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postal system between belligerents

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Riter, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Riter

    Riter Member

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    I just read that a Tommy captured a Jerry and the Jerry asked the Tommy to write his mother and advised that he was captured, in good condition and a PoW. The Tommy did and the Jerry's mother wrote back thanking him for the news of her son (she hadn't been advised and was understandably worried). She wrote back and thanked the British soldier for the letter and even included a photo of the son. How did the letters go through? Switzerland? Sweden? I'm sure everybody (officer's soldier, German intelligence or Gestapo) read it before it reached her.
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm not sure this fully answers your question, but I found this snippet of information

    Whether civilan mail could be sent between Axis and Allied states, as your post states, is something I'm interested in as well. (I suspect that whether it was permitted depended on the policies set by the source and destination states, and in the case where both permitted it, the mail would probably have to go through a mutually non-belligerent third state.) I know that military mail from prisoners of war was permitted under the Geneva Convention, so it was quite common for Axis and Allied prisoners of war to send letters and postcards to their families, and possibly vice versa
    Was it possible to send a letter to/from the Axis during WWII to/from outside it? [Archive] - Straight Dope Message Board
     
  3. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I have a large grouping that belonged to a navigator of a B17 that was shot down after its bombing run. Initially he was MIA but eventually the Red Cross notified he was a POW in Germany. Below are instructions on how letters/parcels should be sent from the US. Information I have seen so far from the camp have come via the Red Cross. It is a huge grouping that I have not really gotten into just yet. Some interesting instructions. This is an original document. Once I find his letters out I will post


    POW1.jpg
    POW2.jpg
     
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  4. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I recall Red Cross could send packages and short letters due to the Geneva agreement. How much actually made it to the recipients would be another question.I


    EDIT
    MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH ! I Jba45ww2 beat me to it.
     
  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I forgot about the Red Cross. The Geneva Convention allowed for information to be exchanged. I think this applied only to POWs, not civilians. See Jba45ww2 for detailed consideration.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  6. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Just found one of his addressed envelopes going out
    POW3.jpg
     
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  7. Riter

    Riter Member

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    OK, I can see the International Red Cross being the mail go-between. After all, it was between a British soldier and a pair of German parents.
     
  8. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The postal status of German occupied or allied countries allowed post. E.g. after the French armistice post from the Vichy Regime could reach Britain. According to "Aunties War", the BBC French service received letters and requests from France.
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    For the US, at least, the USPS suspended service to Axis countries. However, the Red Cross would deliver mail to POWs. Letters destined for Japan went through the Soviet port of Vladivostok then on to Japan. While those going to Europe, IIRC, would go through Lisbon, Portugal.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Good grief, gentlebeings! How's a spy supposed to send mail back home without the services?

    Anywho, embassies and consulates in neutral countries were relay points at times. You just had to know how to address the cover letter.
     

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