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

Immediately after Bulgaria had signed the Axis Tripartite Pact on 1 March 1941, the troops of the German 12th Army and aircraft of Fliegerkorps VIII began to deploy to locations within Bulgaria in preparation for Operation Marita, the planned invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia.

On 5 April 1941, the day before the attack, the forces deployed in Bulgaria were as follows:

Unit Base Aircraft
Fliegerkorps VIII
2(F)/11 Sofia-Filiporci Do 17P
I/StG 1 ? Ju 87R
Stab, I and III/StG 2 Belica & Krainici Ju 87B/R
I/StG 3 Belica Ju 87B/R
Stab, II and III/JG 27 Belica & Sofia-Vrba Bf 109E
I(J)/LG 2 Sofia-Vrajdebna Bf 109E
I/LG 1 Krumovo Ju 88A
II(Sch)/LG 2 Sofia-Vrajdebna Bf 109E (2 Staffeln)
10(Sch)/LG 2 Sofia-Vrajdebna Hs 123A
7(F)/LG 2 Sofia-Vrajdebna Bf 110F
10/LG 2 Krainici Hs 123A
II/ZG 26 Krainici & Sofia-Vrajdebna Bf 110C/E
7 Seenotdienstaffel Varna various floatplanes
IV/KGzbV 1 Krumovo Ju 52/3m
Attached to 12 Armee
5(H)/13 serving XXX Korps Hs 126
2(H)/10 serving XVIII Korps Hs 126
4(H)/22 serving XL Korps Hs 126
4(H)/32 serving XI and L Korps Hs 126
1(H)/14 Pz serving 2nd Panzer Division Hs 126
1(H)/23 Pz serving 9th Panzer Division Hs 126

After the attack, Luftwaffe units moved into Greece and Yugoslavia. The Luftwaffe did not return to Bulgaria until the Allies began bombing raids on the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania. On 7 February 1944, Jagdfliegerführer Rumänien (JaFü Rumänien) was renamed Jagdfliegerführer Balkan (JaFü Balkan) and assumed control of Luftwaffe units in Romania and Yugoslavia. By June 1944 this command had expanded to include II/JG 301 based at Bojurishte in Bulgaria (with Bf 109Gs) and 6/NJG 100 (formerly 4/NJG 200) at Krumovo with Do 217s, in well as 6 Fighter Polk of the Bulgarian Air Force. The last German forces evacuated from Bulgaria on 30 August 1944.

4/JG 51 with Bf 109G-6 may-june 1944

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First Created: 12 July 2005 - Last Revised: 13 July 2005
Copyright 2005 John Hayles.