After the establishment of the Bulgarian Navy on the Black sea (1897) the supply with new warships begins. From 1904 till 1908 six identical torpedo-boats have been built in the shipyard of “Schneider & Cie” Company in Chalon-sur-Saône, France: “Druzki”, “Smeli”, “Hrabri”, “Shumni”, “Letyashti” and “Strogi”. Their technical specifications are: displacement 97,5 t; length – 38 m, beam 4,40 m, two steam-boilers, max speed – 26 knots; armament: three torpedo tubes 450 mm caliber and two 47 mm guns.
At the beginning of the Balkan War (1912-1913) the torpedo-boats have to guard the region of Varna bay. On the 7-th (20-th) of November the Navy receives information for movement of Turkish transport ships. The same evening commander Dimitar Dobrev leads a detachment of 4 torpedo-boats to a fighting campaign. A little after midnight they notice a silhouette of a large enemy ship, which was 32 miles away from Varna. “Letyashti”, “Strogi” and “Smeli” attack, but the torpedo shots are unsuccessful. The last one is “Druzki”, that attacks from a distance of 100 m. A deafening explosion shows that Bulgaria possesses an effective navy. “Hamidie” is taken out of order and does not participate in war actions till the end of the war. During the artillery firing a piece of shell breaks through the second funnel of “Druzki”. The hole is being kept as an evidence of the first success of the Bulgarian Navy.
During the First World War the torpedo-boats carry out reconnaissance and defensive missions, lay defensive mine-fields, carry landing troops in Dobrudja during the autumn of 1916. During the Second World War they convoy ships and defend the mine-fields.
The torpedo-boat “Druzki” is opened as a ship-museum on the 21-st of November, 1957.


Museum info: Naval Museum Varna
Address: 2 Primorski Blvd, Varna 9000, Bulgaria
Phone:+ 35952731523
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