Bulgaria Military

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Does Bulgaria and Serbia have comparable size of armed forces and military expenditures?


SERBIA: 1.9 billion US $
BULGARIA: 1 billion US $

Active personnel:
SERBIA: 38 000
BULGARIA: 51 000

Military expenditures:
SERBIA: dollar figure: $654 million (2002)
BULGARIA: dollar figure: $379 million

So, Bulgaria has more active personnel, but Serbian millitary has better armed and trained forces and Serbia invest more money in equipment! Serbian Special Forces are best in Balkans so we can say Serbian millitary is better than Bulgarian!

1934 Bulgaria King Boris to Dissolve Parliament Military Coup Original Photo

Bulgaria Military

Military Brass Band Bulgaria

Bulgaria Under Byzantine Rule

Ivan Vladislav was a nephew of Tsar Samuil and the only one who survived after Samuil ordered to execute his brother Aron together with his entire family. Ivan Vladislav was saved by his cousin Gavril Radomir, son of Samuil. Later Ivan Vladislav murdered his cousin during a hunt and became Tsar of Bulgaria in 1015. Some historical sources claim that he murdered also Gavril Radomir’s wife and blinded his son but there are no clear evidences for that. But he murdered the Serbian Knyaz Ivan Vladimir, Samuil’s son in law, who was married to Samuil’s daughter Theodora Kossara. In the battle of Setina the Bulgarian army was defeated by Byzantine. Later the Bulgarians attack the port of Drach but Ivan Vladislav died under the walls of the city and in the same year (1018) the First Bulgarian Kingdom was annexed by the Byzantine Empire. Bulgaria was under Byzantine rule.

The first uprising against the rule of Byzantine in 1040 was led by Petar Delyan who claimed to be Gavril Radomir’s son and grandson of Tsar Samuil. The uprising did not succeed and the leader was blinded.

The second uprising took place in 1071 and was organized by Georgi Voytech, a Bulgarian nobleman who came from a family of kavkhans. But according to the Bulgarian traditions, only a direct descendant could be elected as king. Since Voytech wasn’t one, the plotters asked the Knyaz of Zeta, Michail to send one of his sons in order to become Bulgarian Tsar. In 1072 Konstantin Bodin was proclaimed Tsar by Bulgarian Boyars but his army was defeated by Byzantine army and that was the end of the uprising. Georgi Voytech was put to torture and died on his way to Constantinople.

In the spring of 1185 two brothers named Assen and Petar decided to organize another uprising. Petar (his first name was Theodor but after the coronation he took the name of Petar), the elder brother was proclaimed Tsar. In 1190 the Emperor of Byzantine, Isaac II Angel besieged the new Bulgarin capital – Turnovo. The Byzantine army was defeated several times by Assen and the Emperor himself ran for safety. After this victory Petar ceded the throne to Assen since he understood that Assen has extraordinary military skills. After his return, the Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angel was dethroned and blinded by his own brother Aleksiy III Angel. In 1196 Tsar Ivan Assen I defeated the army of sebastocrator Isaac. Soon after that Assen (Ivan Assen I) was killed by his own cousin Ivanko (known as the killer of Assen). With the reign of Ivan Assen and Peter began the history of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396). After Tsar Assen’s murder, Ivanko asked help from the Emperor of Byzantine Aleksiy III Angel. But the two brothers of Assen – Petar and Kaloyan led the army to the capital Turnovo and Ivanko escaped to Byzantine. The eldest brother Petar became Petar IV, the Tsar of Bulgaria but not for long – he reigned for about a year and then he was killed by plotters.

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