Book Alert: The Armored Forces of the Bulgarian Army 1936-45

armoured_forces_bulgarian_army_wwii_305x222Earlier this month Helion Publishing released a new hardcover book on “The Armored forces of the Bulgarian Army 1936-45.”  Written by Kaloyan Matev, this volume comes in at a hefty 504 pages.  It is probably fair to say this is the most in-depth book that has been written on the topic of the Bulgarian armored forces.

Publishers descriptionThis book provides a detailed history of motor vehicles and armored fighting vehicles in the Bulgarian Army from 1936, during the last years of peace, until the end of the Second World War in 1945.

For much of this period, Bulgaria was allied to Germany. The Bulgarian Army was mainly equipped with German weapons, or equipment captured by the Germans and then sold to Bulgaria. The negotiations as well as supplies of motor vehicles and armored vehicles are described at length. The combat service of the army’s armored units is also described in detail, firmly based on archival research. Despite Bulgaria’s entry into World War II as early as 1941, the only military actions during the first period of the war were related to the occupation of parts of Yugoslavia and Greece. The real combat service of the Bulgarian Army began in September 1944 against its former ally, the Germans. The delivery of armored fighting vehicles for 1st Bulgarian Army from the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front 1945 is described in detail.

Until very recently, the fate of all armored fighting vehicles in the Bulgarian Army in 1945 remained completely unknown. The classified status of the documents prevented any detailed study. However, this is now possible, and full coverage is provided.

In addition to a detailed narrative, the author also provides full information covering camouflage, markings, and unit insignia. The authoritative text is supported by over 600 photographs (the majority of them previously unpublished), color profiles showing camouflage, markings, color unit insignia and color battle maps.

This book is a result of the author’s years of study in the Bulgarian Central Military Archive. Such a detailed study on this topic has not appeared before, and the author’s work is unlikely to be superseded.

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