Today in Postal History


Italian Post Office in Smyrna to Denmark
March 17, 1919

This cover was sent from Smyrna on the west coast of Turkey,

Turkey was still engaged in the aftermath of World War I.
With the outbreak of World War I, foreign post offices in the Ottoman Empire
established under 'Capitulations' negotiated in trade treaties were closed September 9, 1914.
Formal reopenings of such post offices did not occur until August 10, 1920.
The Italians, however, didn't wait for formal agreement and operated this military post office in Smyrna.
It may well have been the only operating post office in Smyrna at the time.

The cover was franked with 1908 25c blue Victor Emmanuel III (Scott 100).
The cover has two Posta Militare CDS.

It was also censored, sealed, and handstamped by the military censors.
There are two boxed red handstamps which appear to read
 and one black handstamp which appears to be
The censoring was accomplished in Bologna en route to the destination in Aarhus.

Aarhus is on the eastern shore of the Danish peninsula.
The cover arrived there on April 12 as indicated by the receiver CDS on the rear.
There is also a purple duplex handstamp with a 22 in a circle and
a killer to the right with a 30 between lines and a faint box.
I am not sure what this handstamp is.
I am told it is not a Danish marking.
Help, anyone?


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