The Artillery Inspection in 1904



The Artillery Inspection (Артилериеската Инспекция) had the duty to prepare and to verify all the projects, the plans and the technical conditions for the manufacture, the check-up and the approval of the weapons of the army; to manage the activity of the artillery arsenal, workshops and fire depots; to manage the storage and the maintenance of the weapons and the requirements of the army; to prepare projects and plans for the changes and the improvements introduced by the producers in matter of weapons and military requirements and to verify and test them; to draft instructions for the maintenance of weapons and ammunition; to make reports on their state in peace and war; to furnish the  completion of the cadres for the artillery units; to manage all the artillery units of the army.

The Artillery Inspection included the Inspector of the Armaments, the Technical Department, the Line Supply Department, the Fortress Artillery Department, the Artillery Committee, the Technical Testing Commission and the Artillery proving ground. The staff of the Artillery Inspection was composed by one general, eleven officers and four clerks.


The Artillery Inspector (Инспектор на артилерията) according with the Decree № 1/1895 was re-established with the rights of a Division commander. Besides the unit assigned to the Infantry Divisions, the whole artillery, with its staffs and establishments, were subordinate to him. He had to take care only of the training and of the technical matters of the divisional units.

The Artillery Inspector had the following duties: to prepare regulations, dispositions, instructions, and  manuals about the supplying of the army with weapons and ammunition and their preservation; to prepare in peace-time a plan in order to supply with ammunition the army in wartime, specifying also the number and the organization of the workshops, that would be necessary to the army in wartime; to elaborate plans in order to supply of weapons and ammunition the fortresses and the fortified areas; to collect information about the improvements and changes introduced in weapons, firing and “fire power”, making also reports to the Military Ministry for their introduction.

In addition he had to inspect the military-educational, technical and tactical matters concerning all the sectors, directions and departments of artillery, making written reports to the Military Ministry about them. At the same time the Artillery Inspector, as president of the Artillery Committee, was charged to make reports on the conditions of the weapons of the army and to suggest the amount and the type of what had to be acquired for the need of the army.


The Inspector of the Armaments (Инспектор на въоръжението) was the first deputy chef of the Artillery Inspection. His tasks were to look after the state of all the weapons and the requirements of the army; to take care of the breakdowns of the weapons and to report all the breakdowns that had to be send to the arsenal to be repaired; to check the weapons of the units of the army every two years and to make a report on their conditions; to prepare instructions on the maintenance of the weapons, proposing suggestions in order to improve the state of their conservation; to carry out test of fire in the artillery units and to direct the fire of the “mass of artillery”. He was also the president the Technical Testing Commission.


The Technical Department (Техническата част) of the Artillery Inspection was directed from a chief “with high artillery instruction”. It had the duty to look after devices, changes and repairs of the weapons of infantry, artillery and cavalry of the army and of the fleet; to be concerned with all the technical matters concerning the arsenal, factories, workshops and fire depots, that manufactured and repaired weapons, ammunition and artillery wagons.

The Technical Department had to prepare programs to test weapons, gunpowder, ammunition, artillery wagons and everything was needed for training and instructing the troops; to settle technical conditions and instructions to control the weapons assigned to the army and the fleet; to prepare sketches for the weapons and plans for the achievement of the controls on the weapons manufacturing. The approval of technical specifications, instructions for the reception and sketches of weapons was carried out by the Artillery Inspection, on the condition that the Technical Department had checked them.

Finally the Technical Department had to write the weapons specifications as well as the instructions for their conservation, storage, cleaning, assembly and dismantling.


The Chief of the Technical Department (Началник на Техническата част) had the task to extract from the military literature information about the technical advance of the weapons and to make written reports to the Artillery Inspector. As delegate of the Inspector of the Artillery, he had to inspect the arsenal, the factories, the workshops and the fire depots with references to the manufacture and the technical repair of the weapons. About these inspections he had to make written report these for the approval of the Artillery Inspector.


The Line Supply Department (Строево-домакинската част) had to look after the supplying the line units of the artillery with officers, N.C.O.s and soldiers, taking care of the education and training of the staff and the cadres of the artillery units of the army.


The Fortress Artillery Department (Крепостно-артилерийската част) managed the whole activity of the three fortress artillery battalions and of the coast artillery.


The Artillery Committee (Артилерийският комитет) was an important advisory body of the Artillery Inspection charged to examine issues concerning weapons and fire. By right the Artillery Inspector was its president, while its members were the Inspector of the armaments, the chief of the Fortress Artillery, the chief of the Line Supply Department, the commanders of the artillery brigade and regiments of the Sofia garrison, the commander of the Sofia fortress artillery battalion, the head of the arsenal of Sofia. All the members were officers of the Sofia garrison with high artillery instruction and practical experience in technical and ballistic fields and designated by the Artillery Inspector. Besides the permanent members, there were also some extraordinary members that might be asked to take part in the meetings in order to receive opinions by a greater number of artillery officers.

The issues to examine by the Artillery Committee could be introduced by the Military Minister, the Artillery Inspector and by every member of the Commission through its president. The issues discussed during the meeting were presented to the chiefs of the services of the Artillery Inspection. The decisions of the Artillery Committee according to the regulations had to be made with two third majority of its permanent members and were presented by the president to the Military Minister. After his approval, they put back in force.


The Technical Testing Commission (Изпитателната техническа комисия) was an advisory body of the Artillery Inspection. It was composed from officers of the Sofia garrison with high artillery instruction and practical experience in technical and ballistic fields. The members were designated by the Artillery Inspector and the president was by right the Inspector of the Armaments. Every year the Commission had the task to perform technical and ballistic tests of the weapons, as well as firing tests, making written reports to the Artillery Inspector about their results.