Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

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Kelvin
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Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by Kelvin » 08 Sep 2020 13:17

Bulgaria declined to join Barbarossa in 1941 but when German needed much more manpower in 1942, why Bulgaria still not forced to join Fall Blau, why Hitler not pressured Bulgarian to send an Army to Heeresgruppe A like Hungary and Romania ? Any reason why Bulgaria would be spared for that campaign, or If Hitler ever asked for them ? Thank

If for historial reason in 1877-78, but Bulgarian still joined Germany to fight against Russia in 1915, so historial reason is not good excuse for that.

dibo
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by dibo » 14 Sep 2020 19:38

Kelvin wrote:
08 Sep 2020 13:17
Bulgaria declined to join Barbarossa in 1941 but when German needed much more manpower in 1942, why Bulgaria still not forced to join Fall Blau, why Hitler not pressured Bulgarian to send an Army to Heeresgruppe A like Hungary and Romania ? Any reason why Bulgaria would be spared for that campaign, or If Hitler ever asked for them ? Thank

If for historial reason in 1877-78, but Bulgarian still joined Germany to fight against Russia in 1915, so historial reason is not good excuse for that.
Hitler asked repeatedly until 1943 for Bulgaria to join the war against Soviet Union and commit troops there, but Boris III always declined. Perhaps he remembered all too well, what happened during World War I on the Macedonian front, as he was there an eye-witness as a Bulgarian liaison officer attached to the German command. Nevertheless when facing the German demands the Bulgarian official argument was always the same - "What about Turkey and its large intact army?". Therefore what Hitler was able to achieve was for Bulgaria to expand its occupation zone in Serbia in 1942 and in Greece in 1943, thus freeing some German divisions.
There was the opposite side of the coin of course - Germany in turn always officially repeatedly announced that the lands, which Hitler allowed to be occupied by Bulgaria in 1941 (Yugoslav Macedonia and Aegean Thrace), and which Bulgaria was already considering as its own, have been in fact only "given for temporary wartime administration" and their fate was to be decided after the "final victory", in accordance with the efforts and sacrifices made by the Axis countries.

Kelvin
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by Kelvin » 15 Sep 2020 03:46

dibo wrote:
14 Sep 2020 19:38
Kelvin wrote:
08 Sep 2020 13:17
Bulgaria declined to join Barbarossa in 1941 but when German needed much more manpower in 1942, why Bulgaria still not forced to join Fall Blau, why Hitler not pressured Bulgarian to send an Army to Heeresgruppe A like Hungary and Romania ? Any reason why Bulgaria would be spared for that campaign, or If Hitler ever asked for them ? Thank

If for historial reason in 1877-78, but Bulgarian still joined Germany to fight against Russia in 1915, so historial reason is not good excuse for that.
Hitler asked repeatedly until 1943 for Bulgaria to join the war against Soviet Union and commit troops there, but Boris III always declined. Perhaps he remembered all too well, what happened during World War I on the Macedonian front, as he was there an eye-witness as a Bulgarian liaison officer attached to the German command. Nevertheless when facing the German demands the Bulgarian official argument was always the same - "What about Turkey and its large intact army?". Therefore what Hitler was able to achieve was for Bulgaria to expand its occupation zone in Serbia in 1942 and in Greece in 1943, thus freeing some German divisions.
There was the opposite side of the coin of course - Germany in turn always officially repeatedly announced that the lands, which Hitler allowed to be occupied by Bulgaria in 1941 (Yugoslav Macedonia and Aegean Thrace), and which Bulgaria was already considering as its own, have been in fact only "given for temporary wartime administration" and their fate was to be decided after the "final victory", in accordance with the efforts and sacrifices made by the Axis countries.
Hitler seemed too moderate toward King Boris III. Given critical situation in 1942, If German-Italian-Romanian-Hungarian Heeresgruppe (80 divisions) had a Bulgarian Army around 10 Divisions would reinforce Axis war effort on the Volga front. What German weakness was lack of manpower in the front. Prior to World War One, Bulgaria was considered as Prussia of the Balkan, I expect her contributation to Axis war effort must be significant.

dibo
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by dibo » 15 Sep 2020 09:33

The exchange of Bulgarian divisions for German occupational units in Serbia and Greece, which allowed more German manpower to the Eastern front, was probably better from German point of view.

Kelvin
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by Kelvin » 15 Sep 2020 10:35

dibo wrote:
15 Sep 2020 09:33
The exchange of Bulgarian divisions for German occupational units in Serbia and Greece, which allowed more German manpower to the Eastern front, was probably better from German point of view.
Hello, dibo, Turkey at least on good terms with Germany during 1941-42. Turkey was also important supplier of chrome to German military production. I guess Turco-Bulgarian relation must be better than Turco-Greek relation and the former at least were allies in WWI.

When Bulgaria changed sides into allied camp in September 1944, she had 450,000 men in three armies. If Hitler had these Bulgarian manpower to reinforce his military effort, the situation must be better

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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by dibo » 28 Jan 2021 00:21

Kelvin wrote:
15 Sep 2020 10:35
dibo wrote:
15 Sep 2020 09:33
The exchange of Bulgarian divisions for German occupational units in Serbia and Greece, which allowed more German manpower to the Eastern front, was probably better from German point of view.
Hello, dibo, Turkey at least on good terms with Germany during 1941-42. Turkey was also important supplier of chrome to German military production. I guess Turco-Bulgarian relation must be better than Turco-Greek relation and the former at least were allies in WWI.

When Bulgaria changed sides into allied camp in September 1944, she had 450,000 men in three armies. If Hitler had these Bulgarian manpower to reinforce his military effort, the situation must be better
Wrong guess - Turkey was member of the Balkan pact in the 1930s along with Greece and both were considered as enemies by Bulgaria. And even in 1942 Turkey did not join the Axis and kept a larger force stationed in Thrace, as compared to the one on the Soviet Union border.

And yes - maybe the Bulgarian manpower could have been useful to some extent for the Axis on the Eastern Front, although I doubt it would have mattered much for the final outcome. The 1942 Bulgarian army had comparably obsolete armament to the Hungarian and Romanian units already present on the Eastern Front. It may have been indeed fresh and intact as manpower, but it also lacked experience in comparison and its morale fighting deep in Russia would have been very much in doubt. Also Bulgaria vividly remembered the lessons from World War I and the painful military and political relationship with Germany on the Macedonian and Romanian fronts back then (with Boris III being first hand witness as a Bulgarian liason officer to the German command), so it was a very mistrustful and reluctant Axis ally in World War II, when it felt it was not in its direct national interest (like occupying territories it considered part of Great Bulgaria). Germany was also aware of that Bulgarian reluctance and it supplied modern weapons in quantity to Bulgaria only later in 1943-1944, when the Allied invasion of the Balkans seemed likely, but still only just with enough ammo and fuel for a week or two of fighting, so that to ensure a kind of safeguard against these weapons being used against Germany (but also with the intention to supply the necessary ammo and fuel if Bulgaria indeed starts to fight seriously on the Axis side). In the end the safeguard did not work as intended, as when Bulgaria switched sides, the Soviet Union has captured more than enough German supplies so as to sustain the Bulgarian army in the fight until the end in 1945.

Peter89
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by Peter89 » 28 Jan 2021 07:43

dibo wrote:
28 Jan 2021 00:21
Kelvin wrote:
15 Sep 2020 10:35
dibo wrote:
15 Sep 2020 09:33
The exchange of Bulgarian divisions for German occupational units in Serbia and Greece, which allowed more German manpower to the Eastern front, was probably better from German point of view.
Hello, dibo, Turkey at least on good terms with Germany during 1941-42. Turkey was also important supplier of chrome to German military production. I guess Turco-Bulgarian relation must be better than Turco-Greek relation and the former at least were allies in WWI.

When Bulgaria changed sides into allied camp in September 1944, she had 450,000 men in three armies. If Hitler had these Bulgarian manpower to reinforce his military effort, the situation must be better
Wrong guess - Turkey was member of the Balkan pact in the 1930s along with Greece and both were considered as enemies by Bulgaria. And even in 1942 Turkey did not join the Axis and kept a larger force stationed in Thrace, as compared to the one on the Soviet Union border.

And yes - maybe the Bulgarian manpower could have been useful to some extent for the Axis on the Eastern Front, although I doubt it would have mattered much for the final outcome. The 1942 Bulgarian army had comparably obsolete armament to the Hungarian and Romanian units already present on the Eastern Front. It may have been indeed fresh and intact as manpower, but it also lacked experience in comparison and its morale fighting deep in Russia would have been very much in doubt. Also Bulgaria vividly remembered the lessons from World War I and the painful military and political relationship with Germany on the Macedonian and Romanian fronts back then (with Boris III being first hand witness as a Bulgarian liason officer to the German command), so it was a very mistrustful and reluctant Axis ally in World War II, when it felt it was not in its direct national interest (like occupying territories it considered part of Great Bulgaria). Germany was also aware of that Bulgarian reluctance and it supplied modern weapons in quantity to Bulgaria only later in 1943-1944, when the Allied invasion of the Balkans seemed likely, but still only just with enough ammo and fuel for a week or two of fighting, so that to ensure a kind of safeguard against these weapons being used against Germany (but also with the intention to supply the necessary ammo and fuel if Bulgaria indeed starts to fight seriously on the Axis side). In the end the safeguard did not work as intended, as when Bulgaria switched sides, the Soviet Union has captured more than enough German supplies so as to sustain the Bulgarian army in the fight until the end in 1945.
Exactly, Germans had to equip their allies. The domestic war production of Romania and Hungary was limited.

The Germans rarely gave out any significant license, so the minor Axis nations usually produced what they could. For example, Hungary mostly produced obsolete Italian planes and tanks.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

Kelvin
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by Kelvin » 31 Jan 2021 04:34

Peter89 wrote:
28 Jan 2021 07:43
dibo wrote:
28 Jan 2021 00:21
Kelvin wrote:
15 Sep 2020 10:35
dibo wrote:
15 Sep 2020 09:33
The exchange of Bulgarian divisions for German occupational units in Serbia and Greece, which allowed more German manpower to the Eastern front, was probably better from German point of view.
Hello, dibo, Turkey at least on good terms with Germany during 1941-42. Turkey was also important supplier of chrome to German military production. I guess Turco-Bulgarian relation must be better than Turco-Greek relation and the former at least were allies in WWI.

When Bulgaria changed sides into allied camp in September 1944, she had 450,000 men in three armies. If Hitler had these Bulgarian manpower to reinforce his military effort, the situation must be better
Wrong guess - Turkey was member of the Balkan pact in the 1930s along with Greece and both were considered as enemies by Bulgaria. And even in 1942 Turkey did not join the Axis and kept a larger force stationed in Thrace, as compared to the one on the Soviet Union border.

And yes - maybe the Bulgarian manpower could have been useful to some extent for the Axis on the Eastern Front, although I doubt it would have mattered much for the final outcome. The 1942 Bulgarian army had comparably obsolete armament to the Hungarian and Romanian units already present on the Eastern Front. It may have been indeed fresh and intact as manpower, but it also lacked experience in comparison and its morale fighting deep in Russia would have been very much in doubt. Also Bulgaria vividly remembered the lessons from World War I and the painful military and political relationship with Germany on the Macedonian and Romanian fronts back then (with Boris III being first hand witness as a Bulgarian liason officer to the German command), so it was a very mistrustful and reluctant Axis ally in World War II, when it felt it was not in its direct national interest (like occupying territories it considered part of Great Bulgaria). Germany was also aware of that Bulgarian reluctance and it supplied modern weapons in quantity to Bulgaria only later in 1943-1944, when the Allied invasion of the Balkans seemed likely, but still only just with enough ammo and fuel for a week or two of fighting, so that to ensure a kind of safeguard against these weapons being used against Germany (but also with the intention to supply the necessary ammo and fuel if Bulgaria indeed starts to fight seriously on the Axis side). In the end the safeguard did not work as intended, as when Bulgaria switched sides, the Soviet Union has captured more than enough German supplies so as to sustain the Bulgarian army in the fight until the end in 1945.
Exactly, Germans had to equip their allies. The domestic war production of Romania and Hungary was limited.

The Germans rarely gave out any significant license, so the minor Axis nations usually produced what they could. For example, Hungary mostly produced obsolete Italian planes and tanks.
Hi, Peter, even they got the license, but they lacked vital machine tool for production. In 1942, German still shortage of arms and panzer or even machine tool. For Hitler, the value of the allies is added strength to his military camp, not to increase burden. Franco of Spain demanded too many material on the ground that he joined the war. So Hitler did not agreed to that. German army still not incapable of equipping his own army and tended to take of advantage of existing military strength of her allies for his own benefit.

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steppewolf
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by steppewolf » 01 Feb 2021 09:30

Given the reluctance of Bulgaria to join a war vs Soviet Union, I find odd that German delivered them about 90 Pv. IZ and 80 Stug III , that was the strength of 2 well equipped mechanized divisions which were simply lost for the war effort.

dibo
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by dibo » 01 Feb 2021 18:53

steppewolf wrote:
01 Feb 2021 09:30
Given the reluctance of Bulgaria to join a war vs Soviet Union, I find odd that German delivered them about 90 Pv. IZ and 80 Stug III , that was the strength of 2 well equipped mechanized divisions which were simply lost for the war effort.
Actually 91 and 55 respectively, which was the equivalent of 1 Panzer Division and 2 STuG units, but the German High Command believed that in 1943-1944 an Allied landing is possible in the Balkans and also in case of war against Turkey this Bulgarian Panzer division would have been useful in Operation Gertrude (the planned invasion of Turkey).

Kelvin
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by Kelvin » 02 Feb 2021 11:42

dibo wrote:
01 Feb 2021 18:53
steppewolf wrote:
01 Feb 2021 09:30
Given the reluctance of Bulgaria to join a war vs Soviet Union, I find odd that German delivered them about 90 Pv. IZ and 80 Stug III , that was the strength of 2 well equipped mechanized divisions which were simply lost for the war effort.
Actually 91 and 55 respectively, which was the equivalent of 1 Panzer Division and 2 STuG units, but the German High Command believed that in 1943-1944 an Allied landing is possible in the Balkans and also in case of war against Turkey this Bulgarian Panzer division would have been useful in Operation Gertrude (the planned invasion of Turkey).
Hitler was cheated by both Romania and Bulgaria, Apart from occupation of Hungary in March 1944, German also planned to occupy both Romania and Bulgaria if they will withdraw from the alliance. But both countries pretended so loyal to his German ally and made Hitler even deliver Pz IV and StuG to Bulgarian Army.

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steppewolf
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Re: Why Hitler not invite Bulgaria to join Fall Blau

Post by steppewolf » 04 Feb 2021 08:56

dibo wrote:
01 Feb 2021 18:53
Actually 91 and 55 respectively, which was the equivalent of 1 Panzer Division and 2 STuG units, but the German High Command believed that in 1943-1944 an Allied landing is possible in the Balkans and also in case of war against Turkey this Bulgarian Panzer division would have been useful in Operation Gertrude (the planned invasion of Turkey).
I didn't know about Operation Gertrude, this makes more sense although in 44 I don't know how feasible such plan was.
Kelvin wrote:
02 Feb 2021 11:42
Hitler was cheated by both Romania and Bulgaria, Apart from occupation of Hungary in March 1944, German also planned to occupy both Romania and Bulgaria if they will withdraw from the alliance. But both countries pretended so loyal to his German ally and made Hitler even deliver Pz IV and StuG to Bulgarian Army.
Cheated? I can't speak about Bulgaria as I know little about their politics around WW2 but Romania did not cheat Hitler, it was the other way around. Romania was the biggest contributor on Easter Front in terms of manpower and Antonescu's request for weapons deliveries were rejected or, for what was accepted was not delivered. At a time when Romania had hundreds of thousands of soldiers engaged in the East the mighty Hitler could only deliver one battalion of Pz.38 (t). The situation changed a bit in 44 when some armor was indeed delivered but way under the numbers agreed through bilateral agreements. In this time Romania did met its obligation for deliveries of oil and food while Germany didn't met its obligation to deliver requested weapons. So who cheated who?

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