RBAF

Bulgarian Air Force - Vazdushni Voyski

Aircrew Bulgarian fighter pilots pose by a Messerschmitt Bf 109G2 autumn 1943 01

Aircrew RBAF pilot Stoyan Stoyanov

Messerschmitt Bf 109E7 RBAF (x9) formation pair on climb Bulgaria 1941 01

Messerschmitt Bf 109E7 RBAF white 7 Sarafovo Airfield Bulgaria 1941

Messerschmitt Bf 109E7 Vazdushni Voyski White 9 Bulgaria 1941

Messerschmitt Bf 109E RBAF (x3) formation pair on climb Bulgaria 1943 01

Messerschmitt Bf 109E RBAF (x7) Bulgaria 1943 0A

Messerschmitt Bf 109E RBAF (x8) Bulgaria 1943 0A

Messerschmitt Bf 109E4 one of the first to arrive in Bulgaria 1940

Photo 01: the first batch of Messerschmitt Bf 109E7 to arrive in Bulgaria 1940 with national markings still to be applied

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 Vazdushni Voyski combat ready Vrajdebna Bulgaria early 1944

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 RBAF (x11) flown by Bulgarian pilot Mihail Grigorov, who shot down two USAAF P-38's while on patrol over Yugoslavia,

Messerschmitt Bf 109E RBAF (x4) Stoyan Stoyanov 1941 00

Profile 00: Bf 109E RBAF (x4) Stoyan Stoyanov 1943 00

Messerschmitt Bf 109E7 RBAF (x4) Stoyan Stoyanov Sarafovo Airfield 1941

Messerschmitt Bf 109E RBAF (x4) Stoyan Stoyanov 1943

Messerschmitt Bf 109E RBAF (x4) Stoyan Stoyanov 1943 Jet Prop 2008 P04

 
 IL-2 Sturmovik 'Cliff's of Dover' - COD game skins
COD game skin by asisbiz Bf 109E7 Vazdushni Voyski White 9 Bulgaria 1941
COD game skin by asisbiz Bf 109E7 Vazdushni Voyski White 9 Bulgaria 1941 RLM 70A
COD game skin by asisbiz Bf 109E7 Vazdushni Voyski White 9 Bulgaria 1941 RLM 70B

 

Luftwaffe pilot Bulgarien Air Force - Vazdushni Voyski

World War II (1939–1945)

At the beginning of World War II, the combat air fleet comprised 374 machines in various roles. In addition orders were placed for 10 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 fighters, 11 Dornier Do 17M/P bombers, 6 Messerschmitt Bf 108 light liaison and utility aircraft, 24 Arado Ar 96B-2 and 14 Bücker-Bestmann Bü 131 trainers.

The Air Force order of battle comprised the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Army Aviation Orlyaks (Army Air Groups or air regiments), each attached to the correspondingly-numbered field army. Each orlyak had a fighter, a line bomber and two reconnaissance yatos (Squadrons). There was also an Independent Aviation corps, which combined the 5th Bomber and 6th Fighter Regiments. The training units consisted of the "Junker" School Orlyak at Vrazhdebna airfield, the 2nd Training Orlyak at Telish airfield (called the Blind Flying Training School) and the 3rd Training Orlyak at Stara Zagora airfield. In 1940, the Bulgarian aviation industry provided the HMAT with 42 DAR-9, 45 KB-5 aircraft and the serial production of the KB-6 - Bulgaria's first twin-engined aircraft was scheduled to commence. At year's end the Air Force had 595 aircraft (258 combat) and 10 287 personnel.

The Kingdom of Bulgaria entered World War II on 1 March 1941 as a German ally. Under the signed treaty Bulgaria allowed the use of its territory as a staging point for the invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece and some minor logistical support.

Despite the impressive inventory, Bulgaria's fighter force at the time consisted of 91 machines, with just 10 of them being of the modern Bf 109E-4 type. Further 11 were of the outdated PZL.24B; the remaining numbers were of the Avia B.534 biplane types. The ground-based air defenses were made up of only 8 88 mm (3.5 in) and 6 20 mm (0.79 in) AA guns. To help its new ally the 12th Army of the Wehrmacht offered support with its air and air defense assets and 8 Freya-type radars dispersed throughout the country. A dispersed observation and reporting system was gradually developed.

The first air strike against Bulgarian targets was carried out by 4 Yugoslav Dornier Do.17Kb-1 on 6 April 1941 on the city of Kyustendil and its railway station killing 47 and injuring 95, mostly civilians. The air strikes intensifying following days; British Royal Air Force units based in Greece participated in the attacks as well. At the end of April 2 and 5th Bulgarian armies occupied Greek and Yugoslav territories according to an agreement with the Third Reich. As a part of the joint armed forces' effort on June 26, 1941 6 Avia B.71 and 9 Dornier Do 17M bombers were transferred to the Badem Chiflik airfield near Kavala (in modern Greece). They were tasked with ASW patrols and air support for Italian shipping over the adjacent area of the Aegean Sea. In addition 9 Letov Š.328s based in Badem Chiflik provided the ground troops with air reconnaissance. At the Black Sea shores the "Galata" Fighter Orlyak was established at NAS Chaika, Varna, with the 10 Bf 109E-4s and 6 Avia B.534s. The S.328s were also used for ASW patrols over the Black Sea, flying out of the Sarafovo and Balchik airfields. At the end of 1941 the inventory of His Majesty's Air Troops consisted of 609 aircraft of 40 different types.

 

 Some of the most widely used Book References:

  • Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase One: July-August 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 1) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Eddie J Creek (Author)
  • Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Two: August-September 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 2) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
  • Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Three: September-October 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 3) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
  • Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Four: November 1940-June 1941 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 4) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)

 Some of the most widely used Magazine References:

  • Airfix Magazines (English) - http://www.airfix.com/
  • Avions (French) - http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/rubrique10.html
  • FlyPast (English) - http://www.flypast.com/
  • Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) - http://vdmedien.com/flugzeug-publikations-gmbh-hersteller_verlag-vdm-heinz-nickel-33.html
  • Flugzeug Classic (German) - http://www.flugzeugclassic.de/
  • Klassiker (German) - http://shop.flugrevue.de/abo/klassiker-der-luftfahrt
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://boutique.editions-lariviere.fr/site/abonnement-le-fana-de-l-aviation-626-4-6.html
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://www.pdfmagazines.org/tags/Le+Fana+De+L+Aviation/
  • Osprey (English) - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/
  • Revi Magazines (Czech) - http://www.revi.cz/