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Asia/Other : A puzzling use of French stamps in Indochina

 

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Bobstamp
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01 Nov 2023
06:14:41pm
This is puzzling. Indochina, which included Laos, Cambodia, and all of what we know today as Vietnam, was a French colony until 1954, when the communist Vietminh defeated the French army at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Indochina issued stamps until 1949. Around 1950, national governments for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were established, and each began issuing stamps and coins in their own names. The first Vietnamese stamps were issued in 1951, supplanting Indochina stamps. All of which begs the question:

Why is this cover franked with French stamps?

Image Not Found

The cover was posted in 1948 in Haiphong, which was not yet under communist control. Was the usage of the French stamps simply a case of “illegal” use that wasn’t noticed by postal clerks? Or is there something I’m missing in reading the admittedly confusing history of Vietnam?

Bob

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories

01 Nov 2023
06:35:22pm
re: A puzzling use of French stamps in Indochina

French military post : Postes aux Armees cancel.

The designation in the top right is likely the military unit in Haiphong.

Roy

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Bobstamp
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01 Nov 2023
08:37:42pm
re: A puzzling use of French stamps in Indochina

That must be at least part of the explanation, Roy, but the sender is clearly not in the French Army. Would a military post office handle civilian/commercial mail?

I have a two letters sent from Haiphong by a soldier in Haiphong to his mother in France in 1947; his job was to climb up the outside of multi-floor buildings to shoot communist snipers. Both letters were in one free-franked envelope.

Bob


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Author/Postings
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Bobstamp

01 Nov 2023
06:14:41pm

This is puzzling. Indochina, which included Laos, Cambodia, and all of what we know today as Vietnam, was a French colony until 1954, when the communist Vietminh defeated the French army at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Indochina issued stamps until 1949. Around 1950, national governments for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were established, and each began issuing stamps and coins in their own names. The first Vietnamese stamps were issued in 1951, supplanting Indochina stamps. All of which begs the question:

Why is this cover franked with French stamps?

Image Not Found

The cover was posted in 1948 in Haiphong, which was not yet under communist control. Was the usage of the French stamps simply a case of “illegal” use that wasn’t noticed by postal clerks? Or is there something I’m missing in reading the admittedly confusing history of Vietnam?

Bob

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www.ephemeraltreasur ...

BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories
01 Nov 2023
06:35:22pm

re: A puzzling use of French stamps in Indochina

French military post : Postes aux Armees cancel.

The designation in the top right is likely the military unit in Haiphong.

Roy

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"Over 7,000 new covers coming Thursday Jan. 18. See my homepage for details."

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Bobstamp

01 Nov 2023
08:37:42pm

re: A puzzling use of French stamps in Indochina

That must be at least part of the explanation, Roy, but the sender is clearly not in the French Army. Would a military post office handle civilian/commercial mail?

I have a two letters sent from Haiphong by a soldier in Haiphong to his mother in France in 1947; his job was to climb up the outside of multi-floor buildings to shoot communist snipers. Both letters were in one free-franked envelope.

Bob


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www.ephemeraltreasur ...
        

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