Frontier Brigades (2) 1943-1944 - have only one anti-tank company of 6 75mm ATG, but fully motorized with 6 Ford Maultiers, 3 Steyrs 440/640
Armoured Brigade (1) 1943-1944 - had an ATG drujina with 3 companies (2 with 18 50mm ATG, 1 with 6 75mm ATG), fully motorized with 24 Ford Maultiers. In addition - each battalion (drujina) of the motorized infantry regiment had 6 75mm ATG ( not Pak 40, but PaK 97/38) and 6 Ford Maultiers in its heavy weapons company.

Dili
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Re: Bulgarian 37mm ATGs

Post by Dili » 09 Mar 2018 01:01

Hello Dibo, by what period they were deployed to units in Greece, Yugoslavia and Macedonia . Where also they employed as a sort of Infantry gun?

Btw i am also seeing a mismatch between the deliver of 37mm guns and the TOE change, it appears by 1941 the Divisions should already have ATG's.

dibo
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Re: Bulgarian 37mm ATGs

Post by dibo » 13 Mar 2018 20:14

On regiment level in 1942/43 and on division level in end of 1943/beginning of 1944. Yes, they were part of the Regiment's Special Weapon company and could be employed in that role.

Regarding 1941 you are partially right - there was a pool of unassigned delivered ATG available, that was not fully utilized at that time by the peacetime and mobilized formations.

Dili
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Re: Bulgarian 37mm ATGs

Post by Dili » 14 Mar 2018 20:23

Thank you Dibo.

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