Bulgaria by R. J. Crampton

By R. J. Crampton

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On 5 September the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria and promptly invaded the country; Bulgaria, meanwhile, declared war on Germany, and thus became the only state simultaneously at war with Germany, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. On 9 September the forces of the Fatherland Front, the partisan coalition of the Communists, some Agrarians, Zveno, and a few bourgeois parties, seized power in Sofia. According to contemporary Bulgarian historiography, the socialist revolution had begun.

This can only be welcomed by the western reader, particularly when the fascinating range of mediaeval Bulgarian literature is revealed.

Migrating from the steppe areas between the Urals and the Volga, the Proto-Bulgars had a formidable military reputation and a loose federal structure headed by a khan, or chieftain. In 681, Khan Asparuh established a new state with a capital first in Pliska, but after 893 in Preslav, both near the present-day city of Shumen. Mediaeval Bulgaria The Proto-Bulgars were fine warriors who helped to defend Constantinople against the Arabs in 71718 and, by the beginning of the 9th century, the Bulgarian state had expanded westwards as far as the river Tisza in what is now Hungary.

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