German Prisoners of War in Norway 1945-1947 and their Prisoner Mail by T. Larsson-Fedde, Erik Lørdahl, and John Torstad. 8 ¼ by 11 ¾ inches, soft covers, 144 pages, perfect bound, War and Philabooks Ltd., Tårnåsen, Norway 2005, ISBN 82-995588-9-1.    $50 plus shipping from War and Philabooks Ltd., Gydas v. 52, 1413 Tårnåsen, Norway.

 

            The Norwegian War and Fieldpost Society continues to publish books in English that expand our knowledge of mails related to wartime Norway. In this case we have a study of POW mail between German internees in Norway and their families immediately after the war.

            Introductory sections establish the conditions in Norway with summaries of the surrender, liberation, German personnel in Norway in May 1945, the camps or reservations, tracing methods, and repatriation.  Further sections address postal controls in the various zones in Germany, the control of civil mails in Norway from May 1945 on, American and British FPOs in Norway, and the POW mails themselves.

            Special post cards and letter sheets were provided to the prisoners with a reply area in the letter for relatives to respond. Used examples of this stationery are illustrated as well as some examples of mine sweeper mail that was handled in sealed bags. A list of historical and postal events and dates begins with the Allied invasion of Germany and concludes with the ending of Austrian censorship in the early 1950s.

            Censor handstamps and sealing tapes are nicely illustrated although no valuations or scarcity indicators are given. A bibliography provides resources for further study of this subject. More than half of the book is devoted to a series of appendices and supplements. These include general historic documents as well as those specifically directed to postal control and therefore postal history.

            A list of the reservations includes location, name, number of POWs, and German Fieldpost numbers used during the war. The zones are Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger, Lillehammer, and Tromsø. Other documents shown cover regulations, International Red Cross inspections, and various circulars in Norwegian, German, or English pertaining to handling of mail in 1945 and 1946.

            The authors have drawn extensively from Norway’s national archives in researching much of this material. The story focuses on a time period after the war ended but still of interest to military postal historians.

 

Alan Warren