Thursday, May 14, 2015

1st Bulgarian armoured brigade (Bronirana Brigada)

The "tank unit" incorporated several sub-units: tanks unit, assault guns, artillery unit, etc. These are the sub-unit Commanders and the Commander of the whole unit. The HQ officers.

Following major setbacks on the Eastern Front, Germany attempted to arm her allies with more effective weapons. A total of 91 Pz.Kpfw.IV were sent to Bulgaria from February 1943 to August 1944. This was a sufficient number to outfit an entire battalion of four companies with 22 Pz.Kpfw.IV in each.

Armoured units in the Bulgarian army in September 1944 consisted of 1 armoured brigade (97 Pz IVG and H, 36 LT-35, 10 LT-38, 20 Sd. Kfz. 222 and 223) and 2 assault-gun "drujina" (old bulgarian term for Bn.) (55 Stug 40G).
In the interior (Sliven) two training companies were stationed, belonging to the Armoured Brigade and armed with the old tanks (14 L-3/33, 6 Vickers 6 ton, 40 R-35).
The police had 19 H-39.
The deployment in 09-11.1944 was: the brigade and 2nd Assault gun bn. within 2nd army, 2nd Assault-Gun Bn. in 1st army.
09-11 - 20 tanks, 2 recon vehicles, 4 StuGs written off.

In December 1944 for the newly formed 1st army within the 3rd Ukrainian front an armoured drujina was formed with 22 Pz-IV and 3 SdKfz 222 and 223. Until 05.1945 a number of vehicles were captured or received from the Soviet army - 1 PZ-IV, 4 Stug-40F and G, 1 Turan I, 1 JgdPz IV/70, 4 "Hetzer", 1 StuH-42G, 2 Semovente Da47/32, 15 Pz V D2, A and G (Pz V did not participate in combat action) and included in the drujina (later also in the newly created assault gun unit within the army).
Losses: 01-05.45 - 11 tanks, 6 Assault Guns damaged and repaired.
14.03.1945 - 65 T-34 supplied in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian Armored Vehicles, 1935-1945 by Kaloyan Matev Publisher: Angela (November 2000) ISBN: 9549058778

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