Saturday, March 1, 1941 - Bulgaria join the axis

Louis

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When the WW2 broke out, Bulgaria declared its neutrality. But Bulgaria’s King Boris was eager to expand his country’s borders, and Germany had already coerced Romania to restore south Dobruja–which had been lost in World War I–to Bulgaria. Bulgaria had chosen the wrong side in World War I, deciding that its territorial needs then would best be met by joining the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary and the German Empire). They were wrong, and King Boris was determined not to make the same mistake again. Believing Hitler’s boasts that he had already won the war, King Boris chose to pitch his country’s tent on the Axis side of the war. Hitler needed a compliant Bulgaria through which to march his troops en route to offensives against both Yugoslavia and Greece. If the Germans were victorious in Greece, Bulgaria hoped, as a new war partner, to gain access itself to the Aegean by claiming Greek territory to its south. On March 1, the Germans came marching through the Balkans, as the Bulgarian king signed the Tripartite Pact in Vienna with Hitler looking on.

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King Boris III of Bulgaria with one of his army generals.