Overprinted stamps of Italy, for use by the military, were first issued in late 1942.
A military stamp is a
used by a military organization in time of war. Often the letters will
be transported by the
army, until they reach the country of destination. These stamps
were widely used during World War II
by soldiers wishing to send mail home to their families. In modern
times they have pretty much been phased out and replaced by electronic
means of communications.
These military stamps of Italy were used for official military mail, within the Kingdom of Italy, during 1943. Used on military covers,
before September 1943, these stamps are very scarce.
Due to a lack of definitive postage and airmail stamps in the Italian
Socialist Republic, during 1944 and 1945, stocks of these stamps were
also used for regular mail. Used on commercial covers, inside the
Italian Socialist Republic, these stamps are quite expensive.
Twenty contemporary definitive postage stamps, definitive airmail stamps, airmail special delivery stamps, and special delivery stamps were all overprinted "P.M." for use on official military mail. They are all shown above.
Here are the Scott catalog attributes and the design descriptions:
5 C. (Scott #M1) - She-wolf with Romulus and Remus.
10 C. (Scott #M2) - Caesar Augustus.
15 C. (Scott #M3) - Italia.
20 C. (Scott #M4) - Julius Caesar.
25 C. (Scott #M5) - King Victor Emmanuel III.
30 C. (Scott #M6) - King Victor Emmanuel III.
50 C. (Scott #M7) - King Victor Emmanuel III.
1 L. (Scott #M8) - Julius Caesar.
1.25 L. (Scott #M9) - King Victor Emmanuel III.
1.75 L. (Scott #M10) - Caesar Augustus.
2 L. (Scott #M11) - Italia.
5 L. (Scott #M12) - She-wolf with Romulus and Remus.
10 L. (Scott #M13) - Italia.
50 C. (Scott #MC1) - Pegasus.
1 L. (Scott #MC2) - Spirit of Flight.
2 L. (Scott #MC3) - Arrows.
5 L. (Scott #MC4) - Pegasus.
10 L. (Scott #MC5) - Pegasus
2 L. (Scott #MCE1) - Airplane and sunburst.
1.25 L. (Scott #ME1) - King Victor Emmanuel III.
Some of these stamps exist in pairs, with one of the stamps missing the
overprint. These are very scarce and moderately expensive.
There were also perforated, non-denominated, Military Franchise or "Free Franking" labels, used between 1900 and 1944. These military franchise stamps come in two colors and they feature a view of the Flavian Amphitheater (Colosseum) in Rome.
Printed in ultramarine, these stamps are scarce. Printed in dark bluish green, they are very rare.
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