The Bulgarian Air Force in the Second World War

Alexander Mladenov, Krassimir Grozev, Evgeni Andonov

A concise research on the wartime development and operations of the Bulgarian Air Force. It covers the entire spectrum of air-to-air, air-to-ground and reconnaissance operations undertaken by the Bulgarian air arm between 1941 and 1945 as well as the naval operations in the Black Sea.
Date Published :
January 2019
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
250 b/w images, 19 color profiles, 5 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781912390649
Pages : 148
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Like many European air arms, the history of the Bulgarian Air Force between 1939 and 1945 was eventful and rather dramatic. A small country, located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, the Kingdom of Bulgaria entered into the fourth decade of the century as a still-neutral, but in fact strongly pro-German state. So it was not a surprise when it eventually joined the Axis on 1 March 1941, declaring war on both Britain and the US six months later. In the course of the war the moderate and poorly equipped air arm of late 1930s steadily matured during the wartime years into a small but capable force, able to mount fierce resistance to the Allied bomber raids against the country’s capital Sofia in late 1943 and early 1944. Only a few hours following the 9 September 1944 pro-Allied coup in Sofia, the Bulgarian air arm was immediately rushed into operation against the armed forces of the yesterday's partner - Nazi Germany.

After the end of the war, Bulgaria fell in total dependency on the Soviet Union as a direct result from the 1944 Yalta agreement of 'spheres of influence' division of Europe. The Bulgarian air force was radically reformed in the Soviet style and rapidly re-equipped with huge numbers of front-line aircraft, supplied by the new 'brother in arms’.

This study features a large number of rare and previously unseen photographs accompanied by specially commissioned color artwork showing camouflage and markings.

About The Author

Alexander Mladenov is an aerospace & defence author, journalist and photographer, based in Sofia, Bulgaria. A graduate of the Technical University of Sofia, he is also the author of a series of books on Soviet/Russian modern military aircraft and this is his third book for Helion.

Krassimir Grozev is is an aviation & defence author and journalist, based in Sofia, Bulgaria. His interests are in the history of air warfare, modern aircraft technologies and airborne weapons. This is his first book for Helion.

Evgeni Andonov is an aviation journalist and historian, based in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is a graduate of the Technical University of Sofia and his special interests include deep research into little-known moments in the history and operations of the Bulgarian Air Force, mostly between the 1920s to the 1980s. This is his second book for Helion.


"Alexander Mladenov, Krassimir Grozev, and Evgeni Andonov survey a long-neglected topic in The Bulgarian Air Force in the Second World War from Helion and Company. Available in North America from Casemate, the lavishly illustrated account chronologically courses through Bulgarian aircraft, units, and operations during the conflict. After background notes, coverage chronicles the nation's role as an Axis co-belligerent and in late-war actions against Nazi Germany."

- Cybermodeler

"This publication is the ideal reference for people interested in the subject matter in that it supports the detailed text with numerous photos, tabulated information and colour profiles."

- Scale Military Modelling International Magazine

"… another of the company’s extensive, authoritative monographs […] profusely illustrated and exhaustively researched."

- The Aviation Historian

"… a fascinating array of aircraft to feast upon"

- Classic Wings

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