After the defeat of Greece in 1941, the German command decided to permit the Bulgarians to administrate Aegean Thrace (in Bulgarain Aegean Sea is called White Sea - Бяло море), including the islands of Thassos and Samothrace.
On 20 April 1941 the Bulgarian High Command gives the task to the commander of 2. Army Lieutenant-General Ivan Markov to begin the occupation of the Aegean Thrace with 10. Infantry Division, 2. Border Guards Brigade, 1st Infantry Rezerve Regiment that occupy the space between the Evros/Maritsa and Strymonas/Struma rivers. The 2. army HQ is in Xanthi, 10. Division in Komotini/Giumiurdjina and Alexandroupoli/Dedeagach, 1st Infantry Reserve Regiment in Seres and 2nd Border Guards Brigade in Sidirokastro/Demir Hisar and Drama. On 02 May 1941 2. Army is renamed 1. Army under the command of Lieutenant-General Konstantin Lukash with HQ in Xanthi. The army is reinforced with 11. Infantry Division (22, 25, 42 IR) and 2nd army arty regiments. On 09 May 1941 the islands of Thasos and Samothrace are occupied.
On 21 July 1941 an White Sea Unit was formed under the command of Col. Georgi Kovachev with Hq in Xanthi. It consists of the Kavala regiment, the Komotini regiment, White sea flotillia, a communication company, two labour battalions, a reserve battalion, hospital adn a bomber squadron in Kavala. The Unit is directly subordinated to the High Command.
On 25 November 1941 the White Sea Unit is renamed 16. Infantry Division under the command of Col. Trifon Trifonov with HQ in Xanthi and the following units: Kavala regiment, Komotini regiment, attached 67th infantry regiment, 3rd and 6th cavalry regiments, White Sea flotillia, 8th reserve regiment, 443th air recon unit in Kavala, 18th, 19th and 21st border guards units. The division is defending the coast between Strymonas and Alexandroupoli.
On 4 November 1943 the division is included in the newly formed 2. Occupation Corps and consists of 57th, 59th and 62nd infantry regiment and 16th divisional arty regiment with HQ in Drama.
On 25 Ictiber 1944 the division retreats from Aegean to the old Bulgarian border. In 1945 it forms part of 1. Bulgarian Army and fought in Yugoslavia, Hungary and Austria.

Commanders

Col. Trifon Trifonov (10 Dec 1941 - 22 Nov 1943)
Col. Strashimir Velchev (22 Nov 1943 - July 1944)
Col. Ivan Nikolov (06 July 1944 - 17 Sep 1944)

Order of battle (May 1944)

57. Infantry Regiment
   3 x Battalion
59. Infantry Regiment
   3 x Battalion
62. Infantry Regiment
   3 x Battalion
22. Infantry Regiment
   3 x Battalion
3. Cavalry Regiment
1. Machine Gun Battalion (mot)
16. Anti-Tank Battalion (mot)
16. Signals Battalion
16. Engineer Battalion
16. Flak Battery
16. Artillery Regiment
   4 x Battalion
16. Supply Group
16. Field Park
16. Bakery Company
16. Butcher Company
16. Field Post Office
16. Military Police Company
16. Veterinary Platoon
16. Field Hospital
16. Medical Company

Sources used

Research by Dimitar Boykov
George F. Nafziger - Bulgarian Order of Battle in World War II

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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