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Example 1This is a field postcard written in German 'im Felde' on 5 Aug 16 to Bodenstadt, Nord-Mähren, by a soldier serving with Res.Esk.UR1. Feldpost 296 - this number being emphasized by the writer. It is postmarked FpA b6* on 6 Aug 16, and bears the unit rubber stamp of K.u.K.Div.Kav.Kmdo der 106ITD.
Page 6-H-6 shows R Schwd UR1 with 106LstID on 23 Jul 16. Pages 5-4 and 5-5 explain the roles of cavalry, noting that each division had some cavalry as DionsKav. The term 'Esk.' became 'Schwd.' in Jun 17 (page 2-A-1), and the later term is used throughout Chapter 6. Page 3-B-1 shows that UR1 was stationed at Lemberg in Jul 14 and drew its men from kuk Ergänzungsbezirk Krakau which included Nord-Mähren in its area.
The unit stamp is of the DionsKavKmdo of 106LstID (or ITD - page 2-A-2). See pages 3-2, 4-4 and 6-D-34 for 106LstID, which had moved from Nabresina, where it had been with VIIKps (page 6-C-5) in 5 Armee (page 6-B-6) on the Isonzo Front. Arriving at Brody on 30 Jul 16 it joined Gp Kosak (27ID - page 6-D-13) in 2 Armee (page 6-B-2) in HGp EH Karl (page 6-A-2). See page 1-B-3 for the happenings of Jun-Aug 16: 106LstID was one of the divisions brought back from the SW Front despite Italian pressure there, in the wake of the disturbing Russian successes on the Öst Front.
The FpA numbers are interesting. FpA6 was in-service from Aug 14 to Sep 16 (pages 8-B-1&2). FpA296 was reported in-service from Oct 16 to Sep 18. FpA6 was allocated to 106LstID (page 8-C-1) and its number changed to FpA296 in it seems Aug 16 as this example reveals (page 8-C-6), which is earlier than the reported change referred to above.
106LstID had a particularly interesting war, consisting as it did of LstIR; see its brigades - kk Lst 110 and 111LstIBrig which became 210 and 211LstIBrig in the spring of 1918 - on pages 6-B-29&30. It was raised in Aug 14 in Galicia from a LstIBrig of the same number, and was then with 5 Armee on the SW Front from Sep 15 to Jul 16, moving to 2 Armee on the Öst Front then. In Mar 17, it returned to 5 Armee and following the victory of Caporetto joined 11 Armee at Trient in Nov 17. In Feb 18 it moved to Lublin in kuk GenGouv Polen, leaving there for the SW Front in early Sep only to be diverted to the W Front on reaching Brixlegg. It was on the W Front when the war ended and one wonders how the men got home.


Example 2This is an envelope of a letter sent to Wien bearing the unit rubber stamp 12/73 Feldkompagnie, and postmarked FpA207 on 13 Jan 17. The sender's address, written on the reverse, is LIR1, Bergführerzugski, Kampfabschnitt Gosvodich, FpA207.
12/73 Feldkompagnie is the 12th Feldkompagnie of IR73, which was in the IIIrd Baon IR73 (see pages 5-1 to 5-4 for the roles and organization of the infantry). IR73 was stationed in Prag in Jul 14 and drew its men from kuk Ergänzungsbezirk Eger (Böhmen) - see page 3-B-2, and mobilized with 9ID in IXKps (page 3-A-2). However its IIIrd Baon was AOK guard (page 3-1) on mobilization (page 6-G-14) and by May 17 was with 96IBrig (page 6-G-14); but this example shows that it had arrived there by at least Jan 17. For 96IBrig see page 6-E-27. In May 17 it was on the SW Front with Div Pustertal (page 6-D-24) in XXKps (page 6-C-13) : but note that in Jan 17, XXKps and XIVKps had changed numbers (pages 6-C-10 and 6-C-13).
Page 6-E-27 shows that on 12 May 17, 96IBrig included one Bergführerabtlg, which this example shows was there in Jan 17. Page 5-A-4 Note 7 gives details of the Bergführerabtlgn. The writer of this example was originally from LIR1 (which in May 17 became SchRl - see page 2-A-3) as his address shows. LIR1 was raised from kk Landwehrterritorialbezirk Wien, and was the Wien regiment (page 3-C-1): hence the Wien address no doubt.
The title 'Kampfabschnitt Gosvodich' in the sender's address means that some troops of 96IBrig operated in a sector commanded by an officer called Gosvadich who was probably the commander of 12/73 Feldkompagnie, hence the unit rubber stamp on this envelope. Such groupings were not unusual on the mountainous SW Front. The writer was in the ski platoon of the Bergführerabtlg.
FpA207 was reported in-service from Aug 14 to Nov 16 (pages 8-B-1 and 8-B-7) but this example reveals it still active in Jan 17. It was allotted to 96IBrig and later took the number FpA522. See page 8-B-14 where FpA522 is shown in-service from Oct 16, and page 8-C-10 where it is shown as allotted to 96IBrig by Apr 17.


Example 3These two field postcards, both postmarked by Tábori Postehivatal b290b, are from a series dating from Jun 17 to Jul 18, written by a man called Karl Schietz to his family in Wien. In June 17 he was a Kadett Aspirant tit.Zugsführer; in Jul 17 he was still a Kadett Aspirant but also tit.Feldwebel. By Sep 17 he had been made Fähnrich, and in May 18 he became a Leutnant. See pages 2-C-1 to 2-C-10 for details of officers and non-commissioned officers grades and careers.
The first card, postmarked 5 Dec 17, shows the sender's unit as Sappeurkompagnie 8/2, with which he had served since this series began in Jun 17. The second card, postmarked 22 Jan 18, shows his unit as Sappeurkompagnie 2/9, and he was with that until the series ends in Jul 18. Was he posted from 8/2 to 2/9?
Chapter 7 (page 7-1 et seq) gives details of engineer troops and page 7-2 notes that in late 1917 - early 1918 there was a reorganization. Page 7-B-1 reveals that the old SB2 was related to the new SB4, 9, 43 and 61 through its depot at Krems. Page 7-5-2 shows the new SB9 as made from the old SB2. Thus it can be seen that Karl Schietz was not posted: his unit changed its title from Sapp.Komp. 8/2 to Sapp.Komp.2/9 between 5 Dec 17 and 22 Jan 18. Now where was he serving?
FpA290, a Hungarian office (page 8-B-1)was in-service from Oct 16 to Sep 18 (page 8-B-9). Page 8-C-6 shows that it was allotted to 38HID. Unfortunately the order of battle does not help in the case of these two cards. Page 7-A-6 shows that Sapp.Komp.8/2 was with d.XXV RKps in Jul 17 but has nothing for it later. Page 7-B-2 shows that Sapp.Komp.2/9 in Jun 18 was with 6 Armee unm., but has no detail for Jan 18. Is it possible to get more definite information?
38HID, whose postmark is on these cards, must have had this Sapp.Komp. in its area when they were posted. Engineer units were used wherever there was a task for them, so they made use of the nearest FpA for their mail. Page 6-D-19 shows 38HID at the end of Dec 17 with XXVKps. Page 6-C-15 shows XXVKps with d.Südarmee at that time, and page 6-A-4 shows that Armee with HGp Böhm-Ermolli then. For that HGp see 2 Armee on page 6-B-3, where it shows that it was in eastern Poland at that time.
So Karl Schietz was in Poland when these two cards were written, working with Sapp.Komp.8/2 - which became Sapp.Komp.2/9 in Dec 17 or early Jan 18 - in the 38HID area. Indeed a later card of his in this series dated 13 Feb 18, refers to the Peace of Brest-Litowsk, which page 1-B-4 shows was signed on the 3 Mar 18.


Example 4This field postcard is postmarked FpA45 and bears the rubber stamp of 6GbBrigKmdo. The sender's address is GbTelfAbt Nr6 FpA45.It is dated 24 Aug 14.
6GbBrig in Aug 14 was commanded by GM Heinrich Goiginger, and was in 18ID (page 6-E-57): GM H.Goiginger was a FZM by Jun 18 and then commanded 4GenKmdo (page 6-C-7). 18ID (page 6-D-9) was with XVIKps (page 6-C-10) in 6 Armee (page 6-B-7) with Minimal-Gruppe Balkan (pages 1-1 to 1-3). Details of a GbBrig are on page 4-5.
This card is sent by a member of the brigade telephone section which bore the number of the mountain brigade with which it served, see page 4-B-2. 6GbBrig was stationed in Herzegovina prior to the war, in the 18ID area based on Mostar (page 3-A-3).
FpA45 was in-service from Aug 14 to Jan 17 (page 8-B-3) and was allotted to 6GbBrig (page 8-C-2). Page 1-B-1 gives details of the events of Aug 14 both generally and on the Balkan Front. When this card was written 6GbBrig was in action against the Serbs.


Example 5This field postcard was sent to Mödling bei Wien, postmarked FpA64 on 27 Sep 15, and bears the faint rubber stamp K.u.K. Divisions Munitions Park Nr3 Kanonen-Mun-Koll. The sender's address is given as 'DMP3 FKR42 KMK1 FpA64'
FpA64 was in-service from Aug 14 to Jul 17, see page 8-B-3. It was allotted to 3ID, see page 8-C-2. Thus the sender of this card was in the 3ID area. In Sep 15 3ID (which from 2 May 17 was called the Edelweiss Division) was with XIVKps (page 6-D-1). At that time XIVKps was with 4 Armee (page 6-B-4) during the final stages of the advance into Poland (page 1-B-2), and was probably east of Wladimir-Wolynski.
In 1915 each Feldkanonenregiment had a Munitionkolonne made up of the DivMunParkKmdo and tw MunKol - one for infantry and one for artillery (ie Kanonen) ammunition (page 5-6). FKR42, from which the sender of this card came, was in Sep 15 with 3FABrig with 3ID (pages 6-J-8 and 6-F-1). lt provided the Divisions Munitions Park for 3ID, which bore the divisional number '3' as in the rubber stamp on this card, and in the sender's somewhat cryptic handwritten address. This Park was with the Divisions Train of 3ID (page 4-4). For on explanation of the term 'Train' see page 4-2; page 4-B-4 is also of interest.


Example 6These two field postcards are from the same sender- Lt Hugo Roschanik - who served with FeldHBt4/2 (which is FHR2 Bt4, as the rubber stamp indicates) , and both were sent to his brother - as the text on the back indicates - Herr Arthur Roschanik. Both are postmarked FpA412. The first is addressed to KK Landwehr GbAR1 GbHbBt1 at Telfs, Tirol, on 3 May 17. The second is addressed to KuK GbAR201 HbMunKol1 at Telfs, Tirol, on 5 Jun 17.
FpA412 was in-service from Oct 16 to Sep 18 (page 8-B-12) and was allotted to 2ID (page 8-C-9); FHR2, by its number in 1917, was normally part of 2FABrig; see pages 5-5 to 5-7. Page 6-J-2 shows that on 1 Jun 17, FHR2 had three of its batteries with 2FABrig, and page 6-F-1 shows that on 1 Mar 17, 2FABrig was with 2ID, and on 1 Jul 17 it had 1 to 3Bt FHR2. lt is likely that 4Bt was in the 2ID area since FpA412 was used on these cards. Page 6-D-1 shows that when these cards were sent 2ID was with XKps which was with 4 Armee (see pages 6-C-7 and 6-B-5) in eastern Poland near Kowel.
For details of a GbAR see page 5-6, 5-C-2 and 5-C-6 Notes 24, 25 and 26. For kk LGbAR1 see page 6-J-29 and for GbAR2O1 see page 6-J-35. From these two cards it seems that GbAR201 was formed at Telfs in May/Jun 17, either by renaming the former GbAR1 or by taking part of that regiment to make the nucleus of the new one. Telfs must have been an artillery depot at this time.
lt is interesting to note that Herr Arthur Roschanik, although addressed by his brother as Hochwohlgeb., is given no rank. He could have been a Kriegsfreiwillige perhaps: see page 2-C-7.


Example 7For a complete change here is a Hungarian field post card, so much so that the sender has deleted the German Feldpostkorrespondenzkarte! And he has underlined the Magyar word for Sender - Feladó. He wrote, giving his address as 307 honvéd to Budapest. The postmark is Tabóri-Postahivetal 68 dated 17 Sep 15; note that the Hungarians wrote a date with the year first and the month in letters, whilst the Austrians (German FpA) wrote the month in roman figures and the year came last. The circular unit stamp is 202 HONVED GYALOG DANDAR 420 ZASZLOALJ GAZDASAGI HIVATALA.

For an explanation of the Honvéd, which was the Hungarian equivalent of the kk Landwehr, see pages 2-1 to 2-3, and for the K code see page 1-1. Note Appendix B to Chapter 2 for the Hungarian terms and abbreviations. See also Chapter 3, and in particular its Appendix D.

So, it can now be seen that the sender of this item was with HIR307 - see page 6-G-38; and the unit stamp is that of 202HIBrig, with which one battalion of HIR307 was serving in Sep 15; see page 6-E-38. At that time this brigade was with 42HID (page 6-D-20) in XIKps (page 6-C-7) with 7 Armee (page 6-B-7) in the Bukowina near the Romanian border. For an explanation of the organization of army in the field see Chapter 4.

There remain two points in the sender's address and the unit stamp to comment on. The first is the or 420 ZASZLOALJ. This is 420 Baon, the gh being shorthand for Cázdasági Hivatala? Now Appendix G to Chapter 6 shows no such unit. There is, however, on page 6-G-42, a kk LstIR410 - but that was German and not Hungarian. On page 6-G-52 there are ku LstEtBaone 234, 502, 508 and 513; most of which are not seen in the order of battle after Sep 15. It is reasonable to guess that 420 Baon had been ku LstEt (or I) Baon 420, and was taken into the newly raised HIR307 during 1915. Page 6-B-7 shows that AGp Pflanzer-Baltin (from May 15, 7 Armee) had all kinds of battalions and brigades in the early months of the war and it is perfectly reasonable to believe that ku LstEt (or I) Baon 420 was one of these, but did not appear in the order of battle. And it is equally reasonable to believe that in the Spring/early Summer 1915, several such battalions (including 234, 502 and 508) were taken to make up the HIR300-302, 304-307 on page 6-G-38, in the new HIBrig200-202 on pages 6-E-37 and 6-E-38.

It is thus clear that the single battalion of HIR307 shown as with 202HIBrig on 1 Sep 15 on page 6-G-38, was 420 Baon. (There is evidence in my collection to show that this became I/HIR307 in late 1915 or early 1916.)

The second point that remains to be cleared up concerns the words GAZDASAGI HIVATALA . These do not appear in Appendix B to Chapter 2 but mean Company or Battalion Administration Office (they dealt with payment for food, wages etc) [Thanks, BT!]. Hence the unit rubber stamp on this item is that of the Admin Office 420 Baon 202HIBrig.

Turning finally to the postmark: Tábori Postahivatal 68 was in-service from Aug 14 to Jan 17 (page 8-B-4), and was allotted to 42HID (page 8-C-2). lt has been noted that in Sep 15 the sender of this item served with a unit which was with 42HID: so the circle is closed! This has been a usful example introducing Hungarian terms and the art of deduction from the facts presented here.


Example 8As a final example there is this coloured art postcard sent with greetings to a lady in Graz. The sender's address is Oblt Josef Masser IR117 II Baon Feldpost 613 am 23.9.1918. The card is postmarked FpA551 on 24 X 18! So - if the writer was not correct in his month then this was written the day before the last and fatal Allied attack on the SW Front. That however is unlikely and the postal clerk at FpA613 may have turned the month over in error when he altered the date on his canceller from 23 to 24? That is the probable answer to this puzzle.
IR117 was formed by the Spring 1918: see page 5-2. Its I Baon was formerly IV/IR17; its II Baon was the former IV/IR97; and its III Baon was the former III/IR87. lt was composed of Slovenes. See page 6-G-20, where it is shown that in Oct 18 II/IR117 was with 36IBrig (page 6-E-11). This brigade was formed in early 1918 from either 1 or 9GbBrig, both of which had served in 18ID (page 6-D-9), in which 36IBrig now served. See page 6-1 for details of the 1918 reorganizations.
In late Sep 18, 1810 was (page 6-D-9) at Borgo, east of Trient in the Suganatal. In early Oct 18 it relieved 5ID in VIKps (page 6-C-5) which was in 11 Armee (page 6-B-9) in the Asiago area.
The sender gives his address as FpA613. This was in-service from Jan 17 to the end of the war, and was allotted to 90ID. The headquarters of 90ID became 18IDKmod in Aug 16 (pages 6-D-32 and 6-D-9). Thus in Sep/Oct 18, FpA613 was with 18ID. However, the card is postmarked FpA551, which was in-service only from Nov 17 to the end of the war. This was probably in the Feltre area in Oct 18 (page 8-C-11) , and very likely acted as a FpA for local units and this busy and important line of communication between Belluno and Trient. This card was clearly posted at the nearest FpA to the sender, possibly as he passed by it? See Chapter 8, pages 8-1 to 8-3 for details of the field postal service.

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Last updated 9 April 2010