Officers and representatives of...
 Table of Contents
 The Soviet free-Frank period, 1919-1921,...
 Some questions on the Czechoslovak...
 Russian field post offices in the...
 The St. Petersburg hospital tax,...
 Railway postal stationery cards,...
 Express mail from Ukraine, by Ingert...
 Miropol'e bisects, by Terry...
 Armenian essays, by George...
 A rapid delivery cover, by Peter...
 A tale of two mysteries, by Jim...
 Air transport of mail between China...
 Life of the society, by David M....
 Minutes of the 1995 Rossica officers'...
 Membership status
 Rossica on the internet
 Member-to-member adlets
 Society publications for sale
 Reviews of philatelic publicat...
 Expertization and dealer-member...


Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020235/00069
 Material Information
Title: Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Physical Description: no. in v. : illus. ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Creation Date: 1996
Publication Date: [n.d.]
Frequency: unknown
Subjects / Keywords: Stamp collecting -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Postage-stamps -- Periodicals -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Stamp collections -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
Funding: Made available to the University of Florida Digital Collections under special distribution agreement with the <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a>.
 Record Information
Source Institution: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Holding Location: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAB2397
lccn - 59037768
issn - 0035-8363
System ID: UF00020235:00069

Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Officers and representatives of the society
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    The Soviet free-Frank period, 1919-1921, by Michael J. Carson
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Some questions on the Czechoslovak legion in Russia, by Michael Ercolini
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Russian field post offices in the Baltic area during WWI (1914-1918), by A. Epstein
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    The St. Petersburg hospital tax, by J. G. Moyes
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Railway postal stationery cards, by Tony Speeckaert
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Express mail from Ukraine, by Ingert Kuzych
        Page 63
    Miropol'e bisects, by Terry Page
        Page 64
        Page 65
    Armenian essays, by George G. Werbizky
        Page 66
    A rapid delivery cover, by Peter A. Michalove
        Page 67
        Page 68
    A tale of two mysteries, by Jim Goodwin
        Page 69
    Air transport of mail between China and Western Europe via the U.S.S.R - the Eurasia and Hamiata air routes, by G. Adolph Ackerman
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    Life of the society, by David M. Skipton
        Page 84
    Minutes of the 1995 Rossica officers' meeting at Chicagopex 95, 18 November 1995
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    Membership status
        Page 88
    Rossica on the internet
        Page 89
    Member-to-member adlets
        Page 90
    Society publications for sale
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
    Reviews of philatelic publications
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
    Expertization and dealer-member ads
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
Full Text


No. 126 April 1996

of the

President: David M. Skipton, 50-D Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770, USA
Vice President: Dr. Peter A. Michalove, 307 S. McKinley, Champaign, IL 61821, USA
Secretary: George G. Werbizky, 409 Jones Road, Vestal, NY 13850, USA
Treasurer: Gary A. Combs, 8241 Chalet Ct., Millersville, MD 21108, USA
Librarian-Pro Tem: Howard Weinert, 7104 Oxford Road, Baltimore, MD, USA
Auditor: Webster Stickney, 7590 Windlawn, Parker, CO 80134, USA
Board of Directors:

George Shaw-Pro Tem, 7596-J Lakeside Village Drive, Falls Church, VA 22042, USA
Dr. G. Adolph Ackerman, 629 Sanbridge Circle E., Worthington, OH 43085, USA
John Barefoot, P.O. Box 8, York Y03 7GL, United Kingdom

Washington-Baltimore Chapter
Steve Alushin, 13103 Wellford Drive, Beltsville MD 20705
Midwest Chapter
Dr. James Mazepa, P.O. Box 1217, Oak Park, IL 60304, USA
Northern California Chapter
Mike Renfro, P.O. Box 2268, Santa Clara, CA 95055, USA
Ivo J. Steyn, Postbus 16636, 1001 RC Amsterdam, The Netherlands

All rights reserved. No part of this journal may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any
means without permission in writing from the journal editor. The views expressed by the authors in
this journal are their own and the editor disclaims all responsibility.

The Rossica Society of Russian Philately, Inc. is a non-profit, non-political organization incorporated in the state
of Maryland, USA, and affiliated with the American Philatelic Society. The Rossica Journal is the official periodic
publication of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately, Inc., published twice a year in April and October and mailed
"surface rate" from the Editor's residence. Price for non-members is US $10 per issue. For air mail delivery, please add
US $5. Subscriptions are available for US $30 which includes air mail postage. Available back issues are listed in the
section titled "In The Back Room." Submit articles for consideration directly to the Editor. Periodically, other Rossica
publications are listed in the back of the journal. Information is available from the Editor or Secretary.
Society dues are US $20 per year with a discount for early renewal. Membership applications can be obtained from
the Treasurer or Secretary at the addresses listed under "Officers of the Society."
Dealers wishing to advertise in the Journal are welcomed. Information pertaining to advertising can be found in the
back of the Journal.
Checks and money orders submitted should be made payable to The Rossica Society of Russian Philately and not
to any officer. Checks not drawn on a US bank must include an additional US $15 for processing fees. Sorry, no credit
cards are accepted. Please make all checks payable to:

c/o Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Ct.,
Millersville, MD 21108

Copyright 1996
The Rossica Society
ISSN 0035-8363


Journal No. 126 for April 1996

Editor : Gary A. Combs
Editorial Board: George Shaw, David M. Skipton, Howard Weinert

Topic Page


The Soviet Free-Frank Period, 1919-1921-Michael J. Carson 4
Some Questions on the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia-Michael Ercolini 22
Russian Field Post Offices in the Baltic Area During WWI (1914-1918) 25
-A. Epstein
The St. Petersburg Hospital Tax-J. G. Moyes 51
Railway Postal Stationery Cards-Tony Speeckaert 61
Express Mail From Ukraine-Ingert Kuzych 63
Miropol'e Bisects-Terry Page 64
Armenian Essays-George G. Werbizky 66
A Rapid Delivery Cover-Peter A. Michalove 67
A Tale of Two Mysteries-Jim Goodwin 69
Air Transport of Mail between China and Western Europe Via the U.S.S.R. 70
-The Eurasia and Hamiata Air Routes-G. Adolph Ackerman

Life of the Society 84
Minutes of the 1995 Rossica Officers' Meeting at CHICAGOPEX 95, 85
18 November 1995
Membership Status 88
Rossica on the Internet 89
Member-to-Member Adlets 90
Society Publications For Sale 91
Reviews of Philatelic Publications 94
Expertization 97
Dealer Ads 97

The Soviet Free-Frank, Period, 1919-1921

by Michael J. Carson

On 24 December 1918, a special decree was when the free-franking privilege was extended
issued by the Council of People's Commissars of to the general populace of a country. This unique-
the R.S.F.S.R. and published in the "News of the ness is one of the great attractions of the period
V.Ts.I.K." (All-Russian Central Executive Cor- for the postal historian.
mittee) read as follows: The historical background for the introduc-
tion of free postage is ably summarized by Dr.
The Council of People's Commissars considers that Marshall (ref. 6). It should be noted there were
more regular and widespread exchange of correspon-
dence between working people in the cities and poor both ideological and practical reasons for the
peasants would serve to strengthen the already great establishment of free postage. The Bolsheviks, in
bond of unity between them; therefore, it deems it their early ideological fervor, were committed to
necessary to simplify and facilitate the handling of the elimination of money as a means of ex-
postal correspondence. With these goals in mind, the change. They envisioned the establishment of an
Council of People's Commissars orders that:. the elimnt
economy in kind, including the elimination of
1) Beginning on 1 January 1919 the free dis- fees for all postal services, which would have
patch of postcards and ordinary letters weigh- eliminated the need for postage stamps (ref. 5).
ing no more than 15 grams (1/2 oz.) be estab- The elimination of postal fees for ordinary
lished in Soviet Russia .
(unregistered) cards and letters greatly reduced
2) Ordinary letters weighing more than 15 grams
and registered postal sending are to be paid the need for stamps. With paper in extremely
for on the usual basis of the total weight of the short supply, this was a major practical consider-
letter as well as the fee for registration, ation in the introduction of free postage.
3) The free dispatch of postcards and letters is
also to be extended to mail arriving at the
borders of Soviet Russia from other countries. lde ree- t er

In conjunction with this, the People's Commis- On 15 September 1918, a few months before
sariat of Posts and Telegraphs is directed to introducing free postage, the Soviets took the
notify the working people of all foreign states unusual step of lowering postal rates during a
through the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs of
time of rapid inflation. Rates were reduced as
their right to send to Russia ordinary cards and
letters without prepayment by stamps." (ref. 5, follows: postcards from 20 kop. to 10 kop.; local
with minor revisions) letters from 30 kop. to 15 kop.; inter-city letters
from 35 kop. to 25 kop.; and the registry fee from
ThedecreewassignedbyV.I.LeninandPeople's 70 kop. to 25 kop. Competition from numerous
Commissar of Posts and Telegraphs V. N. illegal private postal services caused the Soviet
Podbel'sky. government to lower rates. The government post
had become slow, unreliable, and costly; private
This decree announced the beginning of a entrepreneurs were able to provide better ser-
unique era in world postal history, the Soviet vices at a lower cost. Some of these private postal
free-frank period, which lasted more than 2 1/2 services even issued their own stamps or labels,
years, from 1 January 1919 through 14 August which are occasionally offered for sale in auc-
1921. Many countries have extended free-frank- tions. The lower Soviet postal rates were an
ing privileges to royalty, government officials, attempt to drive the private postal services out of
military servicemen, religious, and charitable business. The introduction of free postage drove
organizations, and even to residents of disaster- the final nail in the coffin.
stricken areas, but I know of no other instance
4 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

First Rate Period, 1 January-31 October 1919

The first rate period may be considered a continuation of the previous rate schedule, with the
exception that postal charges were waived on unregistered postcards and letters weighing up to 15
grams. Otherwise, postal fees remained as before, including the 25 kop. initial weight charge on
overweight and registered letters.

Tila kirioitukselle.
For skriftliga meddelanden. Union Postale Universelle.
( Carte Postale. Finlande.
S* uoml. Finland.

A Finnish picture postcard from this period sent locally in Petrograd on 1 July 1919, without franking.

.O1TOBA45, KAPTO (04..7 J..

.....- -.. ...
........ .......... ....

An inter city card sent from Petrograd on 15 July 1919 to Samara, where it arrived on 24 July. The card is a 5-kop.
"Kerensky" type with a lO-kop. overprint. With the introduction offree postage, the Soviets demonetized the indicia
on all previously issued postal stationery, which was then used as blanks. This card, therefore, was sent free.

"Rossica Journal Number 126 5
April 1996

Free-frank letters from the first period. A local letterfrom Moscow dated 23 June 1919, arriving 24 June.

i. ,, ^^

'-...? :'" "1

Early use offree postage. Letter sentfrom Martisovo, 31 January 1919, to Petrograd. There is no receiving mark.

6 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996
6~,^ '''*.c :^^^z^;'^^^r 12
.. ;' -' ^y '.' ; ***: ^ .'- '.'-.'' ,** '-.- "::'/*) ;~ < y y r *;'*-'""

While ordinary mail was free, registered mail still required payment of postage. This cover illustrates the front (top)
and reverse (bottom) of a local letter from Petrograd dated 9 May 1919 with a 10 May receiving mark. It is franked
with a 50-kop. perforated arms-type stamp, and thus is over-franked. Postage charges were 15 kop. for a local letter
and 25 kop. for the registry fee, a total of 40 kop. However, it was very common for local mail to be sent at inter-city
rates during this time.
Rossica Journal Number 126 7

April 1996
S- ,, ... -

_. i -.- '

While ordinary mail was free, registered mail still required payment of postage. This cover illustrates the front (top)
and reverse (bottom) of a local letter from Petrograd dated 9 May 1919 with a 10 May receiving mark. It is franked
with a 50-kop. perforated arms-type stamp, and thus is over-franked. Postage charges were 15 kop. for a local letter
and 25 kop. for the registry fee, a total of 40 kop. However, it was very common for local mail to be sent at inter-city
rates during this time.

Rossica Journal Number 126 7
April 1996

3ooioseciKiH Ijae iBffiBB MocEOec~aro HeneiiciTepa.
Yor,, B. HuKHTCio fl 'Ao."ropyrob. nep. Tence. 1-57.-21. '

4 .* : "

A typical example of inter-city registered mail is illustrated by this cover, a registered letter from Moscow on 2 August
1919 to Petrograd, where it was backstamped 4 August. This letter is also franked with a 50-kop. perforated arms-
type stamp, the most common franking on this type of mail. The letter is addressed to the Zoological Museum of the
Academy of Sciences, to Andrei Petrovich Semenov-Tianshanski, presumably the son of the great geographer and
explorer Peter Petrovich Semenov-Tianshanski.

-c *- -.- .' .

Another class of mail requiring payment of postage was, apparently, printed matter. I have never seen rate tables for
printed matter during the inflation era, but this item indicates it was subject to payment of postage. A printed circular
sent from Moscow on 21 February 1919 to the village of Razskazovo on the Ryazan'-Ural' railway, it is franked with
a pair of perforated lO-kop. arms-type stamps.
8 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

*. .-'.

". =-

A more unusual cover bearing the registered-letter rate is illustrated here-front of cover at top, reverse at bottom.
The letter originated at Odessa on 19 June 1919 and went to Moscow, where it arrived on 29 June. The franking shows
trophy use of a pair of Ukrainian 50-shahiv stamps. Ukrainian stamps were accepted as payment at an exchange rate
of 2 shahiv = I kop., thus this letter is correctly franked. The relatively long transit time of ten days was caused,
undoubtedly, by the Civil War battles which engulfed Ukrainian territory at the time. Odessa was in Red control at the
time the letter was sent.

Rossica Journal Number 126 9
April 1996

Second Rate Period, 1 November 1919-9 March 1920

This rate schedule went into effect on 1 Novem- rubles. Epstein maintains they were charged 4
ber 1919 in Moscow and Petrograd; elsewhere it rubles (ref. 2).
became effective on 5 November 1919. As previ- Mail from the second rate period of the free
ously, ordinary cards and letters to 15 gr. were post is more difficult to find than mail from the
free.Overweightandregisteredmailwerecharged other two periods. It is the shortest of the three
as follows: periods, but more importantly, it covers the most
difficult part of the Civil War, at least from the
Letter 1 ruble (up to 15 gr.) Soviet point of view. The Reds controlled very
Registry fee 3 rubles little territory at this time, being surrounded on
all sides by various White and interventionist
No distinction was made between local and in- forces. Living conditions were terrible on Soviet
ter-city letters, so registered letters of both types territory; people were more concerned with stay-
were charged 4 rubles. According to Karlinsky ing alive than with maintaining correspondence.
(ref. 4), registered postcards were charged 3

t~l^j^- -^^^^- ---------

is probably the same place.]

10 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996
>5^ H. /^ t

/y-S <^t ^^I

April 1996

"" *(.<:plbTOe ImfII. C). -- Cart Pns:aie.
iieexipim:c.; :ti'rotiT- couiy Po:yo.i.


FCe^ ^ in der 4tx!e Von St--io iLr.
rP"cier pri;S de jat SAi oiar.

This postcard is an example of a free inter-city card. The card was posted in Vyaz'ma on 10 January 1920 and arrived
in Ekaterinburg on 21 January.

S- ,

..t \\\.1.. .. ...-, \

April 1996

. . . ..ii :~t~

o ....o~ ... ......, ..o ,.. ........ .. ..... ... .. . .
4- -.- *-v..----
j : ii
...,.... o... ,l a..., ..l . t -' rr oo o o ....o ..

.. .

Q i.'

(9-.n..-l._. "k'> ".A-.

This is an example of a registered letter showing the 4-ruble rate. It was sent from Kislovo on 15 February 1920 to
Moscow. The franking is rather unusual, consisting of a single ]-ruble arms-type and thirty (!) JO-kop. arms-types,
all perforated.
12 Rossica Journal Number 126

April 1996

_/ 6 -/ f ,..


of thefront. It could be argued that the letter is overfranked, but given the large size of the envelope, it seems quite

""= > 1 "

5r -r

This cover illustrates an overweight, registered letter sentfrom Malaya Uzen' on 8 December 1919 to Moscow, where
it arrived, possibly on 31 December; the date is unclear. The registry label has fallen off the lower left-hand corner
of the front. It could be argued that the letter is over franked, but given the large size of the envelope, it seems quite
likely it was in fact overweight. In that case, the franking of 5 rubles is correct: twice the 1-ruble weight charge plus
3 rubles for the registry fee. An interesting aspect of this cover is the addressee: the publication "Word of Truth" of
the Joint Council of Religious Communities and Groups. Given the Bolsheviks' anti-religious fervor in the early years
of the revolution, it must have been rather dangerous to write to a religious publication.

Rossica Journal Number 126 13
April 1996

Third Rate Period, 10 March 1920-14 August 1921

Again, no distinction was made between lo- were re-valued to 100 times face value. Thus, a
cal and inter-city letters. As previously, ordinary 1-kop. stamp sold for 1 ruble.
cards and letters to 15 gr. were free. Overweight Mail from this period is somewhat more
and registered mail were charged as follows: common than mail from the earlier periods. It is
the longest of the three rate periods. The Civil
Letter 5 rubles (up to 15 gr.) War was drawing to a close by the second half of
Registry fee 5 rubles 1920, allowing life on Soviet territory to begin to
Reg. postcard 10 rubles return to normal.

With the introduction of this rate period,
arms-type stamps denominated up to 20 kop.

Ww 0* l

April 1996
14 Rossi1 4o4 i Nme 126

^J i Jr '?Ar 1 99

This is an example of a free local card from this rate period. It is a New Year's greeting sent 31 December 1920 in
Gavrilov Posad to Aleksandra Leonidovna Kozlova at the Second Kindergarten.

14 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

t ",/ Ji, .-"- -- -----i
OTAPUMiE nniCEH8^^^^

.L -.r^g g s taL twAf^e ru
t/iZ,- 8;E^^ /It-_ .... .....-. ...- ,

~ / 7 *t --------------i-

An example ofa free inter-city card, a Christmas greeting postmarked 11 January 1921 on the Petrograd-191-Zhlobin
TPO and sent to Petrograd. There is a Petrograd machine arrival mark, but the date is illegible.

-* rVWrYJOJ G0 nuItem Micitlm b adpeca.
.i EKaTep. .n.-T. Op.

.. .. icue


C a.

"" Ha Uoxy 6owti nuie* mis M u "U apeC.
EKaTCp. Ea-r. Op.

A registered postcard sent from Lisichansk on 18 June 1921 to Novaya Vodolaga. The card is correctlyfranked with
a pair of 5-kop.-arms-type stamps, re-valued to make the 10-ruble rate.

Rossica Journal Number 126 15
April 1996

S.. o". "- a 1 ., .. .
,:. ,, Y r -/ ^.-. :.:..::..,.

K...' ,.<.,, .. *. ,. ., "- . '-
r .4

0' .. "E r.

A registered local letter from Moscow postmarked 12 August 1921 with a 13 August receipt mark on the reverse. The
letter is franked with a pair of the Soviet 5-ruble stamps, which were issued 10 August 1921. These stamps were quickly
rendered obsolete by the huge rate increase of 15 August 1921.

.IIO. .I- 'e

S ....... ... .. 1920.. r .. :. .. .
,, .! ,I .t A, ,--H, :.P ..0..

": I I r Il920 I "' ""

A free inter-city letter sentfrom Shissel'burg on 6 May 1920 toPetrograd where it arrived on 8 May. This letter was
sent by the Shlissel'burg Political Section to the Complaints and Applications Office of the Petrograd State Control

16 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996
EIEf+ rO + : + 4 +l ," .+'i r +" "f 1+.. .. + +""1 1."+'... .-''" '-+ .." ':Y + -.+ '"-';" O ~ ";I:".--"+" "t "+ : + ,2" + .. -" ."
: ,, .... .. -<0 ,....+. .. .> .;-' r-.-.- .,. .. -.;
......~~ ... ..
"- -B~~~~::I:P .. o :-IPT {)P: U-'
:~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~6p ,: : ZB iBSBE[. ]i"-_-...,+-. 0

en 'y ""e se'b r oiia "eto (+ 'h "o pait ":d ....ion "fic +f "" "erga "tt ""
S + "" i > ':n.'
-- ,o sc Jo.:a .u be ,,,, :+ .
: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ pi -. ,. <.. ..? i'..., +

-L a t "f .*./* : ... .

""J t-'A U "'-i /f- ..... .

.... ii .
les/ the _. had stamp

""/ "Y: i

S"or a -m r
A r 1996. ...... .
.,t --

April 1996
April 1996

'- '.%. l,-.% ,, .,.-t,, .-

&#Z- : .. ,,',. .W. .

S. .

.,rttrK ,' 2hf
; r "- f- ::,

..... .." -^'.p.. ... .
; .

r '
",. .i.- -o ,

,G A .
,;:. .. -. ; .. -- *.--., "- : '

.," '- 0" Z

J A / *1 '< ..- ,,; ',- r '

A. rmy '* .- ".
vr" -1' .-A .
t .,

> -. ,* .*-

free postage on all letters. In this case, only the registry fee was charged. This is the only cover of this type I have seen.
18 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996
,..." ,, ,.. .. ., ,.'. } ,..J '

Ji 2 -' ..'-- -:.. -. -..,, :t:.
i,:'~~ .. .e. ... .;. .. ; ?. ; ,q
:.:y I, ./ -: .. ..:. -' .-, .. -
Althoug no nvr odcniin h oe lutae eei eyitrsig ti eit redletr fo e
Army ~~ ~ soldier,. potdi oe'o eray12 oSmetoo(aeilgbeecp o er"1 ".Tecvri
frne wt snl 5rb perorte arstp tmwihpidtergsr e.Mltaypronlwr loe
fre potag onalleter. I tis ae nytergsr e a hreTi steol oe fti yeIhv en
18 Rossic a ora N me 2
.. IcApril 1996!

i ,. ** ., -X., .... / /C *'

Another aspect of the period, cash payment ofpostage, is illustrated by the cover above. It is a registered letter sent

:/ .

r **-. *^2 C.

(PAID) marking, along with a manuscript "10 r." and the postal clerk's signature.
Republic in Moscow. It arrived in Moscow on 6 August and was forwarded to a field post office on 8 August.
Unfortunately, the field post office numberisnotlegible. The reverse of the cover bears handIstamped "OPLACHEN"
(PAID) marking, along with a manuscript "10 r." and the postal clerk's signature.

Rossica Journal Number 126 19
April 1996

Free Postage On International Mail

/Ir. Alexander Epstein (ref. 1) documented the fact that, concurrent with the abolition of postal fees
or ordinary domestic mail, the Soviet government also introduced free postage for mail to foreign
destinations. As with domestic mail, ordinary postcards and letters up to 15 gr. were permitted to be
sent free of charge. Of course, in 1919 and early 1920 free postage on foreign mail was a meaningless
concept in Soviet Russia. Due to the isolation of Soviet territory imposed by the Civil War, there was
virtually no outlet for mail to leave the country. I have never seen Soviet mail to a foreign destination
from this period. Russian mail one might see from 1919 and early 1920 is invariably from
Vladivostok or some other non-Soviet point of origin. But, by mid-1920, the Soviets began to
establish postal relations with other countries. Ordinary mail was sent un-franked, but the postal
authorities in the receiving countries assessed postage due on incoming unpaid Soviet mail. Epstein
(ref. 1) illustrates some lovely examples of such mail.

Free postage for foreign mail was abolished on 1 October 1920. Postcards were charged 2 rub., letters
5 rub. (up to 15 gr.), and registry was an additional 5 rub.

i 6 4,

.. -* -

S .. .. .. ....... ..

'N^ x;J _______-- ____. ''-'_ Z Z Z
>r 7

This letter (front above, reverse on next page) was sent from Soviet territory unpaid and delivered in London without
assessment ofpostage due. It was sentfrom Smolensk on 14 July 1920, transited Moscow 21 July (oval three-triangles
datestamp), and reached London on 26 March 1921, a journey of more than eight months! The long transit time can
be explained partly by the fact all Soviet mail abroad at this time went through the Norwegian port of Vardo (ref 1 &
3). I have seen only one other example of Soviet free mail abroad; that was a number of years ago when I was unsure
what it was and the asking price was too high for something I did not understand. Believe me when I say I would gladly
spend the money now!
20 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996
April 1996

r; -''^ ." A4- .. .. ) ..".. '- ," .J i A .- *...'*

',;.,.. :*. "." '..'.'* .,a< -' .. '. "-' L./ v '' '"{ / ,. .''- "*: '. .^ "
"> I I ; ' '" -. -, v "''- ,* "- *',
-* -. Q ) .* -.- .- ** ^ .. .. / : ,.">''
d p :


t^^ : .tr s .* ^> < :r :; : *: *. .: ^ ., : ', .- .

. >. ; ". ,-.; ..-.. *- .. .' ... -.. n .. ., : ..

S, -, "" A./ "" ,\

Reverse of cover illustrated on previous page.


All good things must end, and the free post References:
era was no exception to the rule. After watching
the precipitous decline and collapse of the Soviet 1. Epstein, Alexander. "Postal Rates of
economy, Lenin decided that perhaps there was R.S.F.S.R. for Mail Abroad (1917-1923),"
a role for money to play in the economy, and that Pochta No. 14, July 1993.
economic relations in the country should be "nor- 2. Epstein, Alexander. "Some Puzzles in the
malized." Against considerable opposition, Lenin Inland Postal Rates of Russia 1917-1922,"
succeeded in introducing his New Economic Pochta No. 17, January 1995.
Policy (NEP), which allowed a certain amount of 3. Epstein, Alexander. Personal correspondence.
private enterprise and returned money to a major 4. Karlinsky, V. A. "Soviet Inland & Overseas
place in the economy. Charges for postal services Postal Rates 1917-1971," British Journal of
were reintroduced. Beginning 15 August 1921, Russian Philately No. 60, October 1983.
postcards were charged 100 rub., local letters 5. Karlinsky, V. A. "Soviet Postal Rates," Ros-
cost 100 rub., inter-city letters were charged 250 sica No. 73, 1967.
rub., and the registry fee was 1000 rub. It was the 6. Marshall, A. R. "Russia-Free Post Period
end of a unique era in world postal history. 1919-21," Pochta No. 5, December, 1988.

Rossica Journal Number 126 21
April 1996

Some Questions on the Czechoslovak Legion
in Russia

by Michael Ercolini

The map of Europe in 1914 was quite differ- could continue the fight for their homeland. It
ent from that of today. Central Europe was com- was not to be. Although the Legion did reach
prised of three empires: Prussian, Russian, and Vladivostok in late 1918, the Allies, who were
Austrian. The people who today occupy the coun- coming into Siberia to open another front to the
tries of The Czech Republic and Slovakia, were war, were anxious to obtain the cooperation of
then part of the Austrian empire. Additionally, the only organized army in Siberia able to carry
there were many Czechoslovaks, as they were out Allied plans. The allies decided the Legion
then called, living in Imperial Russia. With the should retrace its steps to prevent German and
outbreak of WWI, the same people found them- Austrian prisoners of war traveling west from
selves on different sides, depending on where rejoining their units. The men of this Legion
they lived. Naturally, the Russian government retraced their steps over 6,000 miles and fought
regarded them as Austrian subjects. The Czech for the Allies. Finally, they returned to
and Slovak people themselves had a different Vladivostok, where they were able to obtain
concept, and those living within the Russian passage to Europe.
Empire formed a separate military unit to fight In late 1918, a special Czech Field Post
alongside the Russians for victory over the Aus- Service was organized. However, during the ear-
trians and liberation of the homeland. The Le- lier period when the Legion was fighting along-
gion was commanded by Russian officers. The side the Russian military, it naturally used the
colors of the Czechoslovak Foreign Legion were Russian field post system. Special markings dis-
officially consecrated at Cathedral Square in tinguish this group's mail and I am interested in
Kiev on 28 September 1914.1 The future govern- this particular phase. Were any special Russian-
ment would issue a set of stamps commemorat- language cancelers, unit cachets, stationery, or
ing the Legion's 20th anniversary (Independent related items issued under the Empire?
Czechoslovakia, Scott 195-198), the lowest value A cancel shown by Mr. Page in the cited
of which would show the consecration of the reference is the double circle "Czech Division"
Legion. (qEUICKA_,I PPY)KHHA) beginning at the7 o'clock
As the war continued, word of the Legion position and continuing to the 4 o'clock position.
circulated among fellow countrymen fighting on Inside the inner circle, one finds the two-line
the other side. There were defections. The origi- phrase <,1J1II HAKETOBb>>. I have not seen it
nal "Druzina," or company, thus came to com- used on cover. However, a similar cancel, which
prise a semi-independent Allied military unit of I believe to be a larger type, is shown in fig. 1. It
about 80,000 men. With the rise to power of the contains the same wording in the inner circle,
Bolsheviks in Russia late in 1917 and the signing although the outer circle, beginning at the 6
of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the situation o'clock position with a star and reading clock-
changed dramatically. Finland, the Baltic States, wise, contains the Russian words "Czecho-Slo-
Poland, and the Ukraine were detached from vak artillery battalion." I have seen it on similar
Russia. A civil war raged within the borders of stampless postcards from mid-1917 throughearly
the former Russian Empire. Meanwhile, the 1918. There is another Russian-language can-
Czechoslovaks were hurriedly making their way celer, which is very faint on the cover in fig. 2.
to Vladivostok, where they were assured they This item will not reproduce well at all. It is 35-
would find transport to the Western front and mm in diameter and contains the Russian-lan-
22 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

guage straight line "IV battalion" in the center, Is anyone out there able to shed any light on
about 20mm long. Beginning at the 9 o'clock these matters? Are there any other used examples
position and continuing until just past the 4 out there? Are there other cancels in the Russian
o'clock position, I can distinguish the following: language relating to this Legion? I would appre-
...3AHAC. nlOIK-b XX 2-OH qEIHCK... Note the ciate anything anyone can tell me or any leads.
different letter (misspelling) used here in the Please let me hear from you about this fascinating
third position of the word Czech. This cancel period of postal history. Thank you. My address
appears on a postcard inscribed "DOPISNICE" is: PO Box 778, Daly City, CA. 94017-0778.
and bearing an unboxed version of the two-line
cancel: CESKOSLOVENSKE VOJSKO / Reference:
Polni posta. Cis.
Finally, a printed postcard (fig. 3) used in 1. The Field Post of the Czechoslovak & Allied
February 1919. These were believed to be printed Forces in Russia 1918-1920 (An Anthol-
in Siberia, but I would appreciate any informa- ogy), compiled by: W.A. Page FRPSL. Pub-
tion on them. Note the only indication that this is lished by the Czechoslovak Philatelic Soci-
from the Czechoslovak Army in the Field is ety of Great Britain, 1991, reprint 1994, p. 3.
printed in Russian. The word "postcard" is printed
in large letters in Czech and small letters in


..... ... .. B... : ...........

....... .......... ............ .

lllir Koi/K.,,-3*a I. 4 3,-C. M M& I ." *' '--

Figure 1. f/JI1 fHAKETOB'b> cover with "Czecho-Slovak artillery battalion" postmark.

Rossica Journal Number 126 23
April 1996

"9 olni D a. Is.


ti-TByonas exocJI aWaIApmi as
D 0 P I Iq _. E-, _., ,.i,,*J
4 -, A- ,-
/ .-,,,. ,'-^ / -f <-<4. ,,"

.->Ha '.! ..,.-,:-./ *- ,. .. --.. .

., ,.gdeK. : -.,:: *...-.-. t.' ,.

w ..-....... ..

24 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996
Fiur 3. '~ f Prne otadwt usansciptionainpd6icatin it is ^^ fo-h zcolvkAm nteFed

u^:^ -^ '*-* ..' '^^.^^i ^'
24 Rossic Jouna Nube 126/*"*^
"*'-^^~~~Ari 1996c^ ^ ^.'**^

Russian Field Post Offices in the Baltic Area
During WWI (1914-1918)

by A. Epstein
During WWI the territory of the present Bal- Prussia. This army, under the command of Gen-
tic states, then provinces of the Russian Empire, eral Rennenkampf, included 3rd, 4th, 20th Army
was a battlefield for Russian and German forces. Corps (6 infantry divisions plus the detached 5th
Initially, it was only Lithuania (Kovnoprovince, Rifle Brigade), a cavalry group of five divisions,
parts of Vil'na, Grodno, and Suvalki provinces), and a detached cavalry brigade. The term "Army
In 1915, the fighting shifted to Latvia (Kurlyand Corps" was used in the Russian Army actually
province, parts of Liflyand and Vitebsk prov- for infantry corps to distinguish them from the
inces), while Estonia (Ehstlyand province and a Guards. The task of defending the coasts of the
part of Liflyand province) became a neighboring Gulfs of Finland and Riga against a possible
rear area. During the war Russian and German landing of enemy troops was placed on 6th Inde-
field post establishments functioned on these pendent Army, which consisted of a few infantry
territories. Their activities form an integral part divisions and home guards troops.
of the postal history of the Baltic region. How- On 1 August, 1st Army began moving from
ever, while the German field post is well studied the staging area to the border and, on 4 August,
and recorded, the Russian field post system still crossed into Eastern Prussia, while 2nd Army,
remains terra incognita. An article by N. under General Samsonov, did the same from
Jakimovsl was the first and only attempt to northern Poland.
discuss this subject concerning Latvia. The results of that so-called Eastern Prussia
This article aspires to be a more universal, Operation, resulting in the utter defeat of 2nd
though not exhaustive treatment, is based on the Army in the last days of August and the subse-
study of archival documents of military authori- quent retreat of 1st Army from Eastern Prussia,
ties (orders and decrees from the commanders of are well known. By the beginning of September
the 1st, 5th, 6th, 10th, and 12th Armies and the 1914, the units of 1st Army found themselves in
Heads of Military Communications of the North- Lithuania again, having sustained heavy losses.
western and Northern Fronts), military historical September passed with 1st Army, beefed up
literature2,3, as well as available postal material with 2nd and 26th Army Corps, still fighting in
in the form of correspondence handled by the Lithuania near the frontier. At the beginning of
Russian field post. October, the Russian forces in Lithuania (3rd,
20th, and 26th Army Corps and some cavalry
Brief historical review divisions) became a part of the newly formed
10th Army, while 1st Army headquarters was
In accordance with the Mobilization Order, transferred to Poland. During the same month the
which came into effect just before the beginning corps of 10th Army invaded Eastern Prussia
of the war for Russia on 19 July/1 August 1914 again, but this time not as deeply. Trench warfare
(hereafter, all dates are given according to the old continued there until January 1915, when the
style, which was used in Russia up to February Russians were hurled back once again, partly
1918), Russian forces were to fight on two fronts into Lithuania.
(army groups): the Northwestern and the South- In mid-April 1915, the Germans began an
western. Initially, two Russian armies, 1st and offensive into Kurlyand province of Latvia and
2nd, were parts of the Northwestern Front. First northern Lithuania and occupied Libava
Army was staged in present-day Lithuania with (Liepiija), Gazenpot (Aizpute), Telshen
the purpose of further invasions into Eastern (TelIiai),Taurogen (Taurage), and other towns.
Rossica Journal Number 126 25
April 1996

A weak Russian detachment under General the German High Command started in mid-
Sirelius could not put up any serious resistance. August 1917 and led to the capture of Riga on 21
Therefore, the headquarters of the former 12th August. Demoralized by revolutionary agitation,
Army under General Pleve, renamed 5th Army, troops of the Russian 12th Army retreated to
was transferred to Latvia. This newly formed positions near Venden (Cisis). A short time later,
army was composed of 19th Army Corps, which the Yakobshtadt Bridgehead was lost, and on 29
initially had stemmed the German advance, as September the Germans landed and quickly oc-
well as elements of 3rd and 37th Army Corps, 7th cupied the islands of the Moonsund archipelago
Siberian Army Corps, plus several cavalry divi- (now Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Muhu in Estonia).
sions. The final stage came after 13 January 1918,
In July, the Germans resumed their attacks when in response to Soviet Russia breaking the
against 5th Army and by early August occupied terms of the Brest-Litovsk peace negotiations,
almost the whole of Kurlyand and a great part of German troops occupied by March the remaining
Kovno province with the towns of Shavli parts of the Baltic, having met virtually no resis-
(Siauliai), Ponevezh (PanevZis), Vindava tance from the remainder of the Russian forces.
(Ventspils), and Mitava (Jelgava). At the end of From autumn of 1915, 5th and 12th Russian
July the Germans attacked 10th Army, which Armies remained in Latvia, holding the front on
defended Kovno (Kaunas) with the help of 34th their left flank and right flank, respectively. Three
Army Corps and some detached infantry divi- times, in June-August 1916, July 1917, and
sions. Kovno was evacuated on 5 August. October 1917, 1st Army was situated between
In August, to strengthen the Russian forces in them to reinforce the front. Between May and
the Baltic area, a new 12th Army was formed in June of 1917, 1st Army was located in Estonia
the Riga area with the headquarters of the former with the sole purpose of defending the shores
13th Army under General Gorbatovskii. Addi- against an expected German landing. Sixth Army,
tionally, the Northwestern Front was divided into having lost its independent status and become a
two fronts, and the armies defending the Baltic part of Northern Front, continued to perform its
area (5th, 6th, 12th, and for some time, 10th former functions until December 1916, when its
Army) became a part of the Northern Front headquarters were transferred to the Romanian
(under General Ruzskii, then Kuropatkin, and Front.
later Ruzskii again) with its headquarters in Pskov. The composition of each army varied fre-
The Germans continued to advance and Vil'na quently as corps and divisions were transferred
(Vilnius) became their main objective. After from one army to another, left the Northern Front
heavy fighting, in which the Guards Corps, 23rd entirely, or new military formations arrived. Thir-
and 3rd Siberian Army Corps of 10th Army took teenth, 19th, 21 st, 28th, 37th, 43rd, 2nd Siberian,
part, Vil'na was abandoned on 3 September. The and 6th Siberian Army Corps remained in the
German advance was stemmed at last and, by Baltic area the entire time. First Cavalry Corps
October 1915, the front stabilized itself. This put was there almost all of the time. Others aban-
an end to the so-called maneuvering period of the doned the area during the second half of 1916
war. Almost all of Lithuania and Kurlyand were (3rd, 29th, 7th Siberian Army Corps, 6th Cavalry
occupied by the Germans. Corps), arrived by autumn of 1917 (14th and 49th
During the next 22 months, until mid-August Army Corps), came to the Baltic periodically (1st
1917, the front line passed along the Western Army Corps), or quartered there only for a short
Dvina (Daugava) river with two large bridge- period (1st and 2nd Guards Corps, 5th Siberian
heads near Riga and Dvinsk (Daugavpils), and a Army Corps). The same can be said about most
smaller one near Yakobshtadt (Jekabpils) on the of the detached divisions-not a part of any
left bank of the river. The only significant change corps, permanently or temporarily.
which occurred was when an attack planned by

26 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Russian field post system 1917 (Central Historical Archive of Estonia in
Tartu, Collection 322, File 214). According to
The structure of the Russian field post was the circular, depending on the distribution of the
described earlier in my article in the British functions of the North Front, RFPO mail from
Journal of Russian Philately4. My description army servicemen should be directed via the post
was based on the Regulations on Post-and- offices of the province centers.
Telegraph Establishments in the Theater of War Available postal material indicates that, be-
(hereafter simply referred to as "Regulations") side its principal function, the RFPO of the North-
approved in August 1914, the Mobilization Or- ern Front sorted and forwarded mail from civil-
der of 1910 (with the additions and corrections of ians posted in the mailboxes at stations along the
1912), and various later directives of the Russian railways leading to Rezhitsa and Valk (fig. 6-8).
High Command. Only the main principles are Regarding other field postal establishments,
repeated here as they apply to the Baltic. the Headquarters FPOs (figs. 9, 10a) and the
The Main Field Post Offices were the pivots Corps FPOs (figs. 11-14) were attached to army
of the Russian field post system. Their principal (also front) headquarters and corps headquarters,
function was sorting and forwarding of corre- respectively. The Control FPOs (also not cov-
spondence addressed to active duty servicemen. ered in the "Regulations"), which were created at
The mail coming from the provinces of Liflyand the end of 1914 or beginning of 1915, functioned
and Ehstlyand was directed initially via the Main on par with the Headquarters FPOs at the army
FPO at Pskov and later at Dvinsk (Daugavpils), headquarters collocatedd), having functions simi-
after relocation in October 1914 (fig. 1). Mail lar to those of the Main FPOs, but they were
from Kurlyand and the Lithuanian provinces concerned mainly with the servicemen's mail of
went via the Main FPO at Vil'na (Vilnius) (fig. 2). the army to which they were attached (fig. 15).
When the front line came close to Dvinsk, its Some divisions nominally not a part of any
Main FPO was evacuated and the mail formerly corps as well as separate detachments (tempo-
handled by the Dvinsk Main FPO was directed rary formations in Russian forces consisting of
via the Main FPO at Velikie Luki in Russia various military units up to divisions) had Re-
proper (the former Vil'na Main FPO). Thus, only serve FPOs or Line-of-Communications (also
two Main FPOs were ever functioning in the called "Rear" or "Stage" in the English-lan-
Baltic, Dvinsk and Vil'na. guage literature) Field Post/Telegraph Branches
Mail from the Active Army to the rear areas (FPTB) attached to them (figs. 16-19).
initially went via the local post offices of the state The Russian FPOs operating in the Baltic
post. To help alleviate the excessive load, so- area during WWI are listed in Table I with their
called Return Field Post Offices (RFPOs, not subordinations and, as far as possible, locations.
covered in the "Regulations," but having a staff It should be noted that their exact locations in
and the rights of a Main FPO) were created at time as well as the exact dates of their relocation
various fronts beginning in the autumn of 1915. could not be ascertained in most cases. As a rule,
The RFPOs of the Northern Front arrived in the FPO location coincided with that of the cor-
December 1915 from Kiev and were located as responding headquarters, but there were excep-
separate sub-offices at Rezhitsa (REzekne) and tions. A location entered in parentheses indicates
Valk (Valga/Valka), handling the mail from the the FPO was situated at least near that town-
southern and the northern flanks, respectively within a 50-km radius. The listing of FPOs is
(figs. 3-5). These RFPOs functioned during all incomplete. For instance, information is avail-
of 1916 and were closed by March 1917 (the able stating that Line-of-Communications FPTB
Valk sub-office perhaps as early as January) as No. 251 was operating at the Northern Front, but
noted indirectly from circular of the Chief of the neither its subordination nor its location are
Riga Postal-and-Telegraph District dated 6 May known.

Rossica Journal Number 126 27
April 1996

/ ". ...le ... .


Figure 1. Postcard to a warrant officer on active duty, sent from Vezenberg on 30.7.15 and

I. e 1 ', .9
directed via the Main FPO at Dvinsk on 2.8.15 to Vitebsk, arriving 10. 10 15.

Figure 2. Postcard to a soldier on active duty, sent from Al't Shvanenburg on 10.5.15 and directed
via the Main FPO at Vil'na on 12.5.15 to Pavlovsk. It arrived on 16.5.15 and was rerouted to Luga,
arriving 19.5.15.

28 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

S ,, ........... .... ... ...

I' II" I J itOhSl I

Figure 3. Postcard mailed by a transport battalion serviceman via FPO No. 34 (2nd Siberian Army
Corps) on 19.1.16 and directed via the Rezhitsa sub-office of the Northern Front Return FPO on
21.1.16 to Oranienbaum, arriving 22.1.16. The place of censorship is not clear. It could have been
at FPO No. 34 or at the Return FPO.

,, Jr

.... ._

Figure 4. Postcard sent by a staff officer of 23rd Army Corps HQ at FPO No. 25 (attached to the
corps) on 5.4.16 and directed via the Rezhitsa sub-office of the Northern Front Return FPO on
6.4.16 to Staro-Fennern, arriving 9.4.16.

Rossica Journal Number 126 29
April 1996
L~f(H^ nO^^*.^ j>&.^^^ <.^^

Fiur oscrdsetbya tffofiero 2rdAmyCop H t PON. 5 atahe o h
cops n .41 ad iecedva heRzt a sbofce ~ of the Noten rn RtrFOo
6.4.1 to taroFennrn, rrivng 94.16

Rosic Journal/~ Numer12 2
Apri 1996

Figure 5. Postcard mailed by an artillery serviceman via FPO No. 34 on 13.2.16 and directed via the
Valk sub-office of the Northern Front Return FPO on 15.2.16 to Chirkovishchi, arriving 17.2.15.



*. 14 ,

Figure 6. 3-kop. postcard sent by a civilian and postmarked at the Rezhitsa sub-office of the Northern
Front Return FPO on 3.9.16.

30 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

'o -a> fc- (i------- ------ ----s2 ^ ^ *- *.----*-. -

Figure 7. 3-kop. postcard sent by a civilian posted at the Antsen railway station to Valk. The
stamps are canceled by the TPO Pskov-126-Pernov on 3.7.16. The postcard was sorted at the
Valk sub-office ofthe Northern Front Return FPO on 4.7.16 and received by the Valk Town Post
the next day, 5.7.16.

n ; CP o .A .A. PECA
S-... .. ..... ..
Z. ', ., -
-i------ gv -

.. .. .. ... ......... ......

Figure 8. Civilian's postcard to Revel' mailed at the Petrograd-Warsaw Railway Station Post Office on
26.2.17 (at the beginning of the February Revolution in Russia). Instead of being transferred to the Baltic
Railway Station, the card was dispatched along the Warsaw railway, unloaded in Rezhitsa, andsorted at the
local sub-office of the Northern Front Return FPO on 28.2.1 7 (probably the last day this FPOfunctioned).
The card was received in Revel' on 22.3.17

Rossica Journal Number 126 31
April 1996
April 1996


; -\ ",1-'.I :

arriving 7. 7.17. \
V :" A pri 1996


S'( 128-

Figure 9. Soldier's postcard mailed at FPO "K" (attached to 5th Army) on 5.2.17 to Revel,
arriving 7.7.17.

Ar I19

32 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

SllPY I010EI(EH"3

lb. .- r
S?' t- "

.' 4P^ ".3-e '
i x IV

Figure lOb. Reverse of a soldier's letter mailed at FPO "U," showing a censormark
applied at FPO "U" (attached to 12th Army).

^ k BCEII'HflBMrf f IOrTrf OLIfl W CO CCfl K i( J[ "'
W.- 011R CAl t.

1 k

TON 11 ^> 1 .. .... ..

Figure 11. Serviceman's postcard mailed at FPO No. 5 (3rd Army Corps) on 20.9.15 to Petrograd,
and censored in Moscow.

Rossica Journal Number 126 33
April 1996

Figure 12. Soldier's letter mailed at FPO No. 39 (6th Siberian Army Corps) on

7.7.17 to Pernov District.

'- -.. -^?-T c- OTKP I^^E^ H^^rP Ho^
S....... 'J'*!A ..........

........................................ .... .................... ........ H r. ,. J -, ,"
.. .. ... ............ ............... .. ......................... _, ......._ .. .. .

.: ..^ .. ? .....^ ..... ..... ... .. ......

... ..-...... -. .......... .: ......... ."" ............ ;. : "'. : ...-.... <" .4- ..>
< .' -. ... .. -.... .. .. .. .. .. .:.-< ,'
*/t "" t .... ....i

... ... ....... .........:... .. -.. :..... .. ... ........ ........ ..

Figure 13. Soldier's postcard mailed at FPO No. 132 (7th Army Corps) on 10.8.16 to Moizekyul,
arriving 11.8.17. The postcard was censored at Moizekyul' and also bears a manuscript unit censor

34 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

'. -, /--4,z -'I3 J

.. .. 9 0----
"Z. -- _._ Z__

Figure 14. Postcard mailed by a medical officer of 210th Bronnitsy Infantry Regiment at FPO No.
from a Reserve FPO, but still continued to use the former handstamps.

Si' enwm eo ne" 7c, -
.- .-. --f c
^.- -i "/,, --

Figure 14. Postcard mailed by a medical officer of 210th Bronnitsy Infantry Regiment at FPO No.
131 (34th Army Corps) on 2.6.16 to Moscow, arriving 3.6.15. The FPO had earlier been reorganized
from a Reserve FPO, but still continued to use theformer handstamps.

April 1996
? 4K ??P OE nllHCbMO O/j 1

~ pfleCn el.a Bocnpeuqaelca.2f P

Figure 15. Soldier's postcard mailed at FPO No. 51 (43rd Army Corps) on 5. 1.17 and directed via
Control FPO "U" on 6.1.17 to a reserve battalion serviceman.

Rossica Journal Number 126 35
April 1996


"- .v;.. '^^^ g .

A-I- IT**** -**** ****** -
.. &' ",A

I *, _---- .......-- ... ...... .....

RIea. SvhwarhiAupterhila ,-

Figure 16. Postcard sent by a cavalryman of 4th Novotroitsko-Ekaterininskii Dragoon Regiment
via Reserve FPO No. 112 (4th Cavalry Division) on 29.5.15 to Tula, arriving on 31.5.15. Although
franked with a 3-kop. stamp, it was not necessary.

S'Y --tit- .

Figure 17. Front of a soldier's letter mailed at Reserve FPO No. 142 (5th Cavalry
Division) on 4.2.16 to Revel'.

36 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Figure 18. Postcard mailed by a serviceman of the 462nd Staritsa Infantry Regiment at L-of-C FPTB
No. 209 (3rd Don Cossack Division) on 31.8.16 via Yur'yev on 2.9.16 to Nustago, arriving 3.9.16.

/. N '
f ;- ,," I ; L C.c ... t-, '. i .*

...'rt q .eS ... 5 .

:t. A ;.. .t.. ---... .

Figure 19. Front of a soldier's letter sent to Zalisburg from L-of-C FPTB No. 244
No. 209 (3rd Donst Cavalry Division) on 10.8.16.

Rossica Journal Number 126 37
April 1996
*''* '. f f '* y ^ ^ ^ '^ ^ '^ ^
-, '>- ^ l;6^ ^ ^^
^..^^ -y;o ^ ^7l;.;i;|^^

April 1996

Field Post Office Attached to Location Period

former present present
name name country z

Main FPOs

Dvinsk Dvinsk Daugavpils Latvia 11.1914-08.1915 g
Vil'na (initially "A") Vil'na Vilnius Lithuania B.W.* -09.1915 '" "
o &
Return FPO

of the Northern Front
suboffice Rezhitsa REzekne Latvia 12.1915-02.1917
suboffice Valk Valga/Valka Estonia/Latvia 12.1915-12.1916 (?)

Headquarters FPOs

A 1st Army Vil'na Vilnius Lithuania B.W.*-end 07.1914
Verzhbolovo Virbalis Lithuania end 07.-beg. 08.1914
Kovno Kaunas Lithuania 31.08.-10.1914
Al't-Shvanenburg Gulbene Latvia 05.-07.1916 to 10.1917-E.W.**
Valk Valga/Valka Estonia/Latvia 05.-06.1917

K 10th Army Vil'na Vilnius Lithuania end 08.-beg. 09.1915

K 5th Army Dvinsk Daugavpils Latvia 06.-09.1915 to 04.1916-E.W.**
Kretsburg Kruzpils Latvia 09.1915-04.1916

y 12th Army Venden Cesis Latvia 08.1915-07.1916
Riga Riga Latvia 07.1916-21.08.1917
Valk Valga/Valka Estonia/Latvia end 08.1917-E.W.**
No 1***
Guards (Rezhitsa) (Rezekne) Latvia 04.-06.1916

B.W. Beginning of War-last 10 days of July 1914
** E.W. End of War-last 10 days of February or beginning of March 1918
*** Reorganized from a Corps FPO on the date indicated first
**** Reorganized from a Reserve FPO on the date indicated first

Table I. Russian FPOs operating in the Baltic area during WWI.
----------------------------------------------------------------------- M

Field Post Office Attached to Location Period

g former present present
name name country

- ,Control FPOs

A see HQ FPO "A" 05.1916-E.W.
K see HQ FPO")" end 08.-beg.09.1915
K see HQ FPO "K" 06.1915-E.W.
Y see HQ FPO "y" 08.1915-E.W.

Corps FPO

No. 1 Guards Corps (Vil'na) (Vilnius) Lithuania 08.-beg.09.1915
Guards Detachment (Rezhitsa) (Rezekne) Latvia 03.-04.1916

No. 3 1st Army Corps Vesenberg Rakvere Estonia 05.-06.1917
Yakobshtadt Jekabpils Latvia 06.-09.1917
(Modon) (Madona) Latvia 10.1917-E.W.

No. 4 2nd Army Corps Vilkovishki VilkoviSkis Lithuania beg. 09.1914
(Olita) (Alytus) Lithuania beg.-18.09.1914
(Vil'na) (Vilnius) Lithuania 04.1915

No. 5 3rd Army Corps Verzhbolovo Virbalis Lithuania
Vilkovishki Vilkoviskis Lithuania
Vladislavov Naumiestis Lithuania
(Kovno) (Kaunas) Lithuania

retreat via
Onikshty Any kSiai Lithuania
Novo- Zarasai Lithuania
(Dvinsk) (Daugavpils) Latvia

Table I. Russian FPOs operating in the Baltic area during WWI. (cont.)


Field Post Office Attached to Location Period

former present present E
name name country z

Corps FPO (cont.)

No. 6 4th Army Corps Vyshtinets ViStitis Lithuania B.W.
(Olita) (Alitus) Lithuania Beg.-18.09.1914
? ? Latvia 10.12.1916

No. 7 5th Army Corps (Vil'na) (Vilnius) Lithuania 08.1915

No. 16 14th Army Corps Yakobshtadt Jekabpils Latvia 03.-08.1917
(Kreslavka) (Kraslava) Latvia 09.1917-E.W.

No. 21 19th Army Corps (Shavli) (Siauliai) Lithuania 04.-06.1915
(Kovno) (Kaunas) Lithuania 06.-08.1915
(Dvinsk) (Daugavpils) Latvia 08.1915-E.W.

No. 22 20th Army Corps Vladislavov Naumiestis Lithuania B.W.
(Vilkovishki) / VilkoviSkis Lithuania 09.-10.1914
(Olita) (Alytus)

No. 23 21st Army Corps Dvinsk Daugavpils Latvia 09.1915-08.1916
(Riga) (Riga) Latvia 08.1916-08.1917
(Venden) (Cesis) Latvia 09.1917-E.W.

No. 25 23rd Army Corps (Vil'na) (Vilnius) Lithuania 08.1915
Yakobshtadt Jekabpils Latvia 09.1915-=5.1916

No. 34 2nd Sib. Army Corps (Modon) (Madona) Latvia 08.1915-08.1916
(Riga) (Riga) Latvia 08.1916-08.1917
(Venden) (Cesis) Latvia 09.1917-E.W.

No. 35 3rd Sib. Army Corps Kalvariya Kalvarija Lithuania 04.1915
(Vil'na) (Vilnius) Lithuania end 08.-beg.09.1915

Table I. Russian FPOs operating in the Baltic area during WWI. (cont.)

Field Post Office Attached to Location Period
- 0-
c former present present
o name name country

SCorps FPO (cont.)

SNo. 36 1st Cavalry Corps Kreslavka (Krislava) Latvia 09.1915-06.1916
(Dvinsk) (Daugavpils) Latvia 06.1916-03.1917
Valk Valga/Valka Estonia/Latvia 10.1917-E.W.
No. 37 27th Army Corps (Dvinsk) (Daugavpils) Latvia 01.1917-E.W.

No. 38 5th Sib. Army Corps Valk Valga/Valka Estonia/Latvia 03.-05.1916

No. 39 6th Sib. Army Corps (Riga) (Riga) Latvia 10.1915-=8.1917
(Venden) (Cesis) Latvia 09.1917-E.W.

No. 51 43rd Army Corps Yuryev Tartu Estonia 10.-12.1915
(Riga) (Riga) Latvia 12.1915-08.1917
(Venden) (Cesis) Latvia 09.1917-E.W.

No. 52 37th Army Corps (Riga) (Riga) Latvia 04.-08.1916
Pernov Parnu Estonia 05.-06.1917
(Kreslavla (Krislava) Latvia 06.1917-E.W.

No. 102 2nd Guards Cavalry (Kovno) (Kaunas) Lithuania 02.-08.1915
Division (Rezhitsa) (RMzekne) Latvia 03.-06.1916

No. 104**** 6th Cavalry Corps (Preli) (Preili) Latvia 01.-06.1916
(Modon) (Madona) Latvia 06.-11.1916

No. 110 1st Guards Cavalry ? ? Lithuania 07.-08.1915
Division (Dvinsk) (Daugavpils) Latvia 08.-12.1915
(Rezhitsa) (REzekne) Latvia 03.-06.1916

Table I. Russian FPOs operating in the Baltic area during WWI. (cont.)

Field Post Office Attached to Location Period

former present present
name name country
Corps FPO (cont.)
No. 123**** 37th Army Corps (Kovno) (Kaunas) Lithuania 05.-07.1915
(Ponevezh) Panevelis Lithuania 07.1915 .
(Baldon) (Baldone) Latvia 07.1915 (n
(Fridrikhshtadt) Jiunjelgava Latvia 07.-26.12.1915

13th Army Corps (Fridrikhshtadt) Jiunjelgava Latvia 27.12.1915-08.1916
(Dvinsk) (Daugavpils) Latvia 08.1916-06.1917
Yakobshtadt Jekabpils Latvia 07.1917
Gainash Ainaii Latvia 07.-08.1917
Pernov Parnu Estonia 09.1917-E.W.

No. 124 1st Guards Corps (Rezhitsa) (Rkzekne) Latvia 03.-06.1916

No. 126 28th Army Corps Kreitsburg/ Kruzpils/ Latvia 08.1915-09.1917
Yakobshtadt Jekabpils
Al't-Shvanenburg Gulbene Latvia 10.1917-E.W.

No. 127 29th Army Corps Dvinsk Daugavpils Latvia 09.1915-12.1916

No. 131 34th Army Corps (Vil'na) (Vilnius) Lithuania 05.-07.1915

No. 132 7th Sib. Army Corps Mitava Jelgava Latvia 07.1915
Riga Riga Latvia 07.1915-08.1916

No. 140 26th Army Corps (Vil'na) (Vilnius) Lithuania 08.-beg. 09.1915

No. 175 49th Army Corps Vezenberg Rakvere Estonia 10.1917-E.W.

Table I. Russian FPOs operating in the Baltic area during WWI. (cont.)


0 S Field Post Office Attached to Location Period

Former present present
"' name name country
I Reserve FPOs

I No. 104 4th Don Cossack (Preli) (Preili) Latvia 06.1915-01.1916

No. 112 4th Cavalry Division Riga Riga Latvia 06.1915-08.1916
(Yakobshtadt) Jekabpils Latvia 09.1916- ?
(Modon) (Madona) Latvia ? -08.1917
Verro Viru Estonia 09.1917-E.W.

No. 133 2nd Cavalry Division Kurlyand Province Latvia 07.-09.1915
? ? Latvia 09.1915-01.1916
(Kaluba) (Kalupe) Latvia 01.-07.1916
Kreitzburg Kruzpils Latvia 09.1917

No. 138 5th Rifle Brigade see FPO No. 5 Lithuania/Latvia 01.1915-06.1916

No. 142 1st Caucasian Rifle ? ? Lithuania 05.1915
Brigade, 5th Cavalry (Yakobshtadt) Jekabpils Latvia 06.1915-07.1916
Division ? ? Latvia 07.1916-E.W.

No. 145 124th Infantry Division ? ? Latvia 03.-12.1916

No. 153 78th Infantry Division (Livengof) Livdni Latvia 03.-07.1916

No. 154 81st Infantry Division ? ? Latvia 10.1917-E.W.

No. 157 108th Infantry Division Yuryev Tartu Estonia 12.1915-05.1916
115th Infantry Division Pernov P&rnu Estonia 05.-12.1916
135th Infantry Division Pernov P&rnu Estonia 12.1916-07.1917
? ? Latvia 07.1917-E.W.

Table I. Russian FPOs operating in the Baltic area during WWI. (cont.)



Field Post Office Attached to Location Period

former present present
name name country
cations FPTB

No. 209 Det. under Gen. Sirelius Kurlyand Province Latvia 04.-08.1915
3rd Don Cossack Division ? ? Latvia 09.-11.1915
(Venden) Cesis Latvia 11.1915-10.1916
Lithuania/Latvia 01.1915- ?
No. 210 3rd Army Corps See FPO No. 5

4th Don Cossack Division (Vol'mar) (Valmiera) Latvia ? -07.1917
Pernov Parnu Estonia 07.-09.1917
Leal' Lihula Estonia 09.1917-01.1918

No. 211 Ussuri Cavalry Division (Pernov) (Parnu) Estonia 03.-05.1916
(Venden) Cesis Latvia 05.-07.1916

No. 221 15th Cavalry Division (Dvinsk) (Daugavpils) Latvia 08.1915-02.1917
? ? Latvia 03.1917-E.W.
No. 227 FPO "y" (see)

No. 244 1st Cavalry Division (Kaluba)/ (Kalupe)/ Latvia 12.1915-E.W.
(Yakobshtadt) Jekabpils

Table I. Russian FPOs operating in the Baltic area during WWI. (cont.)

FPO postmarks was the introduction of new datestamps with the
FPO number engraved, while the FPO's subordi-
This section deals exclusively with the FPO nation remained a matter of secrecy. These post-
postmarks. Although according to the "Regula- marks were used from the beginning by Reserve
tions" FPOs should have "postage due" stamps FPOs. Considering the relatively short period of
for application to unpaid or insufficiently pre- use, postmarks with the corps designation are
paid covers (sent by persons who had free frank very scarce. Marks belonging to Headquarters
rights), such markings on covers or postcards FPOs attached to Army Headquarters have not
mailed at FPOs have not been recorded to date. been recorded to date. Probably they do not exist,
During the first month of the war, the Corps since the Mobilization Order of 1910 designated
FPOs used datestamps which were probably left the Headquarters by code letters for each particu-
over from the Russo-Japanese War of 1904- lar army. These code letters were engraved on the
1905 and had the corps designation engraved datestamps of the Headquarters FPOs.
(fig. 20). Such postmarks, in conjunction with a The postmarks of the Main FPOs indicated
military unit cachet (struck as a confirmation of where the FPO was located. However, from the
the free frank right), and sometimes the message, beginning they too were designated by code
the picture on a postcard, or mention of the letters. For instance, the Main FPO at Vil'na had
military unit in the address on a letter to the the code letter "A." Postmarks of this FPO have
Army, etc. might give away the location of a not been recorded to date, but they may exist.
military unit, its subordination, or other sensitive A simple classification of postmarks similar
information to the enemy, to that I used for censormarks5 is set forth here.
Decree No. 3830 of the Supreme Com- The postmarks are classified according to the
mander-in-Chief's Chief of Staff dated 30 July following four characteristics: type of postmark,
1914 stated that all postmarking of soldiers' mail type of FPO, kind of inscription, placement of the
was prohibited. A consequence of this decree inscription.

.-. OTi; Pb!TOLinT1C f.''

Figure 20. Early-type postmark of 3rd Army Corps FPO on a soldier's postcard sent on 8.8.14 to
Tashkent, arriving 20.8.14. The old datestamp did not permit adjusting the year. The postcard was
posted when the corps had already invaded Eastern Prussia, but the use of this handstamp is known
on 31 July, i.e., while it was still in Lithuania.
Rossica Journal Number 126 45
April 1996

1. Type of postmark: H Headquarters (HOJIEBAR nHOTOBAR
S = single ring (fig. 21a)-rare KOHTOPA FJIABHOfI KBAPTHPbI) (fig.

19 8
\'l Vff 2 p(8 9. is

Figure 21a. Figure 22c.
D = double ring with bridge (fig. 21b)
oil. .nHOITOBAsI KOHTOPA) (fig. 22d)

3 -3717

Figure 21b. *

Figure 22d.
2. Type of FPO:
TOBA5I KOHTOPA) (fig. 22a) FPOs in the Baltic area)

TOBAI KOHTOPA) (fig. 22e)

Figure 22a.

TOBAI1 KOHTOPA) (fig. 22b) Figure 22e.

L Line-of-Communications (3TAHHOE
OTilbI5EHIE) (fig. 22f)

21 QIS
5 2t 215
Figure 22b.

Figure 22f
46 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

If the type of the FPO is not indicated (fig. 4. Placement of the inscription:
22g), which is typical for the Corps FPOs
and most of the Headquarters FPOs, a C continuous, i.e., all text (except the
"0" is put in this place. date, serial letter or number, and aster-
isks) are placed around the circle in a

o 153 16 .r0 0
Sclockwise fashion (figs. 24a, 24b)

Figure 22g.

Figure 24a. Figure 24b.
3. Kind of inscription:
D divided, i.e., the upper portion of the
D designation of the military formation text clockwise and the lower portion
(for Corps FPOs, possibly for Headquar- counter clockwise (figs. 24c, 24d)
ters FPOs) or its location (for Main FPOs)
or its subordination (figs. 21a, 22a, 22b, 2b A
23a, 23b)

9(-4ai6 -4 17I .46U

Sv Figure 24c. Figure 24d.

Serial letters known are placed in paren-
Figure 23a. Figure 23b. theses after this indicator.

N FPO number or code letter (figs. 22g, For example, D-H-N-D(a, b, d, e) means a
23c, 23d) double-ring postmark of a Headquarters FPO
designated by a code letter or number with the
a AN^QS inscription divided and recorded with the serials
indicated in parentheses. S-Cr-D-C(6) means a
13 316 S 3 5 single-ring postmark of a Corps FPO with the
"1 Corps designation as a continuous inscription
Sand recorded only with the serial "6."
Postmarks within the same group may differ
e 2. F 2. by the order of the words in the inscription (some
Figure 23c. Figure 23d.
words may be missing), the abbreviations, the
form, number and placement of the asterisks, etc.
The dimensions of the outer circle vary between
24 mm and 32 mm. If more than one postmark
can be classified under the same designation, a

Rossica Journal Number 126 47
April 1996

Field Post Office Classification Field Post Office Classification

Main FPO at Dvinsk D-M-D-C(a, V, e) FPO No. 37 D-0-N-D(-2)
D-M-D-D(-, b, v, zh, z) FPO No. 38 D-0-N-C(b, e)
Main FPO at Vil'na D-M-D-D(B, G, D, Zh, I) FPO No. 39 D-0-N-C(a2, b, v2, g, d, e2)
Return FPO of the FPO No. 51 D-0-N-D(A, B, V, G, D)
North Front FPO No. 52 D-0-N-C(v, d, e)
Rezhitsa sub-office D-Rt-D-C(a) N. 1 D
Valk sub-office D-Rt-D-C(b, g, d) FPO No. 10 D-Rs-N-D(- )
HQ FPO "A" D-0-N-C(g) FPO No. 104 D-R-N-D(-a)
HQ FPO "W D-H-N-C(-2) FPO No. 112 D-Rs-N-D(V)
HQ FPO "K" D-H-N-C(b, v) FPO No. 123 D-0-N-C(g, d)
D-0-N-C(a, v, g, d, e) FPO No. 124 D-Rs-N-D(v)
HQ FPO "y" D-0-N-C(v, d, e) FPO No. 126 D-Rs-N-C(a, v, g, e)
Contr. FPO "A" D-Cn-N-D(b) FPO No. 127 D-Rs-N-C(b, v, d, e)
Contr. FPO "K" D-Cn-N-D(a, b) D-0-N-C(B)
Contr FPO "y" D-Cn-N-D(a, b, g) FPO No. 131 D-Rs-N-C(v, d)
FPO No. 1 D-0-N-D(-3) FPO No. 132 D-Rs-N-C(d, e)
D-0-N-C(b) D-0-N-C(a, b, d, e, zh)
FPO No. 3 D-0-N-D(-) FPO No. 133 D-Rs-N-C(v)
FPO No. 5 S-Cr-D-D(6) FPO No. 138 D-Rs-N-C(b)
D-0-N-D(-2, a) FPO No. 140 D-Rs-N-C(v)
FPO No. 6 D-Cr-D-D(a, b) FPO No. 142 D-Rs-N-C(v, e)
D-0-N-D(-) FPO No. 145 D-Rs-N-C(v)
FPO No. 21 D-0-N-D(-4) FPO No. 153 D-Rs-N-C(g)
D-0-N-C(a, b) FPO No. 157 D-Rs-N-D(A, B, V, G)
FPO No. 22 S-Cr-D-S(5) FPO No. 175 D-Rs-N-D(d)
FPO No. 23 D-0-N-C(a, b, v, g) FTPB No. 209 D-L-N-C(b)
D-0-N-D(zh) FPTB No. 210 D-L-N-C(a)
FPO No. 25 D-0-N-D(-3) FPTB No. 211 D-L-N-C(a, b)
-FPO No. 221 D-L-N-C(-)
FPO No. 34 D--N-C(a, b, v, g, d D e) FPTB No. 244 D-L-N-D(-)
FPO No. 35 D-0-N-D(d, e) D-L-N-C(12)

Table II. Recorded FPO postmarks of the Baltic area.

sub-index indicating the number of varieties is FPO Censormarks
placed by the corresponding serial. For example,
D-Rs-N-C(a, b2, d) means a double-ring post- Like their counterparts at civilian post of-
mark of a Reserve FPO with numerical designa- fices, censors were present at most field post
tion and continuous inscription, but the serial "b" offices of the Russian Army. However, there is
exists in two versions. some ambiguity regarding the structure of mili-
Table II lists the postmarks of various FPOs tary postal censorship within the Army. It is well
in the Baltic area recorded to date using to the known censors did their work at the headquarters
above classification method. Not only are the (staffs) of fronts, military districts, armies, fleets,
postmarks recorded for the particular period and corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, battalions,
location of a particular FPO, but also those post- companies (at this level the work was usually
marks recorded both before and after that period done by the company commanders), as well as
(even if not recorded for the proper period) are warships, hospitals, prisoner-of-war camps, etc.
included in this table. It is worth noting that A. Speeckaert6 even makes a distinction between
Corps FPOs were reorganized Reserve FPOs and what he calls postal censorship and military cen-
thus used datestamps with the word "Reserve." sorship, although the antithesis does not seem to
be correct.

48 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Although Article 50 of the "Provisional Stat- contain an indication of the corresponding FPO
ute on MilitaryCensorship" required correspon- (fig. 25). More frequently, there is no indication
dence to be examined by censors on the post at all (fig. 10b). During the latter phases of the
office premises exclusively, it is doubtful this war in 1917, the FPOs used censormarks similar
requirement was always met regarding the mail to the Military District type (fig. 26).
of servicemen. Unfortunately, no documents on The few recorded censormarks used by the
this subject have been found. FPOs in the Baltic area are listed in Table III.
Most field post establishments were attached Some of these marks were recorded by
to the corresponding headquarters. However, only Speeckaert6. The same system of classification I
a few divisions had FPOs attached and, with the used in my postal censorship article5 is used here.
exception of the 5th Rifle Brigade, none are
noted at the brigade level. Nevertheless, marks Field Post Office Color Classification
belonging to censors attached to these divisions Return FPO of R G-Ob(1)-I-0-0
North Front
and brigade staffs have been recorded. (Valk s-office)
Available material indicates that while cen-
sors were initially attached to particular head- FPO "K" V G-L(1)-O--
quarters and staffs, only a few FPOs had their
own censors. Beginning in the second half of FPO "Y" V C-L(2)-O-0-Bj(2)
1915, censors were transferred gradually to the FPO No. 21 V C-Rb(2)-L-0-0
corresponding FPOs. FPO No. 52 V C-L(3)-O-F-No(2)
Like the censormarks of the civilian post
office, those of the FPOs also can be found in a FPO No. 126 V C-L(3)-O-M(D)-No(1239)
great diversity of types. Only a few of them Table Ill. Recorded censormarks used in the Baltic.

igure 25. 3-line censormark of Censor No. 2 at FPO No. 52 (37th Ay Corps) on
t. -"
"", ".I "1 C :a 1917

7. .. .^ ll..v-

F 5 -.iu 2 3.imr No. 2 7 A C on

Rossica Journal Number 126 49
April 1996 -
;"" '- ;- *- \"--
t*l "' .,-' '" .

Figure 25. 3-line censormark of Censor No. 2 at FPO No. 52 (37th Army Corps) on
the reverse of a soldier's letter-card.

Rossica Journal Number 126 49
April 1996

I' r

Corps) on a soldier's letter-card.

1. Jakirovs, N. "Russische Veldpostkantoren 4. Epstein, A. "Field Post Offices of the Russian
S, 74, 1993
SS A o t 5. A. n P l C

Parts 1-7, Moscow, 1922 (in Russian). the Baltic During WWI." Rossica No. 123,

3. Kersnovskii, A.A. History of the Russian 1994.
3 and 4, Moscow, 1994 (in Russian). Speeckaert, A. Russische Postzensur/Rus-

-tion, 199- 1 .
1. ak. "Rsss.h. V p k o 4 E A F O otheussia

SAril 1996 *
tion. 1991. D.

-------f **- "^^n

Figure 26. 3-line censor mark of D.M.D. Censor No. 1239, at FPO No. 126 (28th Army
Corps) on a soldier's letter-card.


1. Jakimovs, N. "Russische Veldpostkantoren 4. Epstein, A. "Field Post Offices of the Russian
in Letland Tijdans de Eerste Wereldoorlog." Army in WWI 1914-1918." BJRP No. 71,
Het Baltishche Gebied, No. 23, 1993. 1993 (addenda: No. 74, 1993).
2. Strategic Account of the War 1914-1918, 5. Epstein, A. "Russian Postal Censorship in
Parts 1-7, Moscow, 1922 (in Russian). the Baltic During WWI." Rossica No. 123,
3. Kersnovskii, A.A. History of the Russian 1994.
Army, v.3 and 4, Moscow, 1994 (in Russian). 6. Speeckaert, A. Russische Postzensur/Rus-
sian Postal Censorship 1914-1918. 2nd Edi-
tion, 1991.

50 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

The St. Petersburg Hospital Tax

by J. G. Moyes

According to Seton-Watson in his "The Rus- Category 4 footmen, coachmen, porters, nurses,
sian Empire 1801-1917" (Oxford University female cooks, and laundresses.
Press 1967), legislation came into force in 1886
which gave provincial Governors the power to Category 5 kitchen hands, postillions, appren-
introduce regulations for the health of employees tices and other learners, and ped-
at their place of work. He states many factory dlers.
owners at their own expense started health pro-
grams for their workers which included medical Category 6 bridgemen, navvies, bricklayers,
and hospital care plus hospital compensation. masons, fishermen, boatmen, car-
This was slow starting, and was by no means penters, pilots, day laborers, plaster-
countrywide. ers, ferrymen, cab drivers, and barge
The introduction of the hospital tax in St. pullers.
Petersburg appears to have been 1886 at the
latest. The use of stamps on documents indicate Category 6 appears to cover anyone on a
the tax was a form of insurance against hospital daily rather than weekly pay rate, with a casual
treatment for the lower-paid community. Was rather than guaranteed income. Also liable in
the 1886 legislation intended to supplement what category 6 for the hospital tax, but not for the
was already being done in major towns such as Residence Permit Fee, was any non-income
St. Petersburg for the poorer section of the com- earner over eighteen, listed on a family passport
munity? Only the lower echelons of society in St. issued in the name of the head of the family, and
Petersburg paid the tax, mostly daily-paid work- dependent on the head of the family. This gives
ers without possible coverage from regular em- the strange anomaly of the wife or children of
players. Or was the tax supplementary to the someone in category 1, the merchant class, hav-
1886 legislation with St. Petersburg starting its ing to be paid for under the hospital tax. Some
hospital tax collection in that year? Other towns examples of this are shown later.
in Russia issued hospital-tax adhesives. Among The first indication of the collection of hospi-
them were Nakhichevan, Rostov-on-Don, and tal tax is shown in fig. 1. This is a passport page
Kronshtadt, all of which are listed by Forbin. where the holder registered with the police at the
Vladivostok issued these adhesives, but is not first precinct of the Spasskii Quarter on 31/10/86.
listed in Forbin. The tax was one ruble per year, A 3-kop. police visa fee has been charged via an
except at Kronshtadt where it was one ruble for adhesive, which has been overstruck with a dated
six months. In St. Petersburg, as elsewhere, the boxed cachet 16/12/86, with a manuscript nota-
tax was paid by passport endorsement. It was tion underneath "until 16/12/87." Beneath this
allied to the Residence Permit Fees, for which are two strikes of an eight-sided cachet in red
there were five categories for fee payers and a reading "SPB 3k. for address and Ir. (silver) for
sixth category for non-fee payers. The hospital hospital tax for unskilled workers." Forbin gives
tax was paid only by people in categories four, 1886 as the date of issue of the first adhesive. This
five, and six. According to A. Suvorin's Russkii cachet and the December usage appear to deny
Kalendar 1906, published in St. Petersburg) in this.
that year, some examples of what professions fell
into the different categories are given below.

Rossica Journal Number 126 51
April 1996

CnacCHOO 4aCTU I yqacTKa
AOM1i N2 0
s3ann a
I 4' ./ .. .

'i *I, i
S -886

52 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996
April 1996

The Stamps-all typographed. These stamps exist in two types from differ-
ent plates. Although the design is identical, on
type 1 the letters are thinner than on type 2. Figure
O OA.Ii PYi A113 shows the basic stamp while fig.4 shows type 1
C H B. enlarged, and fig. 5 shows type 2 enlarged.

?Y K AY b 0

Figure 2. The 1-ruble stamp.

1. Red on white paper with background of very
small gray dots, giving the impression that the
paper is gray. Line perf. 13.5. The earliest date I
can record is 1889. Five loose examples with
manuscript dates and one on a passport are all
from 1889, with the earliest being January. By Figure 4. Type 1 enlarged.
comparison with the very common second issue,
this stamp is scarce, suggesting a short period of
use. I would hesitate to suggest that this stamp
was not issued until 1889, but would speculate
that it dates from no earlier than 1887.

Figure 3. Basic 1-ruble stamp. Figure 5. Type II enlarged.

2. Red on white paper with background of gray, Multiples of these stamps are not common due
wavy horizontal lines, partially tending to the to the nature of their use, but the few examples I
vertical, have, which are all on documents, seem to show that
type 1 with the thinner lettering has the stamps
a) line perf. 11.5 spaced 3 1/2 mm apart on the sheet horizontally,
b) line perf. 13.5 while type 2 has a spacing of 3 1/4 mm.

Rossica Journal Number 126 53
April 1996

Ranges of usage for the types from documents in These stamps were used on passports with
my collection are: passport extensions alongside Police visas (if
required) and the Residence Permit adhesives (if
Type 1. Perf. 11.5 7/1/91 to 11/6/92 the holder was in categories 1-5). It was men-
-four items tioned earlier that if a dependent of the passport
Type 1. Perf. 13.5 13/2/91 to 12/9/01 holder was included on the passport, then the
-three items hospital tax was payable for that dependent.
Type 2. Perf. 11.5 17/6/91 to 30/5/97 Figure 7 shows a passport issued to a German and
-four items his wife and children at the second section of the
Type 2. Perf. 13.5 31/3/89 to 17/11/14 Vyborg Quarter. He was registered in category 1
-28 items and did not have to pay the hospital tax for
himself, but it was payable for his wife, being
The 39 documents listed above show eight deemed a non-income earning dependent.
perf. 11.5 to 31 perf. 13.5. Numerous loose Figure 8 shows a similar situation with a man
stamps show a similar proportion of one perf. and his wife on the same passport and registered
11.5 to four perf. 13.5, and equally a similar in category 2, with the hospital tax having to be
proportion for the two types. The difference in paid for his wife.
the two types is not noticeable unless examples of When the passport holder was in categories
each are examined together. Type 1 generally has 4-6 and his wife was included on his passport, the
a' duller appearance and a darker gray back- hospital tax had to be paid for them both. Figure
ground. The two types were in use concurrently. 9 shows an example of a man in category 4 with
The odd use in 12/9/01 is outside the dates of the a pair of hospital tax adhesives to cover the
other six for type B and could be just a late use liability for them both.
from old stocks. This would give a limited time When the passports were for more than one
span for type 1 and a more likely explanation for year, the frankings become more spectacular.
its disappearance. Type 2 has a better look to it Figure 10 shows a three-year passport for a man
and takes up the color far more attractively. The and his wife. The man was in category 6 and
darker background on type 1 and the duller red therefore not liable for the Residence Permit, but
ink indicate a specific printing in different inks to had to pay the hospital tax for both himself and
type 2. Also noticeable is that the "bite" in the his wife. Three pairs of adhesives have been
paper from the typography is sharp on type 2 and added to the passport.
much less obvious on type 1. Figure 11 shows another three-year passport
for aman, his wife, and his children, one of whom
3. Red on white paper with background of gray, was twenty years old; her age conspicuously
wavy lines. Line perf. 13.5. As number 2, but marked inside. Anyone over eighteen was liable.
inscribed Petrograd (see fig.6). Issued late 1914 This poor chap was in category 6 and did not have
or more likely 1915. to pay the Residence Permit, but did have to pay
the hospital tax for all three of them and for each
of the three years.
Stamps inscribed Petrograd are not easy to
find in comparison with the others. Figure 12
shows an example used on a passport in 1915.
Figure 6. The 1-ruble stamp
inscribed Petrograd.

54 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

:, :1 !
/ / I ,..

*- rp'


April 1996
April 1996

41/ r
S... t f, f_ "p ."

I It

S. ..

: y /

-- -^.^ - :

Figure 8. Passport showing a man in category 2 and paying the hospital tax for his wife only.

56 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

1( f/ /,.

9 A 1.490
IO.i P* -C W .
,,.i~ M I I Off. -^___

3h -2

Figure 9. Passportfor a man in category 4 paying the hospital tax for himself and his wife.

Rossica Journal Number 126 57
April 1996

hospital tax for himself and his wife.
58 Rossica Journal Number 126
/ Ap Aflp. 1ril 199689

Figure 10. Passportfor a man in category 6 He was not liablefor the Residence Permit, but had to pay the
hospital taxfor himself and his wife.

58 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

vLova' U tw L. *^

VHSOOaV ll 'J HLOVh i 8.-

\ "i ,--, ,i ..^..


S- -- - f .- ""
4 "..r....

Figure 11. A three-year passport for a man, his wife, and his children, one of whom was twenty years old.

Rossica Journal Number 126 59
April 1996

"Y 7flpuCmneo ZopI1a


Figure 12. A 1915 passport with the Petrograd stamp.

This article is an expanded version of one that which exists to encourage the collection, study,
appeared in the Revenue Journal of Great Brit- and display of revenue stamps at all levels. The
ain, Volume 4 No.4, March 1994, in which the Hon. Secretary is Tony Hall, 53a High Street,
early cachet was first recorded. This is the Jour- Whitwell, Hitchin, Herts, SG4 8AJ.
nal of the Revenue Society of Great Britain,
60 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Railway Postal Stationery Cards

by Tony Speeckaert

The title may be somewhat deceptive. To the of the goods is 439 tsent. (1 tsentner = 100
best of my knowledge no such items were issued Russian funt (pounds) = 40.95 kilos) and may be
by any of the Russian railway companies. Some collected against payment of 168 rub. 68 kop. at
of these companies, however, used the 3-kop. the "Goods Office" of the Finland Railways. In
postcard issued 5 May 1872 for the City Post as the "Remarks" underneath it is specified that:
a "notice of receipt" by overprinting the reverse.
Two different types, the only ones I have seen so 1) items must be examined by Customs on work-
far, are illustrated in this article. ing days between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The postcard illustrated in fig. 1 is from the 2) items not collected within 36 hours from the
Finland Terminal in St. Peterburg. On the front date of the notice will be subject to payment for
(fig. 1 a) are two postmarks: in black from the St. storage according to the tariff.
Petersburg 7th Postal Branch Office, 1876; in red
from the St. Petersburg Town Post, 21 May 1876. The last line reads "For the notice: 5 kop."
Additional overprints occur on the front: "G" for
Gospodin (Mister or Sir), dom (house), and "kvart. I was convinced this practice of overprinting
N" (apartment number), was used only at the St. Petersburg Finland
On the reverse (fig. lb), the printed text, Station, so it came as quite a surprise when,
completed by pen, informs the addressee that several years later, the card illustrated in fig. 2
goods have arrived from Tavastehus. The weight appeared.

Sghr''. qJ p. . ..
---- ------------- ----- ---- ---"5-


iosc Jdo31a 6 74
I A'.., ... .
S-" i o. /. .A F .'- /-x '

&iW I .Iu, ,i I,, ,,- i., I 1.-1.
74.. .'K

Figure la. Front of postcard used at the St. Petersburg Finland Station.

Rossica Journal Number 126 61
April 1996

./CTaikia C.-IfeTep6yprs,
S.(Deu.a. a re. op.
Bame oMio npnfi6ao na CTangil nols o /& ..
.-'& CY^ CeT8HIaIfii
SBt>OM' 4 R7/ierTon. yHT.
O. opoe e BDI -o 11o0 qaITb:a sa yna8TOlo/Z y2i xoEir.
"OC.-ehTep6ypri, -. -- 187f r.
ROHRT ToBapH. Cranl.g. j in.- eXt3 -- orw--

lIpJ.vuha~ 1) TBo, LeaicKrp'rlopap& ipo'aBoARantCi no 6lAxr ,
c.b 10 racoRa ITpa soI3 sac0Bss Z n.
2) *ToBeapu a Balme o cra -' Te91 bcsnrano r
cero yBtagot.xenia, nonsepraTore lo t aTtar a r'E ora.acuO Tapsea.

i *wXToqronoe Yuprrlsnnoie aM co ep2Hamie nIHcr*ma ne olTBIr'. ---

Figure lb. Front of postcard used at the St. Petersburg Finland Station.

_. -_ '2T o n 1 W c 'a .
S '.a. ,,oH xorn. i" .// Ii ,.
M3B'E14EHIE EWs -, ./ :
Sfadh inBauw i ,,naHiiu 6.ill XL. ii rns

OBhCOAf) 3 cee vr-f -pu6tw.,a co mnangiu.
I .. .... ...Cet3......... dopou -C
S omsdom (,:.....,... t..... ... 0 er oGaerjn Bai ,
wmopwo Itpoly 6afo C I saU0 n ofVe ISA oIov-c ,npedcmoan-
..en.s.a K.sua ..iu ].{ 187. woda.
HaqanbhHHH- CTaHiH// ,
flpHUtqiade: X.4ad0b re ali.i aro natr o ma 'er o i,.'e n epo ", xispiaepa -
ex taUamin 3a xpauiten i e I .vui s f l.to, rpeduhetam iaJiy 'uckau ., c.'po oi ItpiIt, |
ttuue paneuie Koux eonpnrceio.ca nacuaoeanm, poaqaomc, a onoMaitr ipa-
o use o neoocmperuannut eeuarx. / "
L--- IfoqToUoe Ynpannenie as coAepnanie nrci.mra ne oTLn'nezt ..

Figure 2. Reverse of postcard used at the Kiev Station, Kiev-Brest Railway.

Although the words are different, the essence imprinted stamp, is from the Kursk-Kiev Zh.D.,
is the same-a notice of receipt of goods. This 29 July 1876 (Robinson type 532.2X). The sec-
postcard, however, is from the "Obshchestvo ond is from the Kiev post office, 30 July 1876.
Kievo-Brestskoi / Zhelyeznoi Dorogi / Stantsii It would be interesting to find out if this
Kiev" (Kiev-Brest Railway Company, Kiev Sta- practice of using postal stationery forms has also
tion). On the front, without any overprints, are been used by other railway companies.
two black postmarks. The first, canceling the
62 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Express Mail From Ukraine

by Ingert Kuzych

--" i -- ,i --z. .-

S =_ ,M,. .' UKRAINE 0 YKPAiHA EE "" ,4

TeLePHONE 64,'. -Y oC C P / TiLoPHONE

/. :.N//. '-r oJ lMt9-3r. ....
. . . . . .. .. . .. ........ .. .^ ....... ......
................................ .. .. .. 'A ........ ......
DATE *.c.i s;nn:r SPCoAUfE DOUtAN MuImIJms CI
pAATr fAA rtt ouyi.ir ebovmn
S. . . . . .. .. . .. .

row x f i ':![ ..... (, :rr o-*
/. \-. I I nlo To.ro r<> 11HA I'HANILL o fS r MARCAMsI SANM VALUR COMaFEU

In response to Paul Burega's request in Rossica No. 125, the illustration above is a recent express
mail service (EMS) mailing label from Ukraine. The just over two-pound parcel carrying this label
was sent on Wednesday, 1 October 1995, from Lviv (L'vov) and arrived in good shape the following
Saturday (3 days later) in Virginia. The price paid for this service was almost 4.2 million karbovantsiv
or about US $25. The label colors are blue and orange.

[Ingert Kuzych is Editor of the Ukrainian Society's journal.-Ed.]

Rossica Journal Number 126 63
April 1996

Miropol'e Bisects

by Terry Page

In his article Collateral Zemstvo (Rossica tions. Let us attempt to make a case by examining
No. 125, pg. 62), George Werbizky illustrates a the evidence for the defense:
1918 postcard from the Zemstvo School of Shoe
SRepair at Miropol'e in the Sudzha District of 1) KurskProvincewasunderbolshevikcon-
SKursk Province (see fig. 2). The card bears the trol in September 1918, and the district
i rubber stamp of the school and is franked with a zemstvos would have been dissolved. Of
bisected 10-kop. imperial adhesive. Mr. course, the shoe repair school would prob-
Werbizky, in describing this curiosity, comments ably have continued to operate, possibly
upon the questionable nature of the bisect, under the auspices of the local soviet. It is
The illustration in fig. 1 is of a similar card highly likely that the old address cachet
From the same correspondence franked (believe would continue to be used during this
it or not) with the other half of the same stamp! confused period.
Both cards appear to be written in the same hand 2) If the stamp was bisected and stuck on by
and sent on the same day, 10 September 1918, the post office at Miropol'e, this would be
from Miropol'e to the nearby the town of Belaya most irregular. However, if there was a
Sudzhanskaya in the province of Kursk. Prob- shortage of 5-kop. stamps, the local post-
i ably, we will never know for sure whether these master (presumably one of the comrades!)
items represent genuine, albeit irregular usage, may have considered this to be a simple
Sor whether they are simply philatelic concoc- solution to the problem. After all, postal


iro't A .: H.^ C i 0'A F 11

.. 1. ..

,v' r" -* -_ __ ,

Figure 1. The left half of the bisect.

64 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

regulations existing at that time were is relevant; responding to an inquiry about
issued by the discredited bourgeois state. iron for sale. George Werbizky tells me
3) If the stamp had been bisected by the that on his card the sender is writing to his
sender for the same reason, it is quite parents and the flavor is one of semi-
feasible that the post office would have literacy. These facts are interesting be-
let it through, either because of the semi- cause they point away from philatelic
official institutional nature of the origi- involvement. Indeed, if the genuineness
nator, or simply because they could not of these items is to be disputed, then we
care less. find ourselves in the realm of convoluted
4) The card appears to be completely com- deceptive faking rather than innocent
mercial. It is addressed to an iron philatelic activity.
merchant's warehouse and the message

r." i *,r^ '} 'P- i !. *
T -


A'ril 1996
.- H Aro E T ... ....................... ......... .... ........................... ..................... .. ...
-- 7-L ................................. .. ......... ---- .......................................

.......... ..... ..

... .. ... -- -----

a*.^,"an ,ou cmoponrh nuuwa

Figure 2. Postcard illustrated by George G. Werbizky in "Rossica" No. 125.

Rossica Journal Number 126 65
April 1996

Armenian Essays

by George G. Werbizky

Independent Armenia issued its first stamps These essays were printed on white paper with-
in 1919. Russian arms-type stamps were over- out gum and come in two designs. The first
printed with the Armenian letter "H" (the initial design clearly represents Armenian chain break-
of Hayasdan-Armenia). In 1920, a setofattrac- ers (see the 1918 issue of the R.S.F.S.R., Scott
tive stamps with Armenian themes (shown, but Nos. 149-1950, which has a similar theme). The
not individually listed in Scott catalog) were colors of the four essays are light brown, light
prepared, but not issued. The onslaught of the carmine, violet, and green. The denomination
Bolshevik hordes cut short the existence of the was not printed on the essays. To comply with
young National Republic. The overprinted stamps UPU regulations, the name of the country is
were replaced by newly-issued stamps of the printed with Latin letters, in addition to Arme-
Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1923, nian script.
even this vestige of independence was replaced The second set of essays consists of 3 stamps
by a postal decree stating only stamps of the showing sheep and herdsman with Mt. Ararat in
Soviet Union were to be used throughout the the background. The colors of these essays are
land. violet, green, and light brown. The denomination
While examining the files of the late S. was not printed. Again, to comply with UPU
Serebrakian, aRossicamemberand a well-known regulations, the name of the country is printed
dealer, several very well-designed essays were with Latin letters, in addition to Armenian script.
discovered. I do not claim to be an expert on All essays are shown full size. Comments
Armenian stamps, but I have never seen these from readers are welcome.
designs in European or US auction catalogs.

Armenian Chain Breakers essays.

um XILrue 011

Mt. Ararat essays.

66 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

A Rapid Delivery Cover

by Peter A. Michalove

Speshnaya pochta, which is often translated reimbursed to the sender. The post office, then,
as rapid delivery or express mail, was introduced had an interest in documenting the prompt deliv-
in the Soviet Union in September or October ery of this mail, and we can see that on the reverse
1922. According to Karlinsky (1967-68), rapid .of this cover. Here a form has been attached
delivery mail was to be marked speshnoe (hur- listing possible reasons why the letter might not
ried or urgent); it was entitled to go on the first be delivered, for example the addressee does not
train or airplane available on the route, and was live there, was not home, refused receipt, or had
to be delivered quickly to the addressee. Rapid died. In this case, the postman has written across
delivery mail was paid at the registered letter rate the form, "Kvartira zaperta" (The apartment was
plus a supplemental fee for the special service, locked), with the date, 20 August 1927 and his
Taylor (1982) and Knighton (1987) illustrate initials. The label covers a Moscow receiving
a number of rapid delivery covers from 1923-24 mark of the same date.
with labels indicating speshnaya pochta, as
Karlinsky indicated, and Knighton shows one References:
cover from 1926 as well.
The cover illustrated here, sent from Gagri in Fedotowsky, A. 1978. "Soviet Postal Rates."
the Abkhazian ASSR in Georgia, is a little later, Rossica 93: 11-19.
from 18 August 1927, and is addressed to Mos- Karlinsky, Vladlen A. 1967-68. "Soviet Postal
cow. It pays the domestic registered letter rate of Rates." Translated from Filateliya SSSR no.
18 kopeks plus the rapid delivery charge of 50 4, October 1966 and following issues in Ros-
kopeks, a total of 68 kopeks. At the bottom right sica 73: 62-74; 74: 35-50; 75: 56-68.
is a manuscript notation, speshnoe, indicating the Knighton, R. P. 1987. "Russia: Special Post
rapid delivery service, but no adhesive label. 1922-1926." British Journal of Russian Phi-
Although the original conditions of rapid lately 64: 46-48.
delivery mail, as spelled out by Karlinsky, called Taylor, Robert. 1982. "The Early SovietExpress
for such mail to be forwarded by the first avail- Mail System." The Post-Rider 11: 64-67.
able train or airplane, the situation changed on 21
December 1926. As of that date, the rapid deliv-
ery mail supplement was lowered to popularize
this class of mail, but for dispatch by air, the
airmail rate was now charged in addition to the
rapid delivery charge. Since this letter did not
pay the additional airmail fee, it presumably did
not go by air. It is backstamped in Moscow on 20
August, just two days after being mailed, which
is not bad for surface delivery. According to
Karlinsky, an air route linking Moscow with
Kharkov, Rostov-on-Don, Novorossiisk, Batum,
and Tbilisi had been available since 1923.
Karlinsky states that, if any delay along the
route of an urgent letter was due to the fault of the
postal service, the speshnaya pochta fee was

Rossica Journal Number 126 67
April 1996

., \ t, ,:,

"", 'L t. .,.. W \,, a,,

i-* y f" y4CTOK

He ,j 1 h2 l 1 ,' r .
S. ,_. "c. .oJT e Mti ; *

e ra;,lae pAp ril 1996
/ fli.

Reverse of cover with attachment indicating why delivery could not be made.

68 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

A Tale of Two Mysteries

by Jim Goodwin

The postcard illustrated below was sent from tended Lafayette College. From this point, I
Vitim, Irkutsk Province in 1915, mailed by H. cannot trace Mr. Payne, but it seems he is the
Payne to Mrs. Payne of Southold, Long Island, same person. This information was furnished by
New York. On the reverse, Payne discusses his Antonia Booth, town historian of Southold.
health, and states he is going to Bodaibo. There are two mysteries that I have noticed.
Bodaibo is at the mouth of the Bodaibo river, I have seen more "Bodaibo" postmarks on the 3
which flows to the Vitim. Vitim is at the con- 1/2-and 7-ruble stamps of the 1902-1905 Arms
fluence of the Vitim and the Lena rivers. Bodaibo issue than any other city. The other mystery is
is, and was, a river port, a tanning, distilling, and what was this American doing in such a remote
lumbering center, but above all, a gold mining location of Siberia? The first mystery seems easy
center. In 1916, narrow-gauge railroads were to solve. The large number of high-value stamps
built to the mines on the Bodaibo river. Commu- must have something to do with the gold mines.
nication to the area was difficult. In summer, The presence of H. Payne in wartime in such a
steamships carried all forms of cargo. In winter, remote location is not so easily explainable. He
horse-drawn sleds were used. There was virtu- was obviously not a tourist, being too far off the
ally no communication during the spring thaw beaten track, or a military man. He probably was
(15 April to 15 May) nor the winter freeze (15 an engineer working in the area. Possibly he
September to 15 November). Bodaibo was the might have been a manager, or even a miner, or
site of the infamous "Lenskii Passtrel" (Lena perhaps an adventurer.
Shooting) of April 1912, during which Czarist Anyone with information, corrections, or
police killed 270 strikers and wounded 250. additional knowledge on this topic, please re-
I believe the sender to be Henry Payne, an spond. I would appreciate any further knowledge
independent young man in Southold, who even- on these subjects.
tually married his high school teacher and at-


.... ..... L- /

.. ......... ...
~d j

..................... ..... .. ,,. ....

Cover sent by H. Payne from Siberia in 1915.
Rossica Journal Number 126 69
April 1996

Air Transport of Mail between China and Western Europe
Via the U.S.S.R.-The Eurasia and Hamiata Air Routes

by G. Adolph Ackerman

Air links between Western Europe and the and other Far Eastern countries.2 This routing
Orient circumvented the Soviet Union during the was modified in the spring of 1929 when the
pre-WW II era. Air routes from Western Europe internal air route between Moscow and Irkutsk in
passed southward, across the Middle East, India, Central Siberia became operational, 4 (fig. 1).
and into China or other nations of the Far East.56 Extensions from Irkutsk eastward continued via
This indirect routing across a huge segment of the the rail system. Air letters to and from Japan
world was necessitated by the severe control the connected at Darien, Manchurias, a southeastern
Soviet Government exercised over its skies and rail terminus for a branch of the Chinese Eastern
the restriction of non-Soviet flights across its Railroad (fig. 2). Mail originating in Japan for air
borders. Extended and troubled negotiations be- transport to Russia and Western Europe after the
tween Germany, Russia, and its bordering na- Japanese occupation of Manchuria and China
tions continued throughout much of this period, was carried on the Chinese Eastern Railroad to
Prior to 1929, airmail letters were sent to the the Chita railhead, and then (after 1932-3) flown
Moscow air hub and dispatched to the Orient and from Chita to Irkutsk and further westward. Fig-
Far East via the Trans-Siberian railroad to Chita ures 3-8 illustrate airmail correspondence trans-
and on to Vladivostok, or to the Chinese Eastern ported to and from China during this period and
Railroad terminus in Chita for transport to China following the Japanese occupation of Manchuria.

\ Tashken ma fi Ulan Bator:::i

Figure 1. Map showing the air routes across the U.S.S.R. to Berlin, Irkutsk, Tashkent, and Alma Ata in around 1939/
40. The Trans-Siberian railroad (dotted lines) is shown prior to the completion of the airline connecting Irkutsk,
Kharbarovsk, and Vladivostok (1933-34).

70 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

I rku t s k ^jtUe rkh ^_"-'"
^ SL neudinsk.0 -o

Sanchouli v
Alma Ata i jol.-
RLnh Na^ :i::iUlan Batorn: -g Harbin
.. Linsi %
urumchi :::::::
Hami" Changchun
S .- ladiustok
Peiping ; C : :i::

Tsinan "
LanchoW '

Nanking *q

Figure 2. Map showing the Eurasian air route (1931)-Shanghai-Manchouli (1931), the Chinese Eastern and Trans-
Siberian Railroads, the Verkhneudinsk-Ulan Bator air route (1926), and the Alma Ata-Hami air route (1940/41).

.... r.... Cugpoin arte

u..rch FLUPOST

. . . ...
.... .. .... ..e_ .-

Drucksache C.H ./Iv ,

Figure 3. Airpost postcardfrom Berlin, 24 June 1924, via Kanigsberg to Moscow and forwarded by rail to Peking,
China, no arrival marking. Card endorsed "Durch Flugpost/KOnigsberg-Moscow. "Note 2-line Russian handstamp
"Received by Air Post" which was applied in Moscow to incoming foreign airmail.

Rossica Journal Number 126 71
April 1996

{-.-T--------- -, \^
Nl -^/^^A' At-n ~y-ra4/
/ rrr./ r^-.. ..f"

... -. ,-./ -.,_- -.. .

""f /Z t-" ,"--- -
e. %7-'^c7 t. .I

Figure 4. Registered airmail cover from Moscow, 1 October 1927, to Shanghai, China, arriving 14 October 1927 (on
reverse). Cover inscribed (right center) "BO3JIYIILHA IiOLITA" (Airmail) and bears a bilingual airmail label. Franked
on the reverse with 45k airmail postage, which overpaid by 1k the international airmail letter rate in effect at the time.
The air route from Moscow is uncertain. Perhaps flown Moscow/Kazan'/Sverdlovsk and transferred to the Trans-
Siberian railroad across Siberia and China. The Moscow-Irkutsk route opened for regular commercial mail in May
1929, although the inaugural flight from Moscow was made 19 September 1928. However, the airmail endorsement
and postal rate on this cover suggest that it was flown eastward on the first leg of its journey, probably as far as


S) /'

', ',- 6." .-N, Ll "!

Figure 5. Airmail cover flown from Zurich, Switzerland, 16 July 1930, via Berlin (boxed Berlin air transport
handstamp) and Moscow, where the Russian bilingual airmail label was applied. Cover was forwarded by air across
Siberia to Irkutsk, and by rail to Tsingtao, China, no arrival postmark. Letter sent to Lt. Rice, U.S.S. Canopus at the
U.S. Naval Station at Tsingtao.
72 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996


'v1A .4j,- "g

cI I

Figure 6. "Round the World" airmail cover from London, 30 June 1931, to New York by ship, New York, 9 July
1931, to San Francisco by air, San Francisco to Yokohama, Japan by ship. From Yokohama, 15 August 1931, by
air to Darien, Manchuria, and to Changchun, 18 August 1931, Manchouli and Chita, U.S.S.R., and Irkutsk by the
Chinese Eastern and the Russian Trans-Siberian rail. From Irkutsk by air to Moscow, Berlin 18 August 1931 (on
reverse) andflown to London, no final arrival postmark. Cover has mixed British/U.S. and Japanese franking, U.S.
and Japanese air labels and a "Via Siberia" handstamp.

P. o. Box No. 2 __. 2 t

Via Snieria

Figure 7. A 10 July (9)1935 commercial airmail cover from Hammatsu, Japan to Leipzig, Germany, (no arrival date)
IRKUTSK BERLIN" with "Via Siberia" handstamp.
13 SN

Rossica Journal Number 126 73
ril 199610,
i^~ Leipzig. i1

Figure 7. A 10 July (9) 1935 commercial airmail coverfrom Hammatsu, Japan to Leipzig, Germany, (no arrival date)
via Hsinkiang (Changchun), 12 July 1935 (on reverse), Irkutsk, Moscow, and Berlin. Endorsed "PAR AVION/
IRKUTSK BERLIN" with "Via Siberia" handstamp.
Rossica Journal Number 126 73
April 1996


Messrs. Lundberg & Allert A/B,

Wallgatan 15.

$ Sweden.

Figure 8. Commercial airmail cover from Japan, 13 June 1938, to Goteborg, Sweden. This cover has a bilingual
airmail label and is endorsed '"VIA SIBERIA. The unusual lower endorsement (in French) is the company handstamp
indicating the letter is to beflownfrom Chita and beyond. Additionally, a 'VIA MOSCOU' mark is below.

The Shanghai-Manchouli Route assigned Junkers W-33 airplanes) were sched-
-The Eurasia (Chinese-German) uled twice a week from each terminus, and then
reduced to once a week after 22 July.8 As noted,
Airline-Summer 1931
the Soviets refused to allow foreign flights over
their territory. Therefore, mail was dispatched to
In February 1931, the Germans (Lufthansa) and from Manchouli on the Chinese Eastern
and Chinese joined to form the Eurasia Aviation Railroad to Chita and transferred to the Soviet
Corporation. The purpose was to operate an Trans-Siberian railroad on to Irkutsk, where it
international air line from Shanghai to Europe was flown to Moscow and thence westward to
via the U.S.S.R. and speed mail across the vast Berlin.8 Frequently, mail originating from Eu-
territory between China and Germany.8.9 This air rope arrived too late to catch the Eurasia airplane
route (fig. 2) extended from Shanghai to at Manchouli. The mail was forwarded by train
Manchouli (near the intersection of the Manchu- for faster service. The Peiping/Manchouli sec-
rian/Mongolian/Soviet borders) via Nanking, tion of the air route was canceled on 2 July
Tsinan, Peiping, and Linsi, a distance of approxi- 1931.8 9 The invasion of Manchuria (19 Septem-
mately 1500 miles with a transit time of about ber 1931) by the Japanese finally ended the
one and a half days. The Shanghai-Manchouli Eurasia air route between Shanghai and
route was operational between 31 May 1931 and Manchouli. Postal rates in effect for the regular
October 19318 and was directed from Berlin commercial flights are listed in detail according
between 16 June and 14 July 1931.9 Trial flights to weight, origins, and destinations.8,9 Examples
on the Shanghai-Manchouli route were made on of mail transported along the Shanghai-
19 April, 26 April, 5 May, and 11 May 1931; they Manchouli route are illustrated in figs. 9-11.
reportedly carried mail.9 Initially, flights (two

74 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Par Avion au
Sdela do Berlin.

i. I' f0 Oetlingerstrasse 160 L A J E u i sse

Figure 9. Special registered airmail cover prepared for the first flight from Shanghai to Berlin on the Eurasia airline.
Engraved in Chinese/German/English "In Commemoration of the First Flight Asia-Europe Air-Mail Service." This
cover was sent by the Swiss Consulate General in Shanghai to Basel, Switzerland. Postmarked Shanghai, 12 Jun 1931,
with Basel arrival on 25 June 1931 (on reverse) and Berlin air transit postmark, 24 June 1931. Note the typed
endorsement at top; the actual sequence was: Shanghai to Manchouli by air, Manchouli to Irkutsk by rail, and thence
by air to Moscow, Berlin, and Basel.

Figure 10. Firstflight coverfromBerlin viathe U.S.S.R. to Manchouli, andflown to Nanking on the Eurasia line. Berlin,
16 June 1931, Manchouli- 25 June 1931 (on reverse), Nanking, 29 June 1931 (on reverse), and surface mail to
Wuchang, China 4/5 July 1931 (on reverse). Inscribed "First airmail, Berlin to Nanking" + (in French) "By air to
Moscow and to China.

Rossica Journal Number 126 75
April 1996
April 1996

By aroplane

mr3 ATrT(e Irk-uta to :E&.i ,

.., t ... V
HeSI .,PB, "" "

Caerine S. A.


No. 2 B e dea Proaenade ;

SWitzerr and

76 Rossica Journal Number 126


76.. Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Air transit between Moscow and Irkutsk took route joined the remote south-central section of
approximately 36 hours, covered a distance of the U.S.S.R. at Alma Ata with northwestern
approximately 2,900 miles with three flights per China at Hami (fig. 12). Soviet internal air trans-
week, and took three days less than rail transit.8 port connected Alma Ata with Moscow; west-
Same-day air service between Moscow and Ber- ward air dispatch continued to Germany and
lin by the Soviet-German airline Deruluft com- Western Europe (figs. 1, 12).
pleted the theoretical Eurasia route between China The new commercial air route linked Alma
and Germany (figs. 1-2). Ata (Kazakstan S.S.R., near the Chinese border
Further negotiations attempting to link China in south-central Siberia) to Hami in northwest-
and Western Europe by air via the Soviet Union ern China, distance of approximately 850 miles.
were unsuccessful because of Stalin's suspicions This air line was a joint venture between the
of Hitler's ultimate intentions, Soviet paranoia Chinese and Soviet governments. Officially es-
about the West, and protectiveness of Soviet tablished in December 1939 in Tihwa(Urumchi),
territorial borders. Until the establishment of the China, the Hamiata Company coordinated the
Hamiata Sino-Soviet air link in late 1939, no air operations of the Hami-Alma Ata air line.8 The
connections existed between China and the So- Chinese Hami-Chungking line joined Hami to
viet Union. On 3 August 1926 a direct air route southeastern China with connections to other
opened, linking Verkhneudinsk (Central Sibe- Asian countries.8
ria), U.S.S.R. with Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Soviet Only Sovietpilots were permitted to fly across
pilots flew this route. There were no other inter- Soviet borders and over Soviet territory. There-
national air connections to or from Mongolia in fore, the Alma Ata-Hami flights across the Sino-
the pre-WW II era. Mail between China and the Soviet border were made exclusively by Soviet
Far East was transported through Mongolia by pilots in Soviet-owned planes. The first official
conventional (non-rail) postal means with con- Alma Ata-Hami flight occurred on 6 December
nections to the Trans-Siberian or Chinese East- 1939 and carried mail (posted between 29 No-
ern rail systems. vember and 5 December), passengers, and freight.8
Flights were scheduled to leave Alma Ata weekly
The Alma Ata-Hami Route and the (i.e., in the early morning hours of the 6th, 13th,
20th, and 28th of each month) arriving at Hami in
Hamiata (Sino-Soviet) Airline--
the early evening hours (6:30 PM local time) on
December 1939 to 3 July 1941 the same day. An intermediate stop was made at
Urumchi, China.8, 10 The Soviet plane would
As war broke out in Europe and China contin- return to Alma Ata the following morning. Mail
ued its struggle against the invading Japanese, a to be carried on Alma Ata-Hami flights was to be
short-lived commercial air link between China properly marked "via Alma Ata." 8,11 According
and Western Europe (Germany) via the Soviet to Strong10, diplomatic and war supplies were
Union was established in late 1939. The intention transported on the Alma Ata-Hami route as early
of the Alma Ata-Hami air route was to provide a as 1937, prior to the official commercial opening
more rapid and direct link between Germany and of the Hamiata Air Line.
China than was possible after the invasion of Immediately after the inaugural Alma Ata-
Poland (September 1939) and the beginning of Hami flight (6 December 1939), postal service
the military conflict in Western Europe. Since was suspended for over three months while air-
the U.S.S.R. and Germany were bound by their mail contract agreements between the Soviet
non-aggression pact (1939), rapid communica- Postal Administration and the Hamiata Com-
tion links to the Far East seemed feasible across pany were concluded.8 11 Dispatching of mail on
the U.S.S.R. Negotiations resulted in the forma- this line began on 8 April 1940 and continued
tion of the Sino-Soviet (Hamiata) airline.811 This until 3 July 1941,8 two weeks after the German

Rossica Journal Number 126 77
April 1996

invasion of the Soviet Union (22 June 1941). 8:50 AM and arrived in Alma Ata at 1:00 PM the
Thus, air service over this Sino-Soviet route next day. Air connections between these cities
between Alma Ata and Hami was rather short- were operational by 1930. Commercial mail was
lived and surviving mail is extremely scarce. In carried along the Tashkent-Moscow line through-
China, the airline from Hami connected to out the pre-WWII period.4 Air connections also
Chungking via Lanchow. existed between Alma Ata and Tashkent as early
According to Sieh and Blackburn,8 the first as the mid- to late 1920s.1,4 An air route linking
shipment of airmail by the Hami post office to Alma Ata with Moscow was operational by 1940,
Moscow and Western Europe was on 8 April passing northwestward from Alma Ata through
1940. Mail to European countries was usually Karaganda, Magnitogorsk, and Kazan'.4 The rea-
delayed 2-3 months in the U.S.S.R.8 These au- son for these discrepancies in potential air transit
thors state the primary Soviet air connection routing reports has not been found, although
between Alma Ata and Moscow did not open Strong indicates that rail was the common means
until two months after the opening of the Alma of transporting individuals between Moscow and
Ata-Hami route (1 June 1940); prior to this date Alma Ata in 1940-41.10 In spite of the potential
mail was reported to be transported by rail be- rapid transport of mail between China and Ger-
tween Moscow and Alma Ata.8 They indicate the many through Russia, the few existing covers
air route was suspended between Alma Ata and and philatelic reports about mail carried on this
Moscow during early 1941, resumed on 1 June route indicate the mail was usually delayed sev-
1941, and finally discontinued on 3 July 1941. eral weeks in the U.S.S.R.8, 1 The reason for the
The primary Alma Ata-Moscow air route8 fol- postal delays has not been recorded. Such delays,
lowed the path from Alma Ata through Frunze, coupled with the German invasion of Russia,
Tashkent, Aktyubinsk, and Kuibyshev leaving resulted in cessation of the Sino-Soviet Alma
Alma Ata at 4:45 AM daily and arriving in Ata-Hami air link to China and the Far East.
Moscow the next day at 1:00 PM (a distance of Examples of mail carried on the Alma Ata-Hami
approximately 1650 miles). Mail left Moscow at route are shown in figs. 13-14. Other examples

AlIm a At a Urumchi. i
m U A- "ks, ^:^^l:::-^S::: N: Ha mi
S- DKzhambul '
.l "'"'"" ":'" "". ........ ....... ..... ::::::::::::::: .....: ..:::: .::::
---,- ,. ....... ........:.-:. ....:.:.....:.
izilKum Desert ash ..= = = == I. Ha- ': :: : : : :::::::::: ::::::::

Figure 12. Topographical map of the Hamiata Sino-Soviet air route-Alma Ata-Hami and reported air route from
Alma Ata toward Moscow via Tashkent, operational 1940/41.

78 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996
ii Ter e z!t;$.~::~::f :::1::1::1::f f akl Me.: .......... ::.::::.:. ::.:.:.:.:::.:.. ::...:.. .........:: ......:i:.

Y. i: n FG rtN I STa N jijiii ~~......... ...... .........
.............:....... ....
. . .: .. : : ::.. .. ,. ; ,. . ......: : .

Figure 12. Topographical map of the Hamiata Sin-Soviet air route--Alma Ata-Hami and reported air route from
Alma Ata toward Moscow via Tashkent, operational 1940/41.

78 Rossica Journal Number 126

are illustrated in Woollam'sll and Safonoff's7 correspondents who went by this air route, and who
articles, which are described later. were stalled in a Sinkiang blizzard for a month.
The following excerpt is from a description
Sr By 1940, however, a regular commercial air line was
of a flight taken by the journalist Anna Louise established. Strictly speaking, there are two lines.
Strong in December 1940 on the Alma Ata- Eurasia, a Chinese-German line, covers two days of
Chungking route.10 This may well be the only flight between Chungking and Hami, on the eastern
passenger description of the short-lived Alma edge of Sinkiang; since Germans are not permitted in
Ata-Hami air route and it presents some fascinat- this area, the pilots are Chinese. Between Hami and
Alma Ata, capital of the Soviet Socialist Republic of
ing observations of the times, as well as provid- Kazakstan, a one day flight is made by an American
ing some insight into the difficulties of air transit Douglas plane, owned by a joint Chinese and Soviet
in this remote region of the world. I quote only the corporation, and piloted by Russians. From AlmaAta
Alma Ata-Hami segment of her article, since this to Moscow the journey is normally made by rail.
was the portion of the route flown exclusively by
was the portion of the route flown exclusively by I was the first American to make this journey. I can
Russian pilots using Russian-owned planes, hardly forgive our State Department for taking up, in
its routine manner, when I reached America, that
"The ancient silk road across Asia by which the wares historic passport which bore the first Alma Ata exit
of the Han Dynasty once reached the Roman Em- visa with the date December 4, 1940, and the magic
pire-it was already fifteen centuries old for China words "Flew Off."
when Marco Polo discovered it for medieval Eu-
rope-is today the chief and safest route for travelers Bright, winter sun shone on the Tien Shan snow peaks
to the embattled land of the Soviets. This long, diffi- and melted the light front of the airfield as the plane
cult route across earth's greatest deserts fell into took off at nine o'clock. A scurry of red and white
disuse with the rise of Europe's sea power. It revives signal flags sank below us; we circled, rocking and
with the coming of air power as the battling nations bumping a little, and then eased to a smooth glide.
tear the seas to pieces in war. Under our plane lay the massive fields of the last
farming collectives; the soft loam of their deep, plowed
High diplomats and military conferences go to the soil showed black between the gray, barren hills. The
U.S.S.R. by secret plane from London. War freight edge of tillage was not square, but ran in a great curve,
takes the slow, roundabout sea lanes to Vladivostok made by the swing of big caterpillar tractors. Between
or Iran. But war correspondents and ordinary travel- the farms a wide road flanked by a telegraph line led
ers-if there are any ordinary travelers today-go to the frontier; it was the beginning of the famous
from America across the Pacific via Hong Kong and Alma Ata-Chungking route. Swiftly we reached the
Chungking by air. Much to the surprise, Chungking, bad lands, eroded hills and desert; we came by noon
in the fortress heart of China, finds itself on the to the snow covered plateau on which lies Urumchi,
highways of the world. It is the chief airplane junction capital of Sinkiang. This distant part of the world has
for American travelers both to India and the U.S.S.R. been seen by few Americans. Yet we might have been
raising from the airport at San Bernardino or Yakima
The air lines between Chungking and Moscow more and watching the cultivated fields change to arid
or less parallel the Northwest land route by which plateaus and to snow ranges. The illusion was strength-
Soviet supplies have been crossing the Sinkiang deserts ened by the fact that the Russians had not bothered to
for the Chinese battlefront; it was developed by the change the signs in the Douglas; 'No Smoking' and
past four years of Sino-Japanese war. At first, only 'Passenger chairs patent applied for' were still in
high government emissaries made the journey. Sir English.
Stafford Cripps' experience in 1939 was typical of the
hazards of the undeveloped route. On one of the Our twenty-onepassengerplane was only two-thirds
fields, he told me, his plane stuck in deep sand and full. Only four passengers were bound for Chungking:
broke a wheel. since there were no means of repair, he two Chinese, a Tass correspondent, and myself. The
took an automobile for the 'last part' of the journey, rest were Russians going to Urumchi in connection
which consumed a full month. In 1938, when I went with Soviet-Sinkiang trade.
from Moscow to Hankow, then the capital of China's
war resistance to Japan, I tried to get permission to An hour beyond Urumchi the snow gave place to a
travel by this route. Failing this, I had to go all the way landscape of carved sand and clay, utterly desolate
around by Italy, Suez, India and Hong Kong. How- without even grazing for sheep. From time to time we
ever, I reached Hankow sooner than did the Tass paralleled the Alma Ata-Chungking road and saw on
Rossica Journal Number 126 79
April 1996

Figure 13. A small, unregistered 23 January cover from Chungking (Shihping) to Marburg-Lahn, Germany, arriving
7Mar 1941 with no transit postmarks. Franked on the reverse with $5 Chinese postage, two stamps removed from cover.
Note manuscript routing "Germany/via/ Chongking-Hami/Hami-Alma-Ata/Alma-Ata-Moscow/Moscow-Berlin"
and marked "Airmail" (English and Chinese). Transit time of 43 days.

80 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

', '. -.

Figure 14. An unregistered 30 September 1940 cover from Kunming (Southwest China) to Chungking, carried on the
China-Burma airline with transfer to the Chungking-Hami airline and the Sino-Soviet airline -Hami-Alma Ata.
Transported to Moscow and on to Berlin-Zehlendorf Germany, no arrival postmark. There are no other transit
postmarks. Franked with $4.50 Chinese postage. Bilingual (Chinese-French) air label. German censor tape on
reverse. Inscribed "By Airmail via Alma Ata."

.,, ,+ :..? *.-r .. ..- + .
....... ..- .

Figure 15. A registered 14 October 1940 cover Kunming (Southwest China) to Moscow, arriving 15 November 1940.
Cover flown on the China-Burma airline with transfer to the Chungking-Hami line and then to the Sino-Soviet airline.
Transit time of 32 days. Franked with $7.05 Chinese postage. Cover sent to the German Lufthansa Office in Moscow.
A Moscow boxed handstampfor incoming foreign mail is on the reverse. Inscribed "via Hami-Alma Ata" at top left.

Rossica Journal Number 126 81
Transit time of 32 days. Franked with $7.05 Chinese postage. Cover sent to the German Lufthansa Office in Moscow.
.- ,., ,. ,
i~A ""' }:"
,' ,.:. .,' .- S ,
+ 5 : o- ."' + + '

posmars. ranedi /th~ + ....5 ,hns -otae ,'+nua :"-" Fezh -i 'ael 'ema ceso ""+e +..
.eer e ,nc i e -B "....,. ,:, ,., ..'.-', ..+." 4" '' '
`:'" "." ; T 1".-~tf "" ., ",'+ "tli.ji.~ ~ l? '.,, +','"+".+ -

. + ,. tp.. < "' ''+ +.r" . < .' . . : .
...!, ,,- . ... .. .
+4,g<,L a-j. ..... ,.,__..,.. .. .

IR 0 ';. .,. .+
-o 1 " +'; '' "
,~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~~~' . .. o ,..; ,. ,, ,-,

April 1996

it at intervals a comfortless camel camp consisting of before dawn on the following morning, we might still
a walled enclosure containing a few crude structures, reach Chungking by the scheduled following night.
Formore than an hour there was no sign of human life,
except one automobile and one fleet of camels. In the On Hami airfield the chief of the Russian line forbade
second hour we came to a few sparse trees, which me to take pictures, but as soon as the Douglas had
merged quickly in the checkerboard farm plots of left, and the Russian official withdrew, the Chinese
Hami Oasis, fed by tiny streams and by ponds half chief of the Eurasia line posed for me happily in front
choked in sand. We landed at Hami Airport at 3:30 by of the Junkers and bade me snap anything I liked on
Alma Ata time, after less than six hours of actual the field. He told me mournfully that the Eurasia line
flying, but we had been flying east and the local time in this region was losing money, 'since freight traffic
was 4:30 and the winter sun was about to set. goes only one way,' but the Chinese government
'keeps it up for political reasons..."
The high point of excitement for me in the journey
was my stop at the ancient Hami Inn, the same Inn Other interesting comments describe the remain-
where Marco Polo stopped in the Middle Ages when of S a j t
der of Strong's air journey through China, but
he traversed the Hami Oasis in his famous trip to the
East. Today's passengers will not see that Inn as I did; they are not pertinent to this article.
they will stop at the new hotel at the airport, on which, Covers carried on the Alma Ata-Hami con-
when I traveled, the paint was not yet dry. "We will nection are extremely uncommon. Woollam de-
use it next week," they told me. as they drove us some scribed and illustrated five of these covers sev-
ten miles to the walled city of Hami and the old Inn. eral years ago. The essential features of these
It has entertained all passers-by for centuries since
long before Marco's day. Some of its walls, of carven covers are detailed below:
stone are probably the original ones; other walls of
sun-baked clay have been renewed as the ages wore Cover 1: Ishan, China (date illegible) to Berlin,
them down. Part of the Inn has two stories, and it has Germany, arrival 13 May 1941. The cover is
many complicated courts. The courts were dark when rir, r ih h
registered, franked with $5 Chinese postage,
we arrived after sundown, but in each bedroom one
feeble electric lamp bulb hung unshaded; thus Marco bears German censor tape, has no transit
Polo's Inn may boast that it is now 'electrified.' postmarks, and is inscribed "via Chungking-
Hami-Alma Ata-Moscau."
I had little time to enjoy the 'cleaner' sheets; for the
two slave boys, who had been told to awaken us all at C 2 S S K (
Cover 2: Shan Sheng Kung (Chungking), 17
seven in the morning, came into my room at three-
thirty (Tome it was two-thirty Alma Ata time!). They June 1941 to Radotina, Bulgaria with Sofia
had no clocks, but it seemed, that breakfast was ready transit 19 July 1941. In transit for over 1
and I must get up. They brought me water and a month (33 days), this cover was still in the
burning brazier; when I sleepily ignored all these mails at the time of the German invasion of
attentions, mine host appeared and bowed until I was t Soi nion n
the Soviet Union (22 June 1941) and suspen-
thoroughly aroused. Breakfast repeated the supper; it
was doubtless kept for the purpose. By five o'clock, sion of the Alma Ata-Hami service (3 July
it was finished, and we all dozed fitfully until eight, 1941). The cover is registered, franked with
when the auto came to take us to the place. $2 Chinese postage, and inscribed "Airmail
to Alma Ata" (typed) plus a hand marking
We saw our own big Douglas take off for Alma Ata the marked route "only
after the marked route "only.
with the passengers who had arrived the previous
evening from Chungking. Our new plane was a small,
stubby Junkers than wouldn't start. Its Chinese pilot Cover 3: A 24 September 1940 registered cover
casually remarked that, unless he could find out what from China (city and date not legible) to
was wrong with the starter, we might have to stay in Rome, Italy bearing $3 in Chinese postage.
Hami a week. While we sheltered ourselves from the
The cover is inscribed "By Alma-Ata Mos-
harsh air of the desert in a crude buffet which served
the famous Hami melons, the pilot located and re- cow Berlin Air-Route."
paired the trouble by two o'clock. He told us that we
could no longer reach Lanchow, the usual night stop,
but that we would go as far as Seichow, at the western
tip of the Kansu panhandle, and that, by starting
82 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Cover 4: China (city?) dated 16 July 1940 to Bad References
Nauhein, Germany, arriving 22 August
1940-transit time 38 days. Registered cover 1) Ackerman, G.A. Via The Red Skies. The
franked with $3 Chinese postage and in- Development of the Soviet Airmail Service
scribed "Par Avion! Via Chungking-Hami- 1922-1945. APS Library, 1994.
Alma Ata" plus German censor tape. This
cover has a Russian handstamp 2) Chang K-N. China's Struggle for Railroad
"BO3A02YHAHI" (Airmail). Development. John Day Co., NY, 1943.

Cover 5: Hamburg, Germany, 7 June 1940 to 3) Chu, C-H. China's Postal Services Com-
Bangkok. Arriving 5 August 1940 (Ham- mercial Aviation. China United Press, Shang-
burg-Chungking transit time of 30 days)with hai, China (reprinted Michael Rogers, Inc.,
Chungking transit on 6 July 1940 and Hong 1990).
Kong transit on 25 July 1940. German frank-
ing of 35p on unregistered cover with both 4) Davies, R.E.G. Aeroflot: An Airline and Its
German and Hong Kong censor tapes. In- Aircraft. Paladwr Press, Rockville, MD,
scribed "Bis Moskau mit Flugpost" and was 1992.
presumed, though not so endorsed, to have
been flown on an Alma Ata-Hami flight. 5) Kennedy, C. Asiatic aviation. Aero Digest,
16:55, 227-8, 1930.
Safonoff' s cover7 may or may not have passed
along the Alma Ata-Hami line. The cover was 6) McConnell, B.M. New wings over Asia.
sent from Breslau, Germany on 11 September Asia, 37: 774-5, 1937.
1940 to Shanghai (then occupied by Japanese)
with postmarks of 3 and 6 October 1940. In 7) Safonoff,A.(notitle).PostRider, No. 15:71,
transit through Moscow, the cover received the 1984.
"BO3YIIYIHAI" (airmail) handstamp. A typed
endorsement "Mit Luftpost / von Berlin nach 8) Sieh, P., Blackburn, J.L. Postage Rates of
Moskau! / Via Siberien von Moskau nach Shang- China 1867-1980. Directorate General Posts,
hai!" plus a bilingual "Mit Luftpost/Par avion" Taipei, Taiwan, 1981.
label also appear on the front of the cover. How-
ever, there was no endorsement "Via Alma Ata- 9) Starr J., Mills, S.J. The Chinese Air-Post
Hami" on this cover, which was required for all 1920-1935. Published by Authors, 1937.
mail transported on this route. The absence of
this endorsement raises serious questions about 10) Strong, A.L. Airplane from the U.S.S.R.
any Alma Ata-Hami air routing and the cover Asia, 42:28-31, 1942.
may have been dispatched from Moscow across
Siberia and China by rail. 11) Woollam, J.V. The joint Russian-Chinese
Three additional covers flown on the Alma air service via Sinkiang 1939-1941. Post
Ata-Hami route are described and illustrated in Rider, No. 12:49-51, 1983.
figs. 13-15. The author wishes to acknowledge
these covers also were found by Mr. J. V.
Woollam. These additional covers bring the total
to eight, and possibly nine, reported covers flown
on the Alma Ata-Hami on the Sino-Soviet
Hamiata airline between 6 December 1939 and 3
July 1941.

Rossica Journal Number 126 83
April 1996

Life Of The Society

by David M. Skipton

If you missed CHICAGOPEX 95, you missed 2) Due to health considerations, our current
one heckuva show. As reported in the latest Librarian, Andy Medwid, is stepping down.
Rossica Bulletin (and an outstanding issue it The officers of Rossica have voted to name
was-kudos to George Shalimoff!), there were Howard Weinert as his interim replacement,
over 100 frames of Russian and related material so the Library moved to Baltimore in March.
on display, and a harvest of medals and awards We had hoped to get the Library moved in
that wouldn't quit. To the best of my knowledge, January, but the winter storms we've been
we've never had that many frames before at a enjoying prevented that from happening. Our
national-level show; not even in the Pan-Slavic thanks and appreciation to Andy for his out-
at CHICAGOPEX 93. The show was a tremen- standing service over the last couple of
dous boost across the board for the Society-new years-he put in an awful lot of work orga-
members added, a glorious exposition of what nizing, photocopying, mailing, and corre-
we collect, and a glimpse of something very big spending. Having been there and done that, I
coming down the road. (More about that later.) can tell you it ain't easy. The new Librarian's
The Midwest Chapter of Rossica deserves a address is:
prolonged round of applause for their help in
making the 1995 AGM work, and to the organiz- Howard Weinert
ers of CHICAGOPEX from the assembled ranks, 7104 Oxford Road
an ear-splitting URA! The Chicago Philatelic Baltimore, MD 21212
Society never fails to produce a gem, and this
time its members outdid themselves. 3) The British Society of Russian Philately and
My personal thanks to each of you who the Rossica Society have agreed to produce a
answered "A Wheedling Message from the Presi- joint issue in 1997. By the looks of the ground-
dent." The appeal brought in far more than was breaking articles already lined up, "the Joint"
expected, and now the wolf has been driven from will easily exceed 200 pages. We're looking
the Rossica doorstep. for original, well-researched articles, and the
hope is we'll be able to produce a Russian-
And now for the late-breaking news. and-related-areas equivalent of the Congress
Book. As usual, though, the call goes out now
1) I am happy to announce that the Rossica for stamp-related articles. Postal history is
Expertization Service is back in business. In already well represented (but we'll be happy
the wake of Adolph Ackerman's withdrawal, to take more!). So if you've been suppressing
Leon Finik has agreed to be the Chairman, an impulse to write for a long time, this is the
and he will be ably assisted by George perfect chance to let it loose. "The Joint" is
Shalimoff and George Werbizky. These three the first of its kind in Russian philately out-
gentlemen are all very knowledgeable in side of the former USSR, and I hope the idea
Russian stamps, and among them they're will catch on.
highly qualified to render expert opinions in
most areas. Inquiries should be sent to:

Leon Finik
P.O. Box 521
Rego Park, NY 11374
84 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

4) Now to that "something very big coming Absent:
down the road" mentioned above. Rossica
has never produced a comprehensive spe- Librarian-Andy Medwid (excused)
cialist Russian stamp catalog, but if Ged Board of Directors-George Shaw (excused)
Seiflow and his intrepid band have anything Board of Directors -John Barefoot (excused).
to say about it, that is about to change. Ged's
presentation at the CHICAGOPEX 95 Ros- Also present:
sica AGM showed what can be done with Membership Committee Chair-Mike Carson
computer graphics, and what Ged has already Member-Ged Seiflow.
done towards a monster checklist. Add to that
the work in other areas that's done or under- President's Report
way (Dave White's ongoing translation of
the catalog serialized in "Filateliya," the Our Librarian, Andy Medwid, suffered a
Rossica Library Subject Index I to support mild stroke in June 1995, and is not averse to
research, George Shaw's digging on catalog giving up the post, due to its workload. Conse-
pricing and cross-referencing), and the in- quently, a new Librarian pro-tem will have to be
gredients for a catalog are already there. The appointed, and the Library moved. Since Howard
work will have to be done in installments, and Weinert already has some library materials as
for various reasons, the first installment will Assistant Librarian, he will be asked first. No
cover some or all of the early Soviet period, objections were raised.
1918 to between 1924 and 1930. Want to On a related note, the Subject Index (Mark
help? Contact Ged at: II) is at a standstill. The President cited pressures
of work and worsening tendinitis in both wrists as
Ged Seiflow the causes, and asked if anyone wanted to take on
469 Union Circle the job. (Howard Weinert has since agreed to
Elk Grove, IL 60007-2777 continue the "rock-push up the hill.")
After the AGM was finished, the President
U would contact the NAPEX 96 organizers about
having the next Rossica AGM. (Done, see be-

Minutes of the 1995 low.)
The President was asked by the British Soci-
Rossica Officers' Meeting ety of Russian Philately to replace Gordon Torrey
at CHICAGOPEX 95, 18 as their Representative in North America. He
Nov. 1995. The push for ads and articles for the 1997
Joint Rossica-BSRP Issue has begun, with over
20 articles already promised. No decision was
Present: made on how to handle the editing, printing, etc.
President-Dave Skipton There is no common format between the two
Vice-President-Peter Michalove journals, so the two sections will of necessity
Secretary-George Werbizky look different.
Treasurer & Journal Editor-Gary Combs
Auditor-Web Stickney Vice-President's Report
Board of Directors-Adolph Ackerman
Passed out a list of WSP shows that have
been notified of the Rossica Award, the criteria
and procedures for awarding it, a copy of the

Rossica Journal Number 126 85
April 1996

Rossica Award Report to be filled out by the Presentation For A Rossica Specialist Catalog
shows, and a list of the Rossica Awards presented
to date. Ged Seiflow gave a 20-minute presentation
on the work he has already done for a specialized
Treasurer's Report Russian stamp catalog. Ways to approach cata-
log listings were offered, and various scans of
The Treasurer presented his report with explana- stamps were shown. Although Ged has tailored
tions regarding funding. The report was accepted, this catalog to suit his own needs (mint only), he
said it could be augmented to include used and
Librarian's Report
rrCTO stamps. Dave Skipton offered a look at
Over 100 titles were loaned out in the period from Dave White's translation of the catalog serial-
the last AGM in 1994 to Nov. 15, 1995. ized jn "Filateliya SSSR," and George Shaw's
comments on beginning the project: "We should
Thirty one members and one non-member used go ahead, but only if there are sufficient commit-
the Library. ted resources. Suggest a modular approach (5- or
10-year periods) and focus on the 1918-1960
Library income came to $85 for the calendar year. period. The subsequent period is either dull (thru
1991) or chaotic (1992+). Also suggest a loose-
The report was accepted. leaf approach for maximum flexibility and ease
of updating." Since this was only a presentation
Board Of Directors Member Report to show the feasibility of such a project, no action
was taken at the meeting.
George Shaw wrote in that he had made
significant progress on the Voikhanskii New Business
Azerbaidjan Handbook during August, but that
he is unable to do much of any more work on it The officers voted:
until he goes on vacation. Although he was
unable to estimate a completion date, he remains 1) 5-1 (Ackerman opposed) to restore the Ros-
confident that we can publish in 1996. Major sica Expertization Board, with Adolph to
tasks remaining include: adding detailed notes to serve as the focal point. The expertization
each chapter, formatting, and pictures. The major form will have to be re-done. Some details
issue discovered in August is that most of the remain to be worked out. Concerns expressed
provisional overprints illustrated by Voikhanskii by Ackerman and Combs centered on Soci-
are government reprints, not originals. In some ety liability in the event of loss and the
cases, originals have not been discovered (per potential for high mailing costs between
Ceresa), and in others Voikhanskii did not illus- expertizers (registered or certified mail go-
trate them. The updated catalog listing and pric- ing between George Shalimoff, Leon Finik,
ing will price the provisionals both as originals George Werbizky and Adolph Ackerman.
(where confirmed) and as official reprints. Dick Therefore, the reconstitution of the Board is
Wrona (not a Rossica member) has volunteered on a trial basis. If the costs are too high, the
to do the photography, officers will have to reconsider. Werbizky
felt that the Society needs a set of internal
Membership Committee Chairman Report rules to be published in the Journal, concern-
ing where the material should be sent, how
Mike Carson reported he mailed out applica- ing where the material should be sent, how
sent, and so on, and that we should follow
tions and our ads to new APS members. To date, ,
APS procedure.
we haven't seen any surge from that mailing, so
Mike will try again.

86 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

2) 6-0 to reserve a Society table at PACIFIC 97. two are produced (scanning vs. cut-and-
The cost of $300 will be split with at least the paste, double-column vs. single-column text,
CSRP, and perhaps the Ukrainian Society as and the resulting layout problems). The offic-
well. The President will send a letter to the ers also discussed how to treat the issue of
ANZSRP to see if they would like to join us some dual members getting only one Journal
too. The Treasurer was tasked with obtaining (of their choice), even though their dues were
the table. paid to both Societies, while others who were
members either of Rossica alone or the BSRP
3) 6-0 to lower the cost of a half-page ad in the alone would get the same thing. Nothing was
Rossica Journal to $25, and $15 for quarter- resolved at the meeting. A final decision will
page ads. These prices do not apply to the be made either voting by circular or at the
outside or inside covers. The requirement for next AGM at NAPEX.
three consecutive ads was dropped.
8) Tabled the problem of whether to leave dues
4) 7-0 (Shaw voting by letter) to amend one of as they are and the early-pay incentive as is,
the criteria for the Rossica President's Award. leave dues alone and eliminate the incentive,
Mike Renfro had proposed that the require- raise dues and keep the incentive, or raise
ment for the award to be given only at WSP dues and eliminate the incentive. As a result,
shows be changed, so that it could be awarded dues and the incentive will remain in place at
at non-WSP shows where a Rossica chapter least for 1996.
was holding its annual meeting. All the other
criteria remain unchanged. 9) Tabled discussion of John Barefoot's pro-
posal to work with Rossica on publications.
5) 6-1 against (Shaw voting for by letter) split- From what little discussion there was, most
ting the cost of a Rossica/Northern California of the officers seemed favorably disposed to
award for PACIFIC 97. The proposal had the idea.
been made by Mike Renfro, but given that the
jury will not accept any Society criteria as to 10) Tabled Ackerman's proposal that Rossica
whom any award should be given, and given build up a Society printing center, and con-
the bizarre awards at AMERIPEX, the offic- tinue to update it as technology advances.
ers didn't feel that it would be worthwhile
putting up a Rossica award that would most Respectfully submitted,
likely go to a non-Russian or related exhibit.
David M. Skipton
6) Web Stickney was thanked for representing George G. Werbizky
Rossica at FINLANDIA 95.

7) Discussion on the 1997 Joint Issue with the
British Society of Russian Philately centered
around making certain it would not prove a
bigger burden on the Editor(s) than would
two regular issues. For its part, Rossica will
publish only the Joint Issue in 1997, in order
not to dilute its appeal and the available
original research. There seems to be no easy
way to put the two journals (BJRP and Ros-
sica) into a single format, given the ways the

Rossica Journal Number 126 87
April 1996

Membership Status

Our membership now stands at 349-24 new 1589 Jeffrey J. Klein
tentative members since the October Journal! 123 Cushing Avenue
The new applicants are heartily welcomed and, if Dorchester MA 02125
you happen to live near one, personally welcome USA
that person to our favorite hobby. 1590 William M. Stroud
Please review the list of names. If for any 1434 W. Hood
reason you feel that an individual should not be Chicago IL 60660-1806
granted full membership, please write the Trea- USA
surer with your reasons. If no negative comments 1591 Charles J. Buonasera
are received on the individuals listed below by 7 Barone Drive
31 July 1996, they will be granted full member- Coram NY 11727
ship status. USA
1592 Jacob Shelton
The new applicants are:
2B Erskine Street
1582 George Mironenko Aruadale3143 Vic
5253 Castlereigh Ct. Melbourne
Granite Bay CA 95746 Australia
USA 1593 Thomas F. Crawford
1583 Michael Black 1204 Denbigh Lane
2817 Crabtree Lane Radnor PA 19087
Northbrook IL 60062 USA
USA 1594 Victor Ivashin
1584 Leroy W. Ferber 14516 S.E. 28th Street
132 Paradise Drive Vancouver WA 98684
Voorhees NJ 08043-4950 USA
USA 1595 Steve Roth
1585 Michael K. Sullivan 10215 Adams Street
P.O. Box 44372 OmahaNE 68127
Madison WI 53744 USA
USA 1596 Wilheim G. Doos
1586 Joseph Nedved 1919 N. Summit Avenue, 10D
1586 Joseph Nedved
10912 Liberty Grove Milwaukee WI 53202
Willow Springs IL 60480 USA
USA 1597 Ben Coblentz
610 S. Garfield Avenue
1587 Jaroslav J. Verner10 Garfield Avenue
8602 Ewing Drive Champaign IL 61821-3830
8602 Ewing Drive
Bethesda MD 20817-3846
USA 1598 Lionel Coffy
1588 George A. Hall Ch. du Moulin
13124 Stephenson 1133 Lussy-Sur-Morges
13124 Stephenson
Anchorage AK 99515 wtz
USA 1599 Stephen R. Warren
303-1070 Moss Street
Victoria, BC V8V 4P3
88 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

1600 Michael Goldsmith t@o h (M Hn[wf[ I
c/o Argyll Etkin Limited
49 Conduit Street
New Bond Street Thanks to Peter Michalove we have a
London W1R 9FB homepage on the Internet. We are indebted to
England Peter for the effort and successful accomplish-
1601 Francis Giss ment. Thanks, Peter! If you have a computer and
8 Boulevard Gamretta access to the Internet, please check out this page
68100 Mulhouse at: http://hercules.geology.uiuc.edu/-peterm/
France rossica.html#Jump 5.
1602 Valentina Kozhevsky While we are on the subject of the Internet,
65-41 Booth Street, Apt. 4G has any member been surfing looking for phila-
Rego Park NY 11374 telic information? There is a wealth of informa-
USA tion available to collectors. Unfortunately, the
1603 Friedrich Lehner amount of information available for Russian area
37 Plymbridge Crescent collectors is still minimal. If you discover a good
Willowdale Ontario location, perhaps you might consider sharing it in
Canada M2P 1P4 the Bulletin. If so, please contact George
1604 Christopher Crocoll Shalimoff.
Dept. of Asian & African Languages Several countries have homepages and the
Foreign Service Institute amount of information varies. Ukraine appears to
4000 Arlington Blvd., Rm. F-4629 lead the pack with the most. This is no small feat
Arlington VA 22204-1500 considering the economic conditions in some of
USA the republics. Russia appears to have the least
1605 Karen J. Lemiski information directly available. Is some member
510 S. Extension, #2036 in the West considering filling that void? If so, let
Mesa AZ 85210 us know so we can publish your URL.
USA Possibly the best location available is the
homepage of Joseph Luft. He offers a lot of
All applicants listed in the October Journal information on a wide variety of topics. You can
have been granted full membership. link to his page via the Rossica homepage.
The following resignations have been re- In the future, perhaps Rossica could publish
ceived and approved: a list of e-mail addresses for members with
J.B. Adams, Raymond Casey, Paul Kruger, access to the internet. If you are interested in
Robert W. Lyman, Theo van Dam. having your name on such a list, send e-mail to
Four members have moved on to the great Gary Combs at "gcombs@mail.erols.com" or
exhibition "up there." through the link on the Rossica homepage or via
Anthony H. Hill, William J. Hlifka, Marcel the normal mail system.
LaMoureaux, C. Angus Parker. The APS has a very impressive homepage. In
Thirty-one members did not renew their mem- the section about chapters and affiliates, there is
bership as of 1 April 1996 and have been re- a link to Rossica listed in the information on
moved from the active roll. Rossica.
Any member wishing to discuss or explore
this topic should e-mail or write Gary Combs
with ideas, concerns, etc.

Rossica Journal Number 126 89
April 1996

Member-to-Member Adlets Wanted: OSTARBEITER MAIL. Dur-
ing WWII, the Nazis used workers from the
Rossica cannot assume any liability for trans- SovietUnion andcalledthem OSTARBEITERS-
actions resulting from member responses to adlets Eastern Workers. I will gladly buy covers, post-
nor get involved with mediating disputes. Mem- cards, Ostarbeiter cloth patches, or related mate-
bers are cautioned to be fair in offering and in rial. Send offer (with photocopy or preferably a
responding. Any material considered to be of photo) to: George G. Werbizky, 409 Jones Road,
value by the sender sent through the mails should Vestal NY 13850-3246, USA.
be insured or registered for your own protection.
The regulations and prices are as follows: Wanted: SOVIET GEORGIAN covers
"* Member adlets are free with the follow- from 1924-c. 1945. Please contact Peter
ing limitations: they must not exceed 480 Michalove, 307 S. McKinley, Champaign IL
characters. A character is defined as a 61821, USA
letter, number, space, or punctuation
mark. The member's name and address
mark. The member's name and address Wanted: (1) F. Kazemzadeh's The Struggle for
are NOT included in this 480-character
a in in ti. Transcaucasia, (2) W.E. Hughes' Postage Stamps
SFor alts tat e t 0- ofAzerbaijan, (3) F.J. Melville's Azerbaijan, (4)
"* For adlets that exceed the 480-character _. A 0-
T. Swietochowski's Russian Azerbaijan 1905-
limitation, the price is 10 cents per word,
1920. Write giving condition, asking price. John
no matter how long the word may be.
"no matter ho long the w may e Steele, 803 Dunbarton Drive, North Augusta SC
Each adlet must include the name and
29841-5210, USA
address of the member placing the ad.
No dealer ads will be accepted as adlets.
N de aler ads wl be aeed as aes. The following is not an adlet from a member. It
The journal makes other provisions for
Sj m is a request for philatelic assistance. I placed it
strictly commercial advertisements.
"strictly co ercial advertiseets here because I thought more members would see
Adlet service is available to Rossica .
Members on it. If you feel you can provide assistance and help
members only.
All adlets .e g te 4r foster collecting, please contact Dave Mick at the
All adlets exceeding the 480-character a
address listed below.
limitation must be accompanied by a
check for the correct amount made out to
the Rossica Society. Wanted: Donations of inexpensive stamps for
"* Adlets for the April journal must reach classroom use by history and geography teacher.
the Editor by 15 February. Please send to: David Mick, Webber School,
"* AdletsfortheOctoberjournalmustreach 3191 West Clarkston Road, Lake Orion MI
the Editor by 15 August. 48362, USA. Thank you!
"* Mail all adlets and checks to:

c/o Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Court
Millersville MD 21108

Wanted: MOSCOW cancellations prior to
1918 for research article. On cover, loose stamps
or CSQ. Send xerox or photo. Gary Combs, 8241
Chalet Ct., Millersville MD 21108, USA.
90 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Society Publications For Sale

Back Issues of the Journal The Russian Post in the Empire, Turkey, China
and the Post in The Kingdom of Poland by
We have a limited number of back issues of S.V. Prigara. trans. by Dave Skipton
the journal for sale, both in English and Russian-
language editions. Russian editions available are
numbers 44-69; English editions available are
numbers 70-119. Unfortunately, there are many
holes, and some issues have fewer than 3 in stock.
Prices listed for back issues are in US dollars and EI smITd Hrra
include "Surface Postage." , iM? ,.
A IsNnrNamn no. w&
f >Uars nOshliansKo
Single issue:
Member-7.50 Non-Member-10.00 lRO ,te,^_

Single issues currently available are: """ '""

44-45, 48, 54, 62-75, 78-82, 84-85, 88-89,
93, 110-112, 115-117, 119-125 This is the standard upon which many studies
and conclusions have been established. Written
Double issue: in 1941, the book is considered by many to be the
authoritative guide for Russian postal history.
Member-15.00 Non-Member-20.00 Any serious collector of Russian postal history
must have this book on his shelf. The translation
Double issues currently available are: can be purchased from the Treasurer or Librarian
at the following rates (items sent surface):
102-103, 104-105, 106-107, 108-109, 113- Non-Rossica member $40 postpaid
114. Rossica members $35 postpaid
Dealer rate $24 per copy for single orders of
Back issues may be obtained from: 5 or more.
5 or more.
Gary A. Combs Available from Gary Combs or Dave Skipton.
Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Court
Millersville MD 21108

Rossica Journal Number 126 91
April 1996

The Russian Posts in the XIX Century Rossica Library Subject Index-Part
by K.V. Bazilevich, trans. by Dave Skipton One, by David Skipton. Cost $50 plus
postage ($5-surface) for members.

Dave has spent over a decade creating one of
the finest Russian philatelic libraries in the world.
However, all the knowledge of what is available
has rested solely with Dave until now. Dave, with
THE RUSSIAN POSTS IN THE XIX CENTURY the help of J.D. Myke, Scott Allen, and Ged
by K.V. Ba-ilevich Seiflow has spent an incredible amount of energy
in compiling a partial library index for general
The Index is approximately 800 pages long
and contains 10,600 entries, which are divided
into 92 cross-referenced categories-and it is
only a partial listing. A larger Part One would be
The original work, published in 1927 in Mos- too bulky and extremely demanding on the repro-
cow, is today almost impossible to find. It is one duction process. Part Two should be completed
of the most detailed overviews of the imperial by late 1996.
Russian postal system to be found under one The Index is mostly arranged first by subject,
cover, and contains a wealth of information and then by period of Russian history, and in some
illustrations. Dave has provided many illustra- cases further by type. Each category is presented
tions not in the original. If you want to learn by title, author, journal, volume, date, page
about the whys and wherefores of old Russia's numberss, publisher, translator, and abstract.
communications system, this book will oblige. A transliteration guide and a comprehensive
Intended as a companion to the Prigara transla- philatelic or communications journal abbrevia-
tion, the Bazilevich book will be a handsome tion list also is provided.
addition to your shelf: 165 pages on semi-gloss If you are serious about using your library for
paper, casebound, with a purple-and-white dust philatelic research, but do not know what if
jacket. Members may order directly from the anything is available, then this Index is a must for
Treasurer, Librarian, or Journal Editor of the your bookshelf. However, be sure that the shelf is
society. Prices are as follows: sturdy since the Index weighs in at approxi-
mately four pounds!
Non-Rossica member $50 postpaid The Index is currently being reproduced in
Rossica members $45 postpaid limited quantities so order your copy now. Ac-
Dealer rate- $30 per copy for single orders of tual costs for shipping will be determined when
Sthe item is mailed-rates vary by type of postal
service and location- and you will be notified of
the additional charges.
Available from Gary Combs or Dave Skipton. Orders may be sent to Dave Skipton, or the
Treasurer, Gary Combs. Please make checks
payable to "The Rossica Society" and not to
Dave or Gary.

92 Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Imperial Russian Postal Placename List, Re- Cumulative Alphabetical List 1858-1916, by
verse Sort (1858-1915) compiled by David Gary Combs. 138 double-sided pages plus four
Skipton. introduction pages. Cost: $45 for Rossica mem-
bers, $50 for non-members. Sent post paid at
Have you ever had a partial strike on a loose surface rate. Available from the author.
stamp or cover, where the first few letters of the
placename are missing? If so, and you collect In 1984 Dave Skipton introduced the Re-
imperial Russian cancellations, this working aid verse Sort, which is used by Russian philatelists
is a must for you. It contains 18,187 postal around the world. Nearly a decade later Gary
placenames gleaned from ten sources, ranging Combs has taken this massive work-over 18,600
from the Prigara book to the official 1916 Postal entries-and rendered a "forward sort" of the
List. The Reverse Sort is 379 pages long, photo- information and corrected a few minor discrep-
copy, printed on one side only, and unbound. It ancies.
contains an introduction, an explanation of how This work first appeared in English, and
to use the RS, compiler's notes, a list of cancel- subsequently reworked to produce a Cyrillic ver-
lation abbreviations, format explanation, a list of sion thanks to computer support provided by Pat
sources, province and oblast' trigraph listings, a Eppel. This version is better than the original.
cyrillic-latin alphabet conversion chart, and 361 As often as I use the Reverse Sort to find a
pages of cross-referenced placenames. A must location when only the last part of the placename
for the serious cancellation collector. Members is visible, I found a definite need for a work that
may order directly from the Secretary, Treasurer, provided the same information, but in a left-to-
Librarian or Journal Editor of the society. Prices right or "forward" order. This work precisely
are as follows: fills that void.
Non-Rossica member- $45 postpaid Both the Cumulative Alphabetical List and
Rossica members $40 postpaid (Overseas its partner publication the Reverse Sort offer the
orders please add $3 for surface mail on postal historian and cancellation collector the
all orders.) most comprehensive listing of locations avail-
Dealer and bulk purchase rates are available able, albeit not a complete listing of all possible
upon request. locations. An effort to produce a document of
that magnitude would clearly exceed the size of
Compendium of the Table of Contents for this work.
issues 44 through 125 Gary has done an impressive job with this
work and filled a void that has existed since day
A list of all articles that have appeared in the one of collecting for those without access to State
Rossica Journal since the 1950s. All proceeds archives in Russia or numerous postal listings.
beyond the cost of reproduction and postage go to This work represents the largest single cumula-
the society. This listing contains approximately tive listing of Russian locations in existence in
65 pages and covers all articles that have ap- the Western world.
peared in the journal. An excellent index to your This publication is highly recommended for
library. The cost is US $5, which is very reason- the serious postal historian or cancellation col-
able. This list will enable you to decide what lector. Let him know if you want it sent via a
back issues to purchase, if your set is not com- faster method (and include extra postage).
plete. (Many of the issues can be ordered through
the Editor.) Send check or money order to: U
Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Ct.
Millersville, MD 21108
Rossica Journal Number 126 93
April 1996

Reviews of Philatelic Publications
"Postal History of Imperial Russia in Pre- Overall, the book is an excellent general
Independent Latvia" by N. Jakimobs and V. reference source but must be used with caution.
Marcilger. Produced by Framic (Pty) Ltd of P.O. Had acknowledgement been given to the fine
Box 9314, Johannesburg 2000 South Africa, efforts already on the bookshelf, from which
November 1995. Available from the Editor and many illustrations are taken, this work's credibil-
Publisher, Jonas Michelson, at the address listed ity would have improved immensely. I found the
above. Softbound. 325+ pages. US $50. price a bit steep considering the poor quality of
publication. However, this should not prevent a
This long overdue publication is divided copy from appearing on your bookshelf. It is a
into 11 chapters as follows: massive effort with a lot of information con-
S tained under one cover.
1. Introduction to the Postal History of Russia
2. Post Offices and Postmarks of the Pre-stamp
period "Yamshchik-The Post Rider," #37, Decem-
3. Post Offices and Postmarks 1858-1918 '
4. Post Offices and Postmars 1858-18 ber 1995. A publication of the Canadian Society
4. Railway Postal Operations and Maritime
ailof Russian Philately. Editor: Andrew Cronin,
Mal P.O. Box 5722, Station "A," Toronto, Ontario,
5. The Wenden Postal District and Stamps M P2,
M5W 1P2, Canada.
6. Machine Cancellations
7. Picture Postcards and Welfare Entires Now that Andy has retired for the 3rd time (or
8. German Feldpost in World War I is it some number larger Andy?), it has not
9. Mail of the Latvian Military Units in World affected his efforts to produce yet another out-
War I standingjournal. In this issue, the following titles
10. German Postgebiet Ob-Ost in World War I are presented:
11. Postal Censorship and Mute Cancellations
e frt t w c i m m The Early Period of Registered Mail in Russia,
The first thought which came into my mind
by Harry von Hofmann;
was "yes!" a long overdue publication on a topic by Harry on Hofmann;
Some Notes on Imperial Russian Postal Rates, by
begging for research. This book goes a long way Andrew Cronin;
Andrew Cronin;
toward realizing that goal but stops short in a few
Postage Stamps of the Zemstvos, by Alex
critical areas, mainly references and illustra- Artuch
tions. The historical material appears to be com- h t t u ut,
The Great Dot and Numeral Hunt, by Alex
plete and accurate, although documents and il-Art
lustrations are poorly reproduced.
lustrations are poorly reproduced. The North-West Army: Stamps and Postal His-
Although a lot of accurate information is by r
tory, by Alexander Epstein;
present, major Western works available, such as restitos reay al An E y o ,
Brest-Litovsk Treaty Mail: An Early Cover, by
those by v. Hofmann, Prigara, Bazilevich, G.G. Werbizky;
Speeckaert (censorship), Michalove & Skipton Some Brest-Litovsk Treary Memorabilia, by
Some Brest-Litovsk Treary Memorabilia, by
(censorship), are not mentioned. The Philatelia Alfred Kugel;
Baltica Society or any of their publications is not Pt Bk by R t
Post Brest-Litovsk Mail, by Robert Taylor;
mentioned. Neither Rossica or the BJRP libraries t Ta t
Something More about the Brest-Litovsk Treaty
are mentioned in the references. The Rossica g tei
Mail, by Alexander Epstein;
library alone has 322 entries on Latvia from a A O o t B T ,
An Overview of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty Mail,
range of sources-none of which are referenced. by Andrew Cronin;
by Andrew Cronin;
This work gives the impression it was com-
A Few More Ovals, by Rabbi L.L. Tann.
posed in the East and published in the West. The
quality of reproduction suggests this work is Another quality issue. Thanks, Andy!
photocopied rather than professionally printed. -G. Combs

94 Rossica Journal Number 125
October 1995

HIOqTA The Journal of the Australia & New Far Eastern Republic continued
Zealand Society of Russian Philately, Issue 18, -George Werbizky
July 1995, Editor Dr. Ross Marshall, P.O. Box 7, Postal Arrangements Between Russia & Austria
Otorohanga, New Zealand. Before 1874
"-A.R. Marshall
In this issue the following articles are pre- St. Petersburg Post 1992-1995
sented: -Sergey A. Chudakov
A Little Known Postal Rate of Imperial Russia
Reader's Follow-ups: -A. Epstein
An Uncommon Usage of 1st Postcard- Russian Local Postal Issues
Asdrubal Prado -Sergey A. Chudakov
Forged DBP Overprint-George Werbizky Railway Oval Postmarks in the "Free Mail Pe-
Local Administration Handstamp- riod"-Leonard Tann
George G. Werbizky Late "Crossed Date" Postmark-Terry Archer
Across Russia By Train-Philatelic Aspects 50th Anniversary of the Great Victory
-A.R. Marshall -Sergey A. Chudakov
Moscow-97-A.R. Marshall Orthodoxy and Culture-Ryazan 1995
Stamp Imprints in Ukrainian Postal Stationery -Sergey A. Chudakov
-Sergey A. Chudakov Estonia-New Postal Rates-A. Epstein
Russian Postal Stationery-Sergey A. Chudakov Achievements
Drift Station NP-3, 1954-Sergey Tropin "Olyphsport'95"-From Moscow towards the
Soviet Drift Stations-Fake Cancels (or not) World Exhibition "Olymphilex-96"
-Tony Walker -Sergey A. Chudakov
A Confirmation of What?-A. Epstein Literature
Estonian Enigma-John R. Tollan New Issues
The Uncovered Cover Story-George Werbizky Advertisements
Unusual "Cover"-George Werbizky
Far Eastern Republic-Asdrubal Prado
New Issues Soviet Ukraine: A Catalog-Checklist of Na-
Railway Postmarks-Boris Sokolov, et. al. tional and Local Postage Stamp Issues 1919-
Literature 1923, Including Occupation Issues of 1918-
1920 and 1941-1944. Available from Peter Bylen
c/o Ukrainian Philatelic Resources, P.O. Box
nOrITA The Journal of the Australia & New 7193, Westchester IL 60154-7193, USA. $5
Zealand Society of Russian Philately, Issue 19, postpaid to the US, Mexico, and Canada. $6
January 1996, Editor Dr. Ross Marshall, P.O. postpaid to all other locations.
Box 7, Otorohanga, New Zealand.
This is the second in a series of short, authori-
In this issue the following articles are pre- tative, and inexpensive catalogs in production
sented: from Ukrainian Philatelic Resources. In this cata-
log, Peter continues to consolidate information
Reader's Followups heretofore scattered among various publications,
Estonian Enigma-Alexander Epstein while enhancing the accuracy of information
Spanish Republican Political Labels presented.
-Warren Edlin In this catalog Peter covers the Kharkiv Is-
New Russian Revenues-Ross Marshall sues of 1920 ("Rub." overprints on Russian im-
perial stamps), the Kyi'v Issue of 1922 (numeral

Rossica Journal Number 125 95
October 1995

overprints), Famine Relief Issue of June 1923, Just as I was beginning to wonder if Peter
local issues of 1919-1922, White Army Occupa- Bylen had ajob in real life, Bohdan Paukjoins the
tion issues, locals and Dienstpost overprints of crowd. A letter which arrived recently adds yet
Reichkommissariat Ukraine, General- other names to the effort. At the rate the UPR is
Gouvernement (Galicia District), Transnistria, publishing, I may have to ask for assistance just
and the unissued stamps of Vlasov's army. to read all the material!
A welcome addition to this catalog is the Bohdan's maiden voyage into this effort is a
introduction of a bibliography, which was miss- splendid one. Have you ever found a stamp and
ing from the first publication in the series, tried to find it in Scott or Michel or any other
This is a must for any collector of Ukraine. catalog only to become frustrated? How many
Peter's contributions are well worth adding to times have you read the words (when an item can
your philatelic library, be found) "Private Issue" or "Fantasy Issue" or
-G. Combs "Printed, not issued?" So, you toss the stamp into
some obscure place and forget it. You no longer
have to do that with Belarus stamps.
Carpatho Ukraine: A Catalog-Checklist. Bohdan covers the following in this work:
Available from Peter Bylen c/o Ukrainian Phila-
telic Resources, P.O. Box 7193, Westchester IL Belarus National Republic
60154-7193, USA. $5 postpaid to the US, Belarus Socialist Soviet Republic
Mexico, and Canada. $6 postpaid to all other German Administrative Issues
locations. Ukrainian Administrative Issues
Polish Administrative Issues
I have only a few words to say about this Lithuanian Administrative Issues
publication-buy it if your collection of Ukrai- Central Lithuanian Issues
nian stamps includes Carpatho Ukraine. You will World War II German Occupational Issues
not find a more complete and accurate listing Russian Army of Liberation Issues
anywhere. Peter's list clearly "out does" Scott Private Issues
and Michel in this area. Michel, which is defi-
nitely better than Scott, lists 101 stamps. Peter Ontopofanexcellentreferencebook, Bohdan
lists 248 general issues and 101 locals issues! adds a "Select Bibligraphy" which is THREE
pages long. If you are a collector of Belarus or are
-G. Combs thinking about this area, this book is a must. I
believe this book has the potential to open Belarus
collecting to a larger number of philatelists. This
Belarus: A Catalog-Checklist of National and book is strongly recommended and the price is
Local Postage Stamp Issues Including For- more than right.
eign Administration Issues of 1916-1920 and As an additionalthought... Mostpeopleknow
1941-1944. Written by Bohdan Pauk. Available Bohdan as the President of the Ukrainian Phila-
from Ukrainian Philatelic Resources, P.O. Box telic and Numismatic Society. A smaller number
7193, Westchester IL 60154-7193, USA. $6 know he is the head of the Belarus Study Group.
postpaid Surface Mail. For Air Mail shipment Bohdan has also exhibited at local and national
include an additional $2 for the first publication, shows as well as lectured on all aspects of Belarus
$1 each additional publication thereafter. Pay- philately and postal history.
ment should be made payable to "UPR" or "Ukrai- I urge all serious collector of Belarus to put a
nian Philatelic Resources" drawn in US funds. copy of this book in your library.
-G. Combs

96 Rossica Journal Number 125
October 1995

Expertization Dealer-Member Ads

One of the privileges of membership in Ros- The Editorial Board of the Rossica Journal
sica is one free expertization per membership invites advertisements from our dealer-mem-
year. Policy on these free expertizations is as bers as well as non-members who conduct the
follows: occasional auction or mail-sale with a strong
offering of Russian and related-areas material.
"* Only one free expertization per mem- The Journal appears twice a year, and reaches
bership year. over 400 members and affiliates worldwide in
"* The privilege must be used during the April and October. Deadlines for submission of
membership year. It cannot be accu- ads are February 15 for the April issue, and
mulated. The service was begun in the August 15 for the October issue. We strongly
1978 membership year, and prior mem- prefer commitments for ads in three consecutive
bership in the Society has no bearing, issues or more to aid us in planning. However,
"* The item must be submitted on an offi- one-time ads for upcoming auctions or mail-
cial expertization form available from sales can be accommodated.
Gary Combs or Leon Finik.
"* Return postage must be included. Rates:
"* Only one item per expertization form. 1/4 page $15 per issue
1/2 page $25 per issue
Anyone wishing to avail themselves of this 1 page $100 per issue
service should write the Treasurer, Gary Combs, For outside back cover ads (full page only):
or the Chairman of the Expertization Committee, $150, first come first serve (based on postmark
Leon Finik (address below), enclosing a legal date).
size (4 1/4 x 9 1/2") SASE for an expertization
form. When submitting material forexpertization, If you should desire to place an ad in the
the owner must provide return postage to include Rossica Journal, please notify the editor as soon
insurance costs, if desired, for the material. Items as possible, together with the text of your ad, the
will be evaluated by Rossica members specializ- rate and number of issues, and a check in $US
ing in the various aspects of Russian philately. made payable to the "Rossica Society" drawn on
Members with items to expertise an American bank.
should forward the completed form to Thank you for your support!
Leon Finik at the following address: Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Ct.
Leon Finik Millersville, MD 21108
Box 521 USA
Rego Park NY 11374

Since we occasionally have to send items to
more than one member for an opinion, please
allow at least six weeks before inquiring about
the status of an item submitted. Items are looked
at on a first come, first serve basis.

m m
Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Welcome to the World of"N A6um"
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Then using "Stamp 9m.k," tie the pages to their custom made inventory. '" Album" only requires a 386 or better,
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"Stamp .nk" will tie your fully self-generated inventory to album pages you create. To build your inventory, you
choose a catalog, set up a country or theme, then subdivide then as you require. A print menu lets you select the
areas of the inventory you wish to print. An accounting of the section printed appears at the end of the page letting
you know the value and number of stamps contained in the section.

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Rossica Journal Number 126
April 1996

Georgia tafmps, Overprints, and Surcharges

De Jure overprint on block of 6 (3x2). Mint, imperforate, no gum as issued. Overprint shifted on 4 stamps.-$45.00

Constantinople consular
Constantinople consular 2 rub. Imperforate, mint
surcharge, 4 p. on 40 kop. Constantinople consular surcharge, 2 rub Imperforae, mint
Block of four, mint NH, full 50 p. on 5 rub. Pair, mint NH, full gum. NH no gum 2 rub and
gum. Black surcharge.-$10 Black surcharge.-$10 Rep. Georgiene
"* Limited quantities of singles and a few blocks, mint and CTO of Scott Nos. 12-40
"* Constantinople consular surcharges as described in the J. Barefoot and A. Hall catalog
"* Two blocks of the De Jure overprint on the 3-rub. imperforate stamp: 3x3 and 3x2
Will gladly send a selection on approval.

P.O. Box 448 Monroe, New York 10950 (914-783-9791) Fax (914-782-0347)


"What Do You Collect?

I stock Russian Postal History items from the Imperial and
Soviet periods
Airmails, Republics, Space, Zemstvos
Semi-Postals, Inflation, Stations, TPOs,
Interventions and Offices Abroad.

I also stock the Baltic Countries.
Let me know what you are searching for.
Material sent on approval.
I am always searching for material to buy and
offer top dollar.
Please include references or Rossica number.

Member: Rossica Society, Canadian Society of Russian Philately,
British Society of Russian Philately, Australian & New
Zealand Society of Russian Philately, APS, ASDA, PTS
and others.
Webster F. Stickney
7590 Windlawn Way
L Parker, CO. 80134