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La grande guerre en Alsace-Lorraine - L‘année 1914

1914-1918 / TOME II

”The first world war in Alsace-Lorraine - The year 1914” ● 1914-1918 series - Volume 2
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The book presents in a first part the different German armies operating in Alsace-Lorraine at the beginning of the conflict (14th, 15th, 16th and 21st army corps). A second chapter is devoted to the battles of the borders in Alsace and Moselle from August to September 1914: Mulhouse and the Sundgau, the Thann, Guebwiller and Munster valleys around Colmar, and the Bruche valley. In Lorraine, there were the battles of Morhange and Grand-Couronné. These events are illustrated by numerous postcards and letters from soldiers.

Another chapter illustrates the disorganization of the civil post office in the then German Upper Alsace (closures of postal establishments, makeshift cancellations, ...). This disorganization affects especially the post offices ("Postamter") managed and directed by German civil servants, contrary to the postal agencies, entrusted for the most part to shop keepers or private individuals of Alsatian origin who thus had no reason to flee during the advance of the French troops.

The German postal workers returned to Alsace by mid-September once the front had stabilized in the Sundgau. However, a part of the Sundgau as well as the valleys of Thann and Masevaux passed into the hands of the French troops and remained as such until the Armistice: it was the "Reconquered Alsace". In these territories the German post offices and postal agencies ceased all activity and the mail of civilians was temporarily taken care of by the French military post office, the functioning of which is studied in the last chapter on the basis of numerous unpublished archival documents.

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