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Middle East/All :  ISRAEL’S TRIANGULAR MILITARY UNIT HANDSTAMPS

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triangle
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05 Jan 2019
08:20:31pm
ISRAEL’S TRIANGULAR MILITARY UNIT HANDSTAMPS

By Triangle

Following the Society of Israel’s Philatelists SIP publication of my research “Harris A Catalogue of Israel’s Triangular Military Unit Handstamps” in 2012 this is a brief overview of the military KBA triangular number system. KBA represents the Hebrew letters within the triangles.

I have continued to collect this material and have expanded my collection over the last few years. When I started collecting this type of cover , I found a few of these covers, put them aside and eventually asked myself what is the lowest number and highest number ever used? Can I collect all the numbers? I am not sure if anyone else has attempted this challenging task to obtain all the numbers. I will be pleased to hear from anyone interested in this topic especially if you are a serious collector. I estimate that there are in the region of 5000 different KBA numbers used since 1948.I realised at an early stage that each number was used to allow soldiers to send letters postage free. In the pre internet and mobile phone era, soldiers sending letters home to loved ones were very popular with all military personnel in all armies. However many important historical military covers from early conflicts are known to philatelists and have been written up in detail from the viewpoint of the military campaign or postal route in SIP or displayed at major international stamp exhibitions. Some of the better known numbers include 180- Golani Brigade, 192- Sodom, 211- Etzioni brigade, and 593- Tabul 1949 Stamp Exhibition, philatelic use. During the creation of Israel I believe that there were more urgent tasks than recording military postal service numbers. This has spurred me on to try and find copies of all the numbers and to develop a comprehensive data base for this unusual subject.

I have been checking all of the auctions posted on Stamp Auction network for a long time looking for more covers. There are plenty of Israel stamp collections and early regular tabbed stamps in auctions, and a few rare or unique items, but there are only occasional military items listed by a few auction houses. I am aware of only one serious large collection in auction recently. I know that some early collectors were interested in the regular army postmarks which indicated which military post office processed the mail.

Having studied this topic I realise that there are 3 major styles of hand stamp used by the Israel Military postal service. Many variations of the styles can be found. The first style is from 1948 to early 1950’s shown in figure 1. I believe that most numbers up to 999 were used. As a result of my research I think I have identified most of the numbers. I am still looking for copies of some of these numbers to confirm that they entered the postal system, so would welcome scans of material or further information to help confirm that the numbers were issued in the early days of the State. Even covers addressed to military bases, without triangles, which confirm use of a number are important to this research. I am also happy to arrange exchanges of the material up to KBA 999. I believe that there were a few articles in SIP in the 1950’s on this topic listing numbers, with very little published until my catalogue in 2012 so it is an underdeveloped area of Israel philately.

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The second period from about mid 1950’sto around 1980 consists of numbers from 1000 to around 3650 with a few higher numbers possibly used. Figure 2 shows a few typical examples of this style of number. Several different fonts were used and most are stamped in standard military blue/purple ink. I have almost a complete run of these numbers but am still looking for a few of them including several numbers between 1700 and 2000. Many covers from this era were used for weekly newspaper competitions probably with the real intention of generating material for collectors. Some were propaganda covers. Many commercial advertisers supplied free propaganda postcards to support soldiers on the military fronts especially during times of war. I am happy to exchange 4 of this type of cover for any copies of the missing numbers in my collection or any new discoveries of numbers in this range. Please email me your lists of numbers for checking against my data base.


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The final type of cover is called “zero series” in my catalogue and has been issued from about 1980 and is still in use.This a third style of number but is prefixed by a “0”.It often has a date within the triangle. I have identified about 600 different numbers in this series, but think that they could be a lot more. In more recent years many are being pre-printed on envelopes used for bulk mailings. There are many varieties within this series. Any help in tracking down new zero series numbers would be welcome. Numbers I am looking for include 01433, 01455,01526,01636,01833 to 01860, 02129 and 03350.Again I am happy to arrange exchanges of material.

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As a long term project I am hoping to eventually update my catalogue, and to describe in detail the development of the KBA markings. If you can help me with any aspect of this topic, have numbers for checking or would like to swap covers, please contact me to discuss by email to my Stamporama message box or post as a response. Thank you for your interest.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
06 Jan 2019
02:54:21pm
re: ISRAEL’S TRIANGULAR MILITARY UNIT HANDSTAMPS

Interesting information Harris (Triangle). I am learning a lot here. I was familiar with regular city triangle cancellations (a few examples attached) but I never dug deeper into cancellations as I don't specialize that much beyond the standard stamp collection (and Pre-Israel British Palestine has plenty of overprint varieties and perforation varieties that are a real challenge to the collector!).
Are the Military Triangle Handstamps all cover cancellations or are they visible just on the stamps, as stamps cancellations? I have never seen them applied to stamps directly.
rrr...

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"C. Hitchens — 'That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.'"
triangle
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06 Jan 2019
03:56:13pm
re: ISRAEL’S TRIANGULAR MILITARY UNIT HANDSTAMPS

Thanks for posting these great pictures.

My understanding is that the type of cancellations in your picture were only used on the high volume of post that arose just before the Jewish New Year. The letters signify the town of cancellation eg TV tel Aviv eg JSM Jerusalem eg HA Haifia etc.

There is a small 16 page pamphlet in French written by Pierre Muller " Les Cachets Triangulaires de Palestine et D'Israel" from Le Monde des Philatelists probably published about 1965 which describes your pictures in detail. It covers the postmarks used in Jerusalem from around 1870 to 1965. There may be other books as well, so if anyone has more documentation please share it.

These are totally different to the Military triangles I describe in my post. The Military cancellations were usually applied just to stampless covers to enable free post for servicemen. However I have quite a lot of stamped covers with the military cancellations and they can be found both on the stamps on these covers or remote from the stamps on these covers.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod. Retired Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Retired consultant
06 Jan 2019
07:22:52pm
re: ISRAEL’S TRIANGULAR MILITARY UNIT HANDSTAMPS

Here is a link to the various (38 different) city triangular cancellations that were used:

http://wwwphilatelie-truchtersheim.e-monsite.com/album-photos/la-marcophilie/les-cachets-triangulaires-de-palestine-et-d-israel/

rrr...

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"C. Hitchens — 'That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.'"
ikeyPikey
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06 Jan 2019
10:45:27pm
re: ISRAEL’S TRIANGULAR MILITARY UNIT HANDSTAMPS

Quote:

"... The Military cancellations were usually applied just to stampless covers to enable free post for servicemen ..."



And draft notices to civilians, and commercial correspondence to vendors, and anything else that the IDF sent by mail to a domestic addressee.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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triangle
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07 Jan 2019
03:55:39pm
re: ISRAEL’S TRIANGULAR MILITARY UNIT HANDSTAMPS

I have a large range of items which were sent from military sources

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