BULGARIAN Army in 1920s-1930s (organization, equipment)

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BIGpanzer
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Postby BIGpanzer » 25 Dec 2004 19:08

Please, help with the information about Bulgarian Army of interwar period (1920-1939) - organization (list of infantry and cavalry divisions, regiments, independent units, military police and frontier units etc., their commanders, organisation, localization in Bulgaria, if possible) and equipment (types of rifles, MGs and guns, their amount per division/regiment). Not whole information at once, of course, only little by little....
Also need the info about Bulgarian tank units, Air Force and Navy of 1920s-1930s. Help!!!!

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Postby dibo » 25 Dec 2004 21:08

OK :) OK :)

1915 - Bulgarian army had 64 infantry regiments, 27 artillery regiments, 300 infantry batallions ("Drujini" in Bulgarian), 215 batteries, 73 squadrons of cavalry, 10 pioneer batallions.
1918 - just before the demobilization the Bulgarian army had 88 infantry regiments, 35 artillery batteries, 425 infantry batallions, 396 artillery batteries, 88 squadrons of cavalry, 15 pioneer batallions.

Article 2 of the Armstice provided for the immediate demobilization of the Bulgarian army, with the sole exception of 3 infantry divisions with 16 infantry batallions each and 4 cavalry regiments, which were to remain mobilized to guard the Eastern border and Dobrudja (2 infantry divisions) and the railway lines (1 division).

On 4.10.1918 the demobilization started.

In practice 4th ID and the Cavalry division were used to guard Dobrduja and 8th and 10th ID were guarding the Turkish border.

Organization at the time of demobization - 4 army districts, Ministry of war, Military school, Reserve officers school, Infantry rifle school, Heavy and Fortress artillery command, Coast defense, Artillery command (includes Arsenal, 1 main and 4 additional depots, 3 artillery workshops).
Each army had HQ, supply, artillery workshop, 1 heavy artillery regiment, 1 howitzer artillery regiment.
11 ID, 1 mountain division - each had 2 infantry brigades with 2 infantry regiments each, 1 artillery brigade with 2 artillery regiments, 1 pioneer batallion, 1 hospital and 1 field hospital.
2 cavalry divisions with 3 brigades each with 2 regiments each - all in all 12 cavalry regiments (including 1 guard), 2 horse artillery batallions, 2 workshops and a Cavalry school.
2 brigades of Engineer troops - 1 railway, 1 telegraph, 2 pontoon batallions, 1 technical regiment - 1 automobile, 1 air force, 1 searchlight battalion.
Main army hospital, 5 garrison hospitals.
Navy - HQ, Danube unit, Black sea unit (training, "fixed" defense, "mobile" defense)

11.1918 - the 4th army district was disbanded. 10th ID was transferred to 2nd army district. The air force batallion was disbanded (one unit with 4 planes, 7 piolts and 8 observers were retained).
04.1919 - 11th ID and the Mountain division were disbanded.
08.1919 - 9th ID was disbanded.
11.1919 - All the Army districts were disbanded, along with the Cavalry division, along with 1 infantry regiment from all the remaining 8 infantry divisions (namely 16, 17, 20, 24, 26, 28, 31, 40 infatry regiments) and 1 brigade HQ from each division.

Sorry for the messy writing, but these are sketchy notes taken from many sources. Will continue to post....

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Postby BIGpanzer » 26 Dec 2004 18:27

Hi, Dibo!

The info about Bulgarian Army of the end of WWI (1918, just before the demobilization) and the list of disbanded units of Bulgarian Army according to Armstice, you wrote, is very interesting and informative. Thanks a lot, Dibo!!!!!

I finished the section about the restrictions, were applied to Bulgarian Army by the 1919 Treaty of Neuilly (see above). Any comments or notes to this information?
Also do you know exactly organisation of Bulgarian Army in 1920s, which was heavily restricted by Neuilly Treaty (1919)? I mean the numbers, commanders, organization of infanty and cavalry regiments, artillery batteries, pioneer battalions, gendarmerie and frontier guards... The Air Forces Bulgaria didn`t have in 1920s, as well as the Navy on the Black Sea, but do you know the types of torpedo- and motor boats, which were used on the Danube river?

I found in Internet the full list of Bulgarians ministers of war and chiefs of General Staff, and here at the forum the list of Bulgarian Commanders of Navy from you, Dibo. But I couldn`t find the list of Bulgarian Commanders of Air Force of 1920s-1940s (I know only General Ayrianov), do you have such information also?

Thank you very much in advance!!!
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 26 Dec 2004 21:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Bulgarian Army, Air Force and Navy in 1935-1940 (short info)

Postby BIGpanzer » 26 Dec 2004 19:27

Here is some short info I found about Bulgarian Army in the mid1930s-end1930s.

After 1934 the Bulgarian Army was enlarged to 4 armies and 8 infantry divisions (this approximately amounted to 40 infantry regiments, 10 cavalry regiments and 19 artillery regiments), which was in big defiance of the Treaty of Neuilly. Bulgarian armies of mid1930s were not really armies but were corps-sized units. The total strength of the Army of Bulgarian Kingdom was near 103.000 men.

Military aviation in mid1930s, despite of the prohibitions imposed by the Treaty of Neuilly, was built up with Italian and German aid. In June 1937 the Bulgarian Tsar (King) Boris III re-established the air force as an independent service under the name Vuzdushni na Negovo Velitchestvo Voiski - VNVV (His majesty’s Bulgarian Air Force) with 12 Arado Ar 65 fighters and 12 Dornier Do 12 Bombers, donated by Germany. Bulgarian Air Forces in mid1930s were equipped with ~ 80 combat aircrafts and were organized into 7 air wings (3 reconnaissance, 3 fighter and 1 bomber). Bulgaria obtained the right of unlimited armaments by the non-agression Treaty of Saloniki (31.07.1938) with members of Balkan Pact, and by the end of 1940 Bulgaria had ~ 300 combat aircrafts (mostly of Italian, Czechoslovak, and Polish origin: Poland supplied fighter and attack aircrafts to Bulgaria in 1939 before the outbreak of WWII), 10 seaplanes, 9 military airfields, 2 naval air bases, and 2 aircraft manufacturing facilities. In 1940 Bulgarian Air forces comprised 8 air regiments and this air arm had an inventory of more than 400 aircrafts(!): 102 fighters, 140 reconnaissance and light bombers, 123 observation and communication planes, 50 bombers, 10 seaplanes, 137 training aircraft.

Bulgarian navy based at Varna on the Black Sea (still in the embryonic stage of development) was equipped in 1939 with 4 old torpedo-boats, 5 motor torpedo-boats of S-boat design, and 2 training sailing-ships, with a total displacement of 1.348 tonnes. There were also 6 rivercraft and 14 merchant ships; naval air support was supplied by Army seaplanes.

15 September 1939 Bulgaria declared strict neutrality in WWII.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 08 Feb 2005 13:10, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby dibo » 26 Dec 2004 22:04

The Neuilly treaty restirctions were applied in several Laws, adopted in 1920-1921 and entered into force in 1923. Basically it was a scaleback with 1 level, i.e. regiments into batallions. So the Army until 1928, when the divisional organisation was restored, consisted of:

Ministry of War with supporting institutions.
8 infantry regiments (basically these are the former divisons, scaled back) with an HQ, 3 bn., 1 reserve unit each (1923 - 1 telephone command and 1 music unit added for each). So a regiment had 52-65 officers, 1600-2000 soldiers. A battalion (retaining the old names and location of the former regiments - exceptions - 37th Pirin druijna stationed at Yambol and 39th Solun drujina at Burgas) had 12-16 officers and 500-650 soldiers. Each battalion consisted of an HQ, 3 infantry companies, 1 MG company and 1 rear platoon. Numeration 1st-8th regiment.
3 cavalry regiments (1 at each of the former military districts, i.e. the Army districts) - Life-guards, 3rd and 10th. Each regiment had an HQ, 4 squadrons, rear platoon. Regiment had 20-30 officers, 450-720 soldiers.
All in all the Cavalry was somewhere between 3760-6000 men strong.
8 artillery batallions (the former 8 artillery regiments). EAch has 3 batteries, 1 telephone and 1 rear commands. Retaining the old numeration with 10th Artillery regiment becoming 8th batallion.
3 heavy artillery groups - 3 fortress areas with 3 fortress groups each.
The former Coast artillery regiment was transformed into 2 fortress areas - Burgas and Varna.
In practice 3 of the artillery batallions are mixed (2 filed, 1 howitzer batteries), 2 are field and 3 are attached at the fortress areas.
Since 1923 each artillery battalion had 1 phone command.
The field and fortress arty bns. has 12 officers and 360 soldiers.
The Mixed bns. had 20 officers and 400 soldiers.
The Artillery arsenal was retained. The Engineer workshop was retained as an arty workshop at Shumen.
The arty depots were transformed into one unit.
The railway regiment was scaled back to a railway batallion with 3 companies - exploitation, building and machine companies and 1 rear platoon.
The technical regiment was scaled back to a batallion with 2 companies - auto and pontoon plus rear platoon.
3 engineer batallions - HQ, 2 pioneer companies, telegraph and pontoon squad, rear command, 1 additional (reserve) group, including 1 searchlight platoon. The bn. had 8-14 officers and 300-500 soldiers.
2 bicycle batallions - HQ, 3 companies. 1923 plus 1 rear command.
Communication unit - HQ, rear commnd, 3 squads - 1 telegraph, 1 telephone and 1 pigeon - 11 officers and 330 soldiers.
1 main cassational tribunal and 3 military tribunal
1 horse depot - Bojurishte (Sofia) and support depots transferred to the Ministry of agriculture.
1 veterinary unit at Sofia.
All the hospitals are transferred to the Ministry of Health.
12.1920 - The Military Academy, the Infantry Officer school, The ARtillery school, the Reserve officers school, the Veterinary and Sanitary Sergeant schools are disbanded.
24 military mobulization units with 4 mobilization units each.

Border Guards - 8 border units (Uchastyci), each covering a border area.
These are in fact the former regiments. Based at Radomir, Sv. Vratch, Peshtera, Kyrdjali, Burgas, Varna, Ruse, Belogradchik. Each has 3 sub-units (poduchastyci), former battalions, a phone and rear command.
Divided into sectors and posts.
Each border post had 6-7 men (in practice 4-5 die to shortage of men).
From 1923 each sector had 1 MG platoon (i.e. all in all the border guards had 40-45 MGs).

Gendermerie - divided into batallions (1 in each administrative district) - 2-4 companies and 1-2 squadrons each plus 1 pioneer battalion, 1 gendermerie unit at the Ministry (administrative and HQ functions), 1 training battalion (4 companies with 3 platoons each - about 600men)
1921 - 26 forest platoons formed (24 infantry (16 infantry, 8MG, 12 horse).
Each gendermerie bn. has 3 companies (about 100 men each) and 1 horse platoon.

Air force - in 12.1920 the air force batallion is disbanded. At the Gendermerie 1 air squad with a commander, 4 pilots and 6 observers is retained. But due to the Allied Observation committee protest in 1922 it is transferred to the Ministry of Railways, Posts and Telegraphs.

Navy - Sea, coast and port units, 1 minesweeper unit with 6 vessels, 1 diver command, Danube shore and port unit at Ruse, Sea Machine school and various other transefered to the Ministry of Construction.
The shore gendermerie batallion (6 companies) to the Ministry of War.
Sea Police unit at Varna has 4 old torpedo boats plus the vessel "Kaliakra", 1 mineswweper unit with 7 boats and diver group with a motor boat.
10.09.1921 - 2 chasseurs and 4 veddetes bought for 250 thousand francs.

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Postby dibo » 27 Dec 2004 20:16

Now for the armoured units. This is particularly easy, as the topic is well researched even on the web.


In WW1 Bulgaria had no armor. The Neuilly treaty further forbid the use of armor. So the first armor in the Bulgarian army appeared in 1935 when 14 Carro Veloce L3/33 (with 1 "Schwarzlose" MG, insted of ths tandard 2 Italian Breda MG) and 14 heavy trucks "rada" for their transportation were supplied for 10 770 600 levs. These tanks helped forming the first tank company in March 1935 attached to the 2nd bycicle bn. (1st engineer regiment) in Sofia.
In 1936 further 8 Vickers 6 ton mod. E variant B tanks were acquired along with 2000 HE and 2000 AP shells, reserve parts, etc. for 63 006 000 pounds. These arrived in 1937 and formed Second company with two platoons 4 tanks each.
On February 2nd 1939 these two companies were merged into a tank battalion with attached workshop.

So until the outbreak of WW2 these were the only armoured vehicles in the Bulgarian armed forces.


I suggest:
http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/bulg ... lgaria.htm
http://www.wwiivehicles.com/html/bulgaria/index.htm
http://www.achtungpanzer.com/axispzs.htm
http://www.linux-penguin.org/achtungpan ... /skoda.htm


For further reading please consult:
"Equipment and Armour in the Bulgarian Army":
Armoured Vehicles 1935 - 1945
Trucks, Tractors and Automobiles 1935-45
Kaloyan Matev
Sofia
ISBN 954 90587 7 8 & 954 90587 8 6
The format is similar to Osprey with text in Bulgarian and English, extensively illustrated with original photographs from the Bulgarian archives and full colour plates. Chapters cover pre-war development, military usage during the war, camouflage and a detailed specification of every tank and vehicle. Whilst the translation is somewhat less than perfect it doesn't detract from the important sections. They are also excellent value for money, retailing at $14 each (including postage). The distributor can be contacted at: boyan.savov@excite.com. He also has other titles covering the Bulgarian air force. Highly recommended"

I believe you can also order these books here:
http://bulgariana.com/index.php?cPath=2 ... 905ceb3ccb
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 6&tc=photo
Last edited by dibo on 15 Jan 2005 21:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby dibo » 27 Dec 2004 20:38

The economy - preliminary data (1936-1945 - 1 Reichsmark averages 33 Bulgarian levs)

Population:

1934 - 6 078 000 (21% urban)
1939 - 6 319 000
1940 - 42 %. birth rate 22,5%. death rate, Average life span - 53 years mеn, 55 years womеn

GNP - 1939 - 60.812 billion levs, 1944 57308 billion levs (in 1939 prices).Other data shows 59430 billion levs and 53559 billion levs respectively.

1939 - 1% university education, 3% secondary education, 9% basic education, 35% elementary education, 52% unfinished elementary education

Economy - 80% agriculture, 8% industry (50% food industry, 20% textile industry, 2.5% machine building, 0.5% metallurgy ), 2 % construction, 1% transport, 2% trade, etc.

Industry - 3345 firms in 1939 with 112 thousand employees. Sofia - 23.5%, Plovdiv - 9.6%, Russe - 5.5%, Varna - 4.2%, Burgas - 3.7%
Average yearly increase of industry production in late 30s - 7%
1934 - 11,6 billion levs; 1939 - 12,7 billion levs, 1941 - 18,2 billion levs, 1944 - 11,1 billion levs in 1944 (1939 prices)

Industry production per capita in USD - 1939

Bulgaria - 28$
Germany - 343$
GB - 399$
USA - 435$
Greece - 41$
Yugoslavia - 30$
Romania - 27$
Turkey - 15$
Albania - 8$


1939 2.2 million tons of coal produced - Pernik, Bobov dol and Pirin (Sofia region in HOI) and Black sea region (Varna in HOI) - 352kg per capita

1939 metallurgy - Pernik - 6 thousand tons of steel and 4 thousand tons of rolled iron, 9 thousand tons of lead at Sofia

Machine building - 86 companies with over 1000 employees - mainly railroad, army (including three for airplanes), mines, agricultural machines.

Large cement factory at Pernik - producing 225 thousand tons of cement.

No oil or rubber produced. Three oil refineries ar Russe working with Romanian oil.

Energy - 111 thousand KW/h power generating capacity. Energy produced - 266 million kw/h

Large sacle wood processing, textile and food industry

Agriculture (extensive, small scale farms, backward, improved when in 1940 returned South Dobrudja (Dobrich in HOI) - the main region producer of grain in Bulgaria) - arable area use: 82% cereals, 9% technical cultures (tobacco, vegetables, grape, etc.). 4 million tons of cereals incl. 2 million tons of wheat (131kg/decare average productivity) per year.

1939 - 1.6 million heads of cattle, 327 thousand heads of buffalo, several million heads of sheep, 614 thousand heads of horses, etc.

Transport - 1939 19554km roads, 3855km railroads, 21 thousand tons merchant fleet

Budget - 1939 8.323 billion levs (3 billion for the army, 40% of these for new weapons). Foreign debt - 13 billion levs
Budeget - 1936 6.535 billion levs (1608 billion for the military, 7% for new weapons)
Budget - 1941 19.373 billion levs (7.7 billion levs for the military, 26% for new weapons)

Large deleiveries of weapons for the army began in 1936. Financed through credits - 1810M levs in 1936, 1250M levs in 1937, 4250M levs in 1938, etc.

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Postby dibo » 27 Dec 2004 20:42

The once proud and mighty Bulgarian army (see: http://europeanhistory.about.com/librar ... llows1.htm ) was reduced by the Treaty of Neuilly (http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/1918p/neuilly.html) to shreds. The total armed forces were reduced to 33 000 men (all volunteers, the conscription was forbidden), with no heavy artillery, aviation, etc. As the former organisation into division would have been impractical for an army with 30 thousand men, the army was divided into 8 infantry regiments, 3 cavalry regiments, etc. The demobilisation and the state of civil turmoil that existed between 1918 and 1926 meant that the army had a little training, no new weapons and was demoralized at best. It still could fight border conflicts, as the one with Greece in 1925, but in case of serious war Bulgaria was virtually defenseless. The situtation began to improve in the 30s. In 1928 the former organisation was restored and the Bulgaria now had 8 infantry divisions and 2 cavalry divisions. However mostly on paper. By 1934 the whole army had all in all 84 mortars and 18 anti-tank guns, all relics from WW1, no armour and several antiquated postal planes. The only large delivery of new weapons (outside the regular delivery of spare parts and ammo) was the acquiry of the Madsen LMG in the late 20s. In 1935 the enlargement and the rearmament of the army started - new regiments were formed, engineer and artillery units were formed, large deliveries of planes, artillery, ATG, AA guns, radio equipment, transport vehicles, etc flowed into the country by hundreds from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Italy, but mainly from Germany.
The training using the German experience and the own experience from WW1 also began to improve the quality of the army.








Source: Petrov. L. The Bulgarian Infantry Division (1928-1944)Military History Almanach 1994/ Vol. 5

Neuilly treaty restriction for an infantry division - 11 194 men.
1923 - Bulgarian army - 8 infantry regiments, 3 cavalry regiments, 8 artillery battalions, etc.
1928 - the infantry divisions are again formed - they are envisaged to include: HQ; 3 regiments (9 Bn:27 companies, 9 MG companies, 9 infantry gun platoons; 3 mortar companies), 1 HMG Bn (2 HMG and 1 LMG companies), 1 arty regiment (2 mountain guns bn, 1 howitzer bn., 1 gun bn.), 1 AA battery, 1 arty recon battery, 1 cavalry recon detachment (1 squadron of cavalry, 1 squadron of MG, 1 bycicle company), 1 engineer bn. (3 pioneer companies, 1 company of pontoneers, 1 searchlight platoon), 1 signals bn. (1 telegraph and telephone company, 1 radio company, 1 signal platoon, 1 platoon of horse couriers), various rear and support units (MP, medicals, etc.). This organisation of course was never fully achieved in practice. The armament available by 1934 was barely enough for each regiment to fully equip a single battalion.
1934-1935 The rearmament starts. The rifles and the carbines "Manlicher" are modernized to use the new "S" bullet. At the first phase until the middle of 1937 the deliveries of new weapons allow the divisions AA batteris to be reequipped with 20mm AA "Rheinmetals"; the mortar companies with 81mm M-34 mortars; the 20mm "Solothurn" ATR are the basis for the AT defense. Also delivered are engineer equipment, radio equipment, transport vehicles, etc.
1937-1938 Second phase of the rearmament - mostly transport, also artillery, especially AA and ATG
31 VII 1938 The Solun treaty officially lifts the Neuilly treaty restrictions on the Bulgarian armament
1938 - 1939 Third phase of the rearmament - 105mm guns for the divisonal arty are delivered, new HMG and LMG, radio and specialised equipment, etc.
1939 The division now has: HQ; 3 infantry regiments (9 bns - 27 infantry and 9 MG companies with 108 HMG and 243 LMG), 3 mortar companies (27 mortars), 3 ATR companies (18 ATR), 1 HMG company, 1 artillery regiment (2 bn with 6 batteries with 24 guns, 1 howitzer bn with 3 batteries with 12 howitzers, 1 mountain gun bn
with 3 batteries with 12 mountain guns), 1 AA battery (15 20mm AA guns), 1 horse "division" (2 srike squadrons), 1 engineer bn (3 pioneer companies, 1 pontoon company, 1 searchlight platoon), 1 signal company (1 radio company, 1 "wire" company, etc.), etc.
All in all - 570 officers, 1101 NCO, 18724 men - 20375 men; 9467 horses, 262 oxes, 2619 carts, 43 motor vehicles, 13689 rifles and carbines, 266 LMG, 186 HMG, 27 mortars, 18 ATR, 48 guns and howitzers, 15 AA guns

1939 Romanian infantry division (HQ, 3 infantry regiments, 2 arty regiments, 1 AA battery, 1 AT company, 1 recon detachment, etc.)
Rifles MG Guns and mortars Men
Bulgarian division 13689 472 108 20395
Romanian division 13833 572 186 17715

1942 New structure of the Bulgarian infantry division (see 1944 organisation below)
1943 - added a pioneer-chemical company
1944 - added a mixed ATG bn (410 men, 6 75mm, 12 50mm guns) and 1 truck platoon (32 trucks and 2 recon autos)

1944 organisation - HQ, ATG bn, radio bn, engineer bn, horse bn, HMG bn, AA battery, arty regiment, 3 infantry regiments, truck platoon, etc. All in all - 17977 men, 7905 men, 2079 carts, 72 trucks, 32 recon vehicles, 37 tractors, 4439 rifles, 6985 carbines, 163 HMG, 342 LMG, 84 mortars, 18 20mm ATR, 21 37mm, 12 50mm, 6 75mm ATG, 6 Infantry guns, 12 75mm mountain guns, 24 75mm guns, 12 105mm howitzers, 15 20mm AA guns, 8 flamethrowers, etc.

1934 Bulgarian division could fire 6737 tons of ammo per minute
1939 Bulgarian division could fire 7046 tons of ammo per minute
1944 Bulgarian division could fire 9675 tons of ammo per minute

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Postby BIGpanzer » 27 Dec 2004 20:44

Thank you very-very much, dear Dibo!!!!!

The information about the organization of Bulgarian Army in 1920s after the Neuilly Treaty is great - very detailed! Thanks again. Excellent!!! No words!!!

I couldn`t find such info for a long time, even in a very detailed articles and books about preWWII armament and military forces there were only several sentences about Bulgarian Army - just something like "very restricted by Neuilly Treaty..., near 20000 men total strength....+ small border guards...no aviation, no fleet..." And that`s all!!!

As for about Air Forces of Bulgaria in 1930s there are quite enough information (I still have some "white spots", so I`ll ask you a little bit later, if you will be not against :) ); about armoured forces - I know this topic better, tanks is my main interest (thank you for the references, I already know them). The site http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/ is one of my favourites, but it contains some annoying mistakes, that is a pity :cry: And there were no updates since early 2003, may be this site dies, I don`t know....

Thank you again, Dibo. I still have some short questions about the organization and equipment of Bulgarian Army of 1920s, so I am going to ask you today, if I`ll not tired completely....
P.S. As me seems you promised to send me by e-mail some additional pictures of Bulgarian uniform. Thank you in advise!

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Postby dibo » 27 Dec 2004 20:47

P.S. As me seems you promised to send me by e-mail some additional pictures of Bulgarian uniform. Thank you in advise!


As soon as I get my scanner operational :(

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Postby AJK » 27 Dec 2004 21:50

Hi dibo!

Mu understanding is that the Bulgarian Air Force was officially re-formed in 1936. Do you have a list of the commanders of the AF, 1936 - 1944?

Thanks and best wishes,

AJK

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Bulgarian defense industry in 1920-1939

Postby BIGpanzer » 27 Dec 2004 22:02

Good evening, Dibo!
Thank you again for the huge amount of information about Bulgarian economy and organization of the Army. I need now some time to read and analyse it. At the moment I am interested a little bit in Bulgarian Army of interwar period (1920-1939) as well as in the history of Bulgaria of the same period as you can see, so this information is very essential for me!

May be the last remained general question - is the organisation and equipment of Bulgarian Air Force between WWI-WWII. I know a little bit about this, but mainly about types of aircrafts in Bulgarian Army, not about organisation, only very-very few info I have (see above). If you could add something new about this topic, I will be very pleased to you, Dibo!

It is hard something to add to your information, but what I`ve found recently.

In 1934 the population of Bulgaria numbered 6.077.939, of which 618.000 were Turks, 81.000 Gypsies, 28.000 Jews. The largest cities were Sofia with 287.095 and Plovdiv with 99.883 inhabitants. Main agricultural products were wheat, maize, barley, raisins, rye and sunflower seeds. Main animals kept were sheep, cattle, goats and hogs. Lignite mining was considerable.

In 1936 there were 3270 km of railroad and 25.650 km of roads in Bulgaria. In 1938 there were 2.478 cars, 504 busses and 1.005 trucks in Bulgaria. Both state revenues for 1936 amounded to 7.965.000 Leva, expenses to 7.643.000 Leva. The most important trading partner of Bulgaria in 1930s, for both imports and exports, was Germany. The most important export products tobacco, eggs, wheat. The leading import articles were textiles, metals/metalware and machinery.

Some info about Bulgarian Defense Industry in 1920s-1930s (a little bit I already mentioned, when wrote about Neuilly Treaty, see above)

Bulgarian industrial base in 1920s was under developed and it was very difficult to establish defense industry because of Neuilly Treaty`s strict limitations after WWI. The importation of military materials was forbidden. All enterprises involved in producing or repairing military production were obliged to switch to civilian products (conversion).

The single defense enterprise in the Kingdom of Bulgaria was once again the state-owned Sofiiski Arsenal (arsenal, located in Sofia), which produced ammunitions, cartridges, repaired of light armaments and performed test and quality control functions for Bulgarian Army. There were ~ 120 full-time and 400 part-time workers at Sofia Arsenal. In 1927, the government decided to transfer this enterprise to the Kazanlak, where a new factory was established under the name Derzhavna Voenna Fabrika (State Military Factory). In 1930, a new branch was created in the nearby Sopot to produce ammunition, mainly cartridges and powder. I don`t know was it a strict disturbance of Neuilly Treaty or not, but seems to be indeed.
After 1935, with the significant help of Germany, the list of products was enlarged to include the production of artillery shells. In fact, the enterprise began to produce all the kinds of ammunitions needed by the Bulgarian Army and even some parts for heavy weapons. In 1930s several military repair factories were established in Bulgaria, one for communication equipment in Sofia and a dockyard in Varna at the Black Sea.
In 1924 Bulgaria established a new factory, Derzhavna Aeroplanna Rabotilnitsa, (the DAR, or State Airplane Factory) in Sofia for the production of light training and reconnaissance aircrafts. A second airplane factory, Aero Praga, (Avia, Czechoslovak company), was build in Kazanlyk. In 1930 the Italian company Caproni bought this enterprise and began to produce airplanes under their own license.

By the end of 1930s near 10.000 workers, 700 military officers and 1500 civilian clerks were employed in Bulgarian defense military enterprises. The development of these industries notwithstanding, import remained the main source of military procurement for the Bulgarian Army.

Source: Petrov, Liudmil. 1999. Voennata ikonomika na Bulgaria, 1919-1945 (Bulgaria`s military economy, 1919-1945). University press "Stopanstvo", Sofia (translated)

Do you have some notes or additions to this, Dibo?
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 05 Jan 2005 16:57, edited 10 times in total.

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Postby BIGpanzer » 27 Dec 2004 22:09

Hello, AJK!
Welcome to our discussion about organization of Bulgarian Army between World Wars!

As far as I know the Bulgarian Air Forces was officially (!) allowed only in 1938 by the Treaty of Saloniki (Greece) with members of Balkan Pact. But Bulgaria had relatively small military aviation already in mid1930s.

I also need the list of commanders of Bulgarian Air Forces. I only know General-Lieutenant Dimitar Ayrianov (commander of BAF in 1941-1943). So I hope that our Bulgarian friend Dibo will help us as usually :)

By the way - do you have the list of Bulgarian commanders of infantry and cavalry divisions/regiments in 1920s-1930s, as well as commanders of Border Guards and Gendarmerie of Bulgaria in the same period.

Kind regards, BIGpanzer.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 27 Dec 2004 22:27, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby AJK » 27 Dec 2004 22:20

Hi BIGpanzer,

I have the following information on Bulgarian Air Force commanders:

1939 - 1941: General-Leytenant Vasil Boydev
1941 - 1943: General-Leytenant Dimitar Ayrianov
1944: Polkovnik Georgi Drenikov

The gaps remain to be filled in.

Best wishes,

AJK

dibo
Financial supporter
Posts: 346
Joined: 25 Jun 2004 10:10
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Postby dibo » 27 Dec 2004 22:40

AJK wrote:Hi dibo!

Mu understanding is that the Bulgarian Air Force was officially re-formed in 1936. Do you have a list of the commanders of the AF, 1936 - 1944?

Thanks and best wishes,

AJK


..............
1935 - Colonel Ivan Mihailov
..............
10.1936-1941 - Colonel (later Major General) Vasil Boydev
11.08.1941-1944 - Major General Dimitar Ayrianov
09.1944 - Colonel Georgi Drenikov
.................

I don't have a complete list. :(


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