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Hello everybody! I have decided to do a non-suicidal AAR! I was going to make a Canada game, but after losing all of my marines and conquering Italy, it became VERY boring (In a massive stalemate against boring). After that I tried to go Guangxi Clique, but it turned into a failure - Kuomintang just flooded my army with militia and infantry, while I had maybe 15 divisions to hold the frontline. So Bulgaria was a nice choice. I shall warn you, that I modded Bulgaria a bit - took down a bit of their neutrality, so I could hope for joining the Axis in 1939. But I won't change to laws, which would be inaccessible to unmodded Bulgaria.

I will be playing with HoI3 FTM 3.05 with HPP 3.0.0 mod. Style will be something of a mix between gameplay and narrative. This time I will focus more on the narrative, as I gave the same combination for my Yugoslavia AAR, but it was only in the end, when I messed some narrative in there, and it was mediocre at best.

So, without further waiting, here's a small update of January-February 1936!

[HR][/HR]



Boris III knew how to take care of many difficulties. He became the Tsar of Bulgaria in 1918, when Bulgaria was defeated in the Great War. He had survived many assassination attempts, and had managed to stay the ruler of Bulgaria during the rise of other political parties. Even the coup made by the Zveno military organisation couldn't stop him from making a counter-coup, therefore becoming a ruler once again. It was clear that he was the sole ruler, even when he re-established the parliament and political parties. His rule started the Golden rise of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom...

It has been a year since that, and Bulgarian Kingdom was growing fast. Cities like Pleven, Sofiya and Varna were becoming industrial centers, and so grew the army. Boris, seeing the industrialization process, decided, that he should begin a new age not just in industry, but also in the army. While the Bulgarian army was pretty respectable for a country that size, it could barely guard the border of Yugoslavia and Greece, the countries, who had stolen the lands of Bulgaria in 1918. Boris had decided to start a massive modernization of the army.




The first order he issued, was an order to teach the soldiers some more modern doctrines. Boris, being a general himself, knew that better weapons weren't always key of successful warfare. Support weapons were completely neglected in favor of anti-tank grenades and rifles. While the generals were happy with the weapon researches, they weren't happy with the doctrine choice. They told Boris about the new "Lightning Warfare" doctrine, which would teach about fast breakthroughs and encirclement's. Though the generals were making fine points, the protests were quickly stopped, when Boris firmly told, that they would never have the troops for that. The Germans would do the "Lighting Warfare", while Bulgarians would support then greatly in return. Then he told about the new alignment, which shall make Bulgarian - German relations greater. If lucky, it would end with a alliance. In the end, Boris managed to convince the generals, that attacks with massive and coordinated artillery support would be the key of Bulgarian success.




The King had decided to not just modernize the army with technology. Even an army with the best technology would fail against Greek bunkers, if the attacker wouldn't have the numbers. So Boris decided to double the size of his army - an order of weapons and ammo for the factories, while the recruitment centers had to make great efforts with propaganda - they needed about 200000 men! "If only we were in war..." Boris thought to himself. "Then we could simply draft men without any problems". After the order was given, he asked for the information about the Bulgarian materials. They weren't very promising. To counter the situation, Bulgaria traded some of their income to Yugoslavians, who were known for their rare material mines.




During the rest of January and February, it was quite peaceful in the world, except for the attempts by Kuomintang to kill the Mao Zedong's Communist nation, and the Italian aggression against Ethiopia. But Boris didn't care very much for that. He was thinking about his neighbors. On the north he saw the Romanians - a peaceful nation, but who owned Dobrich. Boris didn't want to go to war, so he decided for a diplomatic campaign to get the territories back. On the west, he saw Yugoslavia - a country made out of many states, which deserved their independence, and it had probably the greatest chunk of Bulgarian territory. On the south two states existed - Greece, with who he had a border clash in 1925, which was barely resolved by the League of Nations, and Atatürk's Turkey, which wasn't troubling for Bulgaria in any way. Kemal hated the Greeks just as much as Boris did, and he could make a great allie (author's note: I modded Turkey a bit, and now they have a NU of Guangxi Clique (fair)).

[HR][/HR]

Well, what did you think? Of course, I don't expect much, and I don't think my narrative is good enough. I accept all kinds of comments, especially tips, that could improve my narrative skills (as I am a pretty good Bulgaria player). Upload date is uncertain, as school has started again.

(За величието на България! roughly translates to "For the Greatness of Bulgaria!")
 
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Belgiumruler

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subbed! (BTW sorry for the Delay of the Questions, I got them to you before this weekend, I promise...)
 

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subbed! (BTW sorry for the Delay of the Questions, I got them to you before this weekend, I promise...)
Thanks! The main thing is that the questions aren't rushed.
 

sebas379

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Bulgaria is a very interesting nation in the whole first half of the 20th century if you ask me, I'll keep an eye on this, good luck!
Are there any big changes by HPP compared to normal FTM that will have a large impact on this?
 

unmerged(768334)

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Chapter I: The Begginning of Greatness

Bulgaria is a very interesting nation in the whole first half of the 20th century if you ask me, I'll keep an eye on this, good luck!
Are there any big changes by HPP compared to normal FTM that will have a large impact on this?
Thanks! If concerning Bulgaria, there aren't big changes, but if any of the main changes would make an impact, that would be the revamping of the doctrine techs, as they aren't all over the place in HPP. It's something like in HoI2 - you pick a path and stick with it. Maybe the addition of support brigades and Infantry Support Tanks is changing, but that's for later.

[HR][/HR]

Boris III of Bulgaria rarely thought he was wrong, but ever since January, he was thinking about what the generals said about the so called "Blitzkrieg". Though he was the man, who was the commander of the Bulgarian Main HQ, he started to have doubts, especially, when he got the reconnaissance report of Greek troops on his border. There were enough Greek troops to make a breakthrough, and march to Sofiya unopposed. They were the best army in Southern Balkans. And even if the Greeks had less men then the Bulgarians, it didn't seen clear. Many questions arose - Could the Greek line be broken? Would the Bulgarians have enough time to mobilize their reserves in case of a failed attack? Could the Bulgarians break through the bunkers with little casualties? In the end he decided to make a real armored division, which would bolster the fort attacking capacity. After some Portuguese smugglers were captured in March, there was enough money to make a order of three Hungarian Straussler V-4 battalions, along with a battalion of Polish TKS-D self propelled guns. It would make Greek bunkers vulnerable, as there were little to no AT weapons in them. However, the production could only start in September, as the factories were already on overdrive, creating small arms for 15 new Bulgarian divisions.




On the Left - Straussler V-4, on the Right - TKS-D


Everything was going on calmly until March, when the Yugoslavians, recognizing our greatness, decided to kill off our civilians living in Macedonia and therefore get rid of our claims on their provinces. But their plan was easily foiled, when some refugees got to Bulgaria. A ultimatum was made to stop this, as Boris, thought wanting Yugoslavia to disappear from the map of Europe, thought that war was only a choice, if diplomacy failed. So he made a false ultimatum. It simply read, that Bulgaria was mobilized and ready to make a quick dash to Belgrade, if the "incidents" would continue. Fortunately, the Yugoslavian government caved in, and on March 22nd, the crisis was restored. Bulgaria managed to avoid another war.





After the Yugoslav crisis, the Bulgarian government had no problems during spring of 1936. Eight new divisions were made, that allowed the industry to calm down enough, to start production of TKS-D self propelled guns, known as the "TKS - Bulgaria". The Bulgarian model would later become famous for their reliability. Though the crisis damaged Bulgar-Yugoslav relations, trade deals were kept... until May 8th, just a few days after the deployment of the new divisions. The resource crisis was quickly resolved, when Boris ordered the same trade deals to Kemal Atatürk. As the Great Economical Depression damaged the unity of Turks, it was good for the both sides.





Just a few weeks after that, Bulgaria could call itself the most Technologically Advanced Army in the Southern Balkans, with better AT guns. The small arms were up to date, and were neglected for special "Mountain" division formation principles. Also, by this time, the Italians, finally managed to kill the Ethiopian Government to surrender after a very one sided conflict, except for the battle of Addis Ababa. Though that battle became the symbol of militia usefulness in urban defense, Boris didn't care much for a country in Africa, that didn't know what a submachine gun is.





At a meeting on September 5th, the Bulgarian Government could already be satisfied with their military advances. Another seven divisions were made, doubling the size Bulgarian Armed Forces. It was decided, that a "Independent Breakthrough Corps" would be created, with the largest supporter of Blitzkrieg doctrine - Lt. General Popov in command. Though there were no motorized divisions available for Bulgaria, it was resolved with the soldiers friend since the 11th century - a Horse. With these divisions were many great possibilities, from surrounding Greeks in Salonika to capturing Belgrade from the clutches of Germany. When all ministers left, they were in a very good mood. A mood, that would stay like that all until 1940.

[HR][/HR]

So, this is the end of the first update! If I'm lucky, I might upload on Friday (narrative AAR take alot of time), but it probably will be uploaded on weekend.
 

Latvian

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Greece and Yugoslavia would be a bit too much for Bulgaria, don't you think? But if you're modernizing your army, I don't see a problem there. :)
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Ikarases

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Everybody seized some of Bulgarian territory after the 2nd BW. It's just that Bulgarians didn't even much time to incorporate their gains after 1st BW and lost them shortly thereafter. Do a hands-off game with WWI mod and you'll see how did it go.

Basically every neighboring country non-Axis, so you shouldn't have trouble regaining at least Thasos from the list of your rightful claims :)
 

unmerged(768334)

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Greece and Yugoslavia would be a bit too much for Bulgaria, don't you think? But if you're modernizing your army, I don't see a problem there. :)
Subbed.
Thanks! About Greece and Yugoslavia, I'm thinking of attacking them in 1939 or so. By that time my army will (hopefully) overrun Greek bunkers. I'm more worried about the Soviets, as I plan to support Germany extensively.

Bulgaria is one of those countries I've haven't got round to playing yet so I'm very much looking forward to seeing where you take this one.
Thanks! Bulgaria is a hard country to play as, but it is very rewarding. The only thing that I might change is either the color of Italy, or of Bulgaria, as it's a bit hard to understand which is which (when your zoomed out).

Everybody seized some of Bulgarian territory after the 2nd BW. It's just that Bulgarians didn't even much time to incorporate their gains after 1st BW and lost them shortly thereafter. Do a hands-off game with WWI mod and you'll see how did it go.

Basically every neighboring country non-Axis, so you shouldn't have trouble regaining at least Thasos from the list of your rightful claims :)
Well, In 2nd BW, Bulgaria was basically asking for it, and they got it. If they had stayed calm, they probably wouldn't even join the Central Powers, since they would have their Great Bulgaria. I think they would even join the Entente, as a belligerent Ottoman Empire would likely go after Adrianople and other Bulgarian occupied lands. But Bulgarian history isn't my strong side, so I can't be sure.

As for my warmongering, I want more, and a LOT more then Thasos, and I'm certain, that I can get that. In a test game, I managed to get a large part of Greek Macedonia, but then Italians finally started to make effort in killing Greeks, and I ended with an Italian province, that I encircled - the Greeks were surrounded in a land fort there. But for my war strategies, you might have to wait until 1938 update or something.

[HR][/HR]

As for a update, It might come on Friday, as I said. I had time today, to play until mid-1937, and I am pleased with the results!
 

unmerged(768334)

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Chapter II: An Unexpected Aggression?

So hello everybody! For those who are, and maybe also for those who aren't following, this might be a pretty good news, as I'm making a update early! It might be a lackluster, as It will tell the period of Sept 36 - May 37. In the end, I didn't have many pictures, so I might mix real pictures much more extensively. Now to hope, that that doesn't turn into a massive failure.

[HR][/HR]

Now, when Bulgaria was starting to turn into a real Balkan power not just on paper, Boris started to think about offensives. Though he did have a plan, which showed a quick attack for whole Greek Macedonia, it was an old plan, giving the circumstances - the Greeks had forts now, and their army had become the force, that should not be messed with, even if Bulgaria had more advanced Anti Tank Rifles. The plan was made in 1920s, when Boris was just a "puppet king". Now those times had changed - the ministers, that tried to rid him of power, were either hiding or dead. He had the whole army under his command, and the people loved him. He knew, that Greece could fall, but a new, better plan had to be made. A plan, that would be on par with modern technologies.




The plan. It was pretty decent and it could have worked in 1926, if Bulgaria had a decent army.


But for now, Boris didn't even have time to think about 10 year old plans. A Balkan Power will always have a problem - resources. It wasn't a real problem, until on 9th of September, when Kemal dismissed the trade deal. It wasn't useful for them, as the Turks had gotten the trust of people back enough to start thinking about war again. Bulgaria was in grave danger, cause if the resources stopped coming, the factories would make Bulgaria just as weak as Denmark, if not worse. He went back to the land, which was considered an enemy just a few months ago - Yugoslavia. They were happy, as their money stockpiles were running low, and Yugoslavia wanted to be neutral. With a potentially hostile neighbor next to them, it would be impossible. The deal came on time, as the new doctrines were developed - the metal was needed for weapons and fake defenses, which would be overrun by Bulgarians in the upcoming war games.






Bulgaria has been trying to join the Axis realm ever since the beginning of this year, but their attempts haven't been very successful. But now, when the Third Reich offered an "United Alliance against Communism", Bulgaria signed it immediately. It wasn't a real alliance, but it increased relations with the Reich, paving the path for becoming Axis. Soon this pact was signed by Kemal and Kuomintang. It seemed, that Turkey would not just be a place to exile in case of a war, it might be a country, whose troops would fight side by side with Bulgaria. This pact also made some ties with the Kuomintang and Chiang-Kai-Sek. It turned out, that the war was finished, after Chiang was captured in hopes of making an "Unified Chinese Front". But if any country had benefits of the pact, it was Italy. Not very soon after that, Italy had made a Berlin-Rome Axis.




It was starting to seen, that Bulgaria was entering the Axis, along with Turkey


During the rest of the year, nothing great happened. The last big monthly debate was on 3rd of November, by which it was decided, that Bulgaria was needed to start mobilizing for war. At the end, the manpower mobilization was rejected as "too belligerent", while factories were quickly refitted for wartime use. It postponed the creation of two Bulgarian cavalry divisions, part of the Mobile Corps. They were deployed in New Years Eve. Though cavalry in Europe was long gone, the Southern Balkans would never be as technologically advanced as the countries of Central Europe and North America. The cavalry also would later play a large role in propaganda, making the average Bulgarian cavalrymen as great, as a Don Cossack.



Bulgarian cavalry moving from Sofiya to the Turkish border, basically going to vacation


The monthly debates were becoming boring, as nothing happened. It took until May, when the last armor battalion was made and incorporated in the 1st Independent Tank Division. They were one of the rare armored divisions in the Balkans, and the only in Southern Balkans. The war games ended with a small embarrassment for Boris, as the small Stausser V-4 was perfect for evading "Greek" AT "Shells", while Bulgarian infantry was repulsed. In the end, the "Greeks" were repulsed thanks to the tanks. Boris might have been embarrassed, but he was proud of his troops. Even the "Greek" general could be proud, cause he defended the forts with the smartness of Rommel. Only bad thing - Greek spies found about these war games, and took them as a provocation.


"Greek" troops taking Bulgarian supplies from a conquered village. This was the only "Greek" success during the war games.



Bulgarian troops posing in front of a gift from the French - An Renault R35 tank.


The war games gave something to talk about in the monthly debate. The tanks were made, so there were now two problems - Bulgarian "Fleet" and something, that could be translated as aggression. The fleet was a fast debate. It was decided to call some Italian experts to help with the ships - a destroyer flotilla and a light cruiser.



RN Garibaldi - The same class ship ВРБ Sofiya is going to be


Completely different problem was with the Romanians. It was seen, that a part of the Romanian Army was on our borders, even though Bulgaria and Romania signed a pact in 1936, that would prohibit large armies on both of our borders. The Romanians were the other Balkan country with armor (Authors note: I don't consider Hungary to be part of the Balkans). It was also thought, that they have more armor then us, so it would be a dangerous attack. But there is one thing playing for the Bulgarians - Danube. Boris thought, that a single infantry division would be able to stop a large army at a river this wide. And the Bulgarians were very close to Bucharest, so Romanians would risk losing their supplies in a attack. In the end, this troop placement was thought to be neutral, but if it continues, war might be the last choice



The Bulgarian Army in May 1937. Notice the Romanian arrival at the North.

[HR][/HR]

So, I hope you liked this update! The next one might be on weekends, taking into consideration, that I get to play on Friday.
 

Ikarases

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Hem, your corps HQs are named as army HQs. And you don't field army HQs at all :D
 

GreatUberGeek

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Subbed!
 

sebas379

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Nice update!
Do I smell trouble with Greece coming up...

Oh by the way: those forts on the border, as you noticed, are in mountainous terrain: that's gonna be a real pain to break, especially with tanks or something. If you are able to, I'd highly recommend you get yourself a couple of transport ships to hit them from the rear. Not in the last place because you need to storm Crete to force Greece to surrender. A landing in Southern Greece could throw their entire defence plan up side down and allow you to break through with minimal losses. Though I'm thinking from vanilla TFH, perhaps HPP has a better solution to it.
 
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Ikarases

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Oh by the way: those forts on the border, as you noticed, are in mountainous terrain: that's gonna be a real pain to break, especially with tanks or something.
Not really. I've checked it out just a while ago and forts are exactly there where mountains or hills aren't. Anyway, if he goes to war at full strength while Greeks will have half-way mobilized army, he'll break through anyway. I'd recommend moving fast units along the coast, as this way his tanks and cavalry will move through plains, capturing Salonica and Athina on the go :)

If you are able to, I'd highly recommend you get yourself a couple of transport ships to hit them from the rear. Not in the last place because you need to storm Crete to force Greece to surrender. A landing in Southern Greece could throw their entire defence plan up side down and allow you to break through with minimal losses. Though I'm thinking from vanilla TFH, perhaps HPP has a better solution to it.
There's a problem with Greek fleet. They have 6 combat ships in 1936 (1xCA, 1xCL, 3xDD and 1xSS). Nothing to be afraid as Italy, but you're looking at a fleet with at least 10 ships in total to safely conduct such an operation (even more when Bulgaria doesn't start with any ships at all). Anyway, Crete isn't needed to make mainland Greece surrender (no VPs there), but it's a thorn in the eye to have a Greek controlled Crete afterwards ;)
 

sebas379

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Not really. I've checked it out just a while ago and forts are exactly there where mountains or hills aren't. Anyway, if he goes to war at full strength while Greeks will have half-way mobilized army, he'll break through anyway. I'd recommend moving fast units along the coast, as this way his tanks and cavalry will move through plains, capturing Salonica and Athina on the go :)

There's a problem with Greek fleet. They have 6 combat ships in 1936 (1xCA, 1xCL, 3xDD and 1xSS). Nothing to be afraid as Italy, but you're looking at a fleet with at least 10 ships in total to safely conduct such an operation (even more when Bulgaria doesn't start with any ships at all). Anyway, Crete isn't needed to make mainland Greece surrender (no VPs there), but it's a thorn in the eye to have a Greek controlled Crete afterwards ;)
Ah, I haven't looked closely at the terrain over there in a while so you probably have a point there. The mobilisation part will also help a lot.

And I underestimated their fleet as well, should check that before I think up crazy plans, thanks:) And yes, that's the thing with Crete: even if you don't need it, you don't want it staying there as a staging ground in the future either. The confusion must've been from TFH, doesn't Crete have a VP there? I seem to recall such thing.
 

Ikarases

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The confusion must've been from TFH, doesn't Crete have a VP there? I seem to recall such thing.
They indeed do in vanilla, but not in HPP. I guess it was removed to help Italians with Greek conquest (or at least to put Greece into GiE after the mainland is lost). I'm speaking for TFH games though.
 

unmerged(768334)

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Chapter III: The Balkans are Heating Up

Hem, your corps HQs are named as army HQs. And you don't field army HQs at all :D
Army HQ's are wayyyy overrated.

Thanks!

Nice update!
Do I smell trouble with Greece coming up...

Oh by the way: those forts on the border, as you noticed, are in mountainous terrain: that's gonna be a real pain to break, especially with tanks or something. If you are able to, I'd highly recommend you get yourself a couple of transport ships to hit them from the rear. Not in the last place because you need to storm Crete to force Greece to surrender. A landing in Southern Greece could throw their entire defence plan up side down and allow you to break through with minimal losses. Though I'm thinking from vanilla TFH, perhaps HPP has a better solution to it.
Thanks! And you guessed correctly! As Ikarases said, the forts aren't in mountain provinces. And though by this time I would have a fleet of a 1xCL, 1xDD, and a transport ship, I won't risk them. Anyways, you will see, how I took Greece, when the time comes.

[HR][/HR]


Boris knew, that if he ever wanted to join the Axis realm or to regain Macedonia, he would need the support of his people. Though the people of Bulgaria were much more Militant than of other Balkan States, they were still against joining the Axis, not even talking about going to war. So on the 25 of May 1937, he made a speech to all the people. Those, who couldn't get to Sofiya city square, could listen the speech on the radio. He talked for two hours, explaining the need to join the Axis, about the need to regain Macedonia and Dobrich. He went for the patriotism of Bulgarians, and in the end he got large support from the people, but not enough to join the Axis or to go to war.



The Bulgarians were slowly getting more ready for war


Nothing really noteworthy happened to Bulgaria during June and most of July, until the 25th of July, when a large group of people showed up at the palace. Boris quickly saw, that they were communists. But instead of an demonstration, these men wanted an approval. They were volunteers, who wanted to go to Spain, to fight alongside Republican Soldiers. Boris knew, that Franco's forces were at the gates of Valencia and Barcelona was firmly surrounded. He allowed them to go, and decided to use them as propaganda - Bulgaria isn't a Pro-Nazi state, it keeps good relations with leftist governments. Really, that was just a way to get rid of some communists. His plan worked - Republicans surrendered on August 18th, and Bulgarians participating in it looked for refuge status in France.



Bulgarian Communists went to help the Republicans, despite of their defeat at all fronts.


During the rest of 1937, nothing happened. Bulgarian government was starting to monitor their civilians extensively, and factories were refitted for more wartime use. It went like that until 3rd of January 1938. On that day Germany annexed Austria, and Boris now knew, who had the power in Europe. He again went for patriotism of Bulgarian people, but it wasn't that successful. But it was enough, to put Bulgaria in the Axis realm. There was just one downside to this - the Greek government again took this as a provocation. And this time they weren't going to sit around...


Tsar Boris III meeting Hitler in Sofiya, January 1938


At 5th of February, 1938, an old general, who had fought battles in World War One, was found dead in his home. He was known as a true Bulgarian patriot, and he was one of the men, who helped Boris with his Greek invasion plan. Though he was old and retired, he was a great strategist, and could be counted on, when another war would erupt. It was known not just in government, that the Greeks were behind his assassination.




The rest of the year went pretty quiet. The Bulgarians finally had a navy, and Romanian troops were starting to withdraw from the border. The only place, that wasn't calm, was the Greek-Bulgarian border, where numerous border incidents happened time to time, despite attempts from both countries and League of Nations to stop them. It was so calm, that it was decided to celebrate the birthday of Boris III. During the celebrations, people finally saw, what Boris was capable of. People were simply loving him, they felt safe, seeing the columns of troops and tanks marching through Sofiya. Boris could be proud.






Bulgarian troops marching through outskirts of Sofiya


When 1939 came, Bulgaria had hard times. Bulgarian soldiers were accused of killing Greek civilians almost daily, while border guards of both countries were practically at war. The number of Greek troops on the border was starting to grow. Boris, seeing that the League of Nations won't resolve this in any way, declared war on Greece, despite having his troops immobilized. But when the declaration reached Greece, Bulgarian troops were already overwhelming Greek defenses....



[HR][/HR]

Sorry, if this update wasn't really enjoyable. The rest of 1937 and 1938 were very boring times. But, as we are fighting Greece now, it is certain, that the next update will be action packed!
 

sebas379

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Here it goes, the I-don't-know-how-manyth Balkan War has begun. Let's hope this one doesn't escalate like the last one.