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Bulgarian Fighter Colours 1919-1948 (Vol 2)

Bulgarian Fighter Colours 1919-1948 (Vol 2) Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review January 2020 Title Bulgarian Fighter Colours 1919-1948 (Vol 2)
Author Dénes Bernád Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2019 ISBN 9788365958198
Format 264 pages, hardbound MSRP (GBP) £40.00

Review

Let’s cut to the chase: students of Eastern Front aerial warfare need this stunning survey.

Period.

Published by MMP and available in North America from Casemate, Dénes Bernád’s Bulgarian Fighter Colours 1919-1948 completes his superb, two-volume study with illuminating histories of three aircraft:

  • Messerschmitt Bf 109G Strela
  • Avia B-135
  • Dewoitine D.520

An brief fourth part recaps Bulgaria’s intriguing, but mysterious UMe-109 UStrela trainer – a G-6 iteration.

Gustavs remained Bulgaria’s most potent WWII fighter. And coverage of these understandably consumes half the book. Avias fell victim to decisions of Czechoslovakia’s Nazi occupiers. And Dewoitines proved, on balance, obsolescent.

The three main sections summarize each type’s acquisition, introduction, training, combat, serviceability, and fates. Coverage also details units, “‘adroit and plucky’” personnel, dates, codes, serials, victories, losses, claims, “trophy” aircraft, and more.

It’s full of fascinating facts.

What distinguished, for instance, Bulgarian-manned D.520s from French-operated machines? Page 175 discloses the detail. What made Avia B.135 development so “difficult” and discordant? Page 148 recaps the rancor. And when did the last Bulgarian Messerschmitt air-to-air kill occur? Page 107 supplies the surprising answer.

Hobbyists will definitely love it.

Hundreds of images – period B&W shots, current color photos, and profile & plan plates – illustrate the effort. Start planning that Bulgarian Gustav group-build.

Color & markings commentary, extended captions, archival excerpts, annotations, tables, and five appendices augment the account. And a selected bibliography of primary, secondary, and anecdotal sources completes coverage.

As with Volume 1, QR codes offer access to additional information in PDF format from mmpbook.biz. Just connect with a QR reader app on your smartphone or tablet – or manually retype MMP’s addresses into your browser.

What a stunning smorgasbord. I savored every page. Eastern Front aviation enthusiasts will go ga-ga. Grab both volumes.

Now how about a sequel on WWII Bulgarian bomber and attack aircraft? What do you say, Dénes Bernád?

Robustly recommended!

With thanks to MMP for the review copy.