Talk:Military history of Bulgaria during World War II

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Involvement in invasion of Yugoslavia[edit]

On 6 April 1941, despite having officially joined the Axis Powers, the Bulgarian government did not participate in the invasion of Yugoslavia and the invasion of Greece.[citation needed]

I do not know about Greece, but historical sources indicate that Bulgrian territory was used for German advancement on Invasion of Yugoslavia. Clearer sentence would be that Bulgarian units did not participate the invasion, but territory was used as Axis base of operations.

Quote: The first phase encompasses the Luftwaffe's devastating air assault on Belgrade and airfields of the Royal Yugoslav Air Force of 6 April, and an initial thrust of the German XL Panzer Corps from Bulgaria towards Skopje that commenced the same day.[39] This was followed by the assault of the German XIV Panzer Corps from Bulgaria towards Niš on 8 April. (talk) 12:50, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Tsar Boris III[edit]

To the editor of the article titled Military_history_of_Bulgaria_during_World_War_II. You have written:
"Threatened by direct military confrontation, Tsar Boris III had no choice but to join the fascist bloc, which officially happened on 1 March 1941". Do you honestly mean to say that Boris did not explicitly agree with Hitler the capture of greek territories in return for Bulgaria joining the Axis? Parrisia 16:51, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Of course, Bulgaria's goal in WWII was to receive the territories Greece and Serbia had deprived it of during the Second Balkan War, but Bulgaria was actually forced to join the war as it was threatened with a Nazi invasion, and this is what you'd like to remove. Unless you provide reliable sources, you will be reverted, I fear. TodorBozhinov 17:01, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Greece too was threatened by an Italian and German invasion but was not "forced" to do anything of the sort that the "Osvoboditel" did. We actually fought the Axis (fought as in fighting, as in not chickening out). And let me get this straight: I need to provide reliable sources to counter what the Bulgarian foreign ministry site has to say about what is arguably the darkest period of Bulgarian history? I think I am going to leave this whole official story-line domain over to you.
Parrisia 08:12, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

I think the whole discussion is getting off the point. It is generally agreed among historians, and supported by contemporaries, that Bulgaria did not willingly side with the Axis, but was pressed into it. The fact that it chose collaboration and not resistance may be reprehensible, but it was not alone in doing so. Romania lost a third of its territory, during peacetime, on Germany's orders, and still fought alongside the Wehrmacht in the Eastern Front! Even the French formed volunteer SS units, and there were Greek collaborators too... The whole issue of the motives for collaboration is too extensive and controversial to resolve here. What is a fact however, is that Bulgaria did collaborate, and was richly rewarded for its cooperation with Germany, reluctant though it was. What Bulgarians then and now think of that period is one thing, but the policy implemented by the Bulgarian government in occupied territories was extremely brutal. Atrocities of this kind have been committed to a lesser or greater extent by all Balkan states in the 20th century, but in this particular case, "we were forced to" is no valid excuse (the same was claimed by hundreds of thousands of Italians and Germans after the war, but it doesn't make them less responsible), and untrue, to boot. The Germans never intervened in the running of the Bulgarian zone, and did not need to, as the Bulgarian authorities fully cooperated with them. The Jews from N. Greece, for example, were rounded up and sent to the camps with no resistance at all. Even the Italians did more to save at least some of them. Without resorting to wholesale denunciations, the current article needs to be rewritten, as the much-stressed passivity currently reads more like an attempt at whitewash. By reading it, one gets the impression that Bulgaria was almost as much a victim of the Axis as Greece, Poland or France... Regards, Cplakidas 22:59, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Cheers, dude, my points exactly
Parrisia 14:50, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Your points? What Cplakidas says is very far from what you're claiming, and especially the way you're claiming it. In fact, we were not only pressed into siding with the Axis, but there was no other reasonable choice — the Allies were not capable of providing any aid, and the German troops would pass through Bulgaria to invade Greece no matter what Boris III would decide. Plus, the Allies would not offer any reasonable solutions to our "national question", or the unification of all Bulgarian-inhabited lands into a single nation-state. That said, our "choice" becomes clear.
I wouldn't argue about that alleged brutality of the Bulgarian occupation, but you have to understand that detailed, reliable sources are required here and no pariphrasis will be tolerated. You say brutal? Quote it! That's the way it's done, not Parrisia's reverts. Also, how the Bulgarian population of these regions "disappeared" between the two wars may not be irrelevant.
As I said, the Jews in Greek Macedonia and Thrace were not Bulgarian citizens, and we couldn't avoid direct German orders when it's not even our citizens whose deportation was ordered. I don't think you can blame us for not saving your Jews.
In my opinion, our passivity should be particularly emphasized because it's a historical fact. Otherwise, one might be mislead regarding our role in the war. TodorBozhinov 15:29, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
As for "the names of towns and places changed", this is silly. You don't expect us to use the Greek forms in Bulgarian when we've got our own, do you? We don't call Θεσσαλονίκη that way, we call it Солун, and that's not a name change. Just like you call İstanbul, Κωνσταντινούπολη... TodorBozhinov 15:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

what you say ("the German troops would pass through Bulgaria to invade Greece no matter what Boris III would decide. Plus, the Allies would not offer any reasonable solutions to our "national question", or the unification of all Bulgarian-inhabited lands into a single nation-state") actually goes to show why Boris III chose to ally with the Nazis: because they were the only ones who would promise him the realisation of his irredentist agenda.

As for the Jews of NE Greece, this has to do with a clear provision of international law: the illegitimate occupation force (as viewed from the Greek side) or the legal administration of Aegean Bulgaria (as you obviously see it) were responsible for all people residing inside their area of responsibility. The minute Bulgarian forces entered NE Greece they became responsible for the well-being and security of all its inhabitants: the Greeks they expelled, the Jews they sent packing to Auschwitz and also for the Bulgarian settlers they brought in en masse. Your line "We couldn't save your Jews...they weren't Bulgarian citizens" is, frankly speaking, ridiculous and disrespectful to all the dead victims.

About the brutality of the Bialomorska Balgaria, a piece of important work is the "Bulgarian Occupation in eastern Macedonia and western Thrace" by Xanthipi Kotzageorgi-Zymari, a Greek researcher, fluent in Bulgarian, issued by the Foundation for Studies on the Haemus Peninsula (Thessaloniki, 2002). I am sure that it wouldn't fit into your rigid official/state history standards, but there you have it. Could you possibly provide us with some concrete piece of historical work on the "positive" effects of the Bulgarian administration of NE Greece during 1941-1944?
Parrisia 19:26, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

You say "irredentist agenda", I try to be neutral in my wording and not talk about Greece's own expansionist policy and its Balkan War acquisitions. You say "settlers brought in en masse", I prefer not to mention the substitution of Greek Macedonia's Bulgarian population with Pontian Greeks. Don't think the Allies wouldn't have helped us solve our national issues if we had joined them, they just had more important problems to deal with at the time, and Hitler was bolder in his promises. Plus, these promises were carried by a Nazi force waiting at the border to cross through Bulgaria to Greece, no matter whether Boris agrees. There's no way a sensible person would decline that "offer".
You're being naïve if you think anyone would care too much about the well-being of the population in an occupation zone during a war, and technically, Bulgaria cannot be responsible for anyone else but its own citizens. It's even more naïve to assume that an occupation force would have any positive effects. War's not a good thing and Greece can't positively have been the Garden of Eden at the time, but what we did was by no means the most brutal occupation ever as you try to present it, and it certainly had historical origins in Greece's own annexation and treatment of the population in the region. Yes, our goal was to make Aegean Macedonia and Western Thrace an inseparable part of Bulgaria and our actions were prompted by this, but wasn't this exactly what Greece successfully implemented some 30 years prior to that?
Feel free to expand the article using the source you mentioned, but always make sure you note that this is a purely Greek point of view which is not shared in Bulgaria, so as the readers aren't mislead.
And don't dare to call me disrespectful to the fate of those people. I'm just refusing to bear someone else's responsibility (namely Hitler's). Best, TodorBozhinov 19:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Listen, Zifkov, pathetic excuses of the sort "We couldn't save your Jews...they weren't even Bulgarian citizens" clearly demonstrate that you are a fool or, worse, an anti-Semite. I think you ought to be expelled from Wikipedia altogether.
Parrisia 22:09, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Parrisia, first of all, relax. Your attitude is not helpful, and it contravenes most of Wikipedia's rules of conduct. Φίλε, δε βοηθάς με το να επιτίθεσαι σε όποιον διαφωνεί. Τα επιθετικά σχόλια σε τέτοια ζητήματα βλάπτουν περισσότερο αυτόν που τα χρησιμοποιεί, ειδικά αν τα διαβάσει κάποιος ουδέτερος τρίτος. Και πολλά από αυτά που λέει ο Τοντόρ έχουν βάση. Γράψε ήρεμα, με NPOV και τεκμηριωμένα, και κανείς δεν θα μπορεί να τα κάνει revert.
Now, concerning Bulgaria's role, this is about WW2, not the Balkan Wars, not the exchanges of populations before and after WW1. These belong to the relevant articles (and the relevant interminable discussions). We all did that stuff, yes, but my point is that the current article does not read like "our goal was to make Aegean Macedonia and Western Thrace an inseparable part of Bulgaria and our actions were prompted by this", but rather like "we came, we saw, we went". I will make edits to that point, with sources - after the Easter holidays :P - and I would appreciate it if you did the same. Todor, I appreciate your frankness, but claiming that Bulgarian authorities were not responsible for what happened to the territories under their control - and, unlike Germany or Italy, Bulgaria had annexed these territories, i.e. they were part of the official Bulgarian state - is silly. The Italians, a much more ideological Axis partner, to their credit, did try to save several hundreds of Jews from Macedonia and refused to deport those in their own zone, as well as refusing to implement a wholesale retaliation policy against civilians for Resistance acts. Hungary, much closer to Germany, and Bulgaria itself, also refused, and succeeded in protecting their own Jews. So why the difference for the Greek Jews or the Orthodox Greek population in the Bulgarian zone? The mutual hatred between Greece and Bulgaria certainly played a role, but that's no excuse, it's a motive. According to international law, as Parrisia noted, the Bulgarian occupation authorities, carry the responsibility for their area of control.
A major point I am trying to make is that Hitler alone would never have done anything. It was those who cooperated with him, willingly or not, that enabled and carried out his crimes. And I cannot help but compare Bulgaria's stance with post-war Austria's (i.e. "we were Hitler's first victim, we were invaded, forced to carry out his orders, and we are innocent of his crimes"). From the POV of a Greek this is sheer hypocrisy, even if it does contain a measure of truth. To us, and, I think, the world at large, Bulgaria was an integral and active part of the Axis. And the associated responsibility must be recognized, even if there are valid reasons for Bulgaria's stance. These must be explained, so as to understand Bulgaria's position, but not lead to the exclusion of the fact of the collaboration and portray Bulgaria only as a victim, because it was not. And with that, I rest my case. Regards and Happy Easter, Cplakidas 23:28, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Feel free to add to the article at any time all the information you mentioned, as long as you provide reliable sources. There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding who Bulgaria is responsible for (its own citizens or all people in a Bulgarian-controlled region), but it really doesn't matter — those deportations are a fact and I see nothing wrong with adding it to the article — as long as it is not out of context. Of course we are responsible for what we did and we were not only victims, but behind our actions there were reasons and external pressure, and this must be mentioned too, because otherwise it is very misleading. Clearly, we seem to have settled this :) And I will not respond to Parrisia's personal attacks. Happy Easter to both of you guys! TodorBozhinov 12:18, 4 April 2007 (UTC).
hello . my family came from bulgaria to israel. the role of the government and the Bulgarian army in the deportation, was mentioned in several books, and numerous eye witnesses. 11,343 jews from Thrace and Macedonia, and 188 jews from pirot, were rounded up by bulgarian troops. the were beaten, robbed, women were raped ( in pirot), they were locked up, with no food, then stacked on Freight rail transport, to Lom, Then by Ferries to Vienna. all these atrocities, were done by bulgarian soldiers( and yes, they had the alternative not to beat, rob, or rape, or....). my grandfather, originally from plovdiv, who was an Unfree labour, ( like all jewish males in bulgaria, at the age 20-40), on the the root of these trains, had told me about them, the shoutings and crying of the people. they all died at Treblinka extermination camp. ( not Auschwitz, as stated in the article).
As for bulgarian jews, on the afternoon of the 9th of march 1943, bulgarian troops came to my grandmothers' house at ortamazar plovdiv, told her to be prepared for deportation, and pack 2 items for each child. ( 2 pairs of shoes and so on). the troops returned after midnight, and rounded up all the jews at the local jewish elemntry school. at that time, march 1943, they knew they were going to their death. some bulgarian church priests tried to prevent the scene, and were beaten by the soldiers. at the next day, before noon the jews, including my grandmother, mother and uncles were released.
neither the government, the army nor the king, are credited for the saving of 48,000 bulgarian jews, they are to be blamed of trying to deport them to their death. a group of noble, courageous persons like: Стефан I (екзарх), Patriarch Cyril of Bulgaria, Dimitar Peshev and others, who put pressure on the king to stop the deportation, did it. and last but not least, the simple ordinary bulgarian people, like my mothers' neighbors from plovdiv, who supported her with food, clothing and shelter, and thus they remained friends up to this day. my mother had kept the Yellow badge, which she was forced to wear, according to the Law for protection of the nation, and she showed it to me, as i showed it to my children, and they will show it to theirs.
I have written articles on the Hebrew wikipedia about Cyril, Peshev and Stephan. as for Стефан I (екзарх), there are only articles in hebrew and Bulgarian language. Such an outstanding person, deserves an article in English.( At least).
on march 2008 Georgi Parvanov, had visited in israel and said: " as we are proud of what bulgarians had done to save the jewish community, we can not forget, that at the same time, there was an anti-Semitic government in bulgaria, and we do not reduce from our responsibility to the faith of more than 11,000 jews, from Thrace and Macedonia, who were deported to the death camps".
personally, i respect him, for this brave and honest statement.
this in short, is the story, with its noblilty and disgrace.
regards --Assayas (talk) 17:01, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Greater Bulgaria[edit]

The search string 'Greater Bulgaria' redirects here. This page, however, is of very little use when researching the 19th century 'Greater Bulgaria' formed as a result of conflict between the Russian and Ottoman empires, is it not? --KatzMotel 00:41, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, this redirect is a pretty bad decision, it should be speedied. If you mean Treaty of San Stefano Bulgaria, I wouldn't call it "Greater", because it essentially followed ethnic borders, though it certainly has become a nationalist goal. Also, there was an early medieval Great Bulgaria north of the Black Sea in modern Russia and Ukraine. TodorBozhinov 11:43, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Bulgarian125ip9.jpg[edit]

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Image:Bulgarian125ip9.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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BetacommandBot 03:49, 27 October 2007 (UTC)


I've removed the image again [1].

  1. If you can make your point based on reliable secondary sources, you evidently don't need a non-free image to make it. The image is not indispensible, and it is also not the object of analytical discussion in the article, as the fair-use rationale falsely claims.
  2. While Poulton is a reliable source for the point being made, Danforth's p.41 is not. As has been repeatedly pointed out to edit-warriors on all sides, that particular passage in Danforth's book is not written in his own voice and not endorsed by him. It is a paraphrase, by Danforth, of the stereotypical position of a Greek nationalist. See the dangers of quote-mongering and ripping quotes out of context.
  3. Jingiby, you have just violated your revert parole again. Fut.Perf. 11:07, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

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