Atanas Ilev
President of the Union of Royal Military Schools, Military school for reserved officers, military and civilians.


Years fleetingly go by, marked by duty and patriotic endurance, suppressed and forgotten historical assets and relics continue to revive and come back to memory. A worthy manifestation of our glorious past is revealed, the glory and triumph of our battle mastery and traditions start to shine, both being the leading forces in the wars to unite the fragmented country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The motive for these noble deeds is the governing body of Rakovski National Defense College, which respects and praises the commanders and the generals who have been trained, educated and who marched until the end of 1944 in the Royal Military School, located in this pretty place in well-preserved and kept premises, seminar rooms for military simulations, parade grounds and parks. These immortal Bulgarian officers are the toll of tribute of the living patriotic thread, and their sacrifice, patriotism, high morale, duty and act of heroism can be sensed from every corner of this solemn place. The fence with the old rifles, the Battle Alley of victories, the All Saints Church, and the plaques of the officers who died in wars – all have been rehabilitated.

The Royal School Commandants’ Alley is imminent for reconstruction with commandants’ busts being displayed. In the lovely green park, following the construction of Vasil Levski monument, a monument of the hero of the First World War, Colonel Drangov, will be put up to manifest the arduous momentum of the Bomber. A joyous surprise represents the implementation of the desire to re-print Bulgarian Military Thought Magazine, respected in the past and encompassing the military morality. It will contain materials, without any doubt, related to our sacred past, the legacy of the ancestors, and a triumphant echo of the sublime valor of the heroes. This is a past that casts a romantic glance that is indispensable for the present, and aspiring for a successful future. It creates a spiritual bridge between the ancestors and the descendants. Reality will prevail yearning. An event is valuable when patriotic life sneaks and disseminates through literature – books and magazines. This bold idea will be continually sustained by the reestablished Bulgarian Military Thought magazine. It will be a manifestation of cherished military traditions steeped in bravery, blood and life loss since it is the army that keeps and upholds the people’s will, hopes and unity. Bells will chime over the whole country as a symbol of patriotism, loyalty, awareness and reality, a chime that is true and real. A truth that is reliable and authentic will reveal why unwritten heroism remains immortal.

Each commander will, undoubtedly without any deterrence, continue to pass on the winning torch. They will pass through every crossroad; sunrises and sunsets will greet them warmly and welcomingly, the days ahead have just begun. While the Shipka Peak bears the emblem of Freedom, the glorious immortal feats of Slivnitsa, Edirne, Tutrakan, Kaymakchalan, Doiran, elevation 1050, Stratsin, Drava and many other places, bespattered with fraternal blood, are also to be esteemed. For the living ones shut the eyes of the dead, and the dead open the eyes of the living. Our country lives and enjoys progress thanks to the sacrifice of Bulgarian soldiers and commanders who solemnly vowed on honor, duty and sacrifice. War is not only a time to kill and destroy; it is also a time to show mercy, compassion, mutual respect, friendship. You should never forget the sense of duty and reality, which means that you love and strongly uphold your beliefs. Everyone who guards the borders of our country must know why there is gunfire on the battle-line and against whom it is. This implies gaining back the glory of the invincible morale of our soldiers.

There are various programs, promotions, offers, but Bulgarian Military Thought magazine will surely be unparalleled and will help to make the visible and unpleasant gap between society, school, army, and church disappear and fill in because “United we stand.” This will be a testimony to future generations to let them know how the ever-victorious Bulgarian spirit has gradually been built, class after class, accumulating knowledge and virtues.

My memories of this magazine are scarce. I return to the year 1943, a few months after the death of Tsar Boris III. I visited the rich library of the Royal Military School. I was looking for old books of the Junker’s home magazine. On a pile nearby, I accidentally noticed some copies of Bulgarian Military Thought magazine. I opened one provoked by sheer curiosity – meaningful headlines with military messages. I was not aware of my company commander approaching me. Quietly but authoritatively he whispered, “You’ll need this special magazine when you get the first officer’s star.” I was a staff cadet then. After my promotion I could not enjoy this star.

Break, war, hardships, discharge of old Bulgarian officers, suspension of the magazine. But now, considering my age, the magazine will lie on my lap and I will learn more about the forgery of Bulgarian military dignity – Georgi Stoykov Rakovski National Defense College, the glory of our country’s guardians and the unforgettable and proud past. This written companion must be a handbook of indispensable use in order to become more free-thinking. I am sure, tremendous work is to be done. Therefore, should any of its readers meet a member of the editorial staff, they should shake hands and thank them appropriately for the good national cause.


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