Gunboards Forums banner

1 - 20 of 76 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,178 Posts
Yo Gents,

Along with the excellent WWI Bulgarian ferashka I recently acquired from Brian, I have also added a beautiful set of traditional Bulgarian footwear! These items will add the finishing touches to my Bulgarian display, which is otherwise complete. The display will feature a beautiful Bulgarian Model 88 Mannlicher complete with NCO bayonet and an original period canvas button and buckle sling.

The new mannequin for this display is one of the series I have been purchasing regularly for the past three years. They are perfect for these displays in that they are of slender build and 5’10” tall, which makes them just about perfect for the average WWI uniform tunic or greatcoat. Most mannequins these days are 6'2" or 6'3", which results in a tight fit or sleeves that look waaaaaay too short! I also purchased a second identical mannequin for my Austro-Hungarian Pioneer Display, which I will cover in a seperate thread when the display is assembled.

Since I paint my mannequins myself anyway, it doesn’t matter that this series comes completely “in the white”! The other feature that is perfect about this particular model is that it comes with mounting rods that can be used in the bottom of the foot…..OR……in the back of the calf, which means I don’t have to drill holes in an antique pair of shoes! (Bulgarian Tsarvuli). Excellent!

The footwear was acquired for me with special care to detail by our very own Nick who was kind enough to enlist the aid of some of his Bulgarian re-enactor friends in…….you guessed it!......... Bulgaria! Many thanks to Nick and his Buddies!

The shoes are called Tsarvuli and come complete with the traditional stockings, leg wraps and woven woolen cord to wrap them with. Nick provided me with the proper names of all of the accouterments that accompany the shoes, but I don’t have time to look them up this morning. I’ll edit them into the thread later.

And of course I have also added a WWI vintage photo of a Bulgarian soldier wearing this traditional footwear and leg wraps to show the "look" I am targeting with this most interesting display.

I’ll post photos of the display when it is completed. This mannequin and the Serbian Field Officer Display, which was posted on the old Forum will be featured in a future two part article entitled, “WWI Small Arms of the Balkans”. More when the display is assembled.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,691 Posts
Hi John! Your attention to detail and authentic looks is absolutely impressive!

The terminology is:
  • The moccasin = tsarvuli (plural), tsarvul (singular)
  • The wraps = navushta (plural)
  • The ties = vurvi (plural)
  • The stockings = kaltsooni (plural)

The ties were originally made of horse hair. Yours are like that, woven from horse hair. For re-enacting purposes they could be made of coarse wool. Here is a short "tsarvuli manual" that one of my Bulgarian friends sent on my request.

The official uniform prescribed tall boots, but because of the wars (First Balkan, Second Balkan, WWI) there was a shortage of anything and everything. Therefore, the "tsarvuli" were very common and later turned into a symbol of the soldier's stoicism.

The last picture is from 1916 and shows young Bulgarian soldiers just before being sent to the front. Note the correct attire and new boots with hobnails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,794 Posts
Nick - I love that photo of the squad of Bulgars with M.95 rifles and the mandolin (if that's what it is?).

Thanks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,691 Posts
Here is a REALLY interesting picture. This is Miss (or Missis?) Donka Stavreva Ushlinova. She is Bulgarian (of course); participated in the Ilinden Rebellion (1903), First & Second Balkan Wars (1912-13) and WWI. She had a rank of NCO in the Bulgarian Army!!! She was awarded the medal For Bravery, I Class for her - guess what - bravery in battle.

And her navushta are really tall! What a woman!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
The last picture - the guy with the strange "shoes" is probably a member of the "voluntary militia" not a regular soldier. The militia was active during the Bulgaria-Serb war in 1885 and during the Balkan wars 1912-1913.
The "shoes" are made of a pig skin.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,691 Posts
The last picture - the guy with the strange "shoes" is probably a member of the "voluntary militia" not a regular soldier. The militia was active during the Bulgaria-Serb war in 1885 and during the Balkan wars 1912-1913.
The "shoes" are made of a pig skin.
The guy is a regular soldier and carries a M.95. The militia men didn't have such modern weapons, but Berdan 2 or M.88-90 at best. Military "tsarvuli" were not made of pig skin, but from more durable leather - like the ones shown by JPS.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,178 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Not too long now....................

Yo Nick,

Counting down Bud! The end of this damn trip is actually in sight! By the end of this month, I should have the mannequin painted and the Bulgarian display completed and photographed. I'll post the photos on this thread first.

I can't wait! This has been a loooooooong one.

Many thanks my Friend!

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
hello friends

may I suggest that this man could be a bilgarian border patrol from post ww1 period...they wear "tcarvuli" even in the 30ies... here is a picture of such a patrol in 1933 why has such a granade , rifle.. and ...a dog.
in ww1 they wear a boots commonly...
here is also an unit from pre ww1 era perhaps about 1912-13 ..not shure... and becouse someone ses somthuing about chetniks and volunteers here is one with m88... best regards
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,178 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The completed Display!

Hello Pereto,

Excellent photos, thank you for posting them. Here are some photos of the finished Bulgarian Uniform Display.

Regarding the uniform and footwear, the Bulgarian Army wore a dizzying array of different style uniforms and footwear during WWI, including Russian style gymniastyorkas, German style feldbluse as well as the Bulgarian prewar tunics and wartime tunics, both of which were produced during the war in patterns with and without a fly front covering the buttons.

Since the same uniforms and equipment were in use until the late 20 early 30s, this display would most certainly pass for both periods. After the photos below, I'll post several WWI and pre WWI period photos below that show the wide variety of different uniforms and equipment in use during the Balkan Wars as well as during WWI.

While boots were supposed to be standard issue during WWI, there are a vast array of period photos that prove beyond question that trhey were never universally issued. You will also note in some of the photos that ankle high lace-up boots and puttees were also worn by a small percentage of Bulgarian troops. As the war progressed, the Bulgarians were supplied with more and more German uniforms and equipment.

I elected to go with the tsarvuli in order to give the display a more "ethnic" look, since Nick was kind enough to chase down a proper antique pair for me!

Thank you one and all, and specially Nick, for your support of this display. I'm very happy to have both a Bulgarian and Serbian Display among the Museum Collection!

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Waw, JPS you have a fantastic museum!!! Congartilations!
I,m absolutly agree with you on the Boots and "tcarvuli" issue..and about uniforms mess in the WW1 even latter. For instanse I,w post some pictures from my colection, perhaps they will be usefull
1. BG Military post card (1917)which was sent free from the front to home..there is a printed drawing of a men in a strange uniform.and a kind warning - "IF there are any concrete locations or military sicrets card will be destroyed by miliatry police ..."
2. Picture from the front- varaiaty of uniforms.. 1918
3.Soldier shany showing his artilery Luger P08
4. Me as a manequen ..showing my WW1 staff...
Best regards
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,178 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hello pereto,

Excellent collection my Friend! You have some very nice items there. You have also gotten off to an earlier start than I did. I collected American Civil War items first, then moved into arms & armor, which I still have, followed by Napoleonic Swords, which I eventually sold, before moving in to WWI collecting.

I'll shoot some photos of the German produced "Bulgarian issue" tornister and the rest of the back of this display when I have some time.

Thank you for sharing your photos with us!

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,794 Posts
John - any chance of posting larger images of those last 10 photos???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I have just rediscouvered old picture from the family album which shows 4 soldiers from WW1 one of them is famous from the balkan war(1913) for capturing a Turcish flag in batle - the man with the colourfull "tcarvuli" and the text says:"in momory of the Mass War"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
Hello Pereto,

Excellent photos, thank you for posting them. Here are some photos of the finished Bulgarian Uniform Display.

Regarding the uniform and footwear, the Bulgarian Army wore a dizzying array of different style uniforms and footwear during WWI, including Russian style gymniastyorkas, German style feldbluse as well as the Bulgarian prewar tunics and wartime tunics, both of which were produced during the war in patterns with and without a fly front covering the buttons.

Since the same uniforms and equipment were in use until the late 20 early 30s, this display would most certainly pass for both periods. After the photos below, I'll post several WWI and pre WWI period photos below that show the wide variety of different uniforms and equipment in use during the Balkan Wars as well as during WWI.

While boots were supposed to be standard issue during WWI, there are a vast array of period photos that prove beyond question that trhey were never universally issued. You will also note in some of the photos that ankle high lace-up boots and puttees were also worn by a small percentage of Bulgarian troops. As the war progressed, the Bulgarians were supplied with more and more German uniforms and equipment.

I elected to go with the tsarvuli in order to give the display a more "ethnic" look, since Nick was kind enough to chase down a proper antique pair for me!

Thank you one and all, and specially Nick, for your support of this display. I'm very happy to have both a Bulgarian and Serbian Display among the Museum Collection!

Warmest regards,

JPS
This is a fantastic impression regardless, but I wonder how come noone pointed out that this is definitely a WW2 tunic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
The Balkan wars and WW1 Bulgarian tunics had only chest pockets, and never pleats or buttons on the pockets. Very rarely they also used German transitional 1915 tunics or a version with only lower pockets. The summer uniform was similar in drill or they used gymnastierkas.

This is clearly a summer WW2 era tunic.

I similarly have doubts about the cap. The Balkan wars cap was Blue with red band, the 1915 was momochrome, usually tobacco/natural or grey khaki some with piping, most without. They did not have coloured bands. One of the main reasons for the simplified 1915 specs was to reduce visibility with cutting most coloured elements.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,691 Posts
Here is a picture of Bulgarian re-enactors from the "Battle of River Arges and Fort Mogosoaia" in Romania. Only the weapons are incorrect as the Bulgarians were not allowed to transport any weapons across the border. So the Romanian hosts issued them 91/30 and Maxim-Sokolov in lieu of Mannlicher and Schwarzlose. The uniforms are of the 18 Etar Regiment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
These look correct for Balkan wars and early WW1, summer gymnastierkas. I wonder,
did the patron regiments, the ones with a monogram (first 20 or so)
keep the tradition of facing colours post 1915?

I see that these reenactors have skyblue cap band, which looks suspicious
for the simplified 1915 specs?

Also many have the Austrian-style double pouch, which I have seen in no
Bulgarian pictures dating in the WW1. When was this introduced?
It looks also 30s-WW2 to me.

Please let me know if you have any evidence for the correctness of the above items.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,691 Posts
...summer gymnastierkas..
Why the Russian term? The word for tunic is kurtka in Bulgarian, not gymnastiorka.
..I see that these reenactors have skyblue cap band, which looks suspicious for the simplified 1915 specs? Please let me know.
These were the colors of the 18-th Etar Regiment - so I was told by the guys there whose granddads and great granddads served with this regiment. So the colors gotta be correct. BTW, they look green to me, not sky blue?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,691 Posts
.
Also many have the Austrian-style double pouch, which I have seen in no Bulgarian pictures dating in the WW1. When was this introduced? It looks also 30s-WW2 to me...
Don't know about these pouches. They have plenty of the older style so I have no idea why they chose a pattern that I also think is from a later period. However, the fact that I haven't seen pictures from WWI with this style pouch doesn't mean the Bulgarian army didn't get them later in the war.
 
1 - 20 of 76 Posts
Top