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German East Africa Wuga Provisionals

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Pillar Of The Community
Japan
2279 Posts
Posted 03/30/2016   3:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add PostmasterGS to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
By late 1915, the British blockade of German East Africa had led to a shortage of postage. In January 1916, designs were produced for an emergency issue of stamps which consisted of 4 different designs. In the end, only two designs in three values were actually printed.



In March 1916, the 2/1 Heller, 7 1/2 Heller, and 1 Rupie designs were printed on the printing press at the Mission Station in Wuga.


Wuga Mission Station Printing Press in 1912

These deigns are known as the Wuga Provisional Issues.


MiNr III/I (left) and III/II (right)


MiNr IV/I (left) and IV/II (right)


MiNr V

The paper was ungummed and rouletted. The printer had insufficient supply of both "2" and "7" slugs, so a mixture of typefaces was used — each sheet of 100 contained 60 Type I typefaces and 40 Type II typefaces, arranged as shown.



This arrangement can be seen in this rare copy of an entire sheet of MiNr IV.


MiNr IV Sheet

Prior to their issue, however, the German freighter Marie broke the blockade, bringing a fresh supply of Yacht Issues. The provisional issues were therefore not used. Shortly thereafter, to prevent their capture by the British, the stamps were buried on a plantation near Morogoro.

In August 1921, the Allies permitted the Germans to return to the scene and recover the stamps. Due to the burial and the humidity, the stamps were in poor condition, and most had to be destroyed. The remainder were auctioned in Germany. The survivors tend to be in poor, very brittle condition.

Total numbers are as follows:



At the auction, many copies were auctioned in se-tenant pairs.

Due to the layout of the sheets, the number of possible se-tenants per sheet is varied. Each sheet could contain a maximum of 48 horizontal se-tentants ot Type W 1 (Type I / Type II), 40 horizontal se-tenants of Type W 2 (Type II / Type I), 5 vertical se-tenants of Type S (Type I over Type II), or a mixture containing lesser numbers of each. The distribution of se-tenants was also limited by which portions of the sheets were salvaged with minimal environmental damage.


MiNr III W 2


MiNr IV W 1


MiNr IV W 2

I've greatly reduced the size of these scans for display on the forum. If you want to see the full-size scans, go here.
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Presenting the GermanStamps.net Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945

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Posted 03/30/2016   4:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great post!
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Posted 03/30/2016   5:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Surely worthy of an exhibit blue ribbon!
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Posted 03/30/2016   5:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tim H to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice to see the sheet of 7 1/2 heller and it illustrates just how fragile these provisionals are. It also answers a question I had bottling around in my head as to the arrangement of the values in the sheets. I have se-tenant pairs and had assumed that the arrangement was regular. Clearly this isn't so and thanks for giving clarity.
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Posted 03/30/2016   6:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KGB to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Along with the stamps (!) came:

· Four modern 10.5-centimetre Howitzers.
· Two 7.5-centimetre Mountain Guns.
· 2,000 modern rifles.
· Six machine guns with telescopic sights.
· 3,000,000 rounds of assorted ammunition.
· 200 kilograms of quinine (to fight the ever-present malaria).
· 50,000 pre-packed porter loads containing uniforms, food, equipment, medical supplies, and comforts such as sweets.
· A quantity of decorations and military awards. These were particularly useful to von Lettow for raising morale and maintaining esprit de corps within the Schutztruppe.

Also landed from the Marie was a detachment of professional artillerymen led by Hauptman Roland von Kaltenborn-Stachau; von Lettow was to make excellent use of these gunners and their guns for the duration of the war.

http://www.kaiserscross.com/188001/476201.html
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Posted 03/30/2016   7:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tim H to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
von Lettow ended up as the only undefeated German military field commander after WW 1, and only surrendered when he received notice of the Armistice and surrender of the German High Command. The story of his tussle with the Allied Forces (poorly commanded by Jan Smuts) makes for wonderful reading.
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Posted 03/30/2016   8:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Blaamand to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Postmaster - thanks for another excellent lesson. I knew the background story but had no idea about the different types, pairs etc.

Tim - if I am not mistaken Von Lettow had lunch with his British counterpart. Gentlemen at war....maybe they were swopping stamps ?
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Posted 03/30/2016   8:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KGB to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Gentlemen at war....maybe they were swopping stamps?


LOL.
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Posted 03/31/2016   04:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tim H to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Titter ye not!


Quote:
LOL.


Brigadier General Edward Northey, in overall command of the British and colonial forces, brought in Jan Smuts to command the Nyasa-Rhodesia Field Force in 1916. The army was composed of South Africans, Rhodesians, British, native Africans and Indians.

The Nyasa-Rhodesian Field Forces troops could send letters without stamps via the field post office. Any additional postage required prepayment (e.g. larger letters, parcels, registered letters and so on).

At first regular Nyasaland stamps were used. Later at the request of Northey, to the Governor of Nyasaland, stamps were overprinted "N.F." Northey had requested the overprint to be "N.F.F." but the telegraph operator omitted one "F." when sending the request to the Governor. Northey always denied that the issue was philatelically inspired; however, correspondence written by Northey clearly shows that he was an enthusiastic stamp collector.

Although there is clear evidence that these stamps were really needed, the overprinting was sanctioned by the Governor of Nyasaland and most of the stamps did indeed see genuine postal usage. Sale of these stamps to the public was not permitted, as was their sale in large quantities (for dealing purposes).

Smuts' tactics of avoiding full-on conflict with the German forces cost the lives of many thousands of soldiers through disease. Although Von Lettow-Vorbeck's forces were eventually forced into the southern part of German East Africa, and he surrendered at Abercorn (Northern Rhodesia) in November 1918 under the terms of the armistice, he remained undefeated throughout the campaign.
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Posted 03/31/2016   2:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Tim H.: "makes for wonderful reading......." I agree. Von Lettow-Gorbeck actually was the first guerrilla warrior of the 20th century and the pioneer of hit & run warfare. Later guerrillas like Mao, Fidel & Che, patterned their campaigns after those of VLG. Several years ago, there was an exhibit dedicated to VLG at the annual Rocky Mountain Stamp Show. Don't remember who the exhibitor was and the program is buried somewhere.

There is additional philatelic history, related to the war in East Africa and the Kionga triangle, that is well worth some research and a reading
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Edited by Climber Steve - 03/31/2016 3:00 pm
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Canada
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Posted 04/11/2018   09:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Brad905 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Awesome stamps and thread. I see on eBay that a pair of the 7-1/2 Heller is priced around $100-$150. How many full sheets do you think survived?

Anyone know where you can learn more about the Kionga issue. I have never seen anything on cover. Even to this day, the population in the area is very low and poor. I cannot imagine there was a lot of mail from there at the time.
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Posted 04/11/2018   10:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tim H to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Brad, there are three Kionga provisional issues each with a light blue and dark blue shade. I have never seen one on cover either. Kionga is a port, so in theory a few must be around somewhere.

From memory, a few hundred sheets of the 2 1/2 and 7 1/2 heller survived in good enough condition to be auctioned in Berlin. Only a handful of 1 rupee sheets survived.
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Posted 04/11/2018   11:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add perf12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 04/11/2018   12:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As to the full sheets of Wuga issues, I haven't seen any information on how many survived. Most were broken-up for individual sale at the 1921 Berlin auction, but stamp collectors being stamp collectors, there's no doubt numerous sheets were left intact. I've been collecting this area for almost 20 years, and I don't recall seeing another full sheet other than the one I purchased (shown above) -- though admittedly, there have been extended periods when I wasn't watching the major auctionhouses that closely.

As to Kionga, copies on cover can be found, but aren't common. Gärtner auctions sold a handful last year, with hammer prices from $5-10K.
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Presenting the GermanStamps.net Collection - Germany, Colonies, & Occupied Territories, 1872-1945
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Posted 04/11/2018   1:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add perf12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This one was sold in South Africa in 2014 ,13,000 Rand(1000$)
http://www.stampcircuit.com/stamp-A...-lots-german

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Posted 04/11/2018   4:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tim H to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks to both of you for the info. The Wuga half sheet is a bit over-priced but not too bad, all other things being equal. I would have been happy to pay that price for it. However, the  Gärtner auctions prices are grossly inflated in my opinion, to suit the affluent Swiss/German market. Never mind, I don't think I will ever own one.
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Edited by Tim H - 04/11/2018 4:05 pm
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