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Importance and Collectibility of Feldpost Numbers?


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Greetings to those late this evening,

Ok, I am self confessed ignorant when it comes to the discussion of Feldpost Numbers and their significance to those that collect such items (postcards, etc.).

Would some please explain to me what and why the interests in such items? I ask not only to educate myself but because I have several postcards which display Feldposts but have no idea as to what they represent or to their possible collectible interests or values??

I give the following examples of WWI Feldpost markings:

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Ihave a fair amount of German WW I Feldpost, both from my family and also other items. At one time I corresponded with a German serious Feldpost collector. I believe that there are tables that indicate where a Feldpoststation with a given number was, say, in France at a certain time.

There is a Feldpost collector working group that is a division of the German stamp collecting society. Several years ago their yearly annual dues was about $25, which included a quarterly newsletter of exactly (being German) 50 pages each quarter, including postage for the newsletters. These guys are serious collectors. One of them was a Danish collector who collected postcards from Belgium post-marked with post marking machines made by a company in the US and modified by the Germans to post-mark Feldpost from Belgium. As of 5-6 years ago this guy had 10,000 postcards stamped with these machines.

The other stamps on the postcards, especially the unit stamps, and something called the Absender Block, convey a lot of information about the sender, units, etc., usually more thaan the text of the cards themselves.

Interesting stuff, but my interests have mostly moved on. Can you read German and the old handwriting?

Bob Lembke

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Hello,

I took a look at your cards and I am not sure what you are refering to as Feldpost numbers. Normally, a stamp like that would come from the field, and thus the name. All but one of these appear to have been posted inside of Germany. All of them do not have unit stamps either, so I am trying to find the common markings that you are talking about. I believe that these cards are collected for a number of reasons, such as, the stamp of the place of origination, unit stamps, Feldpost stamps,. Not sure what the big deal is with the latter however.

Chip

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Yes, I don't seem to see a single Feldpoststation number, although at least one seems to have gone thru a Feldpoststation, but the station number is not in the station's stamp.

I did want to point out that there are some people that have an interest in these numbers. (I have a PC from my father at the time he joined the German flame regiment in France, and my Feldpost collector e-friend confirmed that the Feldpost number confirmed that my father was in the vicinity of the HQ of the flame thrower regiment at that time. So they are useful, those numbers.)

As none of the PCs posted had civilian postage stamps (the paper stamps, not the inked inscriptions printed with a rubber stamp and ink), some of those cards probably traveled without postage to soldiers. Would those be called "Feldpost"?

Bob

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Well I am well on the way to learning as I thought the simple act of writing "Feldpost" was indicative of Feldpost marking. To respond to one of the replies as to if I can read German, the answer is No but I wish I could as I have "lots" of German related documents of which I know nothing about.

Thanks again and I hope others continue to add to this topic.

Regards,

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RNLSGC;

If this stuff is of interest you could actually learn German. (English is, after all, considered one of the German family of languages.) I found my family correspondence from the war (certainly not all of it), about 50 letters and cards, mostly to or from the front, and I taught myself to read German and the old scripts (yes, there are several) to be able to read them. About four years ago, over dinner, I met a literal "German brain scientist" over dinner in a street in Dubrovnik, and in the course of the conversation he said that learning a new language is absolutely the best way to keep your brain nimble as you age. (I am assuming that you are getting long in the teeth.)

You mentioned "documents". A marvelous class of German WW I document is a little booklet called the Militaer=Pass, which contains a record of the soldier's entire military career. They have a little brother called the "Soldbuch", the pay book, with a lot less information, but still interesting. These are potentially a great source of military history.

Unfortunately, the textual content of most Feldpost is mostly very bland stuff, of the "the socks are nice, the food crummy, greet Aunt Bertha for me" variety. Unless it is your own family.

Bob Lembke

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I collected WWI British & German field post office markings when I was a kid, & continued to add to the collection now & then, I have a few hundred of each just filed away.

The British ones I know or can find out a bit about, tracking the post offices through their security phases when they were swapped around with other units & formations, but the German ones I don't know anything about, did they have security phases using other units stamps? And as for the Seterlin script handwriting......

Edited by leigh kitchen
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The Allies printed lists of the "known" Feldpost numbers and their unit affiliations. Such a list was included in the British "Index to the German Forces in the Field" which was printed in continually upgraded versions throughout the war. I have seen an October 1917 version and it lists FP numbers 1-2120.

Any military mail could be called Feldpost and that was an indication that the specific piece was being sent postage free. This thread started off talking about Feldpost numbers, which is a different thing. These numbers were often handwritten in the "Return Address" of the Absender (Abs.). Not all pieces of mail included ink stamps that included these numbers, particulary mail that originated in Germany, for while it might be marked as Feldpost, to get the free mail status, it did not originate in the field and thus would not have a Feldpost Nr.

Chip

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I remember reading a piecewritten by a former British spy, or perhaps a spy-master, and he said that the most inportant intellegence coup he ever scored was engineering the stealing of a book of the current German Feldpoststation numbers and where they were from on the various fronts from a postoffice in Belgium.

Bob

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