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"One of the War's Big Losers: Bulgaria" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2023 4:58 p.m. PST

"Slavic, Orthodox Bulgaria played a role in World War I completely out of proportion to its size. Overlooking their historic hatred of the Turk and past allegiance to Slavic Russia, they entered the Great War in 1915 on the side of the Central Powers with the single objective of reversing the territorial settlements of the 191213 Balkan Wars. A nation of less than five million, Bulgaria mobilized an army of 1.2 million soldiers. These troops helped force the Serbian Army to abandon their own country, drove the French and British expeditionary forces back to the Salonika perimeter, participated in the defeat of Rumania, and, for the last year of the war, were the principal sentinels at the Balkan "back door" into central Europe. But playing a major role in a world war proved exhausting for the small country. By the spring of 1918, food shortages become severe at home and Bulgarian troops had to subsist on a barley bread with straw filler. On 29 September 1918, after their forces collapsed under pressure on the Salonika Front, Bulgaria became the first Central Power to sign an armistice. In three years of war the Bulgarian forces lost a quarter of a million men killed, wounded, or captured…"


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Armand

steve dubgworth26 Jan 2023 4:04 a.m. PST

very true the bulgarians seemed to make odd choices in both world wars.

in ww1 they allied with the turkish empire their traditional enemy probably because they lost territory to serbia in an earlier war and they thought they could regain lost territory by siding with the central powers.

on a personal note my late wifes grandfather was a machine gun officer at salonika in the bulgarian army and my grandfather was there as a gunner in the royal artillery – fate?

in ww2 my wifes grandfather was a general and when the russians took over he led armoured units in the soviet drive through southern europe. post war he was on the general staff and commanded the officers training department.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2023 4:32 p.m. PST

Thanks.

Armand

Blutarski27 Jan 2023 8:37 p.m. PST

steve dubgworth wrote -

on a personal note my late wifes grandfather was a machine gun officer at salonika in the bulgarian army

He might have sent off a few bursts at my grandfather, who fought in the Greek Army on the Bulgarian front. His company had Chauchats to shoot back with; our family still has a portrait of his assembled company with their LMGs proudly displayed in the forefront.

Small world.

B

steve dubgworth28 Jan 2023 1:12 p.m. PST

small world indeed – makes you think where you and I would be if either were unlucky.

oddly my father was in the RAF in world war two and was in the forces in Greece but got away to Crete after the German invasion and then got out of Crete when the Germans came there and was in the desert with the DAF until brought home for the invasion of NW Europe as part of the Second Tactical Airforce.


very very small world.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2023 3:31 p.m. PST

Indeed….

Armand

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