Introduction to Feldpost

    During the early campaigns of 1937-39, the German Wehrmacht had a military mailing system that provided free postal services within Germany. By 3 September 1939, the Feldpost military mail service was placed in motion.
    Postcards and letters up to 250gms including newspapers could be mail free of charge by the German para-military and military organizations.
    In November 1939, packages weighing up to 1000gms were included at the nominal rate of 20Rpf fee.

    All German military branches had its own organic postal administration in charge of receiving and delivering mail. For Feldpost offices closest to the combat zone a mobile facility usually processed mail for all military branches.
    All military branches subordinated directly to the "Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (OKW)" (Supreme Command of the Armed Forces).

    By 1940, changes in the Feldpost system followed through the rapid conquest of Europe. Eventually a series of postal agreements were set up between Germany and the occupied countries providing an extended usage of Feldpost service.
    Countries such as the Netherlands had close to 50,000 pro-Nazi volunteers that during the course of the war used the Feldpost system.
    Eventually these postal agreements were settled between Germany and other countries, including neutral countries such as: Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and Turkey, which had Legionnaires within the German forces. Spain having its own formation as the 250th Infantry Division.

    To preserve the secrecy of troop movements, each battalion was assigned a five digit code number called Feldpost Number (FPN). By the end of 1939, letter prefixes "L" and "M" were attached in front of each FPN to units belonging to the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine. A breakdown by military units was added by attaching letter prefixes "A" through "E" at the end of each FPN. The letter A generally signified headquarters company, the others stood for line companies.

    The sequence of a FPN does not necessarily mean that the location of the units were at the same area. The postal cover/postcard itself was usually stamped with a military Feldpost Cancellation and Official Military Unit Seal. Feldpost numbers were sometimes reassigned to other units, particularly when a unit ceased to exist. Normally Feldpost mail could not be dispatched nor received by civil post offices.

    If a Legionnaire wanted to send mail through a civil post office, full postage was collected. A "Feldpostamt, (FpA)" (Feldpost Office Number) is a tactical number that was used mostly for mobile postal facilities closed to a combat zone or to certain permanent facilities in the rear areas. This FpA was devised for each Army, Corps, Division and Independent Brigade. Each FpA was assigned a three digit code number between 100 through 999, called Kenn. This code number was used for routing Official Registered Feldpost mail. The Kenn number was applied in the Feldpost Cancel and on the Register Label. Provisions for official registered and insured mail were offered for a small postal charge. Express mail from the front required a 40Rpf fee. Feldpost express mail had to be delivered by special messenger.

    Legion Feldpost

    Since most of the Legions were combat forces, mail went through the regular "Feldpost" (field post) offices of the Herr, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine and Waffen-SS. The first degree applying the usage of Feldpost for foreigners in the German forces was 17 July 1941, at the direction of the German Navy. Depending on the postal agreements done with the collaborating countries, postcards, letters and newspapers up to 250gms were delivered free of charge to all military personnel. Packages of 250gms to 1000gms were permitted against payment of a 20Rpf fee. To address a letter to a military member, one had only to write the individual's name and rank and his Feldpost unit number on the envelope. All such letters had to be submitted for censorship.
    Legion mail is categorized in the following groups:
    A. Legion mail sent from the homeland to the Front Lines.
    B. Legion mail sent from the Front Lines to the homeland.
    C. Legion mail sent from soldier to soldier.
    D. Legion mail using propaganda labels (philatelic or non-philatelic).
    E. Legion mail process through civilian post office.

    Flemish Volunteers

    Flemish SS Volunteers receiving feldpost mail


    The SS-Feldpost mail was handled separately by the designated SS-units. The difference between ordinary Feldpost and SS-Feldpost mail is that the cover usually bore the SS-Feldpost marking, SS unit seal and the sender's rank (SS-Mann).

    The rules requiring Feldpost mail to bore the "SS" marking were not carried out or enforced. The SS had mail surveillance centers, which used their own censorship markings. In general all military mail abide the rules and regulations governing the regular Feldpost services, however, the postal autonomy of the Waffen-SS increased as of 1 June 1942. On 6 April 1944, all military mail came under the SS own jurisdiction and no longer followed the control of the OKW.










    Waffen-SS Recruiting postcard

    Waffen-SS Recruiting Postcard






    SS volunteers had secret Post Office Boxes to conceal their association with the Waffen-SS. They were sent via air mail service in a second envelope, address to "WIEN 62, SCHLIESSFACH 110, FR" (Vienna, P.O. Box 110 or 113), or "BERLIN W30, SCHLIESSFACH 26, FR" (Berlin, P.O. Box 26). Upon receipt at the P. O. Box address, the postal clerk removed the letter from the outer envelope, stamped the P.O. Box number on the reverse and sent via feldpost channels. The cover was then forwarded to the addressee using probably a fictitious German name. The letters mailed to the addressees were always censored by the SS or army and they usually had the annotation "Zuruck an Absenser/Neue Anschrift abwarten" (Return to sender, wait for new address). Most of the mail originated in Romania (a few covers have the actual sender's name/address that appeared on the inside flap). The initials "F.R." was a commercial establishment that held Box 110.


    PO BOX SS-Feldpost


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