Belgian field post
The aim of the article is to provide an overview of the history of the Belgian field post since 1830 , with a focus on the deployment in Germany after the First and Second World Wars . It was created in collaboration with "Belgische Filatlie aan de Rijn - Philatelie Belge au Rhin".
Belgian field post
War of Independence 1830–1839
The detachment of Belgium from the United Netherlands, which had existed since 1815, in 1830 did not go entirely without a war. The Belgians did not feel well represented by the Dutch government in the Kingdom of the Netherlands created at the Congress of Vienna. They hoped to be able to form their own state with the help of France. An uprising that broke out in Brussels soon spread across the country. Belgian volunteers and regular French troops pushed the Dutch out of the country. Peace and an agreement over the borders did not come about until 1839.
The mail of the French troops went through their field post , while the Belgian volunteers sent their mail through the normal post offices. Five years later, the new Belgian army used the first field postmark, which was chipped off in red until around 1837.
Field post during autumn maneuvers 1883–1913
Field post documents can only be found again from 1883. A single-circle stamp was used for maneuvers without distinguishing number and year. The stamps had a diameter of 23 mm and the inscription "POSTES MILITAIRES / BELGIQUE". Inside there were three lines of the day in digits, the month abbreviated in letters and underneath the time either 1 -12 M (Matin) or 1 -12 S (Soir). After the trial period during the first maneuvers, the royal decree (Decree No. 8413 of April 13, 1887) led to the formation of a mixed commission of military and postal workers. She had to work out the basics of a field post organization.
As a result, a distinguishing number was inserted into the stamp for the previous stamp. These stamps were in use from 1888. A decree of April 26, 1893 stipulated that a field post office was to be set up for the Great Headquarters and for each infantry or cavalry division.
In the maneuvers from 1897 onwards, the time was changed from 1 to 24. One followed the change in the postmarks of the usual mail. In the last two maneuvers of 1908 and 1909, a fourth line with a two-digit year was introduced in the stamp.
In 1913 we find this stamp for the first time on mail from the maneuver (1913). The new stamp form had become necessary when bilingualism was introduced in Belgium in 1910 (ordre of October 19, 1910). The single circle punch has a diameter of 28 mm. Inscription: "POSTES MILITAIRES BELGIQUE / Differentiation number / BELGIE LEGERPOSTERIJ". Inside was the time at the top, underneath the day in Roman numerals followed by the month in Roman numerals and the year in two Latin numerals.
During this time there was no postage exemption for shipments from and to soldiers, not even on the occasion of the maneuvers.
The First World War
With the mobilization on August 1, 1914, each active division was assigned a field postmark. The central distribution post office was set up on August 2, 1914 in the North Station in Brussels . On August 9th, the company moved to an office near the Antwerp- South train station . At the end of October it had to be moved to Calais , where it remained stationed during the war. All field post offices only supplied the divisions assigned to them . Resupply units and hospitals were supplied by the local post office. Since August 7, 1914, postage has been exempt for military personnel. This required a note such as “SM” (Service Militaire), “MD” (Militaire Dienst) or “FM” (Franchise Militaire) on the mailpiece. The postage exemption did not extend to all postal services. For example, CHF 0.25 had to be paid for a registered letter. Letters abroad cost CHF 0.20 to the Netherlands (probably applicable to every destination in Europe) and CHF 0.25 to the USA.
In February 1915, the field post service was reorganized. Until the beginning of 1920, the differentiating numbers had no meaning, as they were no longer assigned to the divisions for safety reasons. That is also the reason for the purchase of stamps without this distinction, which were in use from March 1915 to the end of 1919. Up to 60 different variants of these stamps are known. The variable date and time information differ in their spelling and arrangement.
The stamp “8 BIS” was introduced. The first tee is known from March 16, 1915, the last from July 15, 1915. (Since June 7, 1915 with a black bar instead of the year.) It was assigned to a supply unit responsible for the Veurne-Roesbrugge line. The unit was later served directly by the Central Postal Service.
A bilingual, two-line stamp was used to stamp registered letters (based on the French model). If the stamp was not tangible, the information was sometimes made by hand.
The occupation of the Rhineland 1918–1920
With the signing of the armistice agreement on November 11, 1918, the Belgian units, coming from France, were transferred to Germany via Belgium. On December 1, 1918, Belgian troops were able to occupy their sector. The occupation contingent included the 4th and 5th infantry divisions and a cavalry division. Other divisions separated by 1929. The postmark numbers from 1 to 8 are known from this early period. The postal service was provided by the military rail post "Brussels - Herbesthal". The shifting of troops and the unassigned postmarks make it very difficult to locate the field post offices. Stamps with the numbers: 1 - Cologne , Trier and Andernach , 2 - Aachen , 3 - Koblenz , Aachen and Kevelaer , 4 - Aachen, Büderich , Straelen and Mönchen-Gladbach , 5 - Geldern , Issum , Xanten , Kevelaer, Krefeld are known , Homberg and Rheinberg , 6 - Aachen and Cologne, 7 - Cologne, Neuss , Mönchen-Gladbach and Duisburg and 8 - Goch , Kleve , Kalkar , Cologne, Emmerich, Bad Kleve, Malmedy , Montjoie ( Monschau ), Manderfeld, Aachen, Elsenborn , Burg Reulant and St.Vith.
Eupen, near the border, was occupied on December 1, 1918 by a British cavalry battalion and a Belgian command unit. The head of the Belgian unit was the city commander until a French infantry battalion marched in on December 8, 1918. The French troops left the city on May 26, 1919. The next day the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Belgian Grenadier Regiment under Major Bogaerts advanced . The major became the commander of the city and district of Eupen . On July 24, 1920, a referendum took place in the Eupen and Malmedy districts. There were lists on which people who opposed the Anschluss to Belgium could sign up. Due to external pressure, only 270 out of 33,726 eligible voters spoke out in favor of remaining with Germany. Thus, on September 20, 1920, the Belgian National Assembly was able to unanimously and without restriction decide to incorporate Eupen and Malmedy.
Until the referendum in the British zone (Elsenborn, Malmedy, St.Vith, Bullingen, Manderfeld, Reuland and Schönberg), mail to the troops in the Malmedy district was distributed via Stavelot and not via Aachen from Field Post Office No. 9 in Malmedy.
Field Post Office No. 10 was set up on May 17, 1920 in the Elsenborn camp to supply the troops who had moved there for a maneuver. It was subordinate to the field post office in Aachen. From November 1, 1921 onwards, the occupation troops who were currently on target practice in the Elsenborn camp were only free of postage if the address was followed by "Temporarily in Elsenborn camp" on the incoming or outgoing letters. The troops stationed in the Eupen and Malmedy area, however, had no right to postage free.
February 16, 1920 to November 27, 1929
On the basis of a government resolution of February 1, 1920, the mobile field posts that were assigned to the units and had to take part in the troop movements were converted into permanent field post offices by February 16, 1920. They now had to supply the garrisons of a region with postal connections. The mail supply was now via the Brussels - Aachen railway post. The stamp with the number 12 was used on this route.
From Aachen, the post was transported to the individual field post offices and brought to the unit by the military postman. The postal sergeant (Vaguemestres) took care of the unit's postal services there. He had stamps in stock and he monitored the legality of the postage exemption. Mail to the homeland was either to be put in the mailboxes that were emptied by the vaguemestres and that were available in every district, or you had to give them to the military postman or have them delivered to the field post office, where they were also stamped. These were the numbers: 1 - Aachen, Hauptpostamt, 1 A - Aachen, Hauptpostamt (only occasionally, from 1923), 2 - Geilenkirchen, 3 - Mönchen-Gladbach, 4 - Krefeld, 5 - Geldern, 6 - Neuss, 7 - Moers, 8 - Kleve and Emmerich, 9 - Malmedy, in the British zone, from March 8, 1921 to August 25, 1925 in Duisburg, from May 10 to May 17, 1920 to April 11, 1921 Elsenborn, district of Malmedy, from 7 February 1923 in Osterfeld and from the end of May to July 24, 1925 in Bottrop, 11 - from May 1921 to March 28, 1923 in Alpen, from March 29, 1923 to April 4, 1925 in Gladbach, it had the garrisons in Marl, Dorsten and Lenkerbeck, Post Marl and 12 - This stamp was reserved for the Aachen - Brussels mail train.
On September 30, 1919, the state of war was officially declared over for the Belgian army . The postage exemption for military personnel was lifted with effect from October 1, 1919. Wounded or those in need of outpatient treatment in military hospitals and the Belgian occupation forces in the Rhineland were excluded. The postal service of the ABO = (L'armée Belge d'occupation) of the Belgian occupation troops was regarded as an internal Belgian postal service. Postage exemption only applied to letters and postcards up to 20 g that were addressed to Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy and their colonies. Newspapers, printed matter, samples and business letters, on the other hand, had to be franked by military personnel. For this purpose, the Belgian postage stamps - edition from 1915, which was given the imprint “Allemagne / Duitsland” and was issued on September 20, 1919, were used. The stamps could only be used by Belgian military personnel. From August 10, 1923, postcards also had to be franked without notice. Cards without franking were postpaid at the Belgian domestic rate.
Field post of the commissions
During this time, a wide variety of commissions were active within Germany. A Belgian contingent of one officer and 31 men were with the "Great Allied Commission for the Rhineland" in Koblenz. The postal service ran via Aachen, where it was also canceled.
Members of the "Allied Military Control Commission" in Berlin used the British field post (APO 1).
A Belgian group in Saarbrücken (Saarland), like a group in Luxembourg, used the French field post. This group was in Saarland until December 12, 1930. From December 1, 1929, the mail was processed by the "Bruxelles-Arlon 1 - Etranger" rail mail.
The censorship measures taken by the Belgian military during the occupation of the Rhineland and Ruhr can be divided into four periods.
- a.) from December 16, 1918 to February 11, 1919 - During this time, the post censorship was carried out by the district commanders. The individual post censorship offices of the Belgian occupation forces all used very different stamps during this time.
- b.) From February 12, 1919 to October 14, 1919 - The censorship measures were now in place. The exchange of mail with unoccupied Germany, the other zones and abroad was regulated, as was the scope of the censorship measures. The responsibility of the central censorship offices in Geldern, Mörs, Krefeld, Mönchen-Gladbach and Erkelenz was also regulated.
- c.) from October 15, 1919 to January 9, 1920 - During this time the censorship was carried out by two mobile postal inspection commissions.
- d.) from January 10, 1920 - postal surveillance was now subject to a new organization.
The censorship office in Aachen was initially (February 12, 1919) housed in the main post office. On April 22, 1919, an authority was set up in Aachen on Kaiserallee to monitor postal correspondence with unoccupied Germany. The entire service mail had to be presented here every day. After a random check, they were given a control stamp from mid-1919 to early 1920.
The end of the occupation
On January 31, 1926, French and Belgian troops evacuated the first zone of the Rhineland. The final evacuation of the Rhineland did not take place until June 30, 1930, five years earlier than foreseen in the Versailles Treaty.
The closure of the main post office in Aachen on November 27, 1929 marked the end of the Belgian field post in Germany. Post which was addressed to the occupation troops from November 28 to 30, 1929, was kept by the postal sergeant in Herbesthal, along with post sent to the "PM1 - ABO" after this date.
The Belgian field post in German East Africa
At the turn of the year 1915/16 there was no longer any doubt that war would break out in German East Africa as well. 100,000 men were deployed under the Boer General Smuts. This army consisted of the English, Indians, South Africans, Belgians, West Africans and Portuguese. This contrasted with 3,000 Germans and 1,200 Askari from the protection force .
The most densely populated areas of Rwanda and Burundi in the north-western part of German East Africa bordered the colony of Belgian Congo and were the target of the Belgian contingent. Under Major General Tombeur as Commander-in-Chief and General Henry as Commanding General, Belgians from the Belgian Congo and British from Uganda invaded German East Africa in the spring of 1916. The aim was to prevent shipping on Lake Tanganyika . Kingoma was taken first. Big fights did not take place. Tabora was taken on September 19, 1916. Tabora was on the Mittellandbahn. This cut off the connection to Lake Victoria. The history of the troop movement should not interest us here.
By order of June 11, 1916, each Belgian unit received a mobile field post station. In addition to the actual task of supplying the troops with news from home, there was taking over the civil post in the newly occupied areas. German post offices were still operating in June / July 1916. When they withdrew, the local stamps were either taken away or completely destroyed, so that new stamps had to be purchased urgently. Until the introduction of suitable stamps, the field postmarks of the Belgian unit present at the time were used. It is hardly possible to assign stamps to post locations at this time. A double-circle metal stamp with the inscription "BPCVPK", field post number and date was introduced in September 1916. The letters stand for “Bureau Poste Campagne Veld Post Kantoor”. The field post numbers ran from 1 to 20. Whether these stamps were now at permanently stationed field post offices or whether they were changed still has to be researched.
The stamps 11, 12 and 13 were also used in camps for interned Germans.
At the end of 1916 a single circle stamp with the new inscription "Postes Militaires" and the date was added. Similarities to the field post mark commonly used in Europe are clear. This also applies to the wealth of variants, especially in the arrangement of the date lines. Whether this stamp should prepare the separation of civil and military mail is speculation. No explanation has yet been found for the use of the stamp.
Based on the first stamp form, another stamp has been introduced with the inscription "KISUMU / Datum / BPCVPK". Kisumu is a port city in British East Africa on Lake Victoria, today's Kenya (since 1935). This place was particularly important for the Belgian troops. From here the railway line to Mombasa on the Indian Ocean could be used. The long supply route across the Congo to the Atlantic could be shortened significantly. This stamp was also not true to the location. At the end of 1918 he appeared for the telegraph service in Karema and in autumn 1921 in Kigoma.
Since Kisumu was not part of the war zone, the stamp cannot also have been used for civil post at the same time. The use of the “Postes Militaires” stamp was prohibited for the same reason. A double-circle stamp with the inscription "KISUMU BELGE" solved the problem.
In other places the presence of the Belgian field post is not so clearly demonstrable. Often any emergency stamps or secondary stamps that were still found were rejected.
Since Belgian units often operated together with British troops, stamps of the British-Indian field post are also known on Belgian shipments. (for example FPO320)
All of these stamps can appear on stamps and postal stationery from the Belgian Congo with overprint such as “RUANDA”, “BURUNDI”, “KINGOMA”, “EAST AFRICAN ALLEMAND- OCCUPATION BELGE” or with overprint. A very interesting and varied collection area. Picture postcards are particularly popular .
The territory of Rwanda-Burundi was given to Belgium by the League of Nations as a mandate. The field postmarks were gradually replaced by civil double-circle stamps with place names. Such stamps can also be found on service mail from Belgian units, as well as field postmarks on private items.
The second World War
Until the mobilization in 1939 no further field post stamp reductions are known. German troops marched into Belgium on May 10, 1940. With the mobilization in 1939, the stamps 1, 1A, 3 to 20, 22 to 25 and 29 to 36 were put into use. These were new stamps with the year in four digits (1939 or 1940) otherwise with the same inscription as those from 1913/29. The stamp "13" was an exception, and stamps with the year in two digits (39/40) are also known from this field post office.
Belgian troops had been transferred to France with some units and their stamps. These newly established post offices used self-made emergency stamps.
Field Post Service 1945
The 1. Belgian Postal Base Section ”was established on January 3, 1945, the“ Liberation Day ”. The Second World War was not over yet. The 1st Belgian Infantry Brigade "Liberation" was part of the British Army (BAOR = British Army of the Rhine ). It received its own field post number for the period from May 1944 to 1946. (FPO 665). Belgian soldiers also used other APO numbers.
The postal service of the 1st Belgian Postal Base Section was part of the field post, the BLA (British Liberation Army), the 8 BAPO (8th Base Army Post Office) and the British field post .
The first office was located in Antwerp on January 3, 1945 in the Solvijnstraat and moved to the Zuiderstation in Brussels in March 1945. This department took care of the distribution of the mail to the Belgian soldiers in the field and therefore handed it over to the APO or BLA. The bag flags were red. This ensured that the mail could be directed preferably to Antwerp or later to Brussels and thus reached the soldiers earlier. Conversely, the APO or BLA handed over the mail items delivered by the Belgian soldiers to the 1st Belgian Postal Base Section, which in turn passed the mail on to the Belgian Post and ensured the urgent transport.
British or APO stamps were mostly used to stamp the items. Other sources report Belgian units fighting alongside the Canadian contingent. That is correct so far. As of January 3, 1945, these units were no longer part of the Canadian contingent. With the surrender of the German troops on May 8, 1945, the services of the 1st Belgian Postal Base Section ended.
The establishment of the Belgian field post in 1946
The Belgian army took part in the occupation of Germany in 1946. An independent Belgian field post service for its own troops in Germany was immediately set up under the name SMPC (Service Militaire des Postes et Colis - Militaire Post parcel service). At the same time a second group was formed, the BPA (Bureau Postal d'Armée - Leger Post Bureau) it organized the establishment of 11 military post offices in the course of 1946.
With changes and adjustments, the organization was essentially retained as in 1939/40. Mr. Leuridan became head of management. The other employees were with the BPC as early as 1940. (Bureau Postal Centralisateur) and later worked for the 1st Belgium Postal Base Section. The staff consisted of civilians who were equated to a corresponding rank with all rights and claims in their posts. The organizational structure was strictly hierarchical. At the top was the management of the military mail and parcel service. (DSMPC = Direction du Service Militaire des Postes et Colis). This was followed by the BPA (Bureau Postal d'Armée), which centrally controlled and carried out the exchange of letters within the troops, the divisional field post office (BPD / 1 = Bureau Postal Divisionaire) and finally the post offices (BPS = Bureau Postal Secondaire) at the post offices We differentiate between the fixed post offices, the maneuver post offices and the reserve post offices (used when mobilizing).
The field post offices in the period 1914/18 and 1939/40 were formally part of the troops. One broke away from this principle. The post offices were set up in one place and served the units belonging to their area. In the beginning, the post office moved along with the majority of the troops.
The "Belgian Sector" lay between the Eifel and Sauerland and was therefore part of the British Zone.
In addition to the special post offices with stamp inscriptions, such as the directorate “SMP-DIR-MPD”, later “DIR-POST”, the clearing house “SPC / AC.P.” Or “SMP / CP” came the exchange offices in Aachen “BPD / 1” or BPA and some in Belgium. The stamps were only used in the internal postal service and rarely appear.
The rail mail
The railway post offices were attached to the DVT (Dagelijkse Verlofgangers Trein) military train from February 6, 1948. As a night train, it ran between Brussels and occupied Germany (BBS Belgische bezettingsstrijdkrachten) via Soest and Siegen. The post in Brussels was handled by the SPC / A / EA In the BD (Occupied Germany), the items were picked up by the individual BPS from the railway post of the nearest train station and items were posted to Belgium. With the reorganization of the DVT on January 10, 1949, with the BPA moving from Brussels to Luik, the rail mail van from Luik to Germany was attached to a normal Belgian train, and since January 30, 1949 to a German train. In Aachen, the mail was reloaded and transported by German trains between Aachen and Hagen, and later between Aachen and Betzdorf. On January 16, 1959, the Feldbahnpostbüro had to be closed in favor of postal trucks. The letters were usually not stamped when they were transported by rail. The railway post office nevertheless had its own stamp “AMBT.MIL.SPWK.” With a diameter of 28 mm and the distinctive letters “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”.
Letters from Belgium in the standard dimensions, up to 20 g. To conscripted military personnel in Germany, postage is paid if they have a military address and the note "MD" (military service). If these conditions are not met (e.g. over 20 g.), Full postage must be paid. Within the Federal Republic of Germany and within the service, all letters are sent postage free. This also applies to professional soldiers. A military address and the note "MD" are also required here. Parcels are not allowed within the BSD. This does not apply to parcels weighing up to 1 kg for students in boarding schools in Germany. These packages are accepted and shipped; but without any responsibility by the postal service.
The fixed post offices
The data from the years 1945–1947 can be secured even better, some data still have to be collected here, if that is still possible today? At the stationed field post offices, the data in the table are to be regarded as secure.
|BPS||garrison||from ... to|
|1||Soest||May 6, 1946 - October 28, 1994|
|2||Bad Driburg, later Brilon||April 8, 1946
June 1, 1947 - April 28, 1956
December 1, 1959–1992
|June 7, 1946
1948 - October 31, 1994
|April 1, 1946 - July 11, 1946
December 3, 1955–1957
until September 29, 1995
|5||Weiden (Cologne 40)
|July 9, 1946
Late 1949 - September 29, 1995
|6th||Neheim-Hüsten||October 20, 1946 - September 21, 1990|
Weiden (Cologne 40)
|April 9, 1946 - April 9, 1946
December 1949 - August 29, 2003
|8th||Bensberg (Bergisch Gladbach)||July 10, 1946–1952|
|9||Aachen Service Militaire Postal
(SMP) Div A.
|May 14, 1946 - December 30, 1983|
|10||Ludenscheid||October 10, 1946-1994|
|October 22, 1946 - December 1948
Mid-49 - May 31, 1985
from September 10, 1986
|12||Wuppertal - military hospital
Düren with Grevenbroich
|February 9, 1950 - April 10, 1950
October 22, 1951 - May 25, 1991
|13||Vogelsang (maneuvers)||for example 1951|
|March 24, 1950 - December 28, 1955
February 15, 1957 - September 30, 1995
|27||Bergen-Hohne (maneuvers)||many years|
|February 15, 1957 - August 15, 1970
March 16, 1977 - August 31, 1983
|37||Arolsen||October 23, 1951 - August 31, 1994|
|41||Grefrath and Mönchengladbach||July 1969 - August 27, 1990|
The mail supply continues unabated during the maneuvers. Units that have been ordered to maneuver in Belgium receive their mail directly from Ans. A special maneuver post office is used for maneuvers in Germany. For example, the “Roaring Lion” maneuver in September 1984 included two mobile post offices SPB 15 + 27. In such cases, the postal service is coupled with the food supply. A maneuver address must look like this: "SM A.Schmitz / Stammnummer / 8 Li op maneuver / SPB 27 B-4090 BSD"
Until February 29, 1972
These stamps differ in the different sizes of the letters of the "POSTES-POSTERIJEN", if you draw a line below the date line, you can see the different letter spacing, sometimes it starts or ends above, below or with the line. Sometimes the number is noticeably larger than the letters in "BPS", sometimes smaller. There are roller stamps.
From March 1, 1972
The following distinctions are possible here: with or without a point between "POST" and the distinctive number, with or without distinctive letters to the right and left of the date line or under "POST", and then sometimes in large and sometimes in smaller numbers, the numbers from "4090" are also sometimes big and sometimes small. The “4090” has a few dots on the “POST.X1” stamp. There are hardly any limits to the joy of looking for deviations, whatever. There are also roller stamps and indicia.
Since 1963, the Belgian field post in Germany has used special postmarks for events organized by the Belgian-German Association in Cologne, a stamp exhibition in Junkersdorf, an event organized by the German-Belgian Society in Arolsen, to name but a few.
The need arises from the special treatment of a letter or document. Only the stamps required for field post are described. Every post office, including the SPB maneuvers, had a small and a larger two-line metal stamp that was cut off on blank registered notes.
The different posting slips remain the property of the postal customers and can therefore significantly expand a collection. On these very different notes we often find the large two-line steel stamp "POST / BPS .." described above and of course the small stamp as well. We also find the same stamps on the sections of postal orders and as sender stamps on service letter cards that come from a post office.
In postal savings accounts , introduced on March 1, 1972, there is often a small single-line stamp "BPS + number" or "POST + number". Another one-liner is also used for bag flags ... like a larger stamp "BPS + number" or, from March 1, 1972, "POST + number"
In the case of the BPS 7, an attempt is made to deliver the undeliverable mail items after all. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the shipment is returned to the sender. A bilingual, two-line stamp in red is cut off for this non-orderable item: "ONBEKEND * Opzoekingsdienst SPB 7 / INCONNU * Service des recherches BPS 7". There are also items that are returned directly from the post offices with the comment: "terug aan afzender, ontoereikend adres, onbekend .. etc.", in many forms as a stamp, sticker or handwritten .. Overpaid items are marked "Gefrankeerd door afzender ”or“ Afranchi par l'envoyeur ”.
In order not to induce the German post officer to charge additional postage in certain cases, the BPS will cut off a two-line stamp. "POSTES MILITAIRE BELGE / Reduced Fee". Obviously this stamp was not acquired centrally, the variety of shapes speaks against it. This stamp is only canceled in a few cases, and only in the relationship between the military post and the Federal Post Office and only for letters over 20 g and for mail (printed matter, wrapper etc.) for which the Belgian domestic tariff does not correspond to the international tariff to Germany. It is well known that the uniform tariff within the European Community does not apply to all shipments.
Another special feature are the voting envelopes as they appear on the occasion of the elections in Belgium. They must be marked “LOI ELECTORALE.-Kieswet” and sent to a postal mail service. If these two conditions are met, these letters will be sent postage paid by registered mail. Machine stamps were used for the March 6, 1974 elections. They were beaten off red and are extremely rare to find.
The collective bargaining conditions are not so easy to understand for an outsider. After all, there are three different tariffs for:
- a.) Military service to Belgium
- b.) professional soldiers and their relatives to Belgium and
- c.) Shipments to the Federal Republic and to the other EC countries.
In addition, there are ongoing changes in terms of both postage and tariffs.
- via the Deutsche Bundespost; Posting at the DBP, franked with German postage stamps (direct and fast) or
- via the Belgian field post in Germany: franking with Belgian postage stamps, although the military postage stamps were not permitted This mail was handed over to the DBP via the exchange offices for further forwarding (slowly but cheaper).
For the postage calculation of the members of the SBSD of the "Sector of the Belgian Strijdkrachten in Duitsland" different tariffs for letters up to 20 g applied at different times. and for postcards and postcards. For civilian employees and school teachers, the Belgian domestic tariff always applied. For conscripts, there was complete freedom of postage in correspondence with family, fiancé or acquaintances, since July 17, 1967 also to a company or organization. Letters up to 20 g., Postcards or postcards were free of postage. All correspondence within the SBSD is postage-free for everyone. In the case of overweight, the full Belgian domestic postage was payable. If this was overlooked, additional postage had to be charged. Since March 1, 1879 (UPU Congress in Paris), double the missing amount has been charged in Belgium as additional postage. Nothing changed until March 26, 1976. Since June 27, 1976, a collection fee has been applied to the missing postage portion.
- Between September 20, 1919 and June 1, 1921, Belgian stamps were used overprinted with "ALLEMANGE / DUITSCHLAND". They served exclusively the Belgian occupation troops and their entourage in postal traffic with Belgium, the Belgian Congo and France with its colonies. The stamps were valid until April 30, 1931.
- On September 2, 1939, a parcel stamp was cut in half and used as a parcel stamp for military mail. On October 1, 1939, a postal parcel stamp with the blue imprint "M / 3 Fr." was overprinted for the same purpose.
- Since July 17, 1967, the company has issued its own postage stamps, the value of which is half the normal domestic postage for a simple letter up to 20 g. corresponded.
Since January 1st, 1977 there is no longer any need for the brands. From then on, professional soldiers and relatives had to pay Belgian domestic postage.
The courier company
Under the name “SDS” (Signal Dispatching Service) for “SERVICE DES ESTAFETTES / DIENST DER ESTAFETTEN”, the Belgian Army operates a courier service for the exchange of official mail between the individual garrisons in Germany and Belgium. Not to be confused with the "field post", which supplies members of the Belgian military contingent with mail in Germany and is subordinate to the Belgian postal administration.
In every garrison there is a "CTr", a "Center Transmission / Transmissie Centrum." This is a communication center in which the service reports from the various units, "SDS" broadcasts and the field post are distributed. which has telex and a switchboard and is also responsible for these services.
The units of the garrison bring the shipments intended for other units and garrisons to the "SDS" office and take the shipments available for them with them. Similar to the general postal service, letter bags are produced for each garrison and exchanged by courier among the "SDS" offices together with the field post remaining in the army area according to a fixed schedule. A special envelope is often sufficient for smaller shipments.
- APO = Army Post Office; USA or UK field post
- 8 BAPO = 8th. Army Post Office base
- BLA = British Liberation Army; British Liberation Army
- BPC = Bureau Postal Centralizer; Centraliserend Postkantoor
- BPA = Bureau Postal d'Armée, Leger Post Bureau.
- BPD = Bureau Postal Divisionaire
- BPS = Bureau Postal Secondaire = SPB
- DSPMC = Direction du Service Militaire des Postes et Colis
- DVT = dagelijkse verlofgangerstrein
- FPO = Field Post Office
- OCC 1 CDB = Office Central de Comptabilité 1 Centrale Dienst Boekhouding.
- OPB / AV = Office Postal Belge / Avancé; Voorwaartse Belgian postal service
- OPC = Office Postal Centralisateur - Centraliserende postal service
- SBSD = Sector van de Belgische Strijdkrachten in Duitsland
- SMPC = Service Militaire des Postes et Colis - Militaire Post parcel service.
- SMP / CP = Service Militaire Postal / Comtabilité Postale; Militaire Postal Service / Postboekhouding
- SMP-DIR-MPD = Service Militair postal - Directorate / Direction - Militaire Postal Service.
- SPC / A -CP = Service des Postes et Colis / Armée-Comptabilité postale; Post- en Collikantoor / Leger-Postboekhouding
- SPC / A / EA = Service des Postes et Colis aux armées / Echelon arrière Trieerbureel
- SPB = Secundair Post Bureel = BPS
- R. Silverberg: Censur et Postes Militaire Belges 1914-1929 , 1982.
- R. Silverberg + P.De Meyere: La poste belge durant la guerre de 1914-1919 ,
- Raoul: La Guerre 1914–1918 et la Philatèlie belge . (3e édition) Salm Phila Club, 1967.
- W. Van Riet: De belgische mititaire censur .
- B. Cassart: Historique des bureaux de postes BPS et POST , 1978.
- L. Sauer: De militaire postcolli .
- Ministère Defense: Réglement sur le service des postes à l'Armèe de Campagne , 1931.
- H. De Belder: De Militaire Stempels 1914-1929 , 1985.
- W. Kerckhofs: 141 Jaar briefwisseling van de belgische militaire , 1976.
- W. Kerckhofs: De afstempeling van het militaire Postbureel BPS 14 .
- R. De Cabooter: Le bureau Postal Militaire No.5 , 1986.
- Egon Vesper: The Post of the Allied Occupation Powers in Post-War Germany , 1968.
- Rik Opsommer (Ed.): Veldpost, Feldpost 1914–1918. 200 west-vlaamse view cards , Ieper: Stadsarchief (multi-part work), Ieper: Stadsarchief, [2004-] 2007
- Belgian side field post (Dutch)