A brief history of Field Post stamps issued during the Third Reich.
Field Post from 1938 to 1941 did not use stamps, but used dated cancellations and the number of letters and postcards were unlimited. As the war progressed it was decided to have controls over the numbers sent. Using stamps or labels allowed the amount of sendings to be controlled as only a certain amount would be allocated to each soldier each month.
Towards the end of the war many areas could not be reached by postal activity, or perhaps only when the post could be flown in to encircled troops.
Not all stamps are represented here as there were many more local issued, some were only valid for a number of days before postal activity came to a close.
Although issued to the military forces, some German civilian or para-military formations were allowed to use the Field Post where no alternative was available.
1939. Field Post Propaganda Card.
Not really part of the Feldpost stamps, but a lovely propaganda card which I have added anyway.
Picture of Primeminister Chamberlain with the text "Wert Keinen Pfennig" (Not worth a penny).
A second postcard featured Churchill
An example of Field Post prior to the introduction of Feldpost stamps
24th April 1942. From the eastern front to Koblenz.
20th April 1942. Field Post.
A Field Post "permission" stamp was introduced to reduce the amount of field post letters sent. The number of field post stamps were regulated and over the years reduced. Previous to this, the number of field post letters had been unlimited.
10th July 1942. Field Post Parcel Stamp
In July 1942 the postal service introduced a parcel stamp for field post sendings. This was a parcels "permissions" stamp, which had to be affixed in an attempt to reduce the number of parcels sent. They still needed the 20 Rpf stamp as well.
Philatelists could not obtain this stamp unused, but only cancelled, at a cost of 50 Rpf.
1943. Field Post - 1943 Variant
The perforations were replaced in 1943 with zigzag perforations.
April 1943. Feldpost for Tunis in North Africa
April 1943. Kuban Bridgehead in Russia
November 1943. The Crimea
May 1944. Saloniki (non-authorised, but a few were used)
20th October 1944. Field Post for Christmas Parcels
Issued for Christmas parcels up to 1000 gram, from Home to the Front. Only issued to frontline units that were not cut off from the field postal service. Before the stamps could be used, the soldiers would need to send them to their families. (left over stamps from the 1942/43 issue in brown, were relegated to letter post, 20 gram).
This stamp was not on sale for stamp collectors.
24th November 1944. Field Post.
This field post stamp was issued for the sending of winter clothing to the troops. It was only issued to units where the sending of parcels was practical. Many units were cut off from supplies or found the sending of further field post to be impossible.
This stamp for the sending of 2 kilo parcels was not avilable for philatelists at the collectors counter.
November 1944. Greek Island Field Post
From October 1944 to February 1945 various Field Post stamps were issued to the troops cut off on the various Greek islands, these fetch very high prices and were overprinted in Rhodes, Crete and Yugoslavia.
The Vukovar variant is the most rare, overprinted in Oct.44, almost the entire printing was lost when the transport aircraft carrying the stamps was shot down. Only those stamps left behind at the printers survived the war.
March 1945. Field Post - Kurland (Latvia)
Due to a shortage of Fieldpost stamps, the green parcel stamp was cut in half and to stop fraud, was placed on the covers and cancelled by the postal authorities before issue to the troops, cut off in the Kurland area.
March 1945. U-Boat Fieldpost.
German forces cut off at Hela on the East Prussian coast were issued with "U-Boat Fieldpost stamps". Unknown if any Field Post was ever actually transported by submarine. It is thought everything went by Schnellboote (E-Boats).
March/April 1945. East Prussian Field Post Postcards
A series of postcards were issued in East Prussia towards the end of the war.
April 1945. Field Post - Ruhr Area
Field Post stamps from overprinted Hitler 3Rpf stamps, prepared for the encircled troops in the Ruhr Pocket.
Although some may have been used to addresses within the Ruhr area, it is most unlikely that any left the Ruhr Pocket by aircraft.