The philatelic issues for Serbia are listed under Yugoslavia in the English language stamp catalogues, however they can be found under Germany in the German language catalogues. The postal services in Serbia came under the full control of the German military occupational forces. It should be noted that Croatia is not listed in the German catalogues because Croatia had the status of an independant country which had placed itself under German protection.
Serbia was occupied during the invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece in April 1941. The first occupation stamps and postcards were Yugoslavian pre-war issues which had been overprinted SERBIEN which was the countries name in German and then from the end of 1941 most issues were new designs with the countries name in Serbian.
In the begining postal activity was wide spread, but within a few months partisan warfare made postal deliveries uncertain at best. Postal services were limited to the "Volksdeutsche" area of the Banat (on the border with Hungary), Belgrade and some of the larger towns along the German supply routes to Greece.
Catalogue prices on mint stamps are resonable, used are a little more and used on cover are really highly priced. Beware many cancellations are post-war fake. All images are from my own collection unless otherwise stated.
Stamps overprinted "BANAT" are not official overprints.
German Senf illustrierter Briefmarken Katalog 1942
A page from the section "Serbia" in the German Michel catalogue 2007
The standard "SERBIEN" overprint used in the early issues. Note also that the stamp has been overprinted with a net or chain overprint, this covers the whole stamp and can be seen best on the white borders.
2nd June 1941The first occupation issue.
Rare cover with a Belgrade cancellation
The first pre-paid postcards did not contain the "SERBIEN" overprint, but were only overprinted with a net covering the text ( Borek catalogue 1980)
1941. Pre-paid postcard with "SERBIEN" overprint ( Borek catalogue 1980)
24th June 1941. Portomarken (these are postage due stamps in English). Interesting to note that these stamps formerly unissued Yugoslavian stamps, in other words they are unknown used without the overprint. Any of these stamps without the "SERBIEN" overprint have been stolen from the printers.
10th July 1941. Airmail stamps of Yugoslavia overprinted "SERBIEN"
28th July 1941. The higher value airmail stamps have now been overprinted with a new lower value. ( The higher values were not needed due to the fact that Serbian airmail would have been restricted to certain countries).
1st September 1941. At first glance these stamps look the same as the first issue, but you will notice that the overprint "SERBIEN" starts in the bottom corner and not the top corner as previously
22nd September 1941. Issued to raise money for the refugees after the natural disaster in the town of Semendria
Same issue, but higher surcharge in miniture sheet form
Second miniture sheet, but without perforations and colours reversed
Serbian miniture sheets are very expensive, both sheets together in mint condition are in the catalogue for 260€ and used are 1200€ for example.
5th December 1941. Charity issue to help Serbian POWs. There are so many variations to this issue that it is easy to be caught out. Stamps were issued without net overprint, with net overprint, "E" facing left or "E" facing right, depending on the position of the stamp within the sheet. Also the net overprint could have the points facing upwards or downwards (downwards are the most valuable in the catalogues). Additionally, one stamp on each sheet contained a tiny "signature" of the designer, which also came in four variations!
Stamp is plain without net overprint (the net overprint formed a cross design on the sheet
This stamp has the net overprint, also note that the net points go upwards, making this stamp the cheaper version
"E" facing left (two on each sheet)
"E" facing right, note the net overprint points facing downwards, an indication that the sheet was placed the wrong way around on the printing press
A rare cover that has been franked at the exhibition in Belgrade
1st January 1942. Charity issue remembering the anti-Jewish and anti-Free mason exhibition in Belgrade October 1941
10th January 1942.definitive issue. Note that the last two are colour changes that were issued in 1943
10th January 1942. postage Due, new series
24th March 1942. Charity issue for Serbian POWs, new colours and no net overprint
5th July 1942. Airmail issue, overprinted on Yugoslav pre-war stamps
13th September 1942. Charity issue "For the poor"
A pre-paid postcard from 1942, shows some folds, but difficult to obtain in any condition
1st January 1943. Official stamp for government postal items
16th May 1943. Charity issue for war wounded (also available on two miniture sheets containing two stamps each)
1st July 1943.postage Due Issue. The third and final issue in the postage due series, rare in used condition and almost unknown used on cover
15th October 1943. 100 years of Serbian postal service
An illustration showing the full sheet, showing the possible variations when these stamps are offered as pairs ( Michel Katalog 2007)
11th December 1943. Charity issue for the people bombed out in the Allied bombing of Nisch. Standard definitive issue with overprint
Illustration of a pre-paid postcard issued in 1943. (Borek Katalog 1980)
1944. This time with a price change of 2 Dinar (Borek Katalog 1980)
Prepared for issue, but partisan activity made further postal services impossible (Michel Katalog 2007)