The Samovar

Arkhangel 1919 - French Allied Intervention

Maxime Citerne - 5/4/2013 at 05:49

Dear Friends,

Quite some information is available in the philatelic litterature on the famous British Polar Bear expedition in North Russia during 1918-1919.

In contrast, the data regarding the French PO operating in Arkhangel during that time is definitely hard to come by.

One of the readers of my blog contacted me for some more information regarding two cards in his collection. They both bear the French censor marks. A third cover is known to me (ex Dr Wortman, illustrated in BJRP 36, 1965).

Please find below the PDF link with scans of those two cards.

Although I rapidly checked in some official ressources and studies of the French military postal system (I am French so I can read fluently those datas), I have until now been unable to discover with certainty the meaning of the letters C.I.A and C.I.O. Anyone here knows? Any further covers in your collection? Any other postal history information on the French PO in Arkhangel?

Any help would be appreciated, so thanks in advance!

Regards,

Maxime

Attachment: CIA-CIO.cards.pdf (317kB)
This file has been downloaded 409 times

verny - 5/6/2013 at 15:42

I have to confess to limited knowledge of French WW1 censorship but CIO in miitary circles often refers to Chief Inteligence Officer. This would make some sense in respect of censorship and the French intials would be the same (not sure about word order though).

Maxime Citerne - 5/9/2013 at 02:53

Dear Verny,

thank you very much for your answer. I am afraid that in the case of those French censorship marks 'CIO' will not refer to Chief Intelligence Officer'. First, it absolutely doesn't sound right in French (I am French, by the way), be it the exact English words OR an approximate translation; second, the order of the letters would be incorrect (and would still not sound right, be it directly translated from English or an approximate translation); and third the French -even more in the very conservative early XXth century military departments- are famous for their refusal of using English language in their administrative markings.

In France there is a word for it: chauvinisme. Still today in Europe, French people are 'infamous' for their nosing-up over learning other languages.

Anyway, that would not explain the second mark 'CIA'. I am still searching and will definitely post here the results, if any :lecture

Kind regards,

Maxime

A few French Military possibilities

verny - 1/31/2014 at 07:06

C.I.A.
centre d'instruction de l'air
Air Force training center

C.I.A.
centre d'instruction d'armée
Army training center

C.I.A.
centre d'instruction de l'artillerie
artillery training center

C.I.A.
centre d'instruction automobile
automotive training center

C.I.A.
centre d'incorporation de l'armée
recruitment centre

and one for CIO

verny - 1/31/2014 at 07:09

CIO
centre d'information et d'orientation
information and orientation centre (for recruits)

Maxime Citerne - 5/2/2014 at 05:17

Quote:
Hello Verny,

sorry for my late reply... and thank you for your guessing work below:

Quote: Originally posted by verny  
C.I.A.
centre d'instruction de l'air
Air Force training center

Doesn´t sound right in French.


Quote:

C.I.A. centre d'instruction d'armée Army training center

Could be. But would be more realistic "Centre d´Instruction des Armées". But what would "instruction" do with this military post?


Quote:

C.I.A. centre d'instruction de l'artillerie artillery training center

Never heard something similar in the French military postal history.

Quote:

C.I.A. centre d'instruction automobile automotive training center

Again, could work BUT the use of the word "instruction" here is highly doubtful.

Quote:

C.I.A.centre d'incorporation de l'arméerecruitment centre

Doesn´t sound right to me as well.

On my side, I am still unable to get the correct information through official texts. I keep on searching.

verny - 11/27/2016 at 18:27

Those were not guesses but official abbreviations that were used by the French military that I copied and pasted in - I am English and would never spell centre as center.