The Bulgarian strongpoints in 1912

 

 

According with the war plan developed in 1903 the field army should be supported by eight strongpoints, two in the Western theatre of operations (Macedonia) Dupnitza and Sofia three in the Southern theatre (Thrace) Tyrnovo Seymen, Yambol and Burgas and three in the Rear Varna, Shumen and Vidin. In 1908 and in 1910 the new war plans basically acknowledged this hypothesis of distribution of the forces. The defence of these fortified positions was assigned only to the Opalchenie battalions and fortress artillery batteries.

In 1912 at the outbreak of the war against Turkey, the quick success of the field army imposed some prompt changes: the strongpoints placed on the two theatres of operations were disarmed and their artillery was dispatched to the 2nd Army charged with the siege of Odrin, while the ports of the Black Sea exposed to the incursions of the Turkish fleet were reinforced with guns taken from the strongpoints of Shumen and Vidin, which were not threatened by the enemy.

The following table shows the strength of the garrison assigned to the eight strongpoint according with the 1903 war plan. There are some little inaccuracy in the total number of the artillery pieces, namely 36 120mm field howitzers instead of 30, 16 24 pdr guns instead of 17, 17 old machine guns (mitrailleuses) instead of 12 or 16.

 

SOURCES :

Войната между България и Турция 1912 - 1913 г. том I (Подготовка на войната), p. 397;

FICHEV : Вишето командуване презъ Балканската война 1912 г., pp. 61-63.

 

 

 

 

 

Western theater

Southern theater

Rear

 

Dupnitza

Sofia

Tyrnovo

Yambol

Burgas

Varna

Shumen

Opalchenie Bns. I

1

4

4

3

4

5

6

Opalchenie Bns. II

1

 

1

1

1

1

1

240mm L/45 guns

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

100mm L/50 guns

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

76mm gun

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

57mm gun

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

150mm L/30 guns

 

 

14

 

 

 

 

150mm L/12 how.

12

 

 

12

 

 

 

120mm L/30 guns

 

 

12

 

 

 

 

120mm L/28 guns

12

 

 

12

 

 

 

120mm L/25 guns

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

120mm L/11 how.

 

 

18

18

 

 

 

6 inch mortars

 

4

 

 

 

 

8

24 pdr long guns

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

24 pdr short guns

 

 

 

 

 

4

6

9 pdr guns

 

24

 

 

 

12

12

87mm not QF guns

 

 

36

 

 

 

 

75mm not QF guns

 

 

36

12

12

 

 

57mm turret guns

 

16

10

 

 

 

4

machine guns

 

2

 

 

6

8

1