Military Review

Rocket troops of Bulgaria. Part I. Formation and Sunrise

31 August 1958, the United States launched the first Thor ballistic missiles against the USSR in the UK. After put on alert the rocket "Jupiter" and made plans to place them not only in the UK, but also in France. The gap with de Gaulle prevented the implementation of these plans, but the Yankees were not at all taken aback. At 1959, they placed their ballistic missiles in Italy and began to put pressure on the same topic on the Turkish government. N. S. Khrushchev's patience broke, and the allies of the USSR in the Warsaw Pact Organization (ATS, 1955-1991) were offered modern missile weapons. So in 1960 began история rocket troops of Bulgaria.

OTR 9K714 "Oka" at the National Museum of Bulgarian Military History in Sofia

The General Staff of the Bulgarian People's Army (SUA) studied in detail the capabilities of the proposed missile and decided to equip the Army (SV) operational and tactical missile system (OTP) 8K11 with missiles R-11, tactical missile system (TR) 2K6 "Luna" with 3R9 missiles 3P10 and 3P11 and anti-tank missile systems (ATGM) 2-15 “Bumblebee”. The terms and training programs of Bulgarian officers in the USSR were agreed with the General Staff of the Soviet Army. The operators were trained at VOES in Leningrad, and the technicians at the All-Union School of Organization and Education of Sumi and VOATSH of Penza. In February-March 1962 Bulgarian officers from the control group of launch and technical positions conducted an internship in the rocket division of the SA in s. Bear, near Novgorod.

For the training of officers and sergeants of the rocket forces in Bulgaria in 1961 units were created in the departments of "Artillery" in the military academy "G. S. Rakovsky "in Sofia and in VNVAU" George Dimitrov "in the town of Shumen. In the town of Smolyan founded the Training Rocket Center (URC).

March 5 The 1961-based artillery regiment from the reserve of the High Command (RGC) in the town of Smolyan formed the first Bulgarian rocket unit - the 56-I missile brigade (RBB). She was armed with OTR 56K8 and was provided with 11-th mobile missile-technical base (PRTB).

In August, Soviet rocket men arrived in Bulgaria 1961: Gen.-Leith. G.S. Nadisev, regiment N. T. Kononenko and the regiment. I.I. Gamarnik. They provided invaluable assistance in the formation of the Bulgarian rocket forces and left warm human memories for all who worked with them. At the request of the gene. Nadisev from the missile brigade near Bender (Moldavian SSR) in Bulgaria came officers, sergeants and soldiers of the USSR under the command of the regiment. M. p. Chernishov. During the practical training of the personnel of the first three launch batteries (SBB) of the first missile battalion (RDN) of the 56-th RBD, each Bulgarian officer, sergeant and soldier stood in a Soviet equivalent in equivalent rank.

In the middle of August, 1962 from the Kostenets railway station left the railway train, which the command and headquarters of the 56 th RBD, 1 th RDN, technical battery, meteorological command, units and military equipment left. In 11 h 20 min 28 in August 1962 from the object "71 site" (Kapustin Yar test site in the Astrakhan region) the first combat training launch of a tactical missile in the history of the Bulgarian army took place. 1-i Sat shot at a distance of 120 km. The missile’s deviation from the target was 70 m in range and 50 m in azimuth. In accordance with the Training Course for 1962 (KP-62), the first shooting of the Bulgarian rocket engineers was rated “excellent”.

At the same time, as part of the 7-th motorized rifle division (MSD) of the 3-th Bulgarian Army (BA) in the city of Yambol, 66-I RBD and 130-I RTB were formed. After the return of the 56 th RBR in Bulgaria, it was reassigned to the 2 th BA and relocated in a. Marno, in the field where 129-I PRTB was created. In Samokov, the 128-I PRTB remained and the 46-I RBI was formed, which submitted to the 1-I BA.

By the end of 1962, each of the three Bulgarian armies had its own RBD, which included two MDRs with three SBs each. Each SBAT had two launchers (launchers). They were armed with OTR 8K11 with P-11 missiles. The launch aggregates of the 66-th RBR were tracked 8У218. The staffing of the Bulgarian BSR almost fully corresponded to the Soviet. Due to the initial shortage of weather stations PMC-1, each RDN had only one meteorological input. Full-fledged weather batteries were deployed only in 1964.

12 September 1964 year with. Telish was formed 76 th missile regiment (RP) RGC consisting of three SBAT and providing units, armed with the latest OTR 9K72 "Elbrus" with P-17 missiles. The 1975 9K72 with P-17 adopted and 66-I RBR. In 1981, the 76 RP was deployed in RBD. In 1986, 76-i RBB began rearmament on the 9K714 “Oka”, and by the end of 1990 she had 2 RPNs with 2 PBs to 2 PU 9P117 each. In 1962-1989 Bulgarian OTR conducted tactical exercises with combat training launches: 46-i RBR - 10; 56-i RBR - 11; 66-i RBR - 11; 76 th RP (RBR) - 6. Almost all launches were carried out at the Kapustin Yar range in the USSR, only two starts were made on the territory of Bulgaria. Bulgarian rocket engineers made friends with their Soviet colleagues from the 71 Site (42202 military unit) and always spoke of them with appreciation and sincere human warmth. Mid-level officers memorized the chief of staff of the regiment. Kalmykov, who met them and was responsible for the deployment of personnel and equipment. Generals write about the gen.-regiment. L.S. Sapkov. Without undue red tape, he supplied the Bulgarian generals with the best and most up-to-date materials about the combat training of the rocket forces. In addition, he rendered great assistance to Bulgarian rocket engineers with advice and considerations on combat work. In 80-x gene. Sapkov initiated the creation of the Friendship Park, where each RBD, which arrived at the exercises in Kapustin Yar, planted a tree from its edge. In 1984, the 76-I RBR also planted a tree and erected a small monument of Vratza limestone. It would be very interesting to find out if they have survived to this day?

The formation of the TR unit in the Bulgarian army began on April 6, 1962, from the 7th separate missile division (ORDn) of the 7th MRD of the 3rd BA. The division had 2 SBats with 2 TR 2K6 "Luna" in each. On May 11, 1963, at the Novoye Selo training ground, the 7th ORDn carried out the first tactical missile launch in the history of the Bulgarian army. In 1963, the 16th ORDn was formed to the 16th MSD of the 3rd BA, the 2nd and 17th ORDn to the 2nd BA. In 1965 - the 3rd ORDn of the 1st BA. In 1966 - the 5th ORDn of the 2nd BA. In 1967 - the 13th ORDn of the 3rd BA. In 1968 - the 21st ORDn of the 1st BA. In 1966 - 1968 the 2nd, 7th, 16th and 17th ORDn were rearmed on TR 9K52 "Luna-M". In the 70s, the 1st, 9th, 11th and 24th ORDn were created in 2K6. In the 80s, the 9th, 52th, 5st and 11th ORDn was transferred to 21K24, and the 2nd ORDn was equipped with TR 9K79 "Tochka". Today these "Points" are all that remains of the former missile power of the Bulgarian army. Organizationally, the ORDN were subordinate to the commanders of the MSD and tank brigades (TBR). Over the forty-year history of the Bulgarian missile forces, each of the 13 independent reconnaissance patrols carried out 7-12 combat training launches. In total, more than 120 tactical missile launches were made, all without exception on the territory of Bulgaria.

In parallel with the deployment of RBR and ORDn in 1961-1963, PRTB was deployed in each of the three BAs. In contrast to the organization of launch units, here the Soviet experience turned out to be almost inapplicable. PTRB in Bulgaria deployed in the garrisons of dislocation RBR. The Central Rocket and Technology Base (MDG) was deployed at Karlovo at 1964, and relocated to Lovech at 1967. In the MDGs there was a separate park missile division, which was engaged in receiving, storing, dispersing, guarding and delivering ammunition and equipment to the RTG. A number of original and innovative technical developments were created at the MDCs, including: instrumentation for checking the parameters of the I-265 and I-266 Mk-4А11 devices on the 9Ф213 machine; a device for monitoring the voltage on the rocket body; 2X663 machine for transporting 9X241 and 9X258 products and many others.

The end of the first part.

To be continued ...

The article is written on the book of the former commander of the rocket forces and artillery of the BNA, Lieutenant General Retired Dimitar Todorov “Rocket troops to Bulgaria”, ed. “Eur Group 2002”, Sofia, 2007, 453 p.
Articles from this series:
Rocket troops of Bulgaria. Part I. Formation and Sunrise
Rocket troops of Bulgaria. Part II. Death by US strike
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  1. Bongo
    Bongo 16 December 2013 08: 43
    Too short and concise. It is not clear why such a small amount of information is divided into parts?
  2. Su-9
    Su-9 16 December 2013 08: 46
    Ivan Ivanov, can you write what strategic goals the Bulgarian armies had in the framework of the Warsaw Pact? Since you did not have a CA, you see three goals:
    1) jerk to the Dardanelles
    2) support for the Black Sea Fleet on the Bosphorus
    3) deterring the Greeks with a blow to Thessaloniki.
    And of course, tracking "friends" from the SFRY and Romanians.
    Do you know more?
    I have never read anything intelligible.
    1. 222222
      222222 16 December 2013 10: 49
      Su-9 SU Today, 08:46 AM
      "And of course, tracking" friends "from the SFRY and Romanians" ..
      .. during World War II, there were two Bulgarian corps in Yugoslavia (Tsar Boris did not send the Bulgarians to fight against the Russians, fearing not without reason. that they would not fight against the brothers and did not fulfill Hitler’s demand ..) therefore, they inherited and, therefore, were fears .. But they didn’t inherit in Romania and were in Warsaw alone, from which one can assume. that the Romanians have nothing to do with ..
      ..and you wrote your strategic goals yourself .. yes, the goal is the same since ancient times, straits and don’t go to your grandmother ..
      1. Su-9
        Su-9 17 December 2013 07: 08
        In the Second World War, the Bulgarians seem to have brought troops to Yugoslavia on their "ancestral" territories. Have you ever wondered about the difference between a Bulgarian and a Macedonian? - there is a difference like between Kharkov and Belgorod in '88. I certainly do not encroach on the patriotism of the Macedonians. This I mean that it is difficult to accuse the Bulgarians of aggression against the Yugoslavs.
    2. ivanovbg
      16 December 2013 18: 25
      The strategic objective of the BA was to retain / capture the southern borders of the ATS / NATO bloc until the main forces of the USSR approached through the Black Sea. The redeployment of large Soviet forces in the Balkans could not remain invisible to NATO and, therefore, the Soviet Union fully expected that the SUA would worthy to fight alone against the armies of Turkey and Greece, and the contingents of American and British troops in them.

      Turkey and Greece were "dog and cat friendly" with each other, especially after the seizure of Northern Cyprus by Turkey in the 70s. Turkey, in its small European sector, held as many as two armies - 1st and 4th. The first against Bulgaria (OVD), the 4th against Greece. The 1st Turkish Army had the 33rd Mechanized Corps, which was intended for the first strike. Even if the first blow was delivered by the ATS, in order to cover the deployment of the Turkish army, this 33rd MK had to enter the territory of Bulgaria and inflict as much damage on us as it could, albeit at the cost of its own death.

      I knew something about the plans of the SUA to defeat the 33-MK, in Turkish (in case of attack) or Bulgarian (in case of defense) territory. I do not know anything about the strategic plans for the capture of the Straits and Thessaloniki, but it seems that in the event of an ATS offensive, we could capture and independently keep (against all NATO) Thessaloniki for 7-10 days. There probably were plans for the Bosphorus, but it’s unrealistic to capture the Bosphorus alone, the maximum is to drop the Turks from the European part into the sea if you are very lucky. About the Dardanelles there can be no question of going to the BNA alone, although you would have come with very great pleasure.

      Against the SFRY and Romania, perhaps there were some plans "just in case of fire", but the WHOLE system of the armed forces of Bulgaria was built to wage war in the south, to the Bosphorus and Thessaloniki. All VVUZ were in Northern Bulgaria. The headquarters of the 1st BA was in Sofia (Western Bulgaria), the 2nd in Plovdiv (South Bulgaria) and the 3rd in Sliven (South-Eastern Bulgaria). Against Turkey, there was a very reliable fortified line "Krali Marko", with concrete pillboxes and tank towers with guns from old tanks installed on concrete "wells". The USSR sold us old tanks at bargain prices, we put towers on "Krali Marko", and we used the shasi as a drive, engineering vehicles (they hung cranes, bulldozer shovels), etc.
      1. 222222
        222222 16 December 2013 21: 02
        ivanovbg BG Today, 18:25 ↑
        .. "the approach of the main forces of the USSR through the Black Sea .."
        Why through the Black Sea. when was Romania part of the VD?
        33 mk? what kind of animal and where?
        1PA (T) - in the Thracian direction - Bulgaria and Greece (12 and 16 divisions of Greece),
        4 (Aegean) PA speaks for itself ..
        In 1PA - three enclosures -2, 3, 5 AK. 2 ak-Gelibol, 5 ak-Thracian, 3ak- (Istanbul)
        1. The comment was deleted.
        2. ivanovbg
          16 December 2013 22: 37
          The 33th MK was the 3th tank division of the 3AK 1PA, I don’t know what it was really called, but in our plans it was listed as the 33th MK. This is approximately if the 2th battalion has the 1th, 2th and 3th companies, designated by the last 23th company. This is not entirely accurate, but briefly and conveniently.
      2. Su-9
        Su-9 17 December 2013 07: 02
        Thank. On business.
        I always thought that you would restrain the Turks on the bunkers in the mountains, and you yourself would have crashed into Greece to Thessaloniki and to Alexandropol - both close and flat there. From Alexandropol you can easily control the Dardanelles / Gallipoli. And then the Black Sea Fleet would have approached the Bosphorus. And the Turks in Europe would be over. And there the Greeks would have come out of the war ...
  3. makarov
    makarov 16 December 2013 08: 58
    interesting stuff. I look forward to continuing.
  4. shark
    shark 16 December 2013 09: 28
    A sad story about how Russia was grossly swindled by the next "brothers" We practically gave them a whole branch of troops, they learned the personnel. And they are in NATO ...
    1. Su-9
      Su-9 16 December 2013 09: 54
      Well, the Bulgarians while the Warsaw Pact held on were not the worst part of it. At least the USSR did not hold troops there.
      And then how everything fell apart, where did they go, if not to NATO? No one else offered anything, but you need to defend yourself against the Turks at least somehow.
      Well, the rocket troops, I think they have already safely stole .. they’ll tell about it in Ivan Ivanov in the second part.
      1. 222222
        222222 16 December 2013 10: 04
        Su-9 SU Today, 09:54 ↑ New
        Well, Bulgarians are still the Warsaw Pact .. "
        there were three combined arms armies .. and stripes from the USSR through the Warsaw Pact were not measured ..
        Now they have a missile division in Yambol (OTR PP 9K79 Point) from the 4 artillery regiment - Asenovgrad ..
        1. mihailow56
          mihailow56 16 December 2013 11: 23
          .... and one naked ... well ...
  5. stoqn477
    stoqn477 16 December 2013 11: 48
    Missile Forces in Bulgaria? Already in the past! Our politicians, our teeth were knocked out!
  6. 222222
    222222 16 December 2013 12: 12
    stoqn477 BG. mihailow56 BG
    Remember Bai Tosho?
    1. stoqn477
      stoqn477 16 December 2013 15: 46
      If you mean that he is guilty, then you are wrong. During his buy weapons. Do not destroy what is new and what was bought for public money. I mean OTR-23 (Oka). The Luna complex is old, and I kind of agree, but Oka! There were perhaps the last remaining such samples.
      Eliminate them to please the Americans and, possibly, push them from a “friendly” Turkey.
      1. 222222
        222222 16 December 2013 21: 05
        stoqn477 BG Today,
        I'm not talking about that .. When T Zhivkov left. then He said that Bulgaria would still regret that time ...
  7. kind
    kind 16 December 2013 13: 52
    “Site 71” (Kapustin Yar training ground in Kazakh ASR)

    Kapustin Yar is located in the Astrakhan region.
    In 1984, the 76th RBR also planted a tree and built a small monument from the doctor's limestone. It would be very interesting to know if they have survived to this day.

    1. ivanovbg
      16 December 2013 18: 32
      I rewrote the location of the landfill from the book of General Todorov, it’s good that at least a small memorial and a tree have been preserved.
  8. voliador
    voliador 16 December 2013 20: 25
    You might think that now the Turks are not licking their lips on the Bulgarians. They will arrange another Euro-Maidan in Sofia, but only in Bulgarian, and it turns out that all the Bulgarians so much want to become Turks that they cannot eat already, and at the same time they themselves do not know.
    1. ivanovbg
      16 December 2013 22: 44
      It won't be that way anyway. It is very likely that ethnic Turks in Bulgaria complained that their rights were "infringed" and then Turkey could enter to "restore justice", as Hitler in Czechoslovakia "interceded" for the Sudeten Germans. Then only Russia can help us if it wants. NATO will indifferently look at the seizure of Cyprus by Turkey in the 70s, and the United States will only rejoice, you bastards, so that they are gone on the planet!
  9. zub46
    zub46 18 December 2013 17: 13
    Brothers, we don’t need to be especially offended by our little brothers - it’s better to remember our former leaders and what they did to us. We hope for better times.