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

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 10 Jan 2005 17:53

And the 2nd letter for today, dear Dibo! :)
As for the Bulgarian coat of arms: am I right that there were 2 (used in 1883-1925 and in 1926-1946, correspondingly) coat of arms? Do you have the colour image of the first one (1883-1925)?

P.S. Recently I found very interesting info about Bulgarian aviation in the early 1920s. Probably, you know this.

After the Treaty of Neuilly was signed, in 1920 on the airport Bojurishte near 70 (or some say 51) Bulgarian planes, 110-113 engines, 3 balloons, 76 plane machineguns, photo cameras and also all spare parts for planes were destroyed with hammers and oxygen gas cutters by English and French officers, according to this peace agreement. Hangar No 4 was named "The Tomb". But despite this orders some of the Bulgarian pilots and technicians managed to hide whenever they could and odinary people also helped them. There were tuck away 7 planes (DFW C.Va, Albatros C.III and one Fokker D.VII), and also a lot of engines Benz IV and Mercedes III and plane machine guns from the type IMG 08/15 Spandau (standard pilot machine guns from the German planes). Bulgaria established civil aviation. From the destroyed planes were assembled two whole planes - they accomplish 841 flights (330 flight hours) only in 1922. A school for aviators was founded. Afterwards the hidden planes appeared. On a Fokker D.VII fighter was installed second decorative booth - in this way the plane seemed as educative. It was fixed up and machine gun Spandau.

On 5 July 1923 Bulgaria ratify as a part from the international convention for civil aviation and received for its flights the sing B-B. Bulgarian Department of Posts and Telegraphs used Bristol Taurer aircrafts (4 ordered) since 1924. In the aviation school were trained not only civil, but and army pilots. They were trained for military situations. Of course, there always been a watcher who informed immediately if there were any military observers about abiding of the Neuilly Treaty.
Since 1923 there were an Air Gendarmery ("Civil Air Group") and Vozdukhoplavatelno Otdelene ("Air Navigation Dept") - the secret AF in Bulgaria of 1920s.

In 1926 one Yugoslavian plane appear above Sofia. Encircle calmly around, because the Serbian pilot knew that Bulgaria did not posses military aviation. Then from Bojurishte airport took off Todor Rogev with his Fokker D.VII. Noticing the fling out plane the Serbian immediately disappear. Rogev overtook the Serbian not until the border and Bulgarian pilot didn't took him down because he was afraid of political scandal. Really, three days after in Sofia arrived international commission. The machine guns were hidden already and the commissioners did not found anything.

In 1928 the alley control was abolished upon the Bulgarian aviation. In 1931 Bulgaria joined the Warsaw convention for civil aviation and received the sing of civil aviation - LZ - remaining until today.

On 27 June 1937 were handed the battle flags of the newly formed aviation regiments of Vazdushnite na Negovo Velichestvo Voyski (Royal Bulgarian AF) and Army AF.
But I have no information about the design of those flags....Vozdushni Voiski[VV] |


Kind regards, BIGpanzer.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 19 Sep 2005 20:42, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 11 Jan 2005 22:07

No answer :cry:

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Post by Woj » 11 Jan 2005 22:30

BIGpanzer wrote:No answer :cry:


Don't worry! :) I will write my answer soon. I have been busy lately (as usual :cry:)
Woj

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Post by dibo » 12 Jan 2005 08:11

BIGpanzer wrote:No answer :cry:


Can't answer everything at once, right? :)
EW - Early warning

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Post by BIGpanzer » 12 Jan 2005 08:30

Hi, Woj!
Hi, Dibo!
No problems, don't worry :)
About EW abbreviation, Dibo, you already wrote me in one of your previous letters. If you'll have a possibility some time :) - let me know shortly about Bulgarian flags and coat of arms (please, see above).

As for me I'll try to add new info to the list of Bulgarian aircrafts, also very busy now, have a lot of work in my office :) ....

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Bulgaria in 1920s - population and economy

Post by BIGpanzer » 13 Jan 2005 19:13

This is small info about Bulgaria of 1920s (economy etc.) which I found recently in the library and tried to write here shortly for all forum-members.
Of course, our main interest here is the army, but some facts about country is also quite interesting, as me seems.
Dibo already wrote here some facts about Bulgarian economy of that period (see above also).

************************************************************************

Bulgaria in 1920s

1. Government: constitutional monarchy (kingdom). King (czar) was a Supreme Commander-in-Chief of armed forces. Legislature – one-chamber People’s Assembly (in Sofia, 227 deputies), was elected for 4 years by universal suffrage. In extraordinary situations the Great People’s Assembly (in Turnovo, double amount of deputies) should be convoked. Executive power - ministers, responsible to People's Assembly.
2. Territory: 103.146 sq.km. Borders with Romania, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey and access to the Black Sea. In 1913 after 2nd Balkan War South Dobruja was given to Romania and in 1919 after WWI according to the Treaty of Neuilly Bulgaria lost the Aegean Sea coast with the port Dede-agach (went to Greece) and four regions at west border with the towns Bazilegrad and Czaribrod (went to Yugoslavia).
In 1921 there were 15 districts in Bulgaria – Burgas, Varna, Vidin, Vratsa, Kyustendil, Mastanli, Pashmakli, Petrich, Plevna (Pleven), Plovdiv, Ruschuk (Ruse), Sofia, Stara Zagora, Trnova (Turnovo), Shumen.
Capital – Sofia (213.000 in 1926); largest cities – Plovdiv (85.000), Varna (61.000), Ruse (46.000). In 1926 there were 93 cities and towns, 4223 villages and 1351 other settlements.
3. Population: 4.861.000, 47 men/sq.km (1920); 4.939.000 (1923); 5.106.000, 49.5men/sq.km (1926). In 1921 – Bulgarians 83.4%, Turks 11.2%, Romanians, Gipsies, Greeks, Jews, Russians.
Urban population – 20.7%; rural population – 79.3%. Working class - ~600.000 men (25% of them were women), unemployed in 1926 were near 54.000.
4. Economy: agricultural country with huge predominance of small (81.1%) and middle landownership. Three-field system still often used. 3/4 of the population was occupied with agriculture. The main grain-crops, fodder grain and technical (oil-bearing and spinning) crops – wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize, lightly rice, also hemp, cotton, flax. Grain crops - 2.165.600 hectares (74,4% of all cultures) in 1922. Also truck (haricot) and horticultural crops, fruit trees, vine, sunflowers, mulberry trees were cultivated. The production of tobacco strongly increased. Sugar-beet and rose (production of attar of roses) were of great importance. Cultivated lands occupied 35,4% in 1922.
Commercial cattle-breeding almost didn’t exist, there were horse, cattle (1.877.100 head in 1920), sheep (8.922.600 head) and pig (1.089.700 head) farming. Poultry farming was of great importance.
Forestry poorly developed.
Mineral resource industry – coal production increased (1.215.000 t in 1924), also production of copper (25.900 t), lead, gold, some silver, manganese, marble, granite, lithographic stone, limestone.
Manufacturing industry (amount of enterprises in 1922) – mining (28 ), metal-working (90), ceramic (117), chemical (62), food and flavoring (749), tobacco (167, many of them large), textile (107), woodworking (112), tanning (59), paper (12), printing (27), electrical (14). There were 1544 enterprises with 55.717 workers in 1922, 2383 co-operatives in 1923. 34 engineering plants produced mainly agricultural machinery and spares for them, there were also 19 iron foundries. Official capital formed in 1921 near 17% of money, invested into industry. Food industry made up 48% of the enterprises and 40% of the capital (mainly flour-milling industry, sugar production at 5 large sugar-refinery - 40.400 t in 1924). Tobacco industry made up 36% of man power and textile industry (located mainly in Gabrovo and Sliven) was the most well-found industry.
In 1925 there were 10 enterprises, used hydro-power, and 3 large central electric power stations.
5. Foreign commerce: export - agricultural commodities (tobacco - to the sum of 88 milliones of gold leva in 1925, eggs, maize, wheat, flour) to Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Greece; import – finished articles (textile goods - to the sum of 103 milliones of gold leva, metals, machines and instruments, leather, construction materials, colonial produce) from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, France, Czechoslovakia, Romania.
6. Transport: 2683 km of railways in 1924 (considerable amount of rolling-stock was given away according to the Treaty of Neuilly, 50% of the remaining were out of fix). Ports on the Black Sea – Varna and Burgas. There were also ports on the Danube river – Ruschuk, Vidin, Svishtov.
7. Finances: 100 gold francs costed 2637 leva in 1925. Gold reserves was 43 millions leva in July 1926. Home debt in 1924 was 4,480 milliones of paper leva, external debt - 622 milliones of gold francs, 766 milliones of French francs, 25 milliones of gold leva, 98 milliones of German marks + reparations - 1700 milliones of gold francs. Central bank – Bulgarian National Bank in Sofia, there were several large national banks and many large private banks with foreign capital. Budget (6925 millions of paper leva) was burdened with public dept and reparation payments (according to Neuilly Treaty and convention with Yugoslavia, public dept was 17.4% of budget - 1.209,4 millions of paper leva), maintenance of regular army (17,6% of budget - 1.216,7 milliones), police and gendarmerie (313,5 milliones of paper leva), payments for the allied disarmament commission, expenditure for Department of Agriculture (200,6 milliones of paper leva) and Department of Education (656,9 milliones of paper leva). Foreign capital (French, Belgian, Dutch, German, Austrian, English, Swiss) played a vital part in Bulgarian power engineering, metal-working industry, sugar and salt industry, tobacco export. There were 99 foreign companies in 1925.
Salary of Bulgarian workers amounted to 60-120 leva/day (highest qualification) or to 20-50 leva/day (unskilled workers), of State employees – to 1200-1400 leva/month, but of deputies – to 400 leva/day, of army lieutenant – to 4000 leva/month, of army colonel – 10000 leva/month.
8. Education: in 1923/1924 school year there were 4102 primary schools and 1785 grammar schools (elementary schools); primary professional (agricultural and industrial) schools, 131 incomplete gymnasias, secondary professional schools (technical, theological, military, naval, agronomical, commercial, musical, postal telegraph), 45 complete gymnasias and 17 teacher’s seminary (secondary schools); 10 teacher’s institutes, 1 university in Sofia (7 faculties), 1 private university, 1 art academy, 1 musical academy (the Higher School). Total – 7663 educational institutions, 24.769 teachers and 642.772 pupils. In 1921 there were 82.7% of literate among conscripts in Bulgarian army. The highest scientific institution - Bulgarian Academy of Science.
9. Army: before WWI Bulgaria had in peaceful time near 3900 officers and 55.000 soldiers, during the war Bulgaria could mobilize half-millionth army. According to Neuilly Treaty Bulgarian army should not exceed 20.000 volunteers, general liability for military service was abolished. Volunteers should contract served not less than 12 years (for prevention of the forming of reserve), officers - 20 years. It was allowed also to keep not more than 3000 volunteers for frontier service and not more than 7000 men in gendarmerie, police, customs etc. There were some limitations of armament of the army and police. Armed forces of Bulgaria in 1925 consisted of 1000 officers, 20291 soldiers, 3738 officials of frontier troops and 6900 officials of gendarmerie. Bulgaria could not have the military ships according to the Treaty, except 4 small torpedo-boats and 6 motor boats on the Danube river for banks guarding and control of fishing.. And that is all about army!!!

Sources:
H. Grothe / Bulgarien. Ein Beitrag zur Landeskund // Wien, 1921
L. Lamonche / La Bulgarie // Paris, 1923
A. Protitch / Guide à travers la Bulgarie // Sofia, 1923
Общъ Годишникъ за България (1924-1925) // София
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 26 Jan 2005 12:57, edited 7 times in total.

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Post by dibo » 13 Jan 2005 20:04

BIGpanzer wrote:And the 2nd letter for today, dear Dibo! :)
As for the Bulgarian coat of arms: am I right that there were 2 (used in 1883-1925 and in 1926-1946, correspondingly) coat of arms? Do you have the colour image of the first one (1883-1925)?


Image

Bulgarian heraldics:

http://euro2001.net/issues/5_2001/5br51.htm
http://euro2001.net/issues/6_2001/6br45.html
http://euro2001.net/issues/1_2002/1br51.html
http://euro2001.net/issues/2_2002/2br50.html
http://euro2001.net/issues/3_2002/3br53.html
http://euro2001.net/issues/4_2002/4br54.html
http://euro2001.net/index.shtml?page=st ... 1br17.html
http://euro.kom/index.shtml?page=statia ... 2br16.html
http://euro2001.net/index.shtml?page=st ... 3br20.html

Regarding the flags you posted, no 2 is a Navy war flag (colours), no 3 is the Navy war flag (colours) of the Minister of War.

Army flags (colours) - during the period - two types
Model 1881 - (see attachment) used until late 1930, when the new model 1937 (see attachment) started to replace it. The latter were nearly identical for all units (including the aviation), differing only in size.
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Post by BIGpanzer » 15 Jan 2005 20:25

Hi, Dibo!

Thank you for your letter with excellent links about Bulgarian heraldics! All of them are on Bulgarian so it took me quite much time to completely translate some paragraphs and inscriptions, but really, the information is very interesting!!!!
Also thanks for the colour image of Bulgarian coat of arms (1883-1925 type), I couldn't find it for a long time, only found the colour image of the late coat of arms (1926-1946).

As for the State flag of the Kingdom of Bulgaria - so, as I understand, in 1920-1939 it was the same as at present time (three colour), not with additional lion or with lion and green cross, as in some sources was written. Those flags were Navy war flags...Thanks again for the information!

I almost finished the full list of Bulgarian aircrafts of interwar period at last, using near 10 Internet and literature sources!!!!! See my reply from 5 January.
As for some aircrafts in Bulgarian service, I asked you earlier - I could find some short info by myself (this is from my list): Aero A.304 "Pelican" (1 used in 1939-1943); Caudron C.440 (1 was was tested in August 1936 in Bozhurishte, led by Nikola Kokilev. It showed lower performance than requested, so the deal was cancelled and the airplane flew back to France); Junkers K 23/A 20 "Kuma Lisa" (1 delivered in 1930 or 1932); Heinkel He 42E "Patitza" (2 He 42 "Patitza" (duck) delivered in 1938 (1933?) and used as training hydroplanes); Caudron C-59 (5 were obtained in 1924); Letov-Smolik S-18 (10 delivered in 1925-1926 and used in Airplane school as trainers); Macchi C.18 (2 flying-boats delivered in 1926 and used by navy); Potez VIII (4 were obtained in 1924 and used as training aircrafts).

About using 7.5cm Flak L/60 Krupp gun by Bulgarian Air Defense units I couldn't find any information, unfortunately. Probably, they used only 20mm and 88mm AA guns, as you wrote me.

The Reserve Officers School located in Sofia just as Military of H.M. School - both trained in 1930s all officer branches - infantry, artillery, air force, navy, etc.

About short info of Bulgarian economy of 1920s (my reply from 13 January) - I will add some additional info (a little) on Monday. This info was from original sources of 1920s, I found in the library!!! I would like to draw your attention that the salary of army colonel was 10000 leva/month, but state official - near 1200-1400 leva/month (and this was during the limits of Neuilly Treaty!) :) :)

Army flags (colours) - thank you very much for the info and images, dear Dibo! What was the inscription on the first one? Above, as I understand - God with us! "Съ нами Богъ" (you see, already understand Bulgarian :D ), but to the right I couldn't understand, unfortunately.....And one question - I found images of Bulgarian military flags of 1930s, some of them a little bit different (additional inscriptions, another lion image and colours) from "yours", do you know why? See attachement. Also found one photo, attached it also (but later I will remove the images because of copyright).

Dibo, do you have the photos of KB-4 Tchutchuliga-II and KB-5 Tchutchuliga-III with national markings "Maltese cross and lion" (1938-1941)?

Благодаря! Всичко най-хубаво :) :)
Best regards, BIGpanzer
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 18 Jan 2005 01:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by dibo » 15 Jan 2005 21:27

BIGpanzer wrote:
[b] Army flags (colours) - thank you very much for the info and images, dear Dibo! What was the inscription on the first one? Above, as I understand - God with us! "Съ нами Богъ" (you see, already understand Bulgarian :D ), but to the right I couldn't understand, unfortunately.....And one question - I found images of Bulgarian military flags of 1930s, some of them a little bit different (additional inscriptions, another lion image and colours) from "yours", do you know why? See attachement. Also found one photo, attached it also (but later I will remove the images because of copyright).


The 1881 flag reads "Пъша дружина", which means "infantry batallion".
The Cavalry used different banners from the infantry until late 30s (until the mod 1937 flags).

BIGpanzer wrote:
Dibo, do you have the photos of KB-4 Tchutchuliga-II and KB-5 Tchutchuliga-III with national markings "Maltese cross and lion" (1938-1941)?
Благодаря! Всичко най-хубаво :) :)
Best regards, BIGpanzer


Will try to find.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 16 Jan 2005 00:11

Hi, Dibo!
Thanks for the letter.

I found this evening the photo of KB-4 Tchutchuliga-II with national markings of 1938-1941 (Maltese cross, swords and lion)!!! See my reply from 4 January, I already attached it. But as for KB-5 Tchutchuliga-III - I only have photos of it with next, more late markings (since 1941 - black Saltire cross on the white field) :cry: , so still need your friendly help :) :)

With respect, BIGpanzer

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Post by BIGpanzer » 19 Jan 2005 18:10

Still working on the full list of Bulgarian airplanes of 1920-1939 (checking the info..., see above). Probably, I'll finish it tomorrow :)

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Post by dibo » 20 Jan 2005 09:00

BIGpanzer wrote:Hi, Dibo!
Thanks for the letter.

I found this evening the photo of KB-4 Tchutchuliga-II with national markings of 1938-1941 (Maltese cross, swords and lion)!!! See my reply from 4 January, I already attached it. But as for KB-5 Tchutchuliga-III - I only have photos of it with next, more late markings (since 1941 - black Saltire cross on the white field) :cry: , so still need your friendly help :) :)

With respect, BIGpanzer


http://www.retrohangar.com/chuchu/KB-1-KB-5-2.htm
http://www.airwar.ru/enc/spyww2/kb4.html
http://www.geocities.com/bulgarian_avia ... s/kb5a.htm

I suggest you contact Ivan Borislavov, the owner of http://www.retrohangar.com or post your request at the Bulgarian aviation forum at http://www.krile.net

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Post by BIGpanzer » 22 Jan 2005 18:46

Hi, Dibo!
Thank you very much for the information and advices. Those sites about Bulgarian aviation are very interesting. I know some of them, others not.

I have two questions - about Bulgarian anti-aircraft guns.
As far as I know in Bulgarian Army in 1918 there were 8.5cm Krupp, 8.7cm Krupp, 7.5cm "Schneider", 7.5cm Krupp, 7,62cm Russian guns, 7.7cm German guns, also 8mm "Maxim", 8mm "Hochkis" and 7,5mm "Madsen" MG for AA defence. Do you know what happened with them after Neuilly Treaty in 1920s? Were they destroyed or given to the allies? You wrote about 3 88mm 45 caliber Krupp guns, remained from WWI and used in Bulgarian Army in 1920s-1930s, I remember.
What MGs were used in Bulgarian Army for AA defence in 1930s?

Also do you know the produced amount of Bulgarian Lazarow LAZ-3 airplane, used in 1929-1937?
When first Me-109E appeared in Bulgarian Air Force - in 1939 or in 1940?

Dibo, what does mean the Bulgarian words "Orlyak" and "Yato" (as me seems, they mean regiment and squadron, correspondingly. But I am not shure...)

Best regards, BIGpanzer.


P.S.
Guys! The full list of Bulgarian aircrafts of 1920s-1930s finished!!!!!!! See my reply from 05.01.2005 and enjoy, please :)
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 26 Jan 2005 12:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Bulgarian warships in 1939 (technical data)

Post by BIGpanzer » 23 Jan 2005 16:12

Found an info about Bulgarian warships in 1939, when Bulgaria had only very small navy for Black Sea coast defense(navy bases Varna (main) and Burgas, 6 torpedo boats + 2 patrol boats) and Danube river bank defense (6 rivercraft). There were also 14 merchant ships. Naval air support was supplied by Army seaplanes.

1. Torpedo boats

Type "Derzki" - 6 were built in France for Bulgaria (by "Schneider-Crezo" yard) in 1907/1908, 97.5 t, 38.56 x 4.4 x 2.64 m; steam-engine and two steam-boilers, 1950 hp, 26 knots, 11 t of coal, 2 x 4.7cm AA gun "Schneider" + 2 (3?) x 45cm torpedo-tubes, 23-30 men.
There were 4 such ageing torpedo boats in Bulgarian Navy in 1939: "Derzki", "Hrabri", "Smeli", "Strogi".
In 1912 Derzki successfully sank the Turkish cruiser "Hamidie".

Type S 1 (delivered in 1938-1939, German torpedo S-Boat built by "Luerssen" yard): 60 t, 28.04 x 4.50 x 1.68 m, 3 x Mercedes-Benz engines, 36 knots, 2 x 533mm TT + 1 x 20mm gun + 2 x MG + 4 mines, 18 men. There were 2 such torpedo boats in 1939 - No.1 and No.2, which became the Navy's main strike element.

2. Patrol boats

Type "Belomorets" - former French anti-submarine boats, were built in 1917/1918 or 1920 (different info) in USA and were bought by Bulgaria in 1922, wooden hull, 80-87 t, 33.5 x 4.3 x 1.2 m; diesel 600 hp (or 2 x 220 hp petrol engines according to other sources), 16 knots, 1 x 4.7cm Flak + 2 x MG + depth bombs. There were 2 such patrol boats in Bulgarian Navy - "Belomorets" and "Tschernomorets".


*Also ship "Kamchiya" was used by Bulgarian Navy (former french yacht "De Romas", it was built in England in 1882 and was bought by Bulgaria in 1906, in 1911 was reequiped as a minelayer, later used as a hydrographic ship; 105 t, 36.18 x 4.8 x 2.43 m, steam-engine and two steam-boilers, 250 hp, 11 knots, 8.5 t of coal, 12 mines).
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 23 Jan 2005 21:48, edited 6 times in total.

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Post by dibo » 23 Jan 2005 20:05

BIGpanzer wrote:I have two questions - about Bulgarian anti-aircraft guns.
As far as I know in Bulgarian Army in 1918 there were 8.5cm Krupp, 8.7cm Krupp, 7.5cm "Schnider", 7.5cm Krupp, 7,62cm Russian guns, 7.7cm German guns, also 8mm "Maxim", 8mm "Hochkis" and 7,5mm "Madsen" MG for AA defence.


Correct.
I know also of the 2 ex-Turkish 7.5 cm "Krupp" anti-balloon guns, mod. 1912 that were captured in Odrin in 1913 and were used in the Bulgarian army until 1941.
All others except the Russian guns were in fact modified field guns.
Also used in WW1 8.8cm Krupp mod 1916 AD guns, 7.62 cm german AD guns, "Swarzlosе" MG

BIGpanzer wrote:Do you know what happened with them after Neuilly Treaty in 1920s? Were they destroyed or given to the allies?


I don't know. My guess is these were destroyed alongside the others.

BIGpanzer wrote:What MGs were used in Bulgarian Army for AA defence in 1930s?


No specialised AD MG AFAIK. Probably whatever MG were available could be used for low-attitude AD.

BIGpanzer wrote:Also do you know the produced amount of Bulgarian Lazarow LAZ-3 airplane, used in 1929-1937?


LAZ-3 is incorrect name for DAR-3.

BIGpanzer wrote:When first Me-109E appeared in Bulgarian Air Force - in 1939 or in 1940?


1940 - 10 pcs. 1941 - 9 more.

BIGpanzer wrote:Dibo, what does mean the Bulgarian words "Orlyak" and "Yato" (as me seems, they mean regiment and squadron, correspondingly. But I am not shure...)


Regiment (Polk in Bulgarian) comprises several Orlyaks. Each Orlyak has several Yatos. (1 Yato - up to 12 planes)

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