Sunday, October 31, 2010

Field Service Postcard for Italian POW from India (WW2)

Today happens to be "Rajyotsva Day" in Karnataka i.e. State Formation Day and it is state holiday! So, I have decided to post an article making best use of holiday.

Today, I will introduce you to Prisoner of War (POW) postcards. During WWI and WWII, prisoners were allowed to send postcards to home following Geneva Convention. Depending upon the POW camps and type of prisoners, some were permitted to write a proper letter while rest were just allowed to select options printed on the postcard.

Shown below is a type of postcard where prisoner was not supposed to write anything. All it could do was select some options and put his signature at the bottom of the card.

The postcard indicates that it was printed on 13-12-1941 with quantity of 6,00,000. It is of type A.F.A-2042 (Italian) with censor marking stating "Passed".

The reverse side was printed in Italian which when translates read as (I have translated only phrases which has not been stroked through):



It is not allowed to write on this postcard other than the date and name of the person.
The person is allowed permission to delete those phrases or words that are not needed.
If you add any words then the card will be destroyed.

I am fine.

I received your letter.

I'll write you a letter at the earliest opportunity.

Date: 26-6-1942
No. 12368/26 P. of W. Camp. c/o G.P.O. Bombay

Shown above is another variety of such postcard which was used at the end of WWII. If you see the reverse side, this one allowed prisoner to write proper letter.

This is of type I.A.F.Z. - 2240. This is a letter from P.O.W. No 341344, dispatched from G.P.O. Bombay.

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