Bulgarian Navy

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Interbellum
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Re: Bulgarian Navy

Post by Interbellum » 08 Jan 2024 16:10

Setsurinvich wrote:
05 Jan 2024 07:07
Did Bulgaria even have that strong of a navy before WW1?
AFAIK in 1911 (before the Balkan Wars), the Bulgarian Navy consisted of the Danube Flotilla (2 obsolete small torpedo boats, 4 steam boats, 2 transports, 1 yacht, 1 training sailing ship, 4 barges and 14 pontoons for lying mines) and the Black Sea Flotilla (cruiser Надежда, 6 torpedo boats of Дръзки class (see above), 6 steam mine-sweeping boats, 1 steam yacht Камчия (105 t, built in UK in 1883, reequipped into mine layer in 1911), 1 sailing yacht and 3 small torpedo floating batteries/pontoons each armed with 1 x 450 mm torpedo tube to defend the port of Varna). The same strength was before WW1. Cruiser Надежда (actually - torpedo gun boat with the displacement 717 tons, armed with 2 x 100 mm + 2 x 65 mm + 2 x 47 mm guns + 2 x 380 mm torpedo tubes, built in France in 1897) was the largest Bulgarian warship that time.

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Re: Bulgarian Navy

Post by Setsurinvich » 09 Jan 2024 02:28

Did their navy actually do anything in either of the World wars?

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Re: Bulgarian Navy

Post by Interbellum » 09 Jan 2024 04:04

Setsurinvich wrote:
09 Jan 2024 02:28
Did their navy actually do anything in either of the World wars?
The largest victory for the small Bulgarian Navy took place during the First Balkan War, when at night 21.11.1912 four Bulgarian torpedo boats attacked Ottoman protected cruiser Hamidiye, escorting convoy of transport ships, to the north-east from Varna port on the Black Sea and torpedo boat Дръзки achieved direct hit with one of its torpedo, heavily damaging the cruiser. After that, Ottomans stopped any active actions on the Black Sea till the end of the war.

During WW1 the actions of the Bulgarian Navy were not very significant because of its small size - Bulgarians mined the Gulf of Varna and the Gulf of Burgas against the Russian Black Sea Fleet whose battleships and cruisers shelled the Bulgarian ports (Russian torpedo boat/small destroyer Лейтенант Пущин was lost on Bulgarian mine off Varna 09.03.1916, but Bulgarians lost several ships on Russian mines also, including torpedo boat Шумни off Varna 11.09.1916 and tug Варна 17.09.1916), allowed the warships of the Imperial German Navy (including two submarines, one of which was given to Bulgaria) to use Bulgarian ports, also mined the waters in the Aegean Sea (British minesweeper/ex-trawler Lord Salisbury was lost on Bulgarian mine 04.05.1917) and organized a successful sea landing operation against Romanian (that time) Balchik port in September 1916. Also Bulgarians sent their cruiser (actually - torpedo gun boat) Надежда to Sevastopol in September 1918 during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War.
Last edited by Interbellum on 10 Jan 2024 02:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bulgarian Navy

Post by Interbellum » 09 Jan 2024 18:32

As for WW2.

Bulgaria alowed German ally to use its ports for Kriegsmarine warships, also Varna shipyards built landing barges and motor boats/submarine chasers of KFK class for Germans. Bulgarian torpedo boats (4 of obsolete Дръзки class and 3 of modern Lürssen class, last ones were purchased in Germany in 1939-1941) and patrol boats (2 of Черноморец class) escorted German transport convoys from Bosporus Strait to Romanian ports, mainly along the Black Sea Bulgarian coastline. Bulgaria and the Soviet Union were not at war with each other officially, but there were several chases against Soviet submarines operating in the Black Sea, the main action took place in October 1941. The Operation Varna (7-16 October 1941) consisted in the minelaying of the Bulgarian coastline by Romanian minelayers, escorted by Romanian torpedo boats and gunboats as well as by 3 Bulgarian torpedo boats of Дръзки class. Despite the loss of the Romanian auxiliary minelayer Regele Carol I to a Soviet mine, the five minefields laid by the Romanian minelayers along the Bulgarian coast are credited with the probably sinking of five Soviet submarines (С-34, Л-24, Щ-204, Щ-210 and Щ-211) of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, which were lost several miles from capes Emine, Kaliakra, Shabla and St. Atanas in 1941-1942. Some sources mention that Щ-204 was depth-charged by Bulgarian patrol boats/submarine chasers Черноморец and Беломорец on 06.12.1941 but it was already proved according to the archive data that both patrol boats stayed in the Burgas port that time because of engine repairs. In total, 1888 German, Romanian and Bulgarian sea mines as well as 998 anti-sweeping mines were installed along the Black Sea Bulgarian coast in 1941-1944. Also 399 sea mines were installed along the Aegean Sea Bulgarian-controlled coast. Soviet submarines also laid mines near the Bulgarian coast - Bulgarian cargo steamer Шипка (2304 tons) was sunk off Varna in September 1941 by mine laid by the submarine Л-4.

Torpedo boat Дръзки was sunk in Varna port because of internal explosion 15.10.1942 but it was raised and commissioned again (in 1944). Torpedo boat Смели capsized during a stormy weather between Varna and Burgas 19.05.1943, but it was raised and repaired, too. Minesweeping boat No. 1 (МЧК class) was lost 09.1944 because of fire on board.

On 9 September 1944, Bulgarian warships (several river tugs converted to minesweepers on Danube; 11 torpedo boats, 2 submarine chasers, 15 minesweeping boats, 14 landing barges, 2 motor launches etc. on the Black Sea) were captured by Soviet assault landing parties in ports without resistance from the Bulgarian side. After Bulgaria switched sides and joined the anti-Hitler coalition in September 1944, the Danube flotilla in Ruse used its tugs and barges to transport tanks of the Soviet tank corps along the Danube River. Bulgarian minesweeping motor boats Емона, Несебър and Балик as well as 3 minesweeping motor boats of МЧК class, training schooner Асен (as mother ship for minesweeping motor boats), 2 mobilized sailing ships etc. participated very actively in mine clearing of the Danube River and the Black Sea together with the Soviet minesweepers. In 1944-1948, Bulgarian warships sweeped 510 sq. miles of the Black Sea area and destroyed 1277 sea mines, also sweeped 34670 km on the Danube River and destroyed 29 mines there.

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Re: Bulgarian Navy

Post by Interbellum » 14 Jan 2024 15:00

Torpedo boat Дръзки (see above) on patrol along the Black Sea coast (between Burgas and Varna) in 1942. This year, on all torpedo boats of the class, 37 mm German semi-automatic guns were again replaced by old 47 mm guns, two anti-aircraft machine-guns and one 0.7 m rangefinder were installed, and the ships were equipped with depth charges.
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