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German Marine-Schiffspost Card

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Posted 05/26/2018   11:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I recently paid a service to translate all my Marine Schiffspost cards, so I'm rebuilding my album pages to include that information. As I get them built, I'll share a few here.


This card turned out to be a confusing one. It was written by Karl Fischer, a sailor who sailed from Germany to Kamerun on board the steamer Helene Woermann of the Woermann Line. The Helene Woermann was built in 1889 by Blohm & Voss, and was originally the Montevideo of the Hamburg South American Line. It was purchased by the Woermann Line in 1898, and immediately put into service to Kamerun.

The Helene Woermann departed Hamburg on 11 August 1898, and arrived at Kamerun on 7 September 1898. On 10 September 1898, Karl Fischer wrote this postcard back to family in Halle, Germany.

Quote:
Am still about 10 days aboard Helene and then we go to Malimba. Feel very well. Please save this card. Write soon. Best regards, Your Karl

Kamerun, 10/9.98 On board the hospital ship Cyclop

Allow me to send you warm greetings! Probably come in November after a year's stay on my trip to Leipzig through Halle and will allow me to visit you! Fischer

Though he traveled on the Helene Woermann, and was planning on still being on board for another 10 days, he wrote the postcard while on board the SMS Cyclop, a gunboat that had been converted into a hospital and supply ship.

SMS Cyclop

As the Cyclop didn't have a post office on board, the postcard was mailed from the SMS Habicht, a gunboat that was assigned to the Imperial Navy's West-Africa Station at that time.

SMS Habicht

The SMS Habicht carried MSP canceller No. 9 from July 1897 until 2 October 1905.


As to what happened to all the players in this card:

The Helene Woermann was sold to the Hamburg America (HAPAG) Line in 1907 and renamed Lome. In 1914, it was scuttled in Douala as a blockship. In 1915, it was raised by the British and renamed Africshore. In 1923, it was sold to Turkey, who renamed it Sakariya. The Sakariya was lost when it ran aground 25 miles southeast of Fethiye, Turkey, on 19 May 1943.

The SMS Cyclop was commissioned on 27 March 1875, and served in East Asia and the Middle East before being assigned to the the Imperial Navy's West-Africa Station in 1885. By 1888, the ship's machinery was unreliable, preventing the ship from maintaining more than 2 knots. As a result, the ship was decommissioned on 25 September 1888. It was left in place at Douala, however, and served as a hospital and supply ship. It retained a small permanent crew, and the masts and machinery were removed in 1900. The ship was seized by the British at the outbreak of WWI and scrapped.

The SMS Habicht was commissioned 1 October 1880, and served in Australia and Egypt before being assigned to the West-Africa Station in 1885. It remained in service in West Africa until August 1905, when it left for Germany. It was decommissioned on 24 March 1906 and scrapped.

I wasn't able to find exactly what happened to Karl Fischer, as there were many Karl Fischers in Halle during that period.

And here it is on the page:
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Presenting the GermanStamps.net Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945
Edited by PostmasterGS - 05/26/2018 11:59 pm
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Posted 05/27/2018   01:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fascinating work, as usual, Postmaster.

http://passengersinhistory.sa.gov.au/node/927160

(I am presuming "The Semaphore" a location in South Australia)

Correct.
wiki
Semaphore was first surveyed for sale in 1849, at which time it was isolated by swamps to the south and the Port River to the east. In 1851, George Coppin, a prominent publican, theatrical entrepreneur and actor, built a two-storeyed timber hotel on the southern corner of The Esplanade and Blackler Street. A very high flagpole was erected to signal to his "White Horse Cellars" hotel at Port Adelaide the approach of ships, earning the area the name Semaphore,[3][4] often called "The Semaphore".
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Edited by rod222 - 05/27/2018 01:48 am
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Posted 05/27/2018   06:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nigelc to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi PostmarsterGS,

That's a very nicely laid out album album page and interesting history.

Thanks very much for sharing this.

I find these MSP items fascinating.

I have three postcards sent from the cruiser Kaiserin Augusta from the period October to December 1897 from Phaleron, Chania and Colombo.

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Edited by nigelc - 05/27/2018 06:34 am
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Posted 05/27/2018   3:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
During the Spanish-American War, German naval forces from the East Asia Squadron in Kiautschou sailed to the Philippines to monitor the conflict. The situation became very tense, with Germany and the U.S. almost coming to blows.

This postcard was written by August Krebs, a sailor on the small cruiser SMS Irene, to his family in Wesserling, Upper Alsace.



Quote:
Manila, 12 May 1898

Dear parents and siblings!

In a hurry I wrote a card the day before yesterday that we once again anchored in the hot zone due to an incident (Fantel-Spaniola). Too bad that we came here 3 days late, had just seen how the Americans destroyed the entire Spanish fleet. The Spanish ships are still here and can be seen. The Americans are still here, 7 - 8 ships. How is it in Cuba? For us specifically, nothing is going on, we don't have permission to land, as the insurgents control access to the occupied city and let nothing happen. I would also like to bring a box of cigars, but it is impossible because we do not come ashore. Stamps etc. the same! Yesterday we hoisted our hometown pennant to celebrate the biennial anniversary where we are on board. The French cruiser Bruix is also here, an Englishman, a Spaniard, and our Kormoran. I'm curious that these are yet to come, our last post was with an English gunboat. This one goes with an English steamer. Next week, hopefully, we will be relieved, until then, with a thousand thousand greetings and kisses for a happy reunion. Your August.

Heat 35 C in the shade


The Irene was in Manila from 6 May 1898 until 11 July 1898.

SMS Irene

The Irene carried the MSP No. 4 canceller from 17 November 1894 until 22 September 1901.


Here it is on the album page.
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Edited by PostmasterGS - 05/27/2018 3:20 pm
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Posted 06/17/2018   2:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Even though this thread is about the MSP card, I have a few MSP cancels on other items, and this seems like a good place to include them.

During the imperial period, Germany troops wishing to send Feldpost telegrams were required to attach stamps as pre-payment of telegram fees. If sent from a shore-based station, the stamps were typically pen- or manuscript-canceled. However, on rare occasion, these telegrams were sent by troops while on-board commercial steamers charted by Germany to transport troops to and from stations in Africa or East Asia. On those occasions, the stamps were canceled with the steamer's MSP canceller.

This block of 8 stamps was used for pre-payment of a Feldpost telegram on-board the steamer Palatia. The Palatia was a steamer of the HAPAG line which was chartered by the German government to transport troops back from China, where they served during the Boxer Rebellion. These troops were primarily the 3rd Ostasiatisches Infantrie-Regiment, Feldpost personnel, and about 300 wounded. The stamps were canceled on 11 July 1901 while en-route from Singapore to Colombo, and carry the MSP 49 cancel then in use on-board the Palatia.


Palatia

This block of 8 stamps was used for pre-payment of a Feldpost telegram on-board the steamer Dresden. The Dresden was a steamer of the Norddeutscher Line which was also chartered by the German government to transport troops back from China, where they served during the Boxer Rebellion. These troops were primarily the 1st & 6th Kompagnie of the 1st Ostasiatischen Infanterie-Regiment, 9th Kompagnie of the 6th Ostasiatischen Infanterie-Regiment, and the 5th Batterie of the Ostasiatischen Artillerieregiment. The stamps were canceled on on 8 August 1901 while in Singapore with the MSP 64 canceller then in use on-board the Dresden.


Dresden

Also of note, the MSP 64 canceller had previously been assigned to the steamer H.H. Meier, which left it at the Ostasiatische Station upon the ship's return to Germany in November 1900. It was then picked-up by Dresden, but the "1" for the second digit of the year slug was missing. For this reason, the second "0" was modified in an attempt to make it appear as a "1".


And here they are on the page:
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Posted 06/17/2018   2:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Philately in progress.
Fabulous story, postmarks certainly can be the genesis of intriguing stories.
The Clerk was very adroit in his/her cancelling work.
Your work is always inspiring.

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Posted 10/13/2018   6:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's an unusual one.


This MSP postcard was cancelled on-board the unprotected cruiser S.M.S. Seeadler on 22 February 1898, while the Seeadler was in the shipyard in Cape Town, South Africa.

S.M.S. Seeadler

It was addressed to Stuttgart, and presumably arrived there.

Then, in March 1899, the postcard was re-used. The message on the back is dated 27 March 1899, and a 5 Pfennig stamp was attached and cancelled in Wilhelmshaven, 28 March 1899.

There's an arrival cancel dated 29 March in Stuttgart, but it's not clear if this an arrival cancel from the original usage or the second usage.

What's really interesting is the message on the reverse. It's tough to decipher, but reads roughly as follows:

Quote:
Wilhelmshaven, 27.III.99.

A navy ship postcard for your collection

Dear friend!

I have to tell you a sad message. I came yesterday on the transport from Kiel to Wilhelmshaven and went to a pub because I was still very hungry. Here sat a few sailors. They came to me in conversation, and I thought no harm, since they were drunk. However, when I left the pub, these three came after me, and I suddenly got a knife stab, which was not very dangerous. I can only remember calling because I knew there was a guard nearby, "watch out." Then two guardsmen came from the guard and jumped to my aid. I am sorry that I have to give such a message about my comrades. But my wallet with contents was stolen in the process. Therefore, I ask you to send me ten marks with the permission of your dear father, but please soon, because I am very embarrassed. With best regards to Walter and Emilie.

Your friend, Oskar Holzboog

We have been on the scoundrels' track all day today


Oskar Hermann Julius Holzboog was born 12 February 1877 in Stuttgart to Karl Holzboog and Christiane Sperber. Following his service in the Imperial Navy, he return home to marry Martha Catharina Dorothea Michaelis on 4 November 1905. On 18 November 1905, the Holzboogs departed from America on the steamship Amerika of the HAPAG Line. They settled in St. Louis, where Oskar died on 20 August 1930.
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Posted 11/10/2018   10:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's another nice Marine Schiffspost item.


This cover was posted on-board the protected cruiser SMS Hertha on 8 December 1898, while the Hertha was in the shipyard in Genoa, Italy.

SMS Hertha in Dar-es-Salaam, German East Africa

The postage is a slight overpayment, 21 Pf to cover the 20 Pf letter rate. There is an arrival cancel on the back from the Leipzig 13 post office, dated 10 December 1898.

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Posted 10/13/2019   7:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am not a collector of German ship post material, but this is fascinating stuff. Thanks so much for posting!
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Posted 10/31/2019   10:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Andyrich74 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Awesome post. Nothing I ever though to collect, but really good stuff! Much appreciated.
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Edited by Andyrich74 - 10/31/2019 10:15 pm
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Posted 11/01/2019   08:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DonSellos to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting cards! What was a "protected cruiser?"

Thanks.

Don
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Posted 11/01/2019   08:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,

In the early days of steel warships, most had little armor due to the weight. As the world's navies began adding more armor, they couldn't armor the whole ship, so they started by adding armor positioned to protect only the vital areas of the ship.

There were numerous different design theories, but most were characterized as one of two main types -- armored cruisers (vertical belt armor, but little horizontal deck armor), and protected cruisers (horizontal armored deck, but little vertical belt armor).
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Posted 11/27/2019   01:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I received this unusual usage of the MSP card today.

First, a little history.

Following the Battle of Manila Bay on 1 May 1898, Commodore George Dewey began a blockade of Manila, aiming to isolate the Spanish land forces until relief could arrive from America.

In response, the Imperial German Navy dispatched portions of its East Asia Squadron, based in the leased territory of Kiautschou (modern Qingdao, China), to Manila. Their public mission was to monitor the American blockade, protecting German citizens and property, but they were also attempting to gain territory in the region after the war.

The cruiser S.M.S. Irene arrived in May 1898, and was shortly joined by the cruisers S.M.S. Cormoran, S.M.S. Kaiserin Augusta, S.M.S. Kaiser, and S.M.S. Prinzess Wilhelm. These cruisers would depart at various times, with the last departing the Philippines in February 1899.

S.M.S. Prinzess Wilhelm

This postcard was sent by a crewman on-board the S.M.S. Prinzess Wilhelm. The hand-drawn scene on the back depicts the Prinzess Wilhelm hunting junks in "Louchong Bay" (Kiauchau Bay), on 14 April 1898. It's not clear if the massage was written on that date, or after the Prinzess Wilhelm arrived in the Philippines on 20 June 1898.


The card was mailed through the U.S. instead of German routes, with a 2 Cent Washington stamp (damaged) and a "Philippine Station / San Francisco" cancel.

On the Album Page (click to enlarge)
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Posted 11/27/2019   03:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When I see these images of those old cruisers, I get this overwhelming desire to experience them.
Once one has served on a Naval warship, the feeling never leaves you,
they are absolutely amazing machines, I can almost smell the ropes, the decking and the coal. The shudder as the screws bite the briny.
I'll never regret being a sailor.

Hero of Manila Bay Cinderellas.

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Edited by rod222 - 11/27/2019 03:13 am
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Posted 11/27/2019   04:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's funny, Rod.

I grew up in an aviation family, and I've been around aviation all my life. My father was a pilot. I learned to fly before I could drive, and got my private pilot's license at a young age. I've been in the Air Force for almost 20 years (though not as a pilot due to depth perception issues).

I have no history with ships or the Navy. I didn't grow up near water. I've never been on a ship of any real size.

But, I have no real interest in aviation history, and a huge soft spot for naval history, including ship post items like this. There's just something about the nature of the ship as its own entity with its own history.
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