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German Feldpost World War 2

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During the World War 2 about 30 to 40 billions feldpost letters was mailed, from home to front, front to home, and front to front.

In order not to give too many information away the Feldpost system used a speciel number system. Each unit was hiding behind a five digit number, and the system was so efficient that military mails often was as quick as the mail system today, unless the mail went to the battle field or a unit left behind.

Some units was however using their unit name in clear, mostly being Reserve Units (Ersatz) in Germany, the Generalgouvernement or Böhmen-Mähren.

The Army had only the five digit figure system, the Airforce had an L in front of the digits (menaing Luftwaffe) and also a routing destination - like LGPA Brussel. The Navy was often using a M in front of the digits, meaning Marine and also a routing destination, like MPA Berlin.

Then the Feldpost system had a number of books to keep updated when the address of the unit changed, e.g. when many of the units was moved from the West to Poland preparing for Operation Barbarossa (the attack on Russia in June 1941).

Identification of a unit


When identifying a letter the five digits and the date of the cover is important, as the five digit system was changed during the war. Maybe a unit was disbanded or destroyed and then another unit took over the Feldpostnumber.

Here we have a Feldpostnumber 21406C and the date in the postmark being May 1943. Having the references, then its possible to identify the unit.

The following units was using Feldpostnumber 21406 during the War:

(2.1.1940-27.4.1940) Stab III u. 9.-12. Kompanie Infanterie-Regiment 515
(24.8.1943-5.4.1944) 5.1.1944 Stab III u. 9.-12. Kompanie Grenadier-Regiment 515
18.1.1944 gestrichen
(10.11.1944-Kriegsende) 9.2.1945 Funk-Fernschreib-Trupp 31.

As we have a date of the cover being May 1943 we can identify the unit to be:
Stab III u. 9.-12. Kompanie Infanterie-Regiment 515

The C is telling us the exact unit: 10. Kompagnie. A= Stab III, B= 9. Kompagnie. D= 11. Kompagnie and E= 12. Kompagnie.

Sammelfeldpost numbers
Some of the Feldpost number was covering a specific area, like these number:

00405 00821 00940 01239 01402 01747 02109 02313
02955 03069 03818 04092 04102 04547 05086 05612
05874 05975 06332 06460 06552 06780 07244 07332
07515 08080 08599 08797 09186 09425 09664 10160
10401 10624 10748 11228 11644 11750 12194 12343
12998 13119 13324 13820 14022 14319 14413 14856
15177 15232 15515 15702 15917 16019 16209 16316
16344 16585 16834 17427 17629 17899 17943 18129
18133 18446 18606 18949 19375 19380 19522 19711
20096 20275 20430 20735 21218 21535 21740 21851
21878 22151 22501 22640 22688 23032 23383 23936
24052 24258 24808 25362 25480 25795 26009 26033
26099 26667 26843 27519 27976 28214 28675 29213
29308 30730 30733 30767 31459 31904 33199 34793
43406 43948 44098 44749 45262 46002 56316 56434
57719 57884 58035 58202

Here we take an example: Sammelfeldpostnummer 01747 being the location Evreux in France.

If we have a cover with the Feldpostnumber 01747D and a date we can easy identify the unit. Here there are only a few units using the system. At other locations many units are e.g. using the letter E and then the date is very important to identify the unit.
 
A - E - Feldkommandantur 801 Eintragung 
B - E - Feldpostamt Zweigstelle Evreux Eintragung
C - E - Heeresunterkunftsverwaltung 126 Eintragung
D - E o. 7 - Transport-Hauptkolonne 7 NSKK-Kraftwagen-Leitung OT-Einsatz-Gruppe West (Paris) Eintragung
E - 8 - Stab IV. Bataillon Sicherungs-Regiment 66 Eintragung
F - 8 - 10. Kompanie Sicherungs-Regiment 66 Eintragung
H - 8 - 11. Kompanie Sicherungs-Regiment 66 Eintragung

Dates:

E = (1. Mai 1942 bis 19. Oktober 1942)
7 = (20. Oktober 1942 bis 9. Januar 1943)
8 = (10. Januar 1943 bis 26. September 1943)
9 = (27. September 1943 bis 17. Mai 1944)
10 = (18. Mai 1944 bis 19. Dezember 1944)
11= (20. Dezember 1944 bis 8. Mai 1945)

Valuation
Normally the Feldpost covers/letters to Marine and SS units are far the most valuable, but also covers from stronghold positions, who was surrounded, sometimes for months, are very valuable. But many other factors are important, e.g. the content of the letter or the senders name.

An ordinary cover, maybe from a Reserve Unit, can range from one dollar up to several hundred dollars for a special SS letter.

References

Kannapin, Norbert: Die Deutsche Feldpost 1939-1945. Organisation und Lokalisation der Feldpostämter und Feldpostdienststellen. 2. Auflage. Osnabrück 1987
Kannapin, Norbert: Die Deutsche Feldpostübersicht, Bände I-III, Osnabrück 1980
Tessin, Georg: Verbände und Truppen der Deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945. 16 Bände, Osnabrück 1979ff.

Feldpost letters Ebay

 
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