German Air Operations in Bulgaria During the First World War
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German Air Units Supporting Bulgaria in the First World War

After Bulgaria entered the First World War on the side of the Central Powers, on 14 October 1915, units from the Imperial German Air Service and Imperial German Naval Air Service deployed to Bulgaria assist Germany's new ally.

Imperial German Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte)
At least one Feldfliegerabteilungen (abbreviated Fl. Abt.) (identity unknown) with 6 aircraft was deployed to assist the German Army units deployed to the Balkans to bolster the Buglarian Army on the Macedonian front. It is assumed that it operated Albatros C.II aircraft, and perhaps later the DFW C.V. There is photographic evidence that Albatros C.VII aircraft were being operated by 1917.

From late 1916 the Imperial German Air Service began forming dedicated fighter units, Jagdstaffeln (abbreviated Jasta) on the Western Front. On the Macedonian front, Jasta 25 and Jasta 38 were established to perform this role. The latter is known to have flown Albatros D.III aircraft in late 1917 and by March 1918 to have six Halberstadt D.II arcraft on strength.

The location of any airfields used by these units is unknown.

Imperial German Naval Air Service (Marine-Fliegerabteilung)
The Imperial German Naval Air Service built two bases on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast for coastal patrols. One base was at Varna and one further south at ? The Varna base was opened in the early Spring of 1916, but handed over to the Bulgarian Navy in April 1918. Aircraft deployed there included Friedrichshafen F.33 and LFG Roland 6B1 floatplanes. There is no information on the naval aviation units deployed to Bulgaria.

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First Created: 27 April 2005 - Last Revised: 27 April 2005
Copyright © 2005 John Hayles.