Bulgarian Armed Forces

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Military of Bulgaria)
Jump to: navigation, search
Bulgarian Army
Logo of Ministry of Defense of Bulgaria.svg
Service branches War flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgarian Land Forces
Logo-Novo-Vvs.jpg Bulgarian Air Force
Naval Ensign of Bulgaria.svg Bulgarian Navy
Headquarters Sofia
Leadership
Commander-in-Chief President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev
Minister of Defence Nikolay Nenchev
Chief of the Defence General Constantin Popov [1]
Manpower
Military age 18 years of age
Conscription No
Available for
military service
3,208,526, age 16–49 (2008 est.)
Fit for
military service
2,320,955, age 16–49 (2008 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
63,444 (2008 est.)
Active personnel 34,975[2]
Reserve personnel 302,500
Deployed personnel See below
Expenditures
Budget US$1.190 billion (2009)[3]
Percent of GDP 1.98% (2009)
Industry
Domestic suppliers

TEREM

Arsenal Corporation
Foreign suppliers  Italy
 Australia
 Germany
 Russia
 United States
 China
 France
 Brazil
 United Kingdom
Former:
 Soviet Union
Annual exports €210,000,000 (2008)[4]
€145,000,000 (2009)[5]
€260,000,000 (2010),[6]
€232,000,000 (2011)[7]
€219,412,155 (2012)[8]
Related articles
History Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878)
Serbo-Bulgarian War
First Balkan War
Second Balkan War
World War I
War of the Stray Dog
World War II
Incident at Petrich
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
2011 military intervention in Libya

The Bulgarian Army (Bulgarian: Българска армия) represents the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria. The Commander-in-Chief is the President of Bulgaria (currently Rosen Plevneliev). The Ministry of Defence is in charge of political leadership while overall military command remains in the hands of the Defence Staff, headed by the Chief of the Defence (formerly called the Chief of the General Staff). There are three main branches, named literally the Land Forces, the Air Forces and the Naval Forces and the term "Bulgarian Army" encompasses them all together.

Throughout history, the Army has played a major role in defending the country's sovereignty. Only several years after its liberation (1878), Bulgaria became a regional military power and was involved in several major wars – Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885), First Balkan War (1912–13), Second Balkan War (1913), First World War (1915–1918) and Second World War (1941–1945), during which the Army gained significant combat experience. During the Cold War the People's Republic of Bulgaria maintained one of the largest militaries in the Warsaw Pact, numbering an estimated 152,000 troops in 1988.[9] Since the Fall of Communism, the political leadership decided to pursue a pro-NATO policy, thus reducing military personnel and weaponry. Bulgaria joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on 29 March 2004 and currently maintains a total 776 deployed troops in three countries.

The patron saint of the Bulgarian Army is St. George. The Armed Forces Day or St. George's Day (6 May) is an official holiday in Bulgaria.

History of the Bulgarian Army[edit]

Main article: Opalchentsi
Bulgarian militiamen from the region of Macedonia, ca. 1900

The modern Bulgarian military dates back to 1878. On 22 July 1878 (10 July O.S.) a total of 12 battalions of opalchentsi who participated in the Liberation war, formed the Bulgarian armed forces.[10] According to the Tarnovo Constitution, all men between 21 and 40 years of age were eligible for military service. In 1883 the military was reorganized in four infantry brigades (in Sofia, Pleven, Ruse and Shumen) and one cavalry brigade.

Serbo-Bulgarian war[edit]

Main article: Serbo-Bulgarian War

The Serbo-Bulgarian War was the first armed conflict after Bulgaria's liberation. It was a result of the unification with Eastern Rumelia, which happened on 6 September 1885. The unification was not completely recognized, however, and one of the countries which refused to recognize the act was the Kingdom of Serbia. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had been expanding its influence in the Balkans and was particularly opposed. Serbia also feared this would diminish its dominance in the region. In addition, Serbia's ruler Milan Obrenović IV was annoyed that Serbian opposition leaders like Nikola Pašić, who had escaped persecution after the Timok Rebellion, had found asylum in Bulgaria. Lured by Austria-Hungary's promises for territorial gains from Bulgaria (in return for concessions in the Western Balkans), Milan IV declared war on Bulgaria on 14 November 1885.

The Military strategy relied largely on surprise, as Bulgaria had moved most of its troops near the border with the Ottoman Empire, in the southeast. As it happened, the Ottomans did not intervene and the Serbian army's advance was stopped after the Battle of Slivnitsa. The main body of the Bulgarian army traveled from the Ottoman border in the southeast to the Serbian border in the northwest to defend the capital Sofia. After the defensive battles at Slivnitsa and Vidin, Bulgaria began an offensive which took the city of Pirot. At this point, the Austro-Hungarian Empire stepped in, threatening to join the war on Serbia's side if the Bulgarian troops did not retreat. Fighting lasted for only 14 days, from 14 to 28 November. A peace treaty was signed in Bucharest on 19 February 1886. No territorial changes were made to either country, but the Bulgarian unification was recognized by the Great Powers. However, the relationship of trust and friendship between Serbia and Bulgaria, built during their long common fight against Ottoman rule, suffered irreparable damage.

First Balkan War[edit]

Main article: First Balkan War

The instability in the Balkan region in the early 1900s quickly became a precondition for a new war. Serbia's aspirations towards Bosnia and Herzegovina were thwarted by the Austrian annexation of the province in October 1908, and so the Serbs focused their attention onto their historic cradle, Kosovo and to the south for expansion. Greek officers, revolting in August 1909, had secured the appointment of a progressive government under Eleftherios Venizelos which they hoped would resolve the Cretan issue in Greece's favour and reverse their defeat of 1897 by the Ottomans. Bulgaria, which had secured Ottoman recognition of her independence in April 1909 and enjoyed the friendship of Russia, also looked to districts of Ottoman Thrace and Macedonia for expansion.

A camel caravan of the Bulgarian 17th regiment carrying supplies for the Çatalca operation, 1912

In March 1910, an Albanian insurrection broke out in Kosovo. In August 1910, Montenegro followed Bulgaria's precedent by becoming a kingdom. In 1911, Italy launched an invasion of Tripolitania, which was quickly followed by the occupation of the Dodecanese Islands. The Italians' decisive military victories over the Ottoman Empire greatly influenced the Balkan states to prepare for war against Turkey. Thus in the spring of 1912, consultations between the various Christian Balkan nations resulted in a network of military alliances which became known as the Balkan League. The Great Powers, most notably France and Austria-Hungary, reacted to this diplomatic sensation by trying to dissuade the League from going to war, but failed.

In late September, both the League and the Ottoman Empire mobilized their armies. Montenegro was the first to declare war, on 25 September (O.S.)/ 8 October. The other three states, after issuing an impossible ultimatum to the Porte on 13 October, declared war on Turkey on 17 October. The Balkan League relied on 700,000 troops, 370,000 of which were Bulgarians. Bulgaria, often dubbed "Prussia of the Balkans",[11] was militarily the most powerful of the four states, with a large, well-trained and well-equipped army.[12] The peacetime army of 60,000 men was expanded during the war to 370,000,[12] with almost 600,000 men mobilized in total, out of a population of 4,300,000.[13] The Bulgarian field army counted for 9 infantry divisions, 1 cavalry division and 1,116 artillery units.[12] Commander-in-Chief was Tsar Ferdinand, while the actual command was in the hands of his deputy, General Mikhail Savov. The Bulgarians also possessed a small navy of six torpedo boats, which were restricted to operations along the country's Black Sea coast.[14]

Soldiers preparing for an assault against Adrianople, 1912

Bulgaria's war aims were focused on Thrace and Macedonia. For the latter Bulgaria had a secret agreement with Serbia to divide it between them signed at 13 March 1912 during the negotiations that led to the establishment of the Balkan League. But it was not a secret that Bulgaria's target was the fulfilment of the never materialized Treaty of San Stefano signed after the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–78. They deployed their main force in Thrace, forming three armies. The First Army, under general Vasil Kutinchev with 3 infantry divisions, was deployed to the south of Yambol, with direction of operations along the Tundzha river. The Second Army, under general Nikola Ivanov, with 2 infantry divisions and 1 infantry brigade, was deployed west of the First and was assigned to capture the strong fortress of Adrianopel (now Edirne). According to the plans, the Third Army, under general Radko Dimitriev, was deployed east of and behind the First, and was covered by the cavalry division hiding it from the Turkish view. The Third Army had 3 infantry divisions and was assigned to cross the Stranja mountain and to take the fortress of Lozengrad (Kirk Kilisse). The 2nd and 7th divisions were assigned independent roles, operating in Western Thrace and eastern Macedonia respectively.

The first great battles were at the AdrianopleKirk Kilisse defensive line, where the Bulgarian 1st and 3rd Armies (together 110,000 men) defeated the Ottoman East Army (130,000 men) near Gechkenli, Seliolu and Petra. The fortress of Adrianople was besieged and Kirk Kilisse was taken without resistance under the pressure of the Bulgarian Third Army. The initial Bulgarian attack by First and Third Army defeated the Turkish forces, numbering some 130,000, and reached the Sea of Marmara. But the Turks, with the aid of fresh reinforcements from the Asian provinces, established their third and strongest defensive position at the Chataldja Line, across the peninsula where Constantinople is located. New Turkish forces landed at Bulair and Şarköy but after heavy fighting they were crushed and overthrown by the newly formed 4th Bulgarian army under the command of General Stiliyan Kovachev. The offensive at Chataldja failed too. On 11 March, the final Bulgarian assault on Adrianople began. Under the command of General Georgi Vazov the Bulgarians, reinforced with two Serb divisions, conquered the "untakable" city. On 17/30 May a peace treaty was signed between Turkey and the Balkan Alliance. The First Balkan War, which lasted from October 1912 to May 1913, strengthened Bulgaria's position as a regional military power, significantly reduced Ottoman influence over the Balkans, and resulted in the formation of an independent Albanian state.

Second Balkan War[edit]

Main article: Second Balkan War

The peace settlement of the First Balkan War proved unsatisfactory for both Serbia and Bulgaria. Serbia refused to cede a part of the territories in Macedonia, which it occupied and promised to give to Bulgaria according to a secret agreement. Serbia, on its side, was not satisfied with the independence of Albania, and sought a secret alliance with Greece. Armed skirmishes between Serbian and Bulgarian troops occurred.

On 16 June 1913, just a few months after the end of the first war, the Bulgarian government ordered an attack on Serbian and Greek positions in Macedonia, without declaring war. Almost all of Bulgaria's 500,000-man standing army was positioned against these two countries, on two fronts – western and southern, while the borders with Romania and the Ottoman Empire were left almost unguarded. Montenegro sent a 12,000-strong force to assist the Serbs. Exhausted from the previous war, which took the highest toll on Bulgaria, the Bulgarian army soon turned on the defensive. Romania attacked from the north and north-east, the Ottoman Empire also intervened in Thrace. Allied numerical superiority was almost 2:1. After a month and two days of fighting, the war ended as a moral disaster for Bulgaria, in the same time its economy was ruined and the military – demoralized.

First World War[edit]

Nikola Zhekov, Commander-in-Chief of the Bulgarian Army during World War I

The Kingdom of Bulgaria participated in World War I on the side of the Central Powers between 15 October 1915, when the country declared war on Serbia, to 29 September 1918, when the Armistice of Thessalonica was signed. In the aftermath of the Balkan Wars, Bulgarian opinion turned against Russia and the western powers, whom the Bulgarians felt had done nothing to help them. The government of Vasil Radoslavov aligned the country with Germany and Austria-Hungary, even though this meant also becoming an ally of the Ottomans, Bulgaria's traditional enemy. But Bulgaria now had no claims against the Ottomans, whereas Serbia, Greece and Romania (allies of Britain and France) were all in possession of lands perceived in Bulgaria as its own.

In 1915 Germany promised to restore the boundaries according to the Treaty of San Stefano and Bulgaria, which had the largest army in the Balkans, declared war on Serbia in October the same year. In the First World War Bulgaria decisively asserted its military capabilities. The second Battle of Doiran, with general Vladimir Vazov as commander, inflicted a heavy blow on the numerically superior British army, which suffered 12,000 casualties against 2,000 from the opposite side. One year later, during the third battle of Doiran, the United Kingdom, supported by Greece, once again suffered a humiliating defeat, losing 3,155 men against just about 500 for the Bulgarian side. The reputation of the French army also suffered badly. The Battle of the Red Wall was marked with the total defeat of the French forces, with 5,700 out of 6,000 men killed. The 261 Frenchmen who survived were captured by Bulgarian soldiers.

Despite the outstanding victories, Germany was near defeat, which meant that Bulgaria would be left without its most powerful ally. The war was already unpopular among Bulgarians themselves[citation needed], as they were allied with the Muslim Ottomans against their Orthodox Christian neighbours. The Russian Revolution of February 1917 had a great effect in Bulgaria, spreading antiwar and anti-monarchist sentiment among the troops and in the cities. In June Radoslavov's government resigned. In 1919 Bulgaria officially left the war with the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

The army between the World Wars[edit]

Bulgarian Fiat Ansaldo armored cars, early 1930s

The Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine proved to be a severe blow for Bulgaria's military. According to the treaty, the country had no right to organize a conscription-based military. The professional army was to be no more than 20,000 men, including internal forces and border guard. Equipping the army with tanks, submarines, bombers and heavy artillery was strictly prohibited, although Bulgaria managed to get around some of these prohibitions. Nevertheless, in the eve of World War II the Bulgarian army was still well-trained and well-equipped.

World War II[edit]

The government of the Kingdom of Bulgaria under Prime Minister Bogdan Filov declared a position of neutrality upon the outbreak of World War II. Bulgaria was determined to observe it until the end of the war; but it hoped for bloodless territorial gains, especially in the lands with a significant Bulgarian population occupied by neighbouring countries after the Second Balkan War and World War I. However, it was clear that the central geopolitical position of Bulgaria in the Balkans would inevitably lead to strong external pressure by both World War II factions. Turkey had a non-aggression pact with Bulgaria. On 7 September 1940, Bulgaria succeeded in negotiating a recovery of Southern Dobruja with the Treaty of Craiova (see Second Vienna Award). Southern Dobruja had been part of Romania since 1913. This recovery of territory reinforced hopes for resolving other territorial problems without direct involvement in the War. The country joined the Axis Powers in 1941, when German troops preparing to invade Yugoslavia and Greece reached the Bulgarian borders and demanded permission to pass through its territory.

On 1 March 1941, Bulgaria signed the Tripartite Pact and Tsar Boris III officially joined the Axis bloc. After a short period of inaction, the army launched an operation against Yugoslavia and Greece. The goal of reaching the shores of the Aegean sea and completely occupying the region of Macedonia came to success. Even though Bulgaria did not send any troops to support the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Navy was involved in a number of skirmishes with the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, which attacked Bulgarian shipping. Besides this, Bulgarian armed forces garrisoned in the Balkans battled various resistance groups. The Bulgarian government declared a token war on the United Kingdom and the United States near the end of 1941, an act which resulted in the bombing of Sofia and other Bulgarian cities by Allied aircraft.

Some communist activists managed to activate a guerrilla movement headed by the underground Bulgarian Communist Party. A resistance movement called Otechestven front (Fatherland front, Bulgarian: Отечествен фронт) was set up in August 1942 by the Communist Party, the Zveno movement and a number of other parties to oppose the elected government, after a number of Allied victories indicated that the Axis might lose the War. In 1943, tsar Boris III died suddenly. In the summer of 1944, after having crushed the Nazi defence around Iaşi and Chişinău, the Soviet Army was approaching the Balkans and Bulgaria. On 23 August 1944, Romania quit the Axis Powers and declared war on Germany, and allowed Soviet forces to cross its territory to reach Bulgaria. On 26 August 1944, the Fatherland Front made the decision to incite an armed rebellion against the government, which led to the appointment of a new government on 2 September. Support for the government was withheld by the Fatherland Front, since it was composed of pro-Nazi circles, in a desperate attempt to hold on to power. On 5 September 1944, the Soviet Union declared war and invaded on Bulgaria.[15] On 8 September 1944, the Bulgarian army joined the Soviet Union in its war against Germany.

Cold War era[edit]

As the Red Army invaded Bulgaria in 1944[16] and installed a communist government, the armed forces were rapidly forced to reorganise following the Soviet model, and were renamed as the Bulgarian People's Army (Bulgarska Narodna Armiya, BNA). Moscow quickly supplied Bulgaria with T-34-85 tanks, SU-100 guns, Il-2 attack planes and other new combat machinery. As the country was a Soviet satellite, it was a part of the Eastern Bloc and entered the Warsaw Pact as one of its founders. By the time the army had expanded to over 200,000 men with hundreds of thousands of more reserve troops. Military service was obligatory. A special defensive line, known as the Krali Marko defensive line, was constructed along the entire border with Turkey. It was heavily fortified with concrete walls and turrets of T-34, Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks.

The army was involved in a number of border skirmishes from 1948 to 1952, repulsing several Greek attacks, and took part in the suppression of the Prague spring events. In the meantime, during the rule of Todor Zhivkov, a significant military industrial complex was established, capable of producing armored vehicles, self-proppelled artillery, small arms and ammunition, as well as aircraft engines and spare parts. Bulgaria provided weapons and military expertise to Algeria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Nicaragua, Egypt and Syria. Some military and medical aid was also supplied to North Korea and North Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1970s the Air Force was at the apogee of its power, possessing at least 500 modern combat aircraft in its inventory. Training in the Bulgarian People's Army was exhaustive even by Soviet standards, however, it was never seen as a major force within the Warsaw Pact.[17] In 1989, when the Cold War was coming to its end, the army (the combined number of ground, air and naval forces) numbered about 120,000 men, most of them conscripts. There were however a number of services which, while falling outside of Ministry of Defence jurisdiction in peacetime were considered part of the armed forces. These were foremost the Labor Troops (construction forces), the People's Militia (the police forces of the country, which fell under Ministry of the Interior jurisdiction, but the ministry itself was itself a militarised structure) and more importantly its Interior Troops, the Border Troops, which in different periods fell under either Ministry of Defence or Ministry of the Interior control, Civil Defence Service, the Signals Troops (government communications) and the Transport Troops (mostly railway infrastructure maintenance), which were two separate services under the Postal and Communications Committee (a ministry), etc. The combined strength of the Bulgarian People's Army and all those services reached well over 325 000 troops.

Modern era[edit]

A Land Forces dismounted patrol in Afghanistan, January 2011

With the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the end of the Cold war, Bulgaria could no longer support a vast military. A rapid reduction in personnel and active equipment was to be carried out in parallel with a general re-alignment of strategic interests. In 1990, Bulgaria had a total of more than 2,400 tanks, 2,000 armored vehicles, 2,500 large caliber artillery systems,[18] 300 fighter and bomber aircraft, 100 trainer aircraft, more than 40 combat and 40 transport helicopters,[19] 4 submarines, 6 fast missile craft, 2 frigates, 5 corvettes, 6 torpedo boats, 9 patrol craft, 30 minesweepers and 21 transport vessels.[20] Due to the economic crisis that affected most former Eastern bloc countries, a steady reform in the military could not be carried out; much of the equipment fell into disrepair and some of it was smuggled and sold to the international black market. Inadequate payments, fuel and spare part shortages and the disbandment of many capable units led to an overall drop in combat readiness, morale and discipline.

After partially recovering from the 1990s crisis, the Bulgarian military became a part of the collective defensive system of NATO. As a member, Bulgaria sent a total of 485 soldiers to Iraq (2003–2008) as a participant in the Iraq War, and currently maintains a 608-strong force in Afghanistan as part of ISAF. Bulgaria had a significant missile arsenal, including 67 SCUD-B, 50 FROG-7 and 24 SS-23 ballistic missiles.[21] In 2002, Bulgaria disbanded the Rocket Forces despite nationwide protests, and has disbanded its submarine component. Bulgaria is to have 27,000 standing troops by 2014, consisting of 14,310 troops in the land forces, 6,750 in the air force, 3,510 in the navy and 2,420 in the joint command.[22]

Organization[edit]

Structure of the Bulgarian Armed Forces

Defence Staff[edit]

The Bulgarian Armed Forces are headquartered in Sofia, where most of the Defence staff is based. Until recently the supreme military institution was the General Staff and the most senior military officer was known as the Chief of the General Staff. After the latest military reform has been implemented the General Staff became a department within the Ministry of Defence and for that matter its name had to be changed to match the new situation. For that reason the former GS became the Defence Staff and the supreme military commander became the Chief of Defence.[23] Currently headed by Chief of Defence general Simeon Simeonov, the Defence Staff is responsible for operational command of the Bulgarian Army and its 3 major branches. Deputies: Vice Admiral Petar Petrov, General Atanas Zaprianov, General Dimitar Zekhtinov.

General rank positions in the Bulgarian Army:

Ministry of Defence

  • Defense Staff
    • Chief of Defence - General/ Admiral
    • Deputy Chief of Defence - Lieutenant-General/ Vice-Admiral
    • Deputy Chief of Defence - Major-General/ Rear-Admiral
    • Director, "Operations and Readiness" Directorate - Brigade General/ Commodore
    • Director, "Strategical Planning" Directorate - Brigade General/ Commodore
    • Director, "Communication and Information Systems" Directorate - Brigade General/ Commodore
    • Director, "Logistics" Directorate - Brigade General/ Commodore
  • Joint Forces Command
    • Commander, Joint Forces Command – Lieutenant-General/ Vice-Admiral
    • Deputy Commander, Joint Forces Command – Major-General/ Rear-Admiral
    • Chief of Staff, Joint Forces Command – Brigade General/ Commodore
  • Land Forces
    • Commander, Land Forces - Major-General
    • Deputy Commander, Land Forces - Brigade General
    • Chief of Staff, Land Forces – Brigade General
      • Commander, 2nd Mechanized Brigade – Brigade General
      • Commander, 61st Mechanized Brigade – Brigade General
  • Air Forces
    • Commander, Air Forces - Major-General
    • Deputy Commander, Air Forces - Brigade General
      • Commander, 3rd Air Base – Brigade General
      • Commander, 24th Air Base – Brigade General
  • Navy
    • Commander, Naval Forces - Rear-Admiral
    • Deputy Commander, Naval Forces - Commodore
      • Commander Naval Base - Commodore
  • Military Police Service, directly subordinated to the Minister of Defense
    • Director, Military Police Service - Brigade General/ Commodore
  • Military Intelligence Service, directly subordinated to the Minister of Defense
    • Director, Military Intelligence Service - civil servant, equal in rank to a Brigade General/ Commodore
  • Military education institutions, directly subordinated to the Minister of Defense
    • Chief of the "Georgy Stoykov Rakovski" Military Academy - Major-General/ Rear-Admiral
    • Chief of the Military Medical Academy and the Armed Forces Medical Service - Major-General/ Rear-Admiral
    • Chief of the "Vasil Levski" National Military University - Brigade General
  • Other positions at the Ministry of Defense
    • Military Advisor on Military Security Matters to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria - Major-General/ Rear-Admiral
    • Military Representative of the Chief of Defense at the NATO Military Committee and at the EU Military Committee - Lieutenant-General/ Vice-Admiral
    • Director of the Cooperation and Regional Security Directorate at the NATO Military Committee - Major-General/ Rear-Admiral
    • Deputy Commander of the NATO Rapid Deployment Corps - Greece (Thessaloniki) - Major-General/ Rear-Admiral
    • National Military Representative at the NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe - Major-General/ Rear-Admiral

In addition to the afforementioned positions, there are general rank positions in the National Intelligence Service and the National Close Protection Service (the bodyguard service to high-ranking officials and visiting dignitaries). These two services are considered part of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria, but are directly subordinated to the President of Bulgaria and fall out of the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense.

  • National Intelligence Service
    • Director, National Intelligence Service - Major-General/ Rear-Admiral
    • Deputy Director, National Intelligence Service - Brigade General/ Commodore
  • National Close Protection Service
    • Director, National Close Protection Service - Major-General/ Rear-Admiral
    • Deputy Director, National Close Protection Service - Brigade General/ Commodore

With the establishment of the State Agency for National Security - SANS (Bulgarian: Darzhavna Agentsiya za Natsionalna Sigurnost - DANS, Държавна агенция за национална сигурност - ДАНС) part of the military security personnel came under its authority. Before that the security aspects of the armed forces were handled by a unified organisation under the General Staff - the "Military Service of Security and Military Police". After the formation of SANS the service was split, with the military counter-intelligence personnel entering the newly formed structure and the military police personnel staying under Ministry of Defense subordination. While technically civilian servants not part of the armed forces, the military counter-intelligence personnel of the State Agency of National Security retain their military ranks.

Ministry of Defence[edit]

Ministry of Defence
The organisation of the Ministry of Defence includes:

  • General Administration
  • Specialised Administration
  • Inspectorate of the Ministry of Defence
  • Protocol Unit of the Ministry of Defence
  • Financial Control and Material Accountability Unit
  • Internal Audit Directorate of the Ministry of Defence
  • Information Security Directorate of the Ministry of Defence
  • Defence Staff

Structures directly subordinated to the Ministry of Defence include:

  • Military Information Service, Sofia (commanded by a Major-General/ Rear-Admiral)
    • Director
    • Directorate
    • Information Division
    • Analysis Division
    • Resources Supply Division
  • Military Police Service, Sofia (commanded by a Brigade General/ Commodore)
    • Military Police Command
    • Military Police Operational Company (MRAV Sand Cat)
    • Regional Military Police Service Sofia
    • Regional Military Police Service Plovdiv
    • Regional Military Police Service Pleven
    • Regional Military Police Service Varna
    • Regional Military Police Service Sliven
    • Military Police Service Logistics and Training Center, Sofia
  • Military Geographical Service
    • MGS Headquarters
    • Geographical Information Support Center
    • Geodesic Observatory (GPS Observatory)
    • Military Geographical Center
    • Information Security Unit
    • Financial Comptroller
  • Stationary Communications and Information System
    • Communications and Information Center
    • Government Communications Support Centre,
    • Operational Centers
    • Engineering and CIS recovery Centre
    • Stationary Communications Network
  • National Guards Unit, Sofia (commanded by a Colonel)
    • Headquarters
    • 1st Guards Battalion
    • 2nd Mixed Guards Battalion
    • National Guards Unit Representative Military Band
    • Armed Forces Representative Dance Company
    • Guardsmen Training Center
    • Logistics Support Company
  • Military Medical Academy, Sofia (commanded by a Major-General/ Rear-Admiral)
    • Chief of the MMA, Chief of the MATH - Sofia and General Surgeon of the Bulgarian Armed Forces
    • Deputy Chief for Diagnostics and Medical Treatment Activities
    • Deputy Chief for Education and Scientific Activities
    • Deputy Chief for Medical Support of Military Units and Overseas Military Missions
    • Multiprofile Active Treatment Hospital - Sofia
    • Multiprofile Active Treatment Hospital (informally known as the Naval Hospital)- Varna
    • Multiprofile Active Treatment Hospital - Plovdiv
    • Multiprofile Active Treatment Hospital - Sliven
    • Multiprofile Active Treatment Hospital - Pleven
    • Follow-up Long-term Treatment and Rehabilitation Hospital "Saint George the Victorious" - Pomorie
    • Follow-up Long-term Treatment and Rehabilitation Hospital "Caleroya" - Hisar
    • Follow-up Long-term Treatment and Rehabilitation Hospital - Bankya
    • Military Medical Quick Reaction Force (expeditionary disaster and crisis relief unit)
    • Psychological Health and Prevention Center
    • Scientific and Application Center for Military Medical Expertise and Aviation and Seaborne Medicine
    • Scientific and Application Center for Military Epidemiology and Hygiene
  • Military Academy "Georgi Stoykov Rakovski", Sofia (commanded by a Major-General/ Rear-Admiral)
    • Command
      • Commandant of the Military Academy
      • Deputy Chief for Study and Scientific Activities
      • Deputy Chief for Administrative Activities and Logistics
    • Administrative Units
      • Personnel and Administrative Support Department
      • Logistics Department
      • Study and Scientific Activities Department
      • Financial Department
      • Library and Publishing Activities Sector
      • Public Relations, International Activities and Protocol Sector
    • Training Units
      • National Security and Defence College
      • Command Staff College
      • Peacekeeping Operations and Computer Simulations Sector
      • Foreign Languages Studies Department
    • Perspective Defence Research Institute
  • National Military University "Vasil Levski", Veliko Tarnovo (commanded by a Brigade General)
    • Combined Arms Education Department, Veliko Tarnovo
    • Artillery and Communication Systems Education Department, Shumen
    • Aviation Education Department, Dolna Mitropoliya
    • NCO School, Veliko Tarnovo
    • Foreign Languages and Computer Systems Education Department, Shumen
  • Higher Naval Officer School "Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov", Varna (commanded by a Commodore)
    • Chief of the Higher Naval Officer School
    • Deputy Chief for Administration and Logistics
    • Deputy Chief for Studies and Schience Activities
    • Navigation Department
    • Engineering Department
    • Post-Graduate Qualification Department
    • Professional Petty Officers College
  • Defence Institute, Sofia
    • The Defence Institute is the research and development administration of the MoD.[24] It includes the:
    • Administration and Financial Management Department
    • Military Standardisation, Quality and Certification Department
    • Armament, Equipment and Materials Development Department
    • Armament, Equipment and Materials Testing and Control Department
    • C4I Systems Development Department
  • Commandment Service of the Ministry of Defence, Sofia
    • The Commandment Service is an institution in charge of real estate management, transportation, library services, documentation publishing and communications support for the central administration of the MoD, transportation support to the immediate MoD personnel, classified information, cryptographic and perimeter security for the MoD administration buildings.
    • Director
    • Deputy Director
    • Chief Legal Advisor
    • Financial Comptroler
    • Administrative Department
    • Financial Department
    • Business Department
    • Transportation Support Department
    • Support Department
    • CIS Support Department
    • Technical Center for Armed Forces Information Security
  • Executive Agency for the Military Clubs and Recreational Activities, Sofia
  • National Museum of Military History, Sofia

Defence Staff[edit]

The Defence Staff, formerly called the General Staff of the Bulgarian Army, is the supreme professional institution for military expertise and command and supervision of the armed forces under the Ministry of Defence umbrella. It includes:

  • Operations and Preparedness Directorate
  • Logistics Directorate
  • Strategical Planning Directorate
  • Communication and Information Systems Directorate
  • Office of the Cabinet of the Chief of Defence
  • Office for Joint Military Installations
  • Joint Forces Command
    • Land Forces Command
    • Air Forces Command
    • Naval Forces Command

Joint Forces Command[edit]

In 2010 the Ministry of Defence completed a thorough study of the defence policy and issued a White Book, or a White Paper on Defence, calling for a major overhaul of the structure of Defence Forces. According to the document the military of the Republic of Bulgaria should include two mechanized brigades, four regiments (Logistics, Artillery, Engineering, SpecOps), four battalions (Reconnaissance, Mechanized, NBC, PsyOps) in the Land Forces; two air bases, SAM air defense base and Air force training base in the Air Force; and one naval base consisting of two homeports in the Navy. The brigade formations are 7, including the two mechanised brigades and the special forces brigade of the army, the two air bases of the air force, the naval base and the logistical brigade of the JOC. Currently deployed units are as follows:

Joint Forces Command

  • Military Command Center
  • Center for Radiological, Chemical, Biological and Ecological Environment Monitoring and Control
  • Support Center of the JFC
  • Mobile Communication and Information System
  • Logistics Brigade
    • Brigade Headquarters
    • 1st Transport Battalion, Sofia
    • 2nd Transport Battalion, Burgas
    • Central Supply Base, Negushevo [25]
    • repair and maintenance bases
    • depots, storage facilities and technical inspection units
  • Movement Control Headquarters
  • Center for Documentation Support of the JFC
  • Operational Archive of the Bulgarian Army
  • Joint Forces Training Range "Novo Selo"
  • National Military Study Complex "Charalitsa"

The three armed services of the Bulgarian Army - the Land, Air and Naval Forces are subordinated to the recently formed Joint Forces Command:

Personnel and education[edit]

Rakovski Defence and Staff College

Bulgaria's total military personnel as of 2014 is 37,100, of which 30,400 (80.1%) are active military personnel and 8,100 (11.9%) are civilian personnel. The Land Forces are the largest branch, with at least 18,000 men serving there. In terms of percentage, 53% of all Army personnel are in the Land Forces, 25% are in the Air Force, 13% are in the Navy and 9% are in the Joint Forces Command.[26] Annual spending per soldier amounts to 30,000 leva (~ 15,000 euro) and is scheduled to increase to 43,600 leva by 2014.[27]

Unlike many former Soviet bloc militaries, discipline and morale problems are not common.[28][29] During the Communist era, the army members enjoyed extensive social privileges. After the fall of Communism and Bulgaria's transition to a market economy, wages fell severely. For almost a decade social benefits were virtually non-existent, and some of them have been restored but recently. Nikolai Tsonev, defence minister under the 2005–2009 cabinet, undertook steps to provide the members of the military and their families with certain privileges in terms of healthcare and education, and to improve living conditions.[30]

Military education in Bulgaria is provided in military universities and academies. Due to cuts in spending and manpower some universities have been disbanded and their campuses were included as faculties of other, larger educational entities. The largest institutions of military education in Bulgaria are:

Training[edit]

Bulgarian trooper fires an M2 Browning .50 cal machine gun at the Novo Selo training range

The Land Forces practice extensive year-round military training in various conditions. Cooperative drills with the United States are very common, the last series of them conducted in 2008. Bulgaria's most recent full-scale exercise simulating a foreign invasion was carried out in 2009. It was conducted at the Koren range, and included some 1,700 personnel with tanks, ATGMs, attack aircraft, AA guns and armored vehicles.[31] The combat skills of individual soldiers are on a very high level, on par with troops of the U.S. Army.[32]

Until recent years the Air Force suffered somewhat from fuel shortages; a problem which was overcome in 2008. Fighter pilots have year-round flights, but gunship pilots do not fly often due to the yet unfulfilled modernization of the Mi-24 gunships. Due to financial difficulties fighter pilots have 60 hours of flying time per year, only a third of the national norm of 180 hours.[33]

The Navy also has some fuel shortage problems, but military training is still effective. The most recent overseas operation of the Navy was along the coast of Libya as part of Operation Unified Protector.

Budget[edit]

After the collapse of the Warsaw pact, Bulgaria lost the ability to acquire cheap fuel and spares for its military. A large portion of its nearly 2,000 T-55 tanks fell into disrepair, and eventually almost all of them were scrapped or sold to other countries. In the early 1990s the budget was so small, that regulars only received token-value payments. Many educated and well-trained officers lost the opportunity to educate younger soldiers, as the necessary equipment and basis lacked adequate funding. Military spending increased gradually, especially in the last 10 years. As of 2005, the budget was no more than $400 mln., while military spending for 2009 amounted to more than $1.3 bln. – almost a triple increase for 4 years. Despite this growth, the military still does not receive sufficient funds for modernization. An example of bad spending plans is the large-scale purchasing of transport aircraft, while the Air Force has a severe need of new fighters (the MiG-29s, even though modernized, are nearing their operational limits). The planned procurement of 2–4 Gowind class corvettes has been cancelled. As of 2009, military spending were about 1.98% of GDP. In 2010 the budget is to be only 1.3% due to the international financial crisis.

Land Forces[edit]

T-72 tanks advance towards the OPFOR on an exercise
Main article: Bulgarian Land Forces

The Land Forces are functionally divided into Deployable and Reserve Forces. Their main functions include deterrence, defence, peace support and crisis management, humanitarian and rescue missions, as well as social functions within Bulgarian society. Active troops in the land forces number about 18,000 men, and reserve troops number about 13,000.[26]

The equipment of the land forces is impressive in terms of numbers, but most of it is nonoperational and scheduled to be scrapped or refurbished and exported to other nations. Bulgaria has a military stockpile of about 5,000,000 small arms, models ranging from World War II-era MP 40 machine pistols to modern Steyr AUG, AK-74, HK MP5, HK416 and AR-M12F assault rifles.

National guard unit[edit]

Main article: National guard unit

The National Guard of Bulgaria, founded in 1879, is the successor to the personal guards of Knyaz Alexander I. On 12 July of that year, the guards escorted the Bulgarian knyaz for the first time; today the official holiday of the National Guard is celebrated on 12 July. Throughout the years the structure of the guards has evolved, going from convoy to squadron, to regiment and, subsequent to 1942, to division. Today it includes military units for army salute and wind orchestra duties.

In 2001, the National Guard unit was designated an official military unit of the Bulgarian army and one of the symbols of state authority, along with the flag, the coat of arms and the national anthem. It is a formation, directly subordinate to the Minister of Defence and while legally part of the armed forces, it is totally independent from the Defence Staff.

Statistics and equipment[edit]

Note: This table represents active equipment only; there are large numbers of equipment in reserve status.[34] They are not listed here.

Statistics
Personnel 25,000[35]
Main battle tanks 160 T-72M2
Heavy armored vehicles (IFVs and APCs) 280 (BMP-23/A, BMP-1P;[36] BTR-60PB-MD1, MT-LB, MT-LBu)
Light armored vehicles 696M1117 (7), BRDM-2 (12), M1114 Humvees (52),
Sand Cat (25), G-class (600)
Artillery pieces over 100 mm (excl. mortar) 500 (BM-21, RM-70,[37] 2S1, D-20)
SAMs 84SA-10 Grumble (10), SA-5 Gammon (10), SA-6 Gainful (20),
SA-8 Gecko (24), SA-13 Gopher (20)
ATGM systems AT-3 Sagger, AT-4 Spigot, AT-5 Spandrel,
AT-6 Spiral, AT-7 Saxhorn, BRDM-2 Konkurs (24 vehicles)
MANPADS SA-7 Grail, SA-14 Gremlin, SA-16 Gimlet, SA-18 Grouse
SS-21 Scarab 8 TELs

Navy[edit]

Main article: Bulgarian Navy
Bulgarian Fregate Drazki

The Navy has traditionally been the smallest component of the Bulgarian military. Established almost simultaneously with the Ground forces in 1879, initially it consisted of a small fleet of boats on the Danube river. Bulgaria has a coastline of about 354 kilometers – thus, naval warfare is not considered a priority.

After the downturn in 1990, the Navy was largely overlooked and received almost no funding. No projects for modernization were carried out until 2005, when a Wielingen class frigate (F912 Wandelaar) was acquired from Belgium. By 2009, Bulgaria acquired two more frigates of the same class. The first of them was renamed 41 Drazki and took part in several operations and exercises, most notably the UNIFIL Maritime Patrol along the coast of Lebanon in 2006, and Operation Active Endeavour. It also participated in the enforcement the naval blockade against Muammar Gaddafi's regime off the coast of Libya in 2011 until 2012.

The equipment is typical for a small navy, consisting mostly of light multi-purpose vessels – 4 frigates, 3 corvettes, 5 minesweepers, 3 fast missile craft and 2 landing ships. Other equipment includes a coastal defence missile battalion armed with locally modified P-15 Termit missiles, a coastal artillery battery, a naval helicopter airbase and a marine special forces unit.

The Bulgarian Navy is centered in two main bases – in Varna and in Burgas.

Air Force[edit]

Main article: Bulgarian Air Force

In the past decade Bulgaria has been trying actively to restructure its army as a whole and a lot of attention has been placed on keeping the aging Russian aircraft operational. Currently the attack and defence branches of the Bulgarian air force are mainly MiG-21s, MiG-29s and Su-25s. About 16 MiG-29 fighters have been modernized in order to meet NATO standards. The first aircraft arrived on 29 November 2007 and final delivery was due in 03/09. In 2006 the Bulgarian government signed a contract with Alenia Aeronautica for the delivery of five C-27J Spartan transport aircraft in order to replace the Soviet made An-24 and An-26, although the contract was later changed to only three aircraft. Modern EU-made transport helicopters were purchased in 2005 and a total of 12 Eurocopter Cougar have been delivered (8 transport and 4 CSAR).3 Eurocopter AS565 Panther for the Bulgarian navy in 2016.

Branches of the airforce include: fighter aviation, assault aviation, intelligence aviation and transportation aviation, aid defence troops, radio-technical troops, communications troops, radio-technical support troops, logistics and medical troops.

The Bulgarian ministry of defense has announced plans to withdraw and replace the MiG-21 fighters with new ones. Several offers were received from international suppliers – the United States (offering F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-18 Super Hornet), Sweden JAS-39 Gripen), Germany (Eurofighter Typhoon), Italy (second-hand Eurofighter Typhoon), Russia (MiG-29) and Israel (IAI Kfir).[38]

Aircraft inventory[edit]

With the exception of the Navy's small helicopter fleet, the Air Forces are responsible for all military aircraft in Bulgaria. The Air Forces' inventory numbers 124 aircraft, including 46 combat jets and 42 helicopters. Aircraft of western origin have only begun to enter the fleet, numbering 13 of the total in service.

Bulgarian-American cooperation[edit]

A US Stryker IFV on a training range near Novo Selo

The Bulgarian-American Joint Military Facilities were established by a Defence Cooperation Agreement signed by the United States and Bulgaria in April 2006. Under the agreement, U.S. forces can conduct training at several bases in the country, which remain under Bulgarian command and under the Bulgarian flag. Under the agreement, no more than 2,500 U.S. military personnel can be located at the joint military facilities.

Foreign Policy magazine lists Bezmer Air Base as one of the six most important overseas facilities used by the USAF.[39]

Deployments[edit]

Both during Communist rule and after, Bulgaria has deployed troops with different tasks in various countries. The table below lists Bulgarian military deployments in foreign countries. Active missions are shown in bold.[40]

Country Operation Organization Timespan Personnel Casualties
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya People's Republic of Bulgaria  ? a total of 9,000 military and non-military advisors[41]
 Nicaragua Nicaraguan Revolution People's Republic of Bulgaria 1980s unknown number of military instructors[42]
Iraq Gulf War UN 1991 270[43]
 Cambodia peacekeeping UNTAC 1992–1993 850 troops
34 military observers
11
 Angola military observation UNOMA 1995–2000 48 military observers
 Tajikistan military observation UNMOT 1995–2000 27 military observers
 Bosnia and Herzegovina peacekeeping (EUFOR Althea) SFOR / EUFOR 1997–present 140 -
 Croatia demining OSCE 1999–2001 unknown
 Ethiopia /  Eritrea peacekeeping UNMEE 2001–2004 11 military observers
 Kosovo construction / peacekeeping UNMIK and KFOR 2000–present 10
 Republic of Macedonia humanitarian (construction of field kitchens and a hospital) 1999–2003  ?
 Afghanistan internal security / anti-terrorist ISAF 2001–present 383[44] -
 Liberia peacekeeping UNMIL 2003–present 2[45] -
 Iraq Iraq War Multi-National Force – Iraq 2003–2008 485 13
 Georgia peacekeeping European Union Monitoring Mission 2008–present 12[46] -
 Iraq training mission NATO Training Mission – Iraq 2009–December 2011 - -
 Libya Operation Unified Protector 27 April 2011 – 3 June 2011 160 military observers, including a group of 12 naval special commandos with the frigate Drazki
 Somalia anti-piracy ATALANTA/Ocean Shield 2012–present 3


All Medieval Wars and Battles[edit]

Bulgarian-Arabian Wars[edit]

Medieval miniature showing cavalry sallying from a city and routing an enemy army
King Tervel Crowned “The Savior of Europe” By The Pope, After Vastly Crushing The Arab Umayyad Army at The Siege of Constantinople
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Umayyad Flag.svg Arabian Umayyad Caliphate Commander Result
Bulgar-Arab War 716 Tervel Maslama Malik Bulgarian Victory
Siege of Constantinople 717 Tervel Maslama Malik Bulgarian Victory
Arab Slaughter of Constantinople 718 Tervel Umar ibn Hubayra Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Avar Wars[edit]

Avars Plundering Much of Eastern Europe Before a Decisive Annihilation by The Great Bulgar Khan Krum
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Khunz Wolf 3b.svg Avar Khaganate Commander Result
First Siege of Avar Hring 799 Krum Abraham Bulgarian Victory
Second Siege of Avar Hring 799 Krum Abraham Bulgarian Victory
Destruction of The Final Avar State 800 Krum Abraham Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Byzantine Wars[edit]

Khan Krum Leads Bulgaria to Victory at The Battle of Pliska in 811
Undefeated King Simeon the Great Victorious at The Battle of Bulgarophygon in 896
The Bulgarian Army Smothers the Byzantines in The Battle of Achelous in 917
Emperor Samuil The Invincible Crushes King Basil II ‘s Byzantine Army at The Battle of Gates of Trajan in 996
King Basil II The Bulgar Slayer Victoriously Avenges his Byzantine Army at The Battle of Kleidion in 1014
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander The double-headed Byzantine Eagle. Byzantine Commander Result
Battle of Ongal 680 Asparukh Constantine IV Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Anchialus 708 Tervel Justinian II Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Marcellae 756 Vinekh Constantine V Byzantine Victory
Battle of the Rishki Pass 759 Vinekh Constantine V Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Anchialus 763 Telets Constantine V Byzantine Victory
Battle of Berzitia 774 Telerig Constantine V Byzantine Victory
Battle of Marcellae 792 Kardam Constantine VI Bulgarian Victory
Siege of Serdica 809 Krum Constantine V Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Pliska 811 Krum Nicephorus I Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Versinikia 813 Krum Michael I Rangabe Bulgarian Victory
Siege of Adrianople 813 Krum Leo Phokas Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Burdizon 814 Omurtag Leo Phokas Byzantine Victory
Battle of Kedouktos 822 Omurtag Thomas I Byzantine Victory
Battle of Boulgarophygon 896 Simeon I Leo Katakalon Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Achelous 917 Simeon I Leo Phokas Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Katasyrtai 917 Simeon I Leo Phokas Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Pegae 922 Theodore Sigritsa Pothos Argyros Bulgarian Victory
Battle of the Gates of Trajan 986 Samuil Basil II Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Salonica 996 Samuil Gregory Taronites Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Spercheios 996 Samuil Nikephoros Ouranos Byzantine Victory
Battle of Skopie 1004 Samuil Basil II Byzantine Victory
Battle of Kreta 1009 Samuil Basil II Byzantine Victory
Battle of Thessalonica 1014 Nestoritsa Botaneiates Byzantine Victory
Battle of Kleidion 1014 Samuil Basil II Byzantine Victory
Battle of Strumitsa 1014 Gavril Radomir Botaneiates Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Bitola 1015 Ivats George Gonitsiates Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Setina 1017 Ivan Vladislav Basil II Byzantine Victory
Battle of Dyrrhachium 1018 Ivan Vladislav Niketas Pegonites Byzantine Victory
Battle of Thessalonica 1040 Peter II Delyan Michael IV Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Thessalonica 1040 Alusian Michael IV Byzantine Victory
Uprising of Voiteh 1070 Peter III Damianos Bulgarian Victory
Defeat of Voiteh 1100 Peter III Damianos Byzantine Victory
Battle of Ostrovo 1041 Peter II Delyan Michael IV Byzantine Victory
Siege of Lovech 1190 Ivan Asen I Isaac II Angelos Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Tryavna 1190 Ivan Asen I Isaac II Angelos Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Arcadiopolis 1194 Ivan Asen I Basil Vatatzes Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Serres 1196 Ivan Asen I Isaac Bulgarian Victory
Siege of Varna 1201 Kaloyan Isaac Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Devina 1279 Ivailo Murin Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Skafida 1304 Theodore Svetoslav Michael IX Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Rusokastro 1332 Ivan Alexander Andronikos III Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Crimean Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Gerae-tamga.svg Crimean Tatar Khanate Commander Result
First Tatar Invasion 1241 Kaliman I Tatarin Bulgarian Victory
Second Siege of Nessebar 1244 Kaliman I Tatarin Bulgarian Victory
Tatar Invasion of Dobruja 1414 Constantine II Yeremferden Crimean Victory
Final Tatar Banishment 1415 Constantine II Yeremferden Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Croatian Wars[edit]

Bulgaria Conquering a Majority of the Croatian Territory Along with Bordering Charlemagne’s Frankish Empire in 814
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Croatian Chequy3.png Croatian Commander Result
First Bulgar-Croat War 854 Boris I Trpimir Truce
Battle of the Bosnian Highlands 926 Alogobotur Tomislav Croatian Victory
Second Bulgar-Croat War 927 Simeon I Tomislav Bulgarian Victory
Third Bulgar-Croat War-Alliance 1000 Samuil Svetoslav Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Cuman Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander CumaniaCoA.png Cumanian Commander Result
First Cumanian Conflict 1140 Gradihna Sevinch Bulgarian Victory
Second Cumanian Conflict 1145 Radoslav Sevinch Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Frankish Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Arms of the Kingdom of France (Moderne).svg Frankish Commander Result
Bulgar-Frankish War 827 Omurtag Louis the Pious Bulgarian Victory
Naval Battle of the Danube 827 Omurtag Louis the Pious Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Frankish War 828 Omurtag Louis the Pious Bulgarian Victory
Naval Battle of the Drava 828 Omurtag Louis the Pious Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Frankish Alliance 829 Omurtag Louis the Pious Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Genoan Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Armoiries Gênes.svg Genoan Commander Result
First Battle of Dobruja 1379 Dobrotitsa Luciano Doria Bulgarian Victory
Second Battle of Dobruja 1382 Dobrotitsa Nicolò Guarco Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Pera 1387 Ivanko Nicolò Guarco Truce

Bulgarian-Hungarian Wars[edit]

The Bulgarian Army Flees to Silistra After a Hungarian Defeat in 894
After All of Europe Pleaded God For Mercy From The Ravaging Magyar Hungarians, a Sickened King Simeon Answered the Call By Brutally Slaughtering Many of The Magyrs at The Battle of Southern Buh. Ultimately Forcing The Magyars to Permanentley Settle In Central Europe
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Coa Hungary Country History Imre (1196-1204).svg Hungarian Commander Result
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 862 Boris I Rastislav Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 883 Boris I Svatoplak Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 892 Boris I Svatoplak Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 893 Boris I Arpad Hungarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 894 Boris I Arpad Hungarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 895 Simeon I Arpad And Levente Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Southern Buh 896 Simeon I Arpad And Levente Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 932 Peter I Bogat Hungarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 934 Peter I Zombor Hungarian Victory
Battle of the Northern Danube 980 Ahtum Stephen I Hungarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 1202 Kaloyan Emeric Hungarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 1203 Kaloyan Emeric Bulgarian Victory
Battle of the Vidin 1365 Ivan Stratsimir Louis I Hungarian Victory
Bulgar-Hungar Wars 1367 Ivan Alexander Louis I Bulgarian Victory
Final Defeat of Hungaria 1369 Ivan Stratsimir Louis I Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Khazar Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Magen David Adom.svg Khazar Khaganate Commander Result
Khazar Invasion Old Great Bulgaria 662 Kubrat Ziebel Khazar Victory
Fall of Old Great Bulgaria 665 Kubrat Bori Shad Khazar Victory
First Northern Bulgar Invasion 668 Asparukh Kaban Bulgarian Victory
Second Northern Bulgar Invasion 670 Asparukh Kaban Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Danube & Death of Aspurukh 701 Asparukh Busir Khazar Victory
Destruction of Southern Khazaria 702 Tervel Busir Bulgarian Victory
Final Khazar Banishment 825 Omurtag Bulan Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Kievan Rus Wars[edit]

The Rus' Invasion Being Repulsed by a Byzantine Bulgarian Alliance
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Alex K Sviatoslav.svg Rus Commander Result
Battle of Silistra 968 Peter I Sviatoslav I Rus Victory
Bulgar-Rus Wars 968 Boris I Sviatoslav I Rus Victory
Battle of Pereyaslavets 969 Boris I Sviatoslav I Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Rus Northern Alliance 970 Boris I Sviatoslav I Rus Victory
Siege of Dorostolon 971 Boris II Sviatoslav I Bulgarian Victory
Rus Banishment 997 Samuil Sviatoslav I Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Latin Wars[edit]

A medieval fortress
Tsarevets Castle, Capital of Bulgaria Under King Kaloyan The Crusader Slayer. Where The Bulgarians Brutally Annihilated The 4th Crusade, Capturing Latin Crusader King Baldwin I In The Process and Locking Him in His Tower Till His Death in 1205
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Blason Empire Latin de Constantinople.svg Latin Crusader Commander Result
Battle of Adrianople 1205 Kaloyan Baldwin I Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Serres 1205 Kaloyan Henry I Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Rusion 1206 Kaloyan Thierry de Termonde Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Rodosto 1206 Kaloyan Henry I Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Messinopolis 1207 Boril Boniface Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Beroia 1207 Boril Henry I Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Philippopolis 1208 Boril Henry I Latin Victory
Siege of Constantinople 1235 Ivan Asen II John of Brienne Two Year Truce

Bulgarian-Mongol Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Golden Horde flag 1339.svg Mongol Commander Result
Battle of Samara Bend 1223 Gabdula Chelbir Ghengis Khan Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Mongol War 1241 Ivan Asen II Batu Khan Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Mongol War 1242 Kaliman Asen I Batu Khan Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Mongol War 1271 Ivailo Nogai Khan Mongol Victory
Bulgar-Mongol War 1278 Ivailo Nogai Khan Bulgarian Victory
Siege of Silistra 1279 Ivailo Nogai Khan Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Mongol War 1299 George I Nogai Khan Mongol Victory
First Mongol Banishment 1300 Theo Svetoslav Toqta Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Mongol War 1332 Ivan Stefan Uzbeg Khan Bulgarian Victory
Final Banishment of Mongol Horde 1341 Ivan Stefan Uzbeg Khan Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Nicean Wars[edit]

Map of the Numerous Latin Kingdoms in Result of the Latin Crusader Sack of Constantinople
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Flag of Palaeologus Dynasty.svg Nicean Commander Result
Siege of Constantinople 1235 Ivan Asen II John of Brienne Two Year Truce
Battle of Adrianople 1254 Micheal I Theodore II Lascaris Nicean Victory
First Battle of Northern Anatolia 1256 Micheal I Theodore II Lascaris Bulgarian Victory
Second Battle of Northern Anatolia 1257 Micheal I Theodore II Lascaris Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Ottoman Wars[edit]

Bulgarian Duke Momchil The Ottoman Obliterator (Turk Destroyer) Victoriously Crushing The Ottoman Offense a Year After His Famous Destruction of The Ottoman Fleet In The Naval Massacre of Portogalos in 1344
The Bulgarian Empire, Split Into Its Numerous Bulgar States, On The Eve of The Century War With The Ottoman Turks
A depiction from a medieval manuscript
The Defeat At The Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, Was The Major Turning Point in The Near Hundred Year War With The Ottoman Empire
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Ottoman Commander Result
Naval Massacre of Porto Galo 1344 Momchil Murad I Bulgarian Victory
Rhodope Bulgar Ambush 1345 Momchil Murad I Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Peritor 1345 Momchil Umur Beg Ottoman Victory
Bulgar-Ottoman Wars 1352 Ivan Alexander Umur Beg Ottoman Victory
Bulgar-Ottoman Wars 1354 Ivan Alexander Umur Beg Ottoman Victory
Battle of Ihtiman 1355 Michael Asen Umur Beg Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Ottoman Wars 1359 Michael Asen Umur Beg Ottoman Victory
Bulgar-Ottoman Wars 1353 Michael Asen Umur Beg Ottoman Victory
Bulgar-Ottoman Wars 1364 Michael Asen Umur Beg Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Ottoman Wars 1371 Ivan Shishman Murad I Ottoman Victory
Bulgar-Ottoman Peace Treaty 1373 Ivan Shishman Murad I Ottoman Victory
First Siege of Rakovista 1374 Ivan Shishman Davud Pasha Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Ottoman Wars 1375 Ivan Shishman Davud Pasha Bulgarian Victory
Siege of Tsepina 1375 Ivan Shishman Davud Pasha Bulgarian Victory
Second Siege of Rakovista 1375 Ivan Shishman Davud Pasha Ottoman Victory
Siege of Batkun 1376 Ivan Shishman Davud Pasha Ottoman Victory
Ottoman Rhodope Invasion 1376 Ivan Shishman Lala Shahin Pasha Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Zarenitza 1376 Ivan Shishman Lala Shahin Pasha Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Zagrad 1376 Ivan Shishman Lala Shahin Pasha Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Gradishte 1377 Ivan Shishman Lala Shahin Pasha Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Chiltepes 1378 Ivan Shishman Sara Baba Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Karakulas 1378 Ivan Shishman Sara Baba Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Imeretdere 1379 Ivan Shishman Sara Baba Bulgarian Victory
Massacre of Momina Voda 1380 Ivan Shishman Sara Baba Bulgarian Victory
Siege of Zlatitsa Valley 1380 Ivan Stratsimir Murad I Ottoman Victory
First Siege of Sofia 1381 Ban Yanuka Lala Shahin Pasha Bulgarian Victory
Second Siege of Sofia 1382 Ban Yanuka Murad I Ottoman Victory
Battle of Pirot 1384 Ivan Shishman Murad I Ottoman Victory
Battle of Naissus 1386 Ivan Shishman Murad I Ottoman Victory
Battle of Plocnik 1387 Ivan Stratsimir Lala Shahin Pasha Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Ovech 1387 Ivan Stratsimir Lala Shahin Pasha Ottoman Victory
Siege of Shumen 1388 Ivan Stratsimir Lala Shahin Pasha Ottoman Victory
Battle of Madara 1389 Ivan Stratsimir Lala Shahin Pasha Ottoman Victory
Siege of Varna 1389 Ivan Stratsimir Murad I Bulgarian Victory
First Siege of Tutrakan 1390 Ivan Stratsimir Murad I Bulgarian Victory
Second Siege of Tutrakan 1391 Ivan Stratsimir Lala Shahin Pasha Ottoman Victory
First Siege of Nicopolis 1392 Ivan Shishman Murad I Bulgarian Victory
Second Siege of Nicopolis 1392 Ivan Shishman Bayezid I Ottoman Victory
Siege of Tarnovo 1393 Evtimiy Süleyman Çelebi Ottoman Victory
Capture of Vidin 1396 Ivan Stratsimir Bayezid I Bulgarian Victory
Ottoman Retake of Vidin 1398 Ivan Stratsimir Bayezid I Ottoman Victory
Anti-Ottoman Revolt 1413 Constantine II Mehmed I Bulgarian Victory
Final Fall of Bulgarian Empire 1422 Constantine II Murad II Ottoman Victory

Bulgarian-Pecheneg Wars[edit]

Bulgaria Bordering the Vast Pecheneg Khanate Before a Decisive Bulgarian Victory Led By King Boris II
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Heraldic Shield Orange.svg Pecheneg Khanate Commander Result
First Pecheneg Invasion 967 Peter I Kurya Pecheneg Victory
Second Pecheneg Invasion 969 Boris II Kurya Bulgarian Victory
Third Pecheneg Invasion 970 Boris II Kurya Bulgarian Victory
Final Pecheneg Banishment 971 Boris II Kurya Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Levounion 1091 Peter III Emir Chaka Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Savoyan Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Arms of the House of Savoy.svg Duchy of Savoy Commander Result
First Black Sea Naval Invasion 1365 Ivan Alexander Amadeus VI Savoyan Victory
Capture of Varna 1366 Ivan Alexander Amadeus VI Savoyan Victory
Second Black Sea Naval Invasion 1366 Ivan Alexander Amadeus VI Bulgarian Victory
Third Black Sea Naval Invasion 1367 Ivan Alexander Amadeus VI Bulgarian Victory
Destruction of the Fleet of Savoy 1370 Ivan Alexander Amadeus VI Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Seljuk Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Seljuqs Eagle.svg Seljuk Sultanate Commander Result
First Battle of Manzikert 1054 Peter II Tughril Bulgarian Victory
Second Battle of Manzikert 1071 Peter II Alp Arslan Seljuk Victory
Second Siege of Nicea 1113 Peter III Kilij Arslan I Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Antioch 1211 Ivan Asen II Kaykhusraw I Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Serbian Wars[edit]

The Invincible Bulgarian Empire In The Process of Conquering a Majority of The Serbian Kingdom
A page from a medieval manuscript
The Serbs Pleading The Byzantines For a Formed Alliance Against the Unstoppable Bulgarian State, Before Being Conquered for a Second Time
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Nemanjić dynasty coat of arms, Palavestra.jpg Serbian Commander Result
Bulgar-Serb War 839 Omurtag Vlastimir Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 842 Presian Vlastimir Serbian Victory
First Bulgar-Serb Alliance 853 Vladimir-Rasate Mutimir Serbian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 917 Simeon I Petar Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 921 Simeon I Pavle Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 922 Zaharija Pavle Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 924 Marmais and Sigritsa Zaharija Serbian Victory
Full Conquer of Serbia 925 Simeon I Zaharija Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 998 Samuil Jovan Vladimir Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 1202 Kaloyan Emeric Serbian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 1203 Kaloyan Emeric Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 1290 Darmen And Kudelin Stefan Dragutin Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Serb War 1291 Darmen And Kudelin Stefan Milutin Serbian Victory
Battle of Velbazhd 1330 Michael Shishman Stefan Dečanski Serbian Victory
Second Bulgar-Serb Alliance 1331 Ivan Stefan Stefan Dečanski Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Thessalonician Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Fessaloniki.png Thessalonician Commander Result
Battle of Klokotnitsa 1230 Ivan Asen II Theodore Komnenos Bulgarian Victory
Battle of Southern Thrace 1232 Ivan Asen II Theodore Komnenos Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Trebizond Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Blason Rennes.svg Trebizond Commander Result
First Battle of Northern Anatolia 1270 Dobrotitsa Andronikos III Bulgarian Victory
Second Battle of Northern Anatolia 1280 Dobrotitsa Andronikos III Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Turkic Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Gok1.png Gokturk Khaganate Commander Result
First Rebellion-Old Great Bulgaria Creation 622 Kubrat Ilterish Qaghan Bulgarian Victory
Final Gokturk Repulsion 632 Kubrat Ilterish Qaghan Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Venetian Wars[edit]

Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Naval Jack of Italy.svg Venetian Commander Result
First Siege of Nessebar 1257 Michael II Reniero Zeno Bulgarian Victory
Second Siege of Nessebar 1260 Constantine I Reniero Zeno Bulgarian Victory

Bulgarian-Wallachian Wars[edit]

Bulgaria Reconquering Lands Held by The Ottomans and Byzantines, Before A Wallachian Attack From The North in 1384
Battle Year Coat of arms of Bulgaria (version by constitution).svg Bulgarian Commander Coat of arms of Wallachia Voivodship.png Wallachian Commander Result
Bulgar-Wallachian War 1384 Ivan Sratsimir Dan I Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Wallachian War 1385 Ivan Shishman Dan I Bulgarian Victory
Bulgar-Wallachian War 1386 Ivan Shishman Dan I Bulgarian Victory

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.dnevnik.bg/bulgaria/2016/02/08/2700863_general-leitenant_konstantin_popov_e_noviiat_nachalnik/
  2. ^ IISS 2010, pp. 121–123
  3. ^ Official Military Expenditures List Archived March 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ България продала повече оръжие отколкото по Живково време, vesti.bg, 4 December 2008
  5. ^ Изнесли сме оръжия за над €145 млн. през 2009г., News.bg, 1 September 2010
  6. ^ Bulgaria's 2010 Arms Exports Amounted to EUR 260 M, Novinite, 20 July 2011
  7. ^ Bulgaria's 2011 Arms Exports Amounted to EUR 232 M investor.bg, 28 March 2013
  8. ^ Bulgaria's 2012 Biggest Arms Exports Are With Algeria and Afghanistan mediapool.bg, 05 June 2013
  9. ^ Bulgaria – Military Personnel
  10. ^ Попов, В., Иванова, Ц., Велкова, Й. Българската земска войска 1878–1879 г., София, 1959, Държавно Военно Издателство, с. 60
  11. ^ Emile Joseph Dillon, "The Inside Story of the Peace Conference", Ch. XV
  12. ^ a b c Hall (2000), p. 16
  13. ^ Hall (2000), p. 18
  14. ^ Hall (2000), p. 17
  15. ^ The Soviet Occupation, Library of Congress Country Studies
  16. ^ Bulgaria - Table A. Chronology of Important Events
  17. ^ Bulgaria – Army, nationalcoldwarexhibition.org
  18. ^ Ground Forces
  19. ^ Air and Air Defense Forces
  20. ^ Naval Forces
  21. ^ StandartNews.com "Никой не разбра, че горихме ракети през 1973 г. (in Bulgarian) Archived April 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ White Paper, p.30
  23. ^ Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria
  24. ^ Institut Po Otbrana
  25. ^ http://bgarmy.bg/?action=news&id=13514
  26. ^ a b [1]
  27. ^ White Paper, p. 32
  28. ^ Конференция на тема: „Роля и място на органите за ръководство при планиране и провеждане на национални и съюзни военни операции на територията на Република България”, 21 January 2009, Ministry of Defense[dead link]
  29. ^ Отчитат удовлетворяваща дисциплина във войската, Bulgarian Army, 10 February 2011
  30. ^ Нови социални придобивки за военните, Blitz.bg, 29 April 2009
  31. ^ Армията влезе в учение от времето на Студената война, segabg.com, 10 April 2009
  32. ^ Жарко лято на полигона, BGArmy, 11 August 2011
  33. ^ МОДЕРНИЗАЦИЯТА НА АРМИЯТА ОСТАВА ЗА ПО-ДОБРИ ВРЕМЕНА, Monitor, 22 March 2010
  34. ^ Armed Forces Development Plan, Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria
  35. ^ White Book of the Defense Forces
  36. ^ Bulgarian army armyrecognition.com
  37. ^ "Bulgarian arms imports, 2009 calendar year". UNODA. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  38. ^ Променят срока за договора за изтребителите?, Otbrana.com, 8 August 2011
  39. ^ The List: The Six Most Important U.S. Military Bases, FP, May 2006
  40. ^ "Defence Status Report 2012" (PDF). Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  41. ^ Foreign Affairs in the 1960s and 1970s, Library of Congress
  42. ^ Arms Sales, Library of Congress]
  43. ^ Military Cooperation and Exchanges
  44. ^ "Тroop contributions to ISAF" (PDF). ISAF official website. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  45. ^ [2], Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria official website
  46. ^ [3], Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria official website

Sources[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]