the World War 1 the Bulgarian Army captured a lot of
weapons and hundreds of guns and quickly assigned them to its artillery
units. Already during the Interallied War the Bulgarian Army had used many guns captured from the
Turks, 49 field and 63 fortress guns according with official history of the
war. In 1913-14 they were assigned to artillery regiments in order to achieve
the established strength. lt.col.
Napier, the British Military Attaché at Sofia before World War I (August 1914
– September 1915), affirmed that, when he visited gen. Gesov
the defeat of the Serbian Army, when a considerable amount of artillery
material fell into the victors’ hands, the Germans quickly established a
booty commission, which began to confiscate war and raw materials and
transport them away. It was only later that a distribution key was elaborated
for the booty, providing for 30% of the material each for
the offensive against
any case the majority of the artillery material captured by Germans and
The 2nd Army had the 2nd firearms unit that was built up by the 1st main firearms depot Sofia on 29 May 1916 and was administratively subordinated to the 5th intermediate depot. It is very probable that also the 3rd Army had a similar unit, since during the campaign against Romania the Bulgarian Army captured a lot of weapons and ammunition.
The enemy weapons were a source of maintenance so mattering for the Bulgarian Army that on 30 March 1916, on a proposal of the Artillery Technical Committee, the Council of Ministers emitted a decree in order to intensify the activity of searching the war materials hidden by the enemy. The State promised to pay a compensation to the citizens of the recently annexed territories, who showed where they were stored. The amount of the compensations for the materials rose to 10% of their value.
It is not easy to know the exact number of the captured guns used by the Bulgarians during the World War, but it was very height. For instance at the end of the war, the 3rd Heavy Artillery Regiment was armed with a total of 12 howitzers and 24 guns: among them there were 8 Turkish howitzers and 8 Romanian, 6 Turkish and 2 Greek guns. The origin of 4 of the remaining guns is not clear. The Turkish guns were war trophies of the Balkan War, while the Romanian and Greek guns had been captured in 1916. Only 4 heavy howitzers and 4 long guns had been delivered by the German Army.
In his final report about the activity of the Direction of the artillery of the Field Army, gen. Stefan Slavchev stated that during the war the Bulgarian Army captured approximately 550 enemy quick-firing guns and a great number of not quick-firing guns. To his report, he added a handwritten list of the guns captured to the Serbian, Romanian, Greek, French, British, Russian and Austro-Hungarian Armies that included overall 592 quick-firing and 330 not quick-firing guns. This list is certainly incomplete (for instance it not listed the 80mm De Bange field guns although Serbs had about one hundred of these guns along the Bulgarian border and during the war the Bulgarian artillery raised at least six batteries with De Bange field guns), but is an excellent starting point. In addition to the guns captured directly, the Bulgarian Army obtained some enemy guns captured by its alleys, Germany and Austria-Hungary.