Indochina, Postage Free Military and Official Mail of Indochina; The first French military post office in Cochinchina was opened February 25th, 1861 in Saigon. The first military post office in Cambodia was established in 1865. (Desrousseaux SICP Journal, February 1972, Volume 2 Nr. 1). Military letters for the general ranks as well as official mail was transported postage free. This was not the case for military officers on account of their higher renumeration. They had to pay their own postage. Generally a unit cachet had to be applied to free letters on the envelope in order to prevent fraud but some letters or post cards do not carry them.

Military letter of a police officer that was engaged in the Tonkin Delta in Quang-Yen. Circular “Quang-Yen-Tonkin” cancel from January of 1888 and mute military circular “Corps.Expere, Annam” cancel  on front. Besancon arrival cancel on the reverse. The letter took about 40 days to be delivered. Ex Schwirtz.

Military letter sent by a soldier located in Hue to France in January of 1888.  Th letter is cancelled with the standard Hue circular cancel. “Corps Exp.Tonkin, Ligne N4” military, Saigon transit and French arrival cancels on the reverse. Red military cachet on front and reverse.

Military letter sent by a soldier located in Hue to France in February of 1888.  The letter is cancelled with the standard Hue circular cancel. Red “Corps Exp.Tonkin, Ligne N4” military cancel in front. Saigon transit and various French arrival cancels on the reverse. Military cachet on front and reverse.

Military letter sent by a solder from Tourane (Da Nang) to France in October of 1890. Interesting red “Corps.Exp.Tonkin, Ligne N.2”, Tourane departure and mute circular black “Corps Exp, Annan-Tonkin” on front. Large violet military cachet, Saigon transit and French arrival cancels on the reverse. The letter took almost a month to arrive. The French company operated a total of ten different ships. Ex Schwirtz.

Military letter sent by a solder from Hanoi to France in April of 1893. Hanoi departure and mute circular black “Tonkin-Corps Expedit. as well as circular “Coprs Exp.Tonkin, Ligne N.3” cancel on front.Large blue military cachet, Hai Phong transit and French military arrival cancels on the reverse. Ex Schwirtz.

Rare military letter front sent from Phu-Lang Phuong to France in September of 1893. The Phuong-Lang post office was established on January 1st, 1885 and the military post office was operational until 1904. Mute circular “Tonkin-Corps.Expedit”. Illegible oval troop cachet. Ex Schwirtz.

Naval military letter sent from Hai Phong to France in November of 1894. Cancelled by the circular mute military “Corps Expedre.Tonkin” cancel and circular naval cachet on front. Ex Schwirtz.

Military letters sent by a soldier located in a military hospital in Yen-Bai and sent to France in November of 1898. Yen-Bai circular cancel, mute military “Corps Expeditionaire” and blue military cachet on front. Hanoi transit and Lille arrival cancels on the reverse.

Naval military letter sent from Saigon to France in October of 1900. Cancelled by the circular “Saigon-Cochinchine-Corps Exp” cancel and circular naval cachet on front. Plouescat arrival cancel on the reverse. Ex Schwirtz.

Rare postal notification to a customer informing him that a telegram had arrived. Mailed from the Cholon Bin Htay in January of 1901. Ex Schwirtz.

Military letter sent by a member of a French Infantry Battalion occupying China and sent from China to France in November of 1901. Cancelled with the circular “Tresor et Postes aux Armees 5 Chine 5” military cancel. Red large military cachet on front. Aurat arrival cancel on the reverse. Ex Schwirtz.

Military letter sent by a member of a French Infantry Battalion occupying China and sent from Shanghai to France in March of 1902. Circular “Cor.d.Armees-Shang-Hai” and circular “Exp.Tonking” military cancels. Violet large military cachet on front. Illegible arrival cancel on the reverse. Ex Schwirtz.

Saigon was the main administrative center for the Southern parts of Indochina where the harbor played an important economic role. This led to other nations, such as Germany, to establish consulates. Here is a cut-out from a large envelope that was dispatched by the “Royal German Consulate” in Saigon via the Yokohama-Marseille Ligne N Nr. 5 (as indicated by the ship cancel. Circular Limbach, Saxony arrival cancel from February of 1912. Blue Consulate seal. Ex Schwirtz.

Post card of the Saigon Harbour building

Military letter sent by a soldier located in Dao Bang, close to the Chinese border, to France. Blue military cachet on front. Hanoi transit cancel on the reverse.

Rare military post card sent in October of 1907 by a German in Hanoi and employed with the French Foreign Legion sent to his parents using the military postal system. Ex Schwirtz.

Military letter sent by a soldier from Hanoi to France in February of 1907. Hai Phong transit cancels on the reverse.

Domestic military mail sent from Tay-Ken (rare cancel) to Hanoi in May of 1907. Tay-Ken departure and Hanoi arrival cancels on the reverse. Blue military cachet on front.

Military letter sent by a soldier located in Tonkin to France in September of 1910. Cancelled with the Hanoi-Chateu circular cancel. Blue military cachet on front.

Rare military post card written during World War I by a French soldier located in Mon Cay (rare cancel) and sent to a fellow solider who was located in a German hospital in Darmstadt as a prisoner of war. Ex Schwirtz. Schwirtz annotated this card with “During World War I French colonial troops also fought in France. If they were captured, there was a postal connection established via the Red Cross. Mail was handed over in Pontarlier, a French border city.”

Military letter sent by a soldier located in Tuen Quang, north-west of Hanoi, in May of 1917 to France. Hanoi transit cancel on the reverse. Black military cachet on front.

 Letter sent by a doctor from a military hospital in Vinh-Long on April 30th, 1929 to a recipient in the same city. Cancelled with the rare “Poste Rurale Binh Long” rural cancel. Vinh Long arrival cancel on the reverse. Ex Schwirtz.

Letter sent by the Residence Superieure du Cambodge (Government Building) in Pnom Penh, Cambodia to the Chef du Service Colonial in Marseille, France in August of 1932. Violet Government cachet on front.

Registration Nr. 090004

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