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Author: Subject: 1918 Romania-occupied Bessarabia
Major Philatelist

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[*] posted on 1/18/2012 at 05:57
1918 Romania-occupied Bessarabia

This is a recent addition to my collection:

0005-9.jpg - 141kB

0006-5.jpg - 381kB

22/4/1918 Imperial postal card from Kishinev / Chisinau, Moldavian Democratic Republic (Romanian-occupied Bessarabia, on April 9th the union of the Moldavian Republic with Romania had been proclaimed) to Iasi, Romania (25/4 Iasi was then the administrative center of Romania, Bucharest and a large part of the country having been occupied by Austria-Hungary).

The card is franked at 10k with the addition of a 7k Arms this is the postcard rate introduced by the Central Rada in the Ukraine in January 1918 and presumably applicable in Bessarabia as well. The franking is cancelled by a postmark reading: OFIC.TEL.POSTAL MILITAR / DIVIZIA I VANATORI, an FPO cancel. A military unit seal at center of card, indicating free dispatch? Censored in IASI (type C), written in Romanian. (See articles about 1918 uses in Bessarabia in Post Rider #45 by Dan Grecu and #56 and #60 by Alexander Epstein).

Is this card a military free-frank for a Romanian military person? Is the Russian franking superfluous and the card used as a blank?

Even if the case of a free-frank is correct, I think it would clearly demonstrate that in late April the post-offices in Kishinev had available stocks of postal cards pre-franked at 10k for "domestic" usage. Were these cards (and the corresponding Central Rada 10k rate) still being used within Bessarabia in late April or were they remainder stocks?
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[*] posted on 1/19/2012 at 09:13

That is very interesting history. Nice addition, vasia
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