The 31st Silistra Infantry Regiment monument is located in the central part of Silistra, at the intersection of Macedonia Blvd. and Dobrich Str. The city of Silistra, Silistra municipality, is located 429 km away from the capital Sofia. There is a bus three times a day leaving from the Sofia Central Bus Station to Silistra, as well as a train three times a day from the Sofia Central Railway Station.
The 31st Silistra Infantry Regiment Monument is dedicated to the heroism of the 31st Infantry Regiment soldiers during the Second World War. It was established in 1985. The Regiment was founded immediately after the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman domination. It was originally based in Varna and since 1904, it was moved to Silistra.
The 31st Infantry Regiment monument was formed in Varna under the name of the Seventh Infantry Regiment in 1900, comprising of four infantry and one border company. On Dec. 29, 1903, by decree 84 of Knyaz Ferdinand I, the regiment was reformed from one to two battalions and renamed the 31st Infantry Regiment of Varna, settled in a garrison in Dobrich and was part of the Second Brigade of the Fourth Preslav Infantry Division.
In 1940 the regiment was re-formed under the Silistra name and settled in a permanent garrison in the city. In 1941 and 1944 it was on the Cloaking Front in the area of Alexandrovo, Zornitsa, Malomirovo, Goliam Dervent and Lalkovo. The regiment participated in the two phases of the final stage of the Second World War in the 12th infantry division of the First Bulgarian Army. It won the name "iron" during the fighting at Drava, Moore and Yastrebtsi.
In the second phase of the Second World War, in battles at Chekhel, Kishbayom (March 6-19, 1945), in the offensive actions through the fortified line Margit, the Princapalis Canal, Moore River, the battle at Podutren village and overcoming the fortified "Yastrebtsi" line 31st regiment gives 267 victims. The total number of people in the 31st regiment killed in Second World War was 444, with a total of 2,600 regiment’s soldiers, sergeants and officers. 39 of the fallen were regimental officers. A total of 118 citizens of Silistra were killed in other regiments during the Second World War.
The successful Drava Operation short-circuited the Wehrmacht (Nazi Defense Force) offensive plans, helping to create conditions for the USSR offensive Vienna Operation and thus speeding up the end of the war. The losses of the Bulgarian Army amounted to 1614 killed and 2500 injured. This victory contributed raised the military prestige of the Bulgarian Army.
The 31st Infantry Regiment monument was designed in 1985 by the sculptor Georgi Chapkanov - Chapa, and made by Emil Popov. The exquisite composition depicts six soldiers in attack, standing on a rectangular inclined plane. A praise for the 507 fighters who died in World War II at Drava is written with bronze letters on the board.
In 2013, the Initiative Committee for Building the Memorial Wall of Glory at the monument of the 31st Silistra Infantry Regiment, headed by the regional governor Nikolay Dimov, coordinated its efforts and set the task of building a "Wall of Glory" to perpetuate the names of the perished . Among the main tasks were to find the names of all Bulgarian soldiers that died on the battlefields of Yugoslavia, Hungary and Austria during the Second World War, to establish a connection with the municipalities that had perished soldiers, to negotiate the artistic project for the construction of the wall and its walls financing.
In 2018 next to the monument the planned Wall of Glory was built – beautifully built granite slabs, on which the names of the lost soldiers are written. That includes the names of more than 550 fighters and officers who died in World War II. According to the historian Todor Nikolaev: "There are 446 people who served and lost their lives in the regiment 206 (plus 17 from the municipality of Tervel) being from the Silistra region. The list also includes 118 people from Silistra who died as servicemen in other combat units, mostly in infantry regiments, but also in other specialized military units. Among the killed people there are residents of different regions - Varna, Dobrich, Razgrad, Rousse, Veliko Tarnovo, Pleven, Montana and others.
The 31st „Iron“ Silistra Regiment monument is dedicated to the heroism of the members of the 31st Infantry Regiment during the Second World War.
The 31st „Iron“ Silistra Regiment monument and the Wall of Glory are located outside and are free to visit. The site itself does not have a separate parking space, but there are parking spaces nearby.
The 31st Silistra Infantry Regiment has its own Facebook page:
Military monument, memorial complex
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