|AUTHOR||Alexander Mladenov, Evgeni Andonov|
|NO OF PAGES||88|
|ILLUSTRATIONS||Photos, Maps & Illustrations.|
After the end of the Second World War, Bulgaria fell in total dependency upon the Soviet Union as a direct result of the 1944 Yalta agreement on the 'spheres of influence' division of Europe. The Bulgarian Air Force was radically reformed in the Soviet style and rapidly re-equipped with huge numbers of front-line aircraft. The strengthening of the Bulgarian air arm became a high priority as the Cold War in the Balkans gathered speed, and small incidents near the southern and western borders of the country began to occur with increasing frequency. The extensive 'Sovietisation' of the Bulgarian air arm led to the eventual change of its official title in late 1949, becoming identical to its Soviet counterpart, the Voennovazdushni Sily (VVS), featuring a structure identical to that of a Soviet front-line air army. In April 1951, the Bulgarian Air Force entered the jet era with the delivery of the first batch of Yak-23 fighters, followed not after long by the MiG-15. The hot period of the Cold War in the early and mid-1950s saw frequent night overflights by US aircraft ferrying CIA teams to be delivered by parachute to Bulgarian territory, and often to Romania and the southern parts of the Soviet Union.
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