Bulgarian Fighter Colours 1919 - 1948, vol.1...

...from MMP Books

Title:  Bulgarian Fighter Colours 1919-1948, vol.1

Author: Denes Bernad

Publisher:  MMP

ISBN:  978-83-65958-18-1

A large, hardback book is new in their White series from MMP Books. It has 296 pages just packed with the results of some very dedicated research by the author. It may be something to do with my age, but for so many years those of us interested in the history of WW2 had to make do with plenty of information on the Luftwaffe, RAF, USAAF etc while the existence of the so-called Iron Curtain meant we had little access to information on the history of Eastern European nations such as Poland, Czechoslovakia and of course, Bulgaria. The book describes the various types of fighter and training aircraft used by the Bulgarian air force before, during and just after WW2. Largely overlooked, their main roles in 1943/44 was in taking on the large formations of US bombers that overflew their territory.

The book starts with chapters on Bulgarian air force paint colours, a section I found particularly interesting, followed by another on Luftwaffe Aviation Paints and Lacquers, a natural sequence as so many of their aircraft did come from the Luftwaffe. Staying with the detail it moves on to tackle Markings and Codes of Bulgarian aircraft. With all this background, the book moves on to go through the specific aircraft types operated by the Bulgarian air force.  These include the Fokker D.VII, the Bulgarian designed DAR-5 Brambar, Heinkel He 51, PZL P.24 Yastreb, Arado Ar 65 Orel, Focke-Wulf Fw 56 Komar, Avia B.534, Avia Bs.122, Arado Ar 96B and the Messerschmitt Bf 109E and then rounded off with 4 helpful appendices.  As well as the excellent and detailed text the book features a host of archive photos throughout to illustrate the text along with a series of excellent colour artwork profiles. Talking of colour, there are some great modern colour photos in the opening chapter showing some surviving examples of genuine WW2 colour parts (propeller, fabric etc).

It's great to see such a detailed history of a little known WW2 air force available in an English language book.  WW2 aviation historians and modellers in particular should really enjoy this one I think, well worth adding to your reference book collection.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.