Franzensbad Overprints

Third Reich Private Stamps

At the end of WWII, the U.S. Army occupied Franzensbad, Czechoslovakia (modern Františkovy Lázně, Czech Republic), as well as the neighboring towns of Eger (Cheb), Falkenau (Solkolov), and Wildstein (Skalná).  Due to a lack of Czechoslovakian postage, German stamps (MiNr 886, 888-893) were overprinted by the U.S. Army.  They were to be issued on 26 May 1945, but on that day, the Army called the post offices and directed that they were to be issued only to U.S. Army personnel, not to civilians.  This was honored at all post offices except Bad Wildstein, where the lack of telephone service delayed receipt of the directive.  Therefore, valid civilian cancels exist from Bad Wildstein on 26 & 27 May 1945.

The overprint is “value / U. S. ARMY v C.S.R. / 18.IV.1945″.

Total printed were 1,250 of MiNr 888-893 overprints, and 1,000 of MiNr 886 overprint.