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   In September 1943 the Italian surrender caused a political vacuum in the Balkan Peninsula, which the Germans filled. The German postal authorities took over the post in Albania, Montenegro, Kotor, Macedonia, Laibach (Ljubijana), Zante and Zara.



    The Ionian Islands were occupied by Italy in 1941 and issued Italian stamps with the overprint "Isole Ionie". After the fall of Italy in September 1943 all of the Ionian Islands were authorised to use Greek stamps and the Italian stamps were no longer valid.

    There was a shortage of stamps and it would take a while for Greek stamps to reach the island. The Wehrmacht Kommandant Hauptmann Lüth, together with the islands postal authorities, gave the order for Italian stamps (which were already overprinted with "Isole Ionie") to be given a further Greek overprint.

    The stamps went on sale on the 22nd October 1943, mostly with a black overprint, but some were in a red overprint. Three stamps in total, 25 Cent, a 50 Cent and a 50 Cent Airmail stamp. A 10 Cent stamp was overprinted, but never made it to the counter before the stamps became invalid.

   Very few stamps were known used, most of those known on cover were sent to a bank in Athens. The stamps were withdrawn on the 29th October 1943 and the hand dies containing the overprint was ordered destroyed. The stamps had been in use for only seven days!



 The most common black overprint with 15,000 examples of each stamp



The rare pre-paid postcard with overprint



The more rare red overprint with between 2 to 3 thousand examples only




   Brac was an island off the Croatian coast which was occupied by the partisans, the Germans fought for the island and in turn occupied it. Brac post office should have been handed over to the Croatian postal authorities, but General Rendulic decided to order a special overprint on former pre-war Yugoslavian stamps. Transport was ordered through 350 kilometers of partisan countryside to Belgrade in Serbia.

    The stamps on arival were overprinted "BRAC" and also contained a charity surcharge, which it was impossible to collect and distribute due to further partisan activity.




   Very few of the stamps are known to have been used, a First Day Cover was known sent to a stamp catalogue firm in Germany. At the end of the war a lot of these stamps found their way into General Rendulic´s briefcase. It is interesting to note that the Austian General was a very keen stamp collector.


Stamps overprinted "HUAR" (Hvar) or "KORCULA"




   These seem to be a non-authorised fantasy product, which had been offered to various auction houses after the war, they vanished from the scene about 1977 and have not been seen again since.



 
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