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SELECTED PHOTOGRAPHS


Blériot XI Militaire of the Aviation Command at Trupalsko Polje, January 1913.
Lohner ‘R28’ of Schulflugstation Cosada returns to St. Catarina, 1915.
Crashed Etrich A.II (Fd) 72.35 of Flek 1 near Novi Sad in early spring 1915.
Nieuport XXI C1 of escadrille N.387 at Vertekop aerodrome in 1917.
Aviatik Berg between two Phönix D.Is of LSL at Šiška airfield, autumn 1919.
FBA Type H ‘N15d’ of 3.HK at Hvar, 12 June 1925.
LGL B3 no.132 of 1.VP with skis at Novi Sad aerodrome, late twenties.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I s/n 2301 of 4.LP at Borongaj, spring 1940.
Captured prototype of the multirole Zmaj R-1 at Zemun, spring 1941.
Dornier Do 17Ka-3 AX706 of 102 MU at Shalufa, Egypt, in summer 1941.
Crashed Hs 126B-2 W.Nr.4361 of NASt. Kroatien at Kapino Polje, May 1943.
Remnants of Dornier Do 17E-1 W.Nr.3031 of 7.ZJ at Rajlovac, August 1943.
Cants Z.1007ter from 190ª Esc of 88° Gr ACI over Montenegro, March 1944.
B-24G-5-NT Liberator 42-78084 of the 450th BG at Plaško Polje, 2 April 1944.
Hurricane Mk.IV of W Cdr John Selby at Zemun aerodrome in February 1945.
Airmen of TLC with a Yakovlyev Yak 1b at Ruma airfield, March 1945.
Ilyushin UIl-2 ‘White 0’ of 421.VJP at Niš aerodrome, autumn 1945.
Bound for Israel, Spitfire LF Mk.IXEs at Kapino Polje in December 1948.
Lockheed T-33A-1-LO 51-6524 at Batajnica air base, 10 March 1953.
SGZ geologists next to Augusta-Bell AB-47J s/n 11562, Bugojno, September 1961
F-84G Thunderjet s/n 10595 of 172.LBAP(Š) at Zemunik, 18 August 1966.
Destroyed McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 ‘YU-AJN’ near Bežanija, November 1974.
MiG 21M s/n 22804 of 130.lae at Slatina aerodrome, summer 1979.
Edwards AFB, 24 September 1980: Maj Hamzić inside RF-5E Tigereye 71-1420.
Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 29 of 127.lae ‘Knights’ in HAS at Batajnica, 1993.

CONTENTS

Foreword 5

Chapter 1: Legionnaires
A Road into the Unknown 7
The Front of All Fronts 9
In Icy Skies 12
Fiery Spring 20
Time of Vacillation 28
Gustavs Over the Caucasus 35
On the Gates of Tuapse 50
New Challenges 57
Battle Over Kuban 59
Time of Crisis 65
Offspring in the Crimea 71
Fight to the Last 81
Long Way Home 84

Chapter 2: Fighters of the Zvonimir Cross
Terror State 87
Too Little Too Late 91
Every Man for Himself 96

Chapter 3: Bulgarian Arrows
Defending Sofia 103
En Route to Ploiesti 111
Under the Allied Flag 115
Spoils of War 121

Chapter 4: Protectors of the Republic
Guerilla Air Force 123
War Booty 124
Bulgarian Connection 130
Back on First Line Service 134
Marshal’s Guards 137
The Young Regiment 142
Gloomy Year 145
End of the Road 156
Survivors 165

Chapter 5: Camouflage and Markings
Hrvatska zrakoplovna legija 167
Zrakoplovstvo Nezavisne Države Hrvatske 170
Vazdushni na Negovo Velichestvo Voyski & Vazdushni Voyski 171
Vazduhoplovstvo jugoslovenske armije & Jugoslovensko ratno vazduhoplovstvo 173

Endnotes 175

Appendix 1: Provisional List of Claims Achieved With Bf 109s by HZL Pilots 1941 – 1944 177
Appendix 2: Known Losses of Luftwaffe Bf 109s with HZL Pilots 1941 – 1944 183
Appendix 3: Known ZNDH Bf 109 Losses 1944 – 1945 184
Appendix 4: Known Claims Achieved With Bf 109 by VnNVV Pilots Over Yugoslavia 1943 – 1945 185
Appendix 5: Known Bf 109 Deliveries to VnNVV 1941 – 1945 186
Appendix 6: Known VnNVV & VV Bf 109 Losses in Operations Over Yugoslavia 1943 – 1945 186
Appendix 7: VnNVV Bf 109Gs Seized by Luftwaffe at Skoplje Aerodrome, September 1944 186
Appendix 8: VJA & JRV Bf 109 Register 1945 – 1953 187
Appendix 9: VJA & JRV Bf 109 List of Losses & Accidents 1945 – 1952 188
Appendix 10: Reconstruction of the Register of DB 605A & D Engines in JRV Inventory 190
Appendix 11: Approximate Comparison of Ranks 190

Abbreviations 191
Selected Bibliography 192
Selected Archival Funds and Documents 192
Selected Internet Sources 192
Messerschmitt Bf 109 in Color 193

INTRODUCTION

The iconic Messerschmitt Bf 109 roamed the skies over the Balkans for fourteen years with eight different air forces, while Yugoslav pilots flew it across the European continent, from the Bay of Biscay, over East Prussia and Ukrainian steppe, till the foothills of the Caucasus. This book is a sequel to the Volume I, which told the story of the best fighter in the inventory of the Royal Yugoslav Air Force, and a mainstay of the Luftwaffe fighters operating over Yugoslavia.
The first chapter in the Volume II follows in unprecedented detail the path of the Croat Air Force Legion fighter component, which fought on the Eastern Front both at the time of easy victories and against the overwhelming might of the Red Air Force as a part of the crack JG 52. Most of the actions of 15.(kroat.)/JG 52 have been paired with recently disclosed documents from Russian archives and for the first time, this provides an exceptional insight into the true combat value of the Croat Legionnaires and their Bf 109s.
A lot has been written about the Bf 109s in minor Axis countries, yet its short and inglorious line of duty in the Independent State of Croatia is almost unknown. Based on wealth of previously unpublished data and first hand accounts, the second chapter covers the acquisition and service of the most modern aircraft of the puppet Croat state and many incredible episodes from its service.
The changing fortunes of the Bulgarian airmen that flew the Bf 109 over Yugoslavia in their war against the USAAF and then the Germans is described in chapter three. Their actions and claims have been deeply researched and thoroughly cross-checked, both with Allied and German records.
Emergence of the Partisan guerrilla air force and its trophy fighters – a curiosity not seen in any other teatre of war – and the unexpected return of the German engineering masterpiece into the skies of the Yugoslav Republic in 1948 is chronicled in the fourth chapter. With young and inexperienced pilots at the controls of demanding and unforgiving fighter, the service of 77 aircraft was marked with incredible 120 accidents.
The final chapter explains in detail various camouflage patterns and markings applied on Bf 109s in Croat Air Force Legion, Independent State of Croatia, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia.
Comprehensive appendixes contain the most precise list of confirmed and unconfirmed victories and losses of Legionnaire Bf 109 pilots ever published; register of Croat Bf 109 losses; Bulgarian Bf 109 claims and losses over Yugoslavia, list of Bf 109s delivered to Bulgaria whilst in Axis camp, list of Bf 109s captured by the Luftwaffe at Skoplje after Bulgaria switched sides; register of Bf 109s in Yugoslav inventory with production numbers and previous service history, their accident log, list of 255 DB 605 engines in Yugoslav inventory; and detailed comparison of ranks.
Illustrated with 37 superb aircraft profiles and 255 photographs – the vast majority of which are published for the first time, ‘Messerschmitt Bf 109: The Yugoslav Story (Volume II)’ represents the result of decades of painstaking research. It is drawn from extensive archival sources, numerous interviews and personal recollections, as well as documents and artifacts from private collections in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czechia, France, South Africa, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Finland and Italy.

ABOUT THE BOOK

English translation review:
David Isby

Translation of sources in Russian language:
Marija Mažibrada

Artwork:
Ognjan Petrović

Graphic Design:
Unibrand Communications d.o.o.

Supported by:
Top Pos Servis

Format: 290 x 210 mm

200 pages

255 photographs

37 aircraft profiles

Softback

Release Date: 11 October 2018

ISBN: 978-86-909727-3-9

ⓒ 2018 All rights reserved