Finnish Fieldpost 1939-1945, Les Freestone and Eric Keefe, 8 1/4 by 11 3/4 inches, 126 pages, soft covers, spiral bound. Scandinavia Philatelic Society, Surrey, England, 2001, ISBN 0952353229, 15 plus shipping.


This book is the result of a series of articles that the co-authors wrote over a number of years in Scandinavian Contact, journal of the Scandinavia Philatelic Society of Great Britain. The authors were encouraged to update the series and publish as a separate monograph. The result is a very good picture of Finnish Fieldposts and their postal history during the Winter War, the Continuation War and the Lapland War. The Fieldpost offices are listed by number and location with dates of operation.


Covers are used to illustrate postmarks, unit handstamps, and the handling of mail. For the Continuation War, during which stamps were introduced, covers illustrate the use of these issues including the red label, the sword and Posthorn labels, and the overprinted Lion issues. The chapter on the Lapland War of 1944-1945 includes a listing of the unit code numbers of the III Army Corps.


Subsequent chapters deal with the naval and air force fieldposts, the women's auxiliary (Lotta Svard) and civil guard units, official mail, hospital and POW mail, censorship, the Swedish and other volunteers, Finnish volunteers in German service, the German fieldpost in north Finland, Eastern Karelia, and fieldpost stationery. Useful appendices cover such items as a Finnish/Swedish glossary, listings of Finnish and German military ranks with their British equivalents, and German censorship offices.


The illustrations and maps are of very good quality and the text quite easy to read. If the authors and publisher had included an index, it would have made for an even more useful reference. However, this is now the major English language resource for collectors of Finnish military mail during the World War II period.


Alan Warren