DALMATIA - DALMAZIA
Dalmatia, is a region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. In antiquity it was a Roman province; from 1420 to 1797, Dalmatia was ruled by the Republic of Venice â€“ a sworn enemy of the Ottoman Empire. From 1805 to 1814, Napoleon ruled this region as he did most of Italy. In 1815, the Kingdom of Dalmatia became part of the Austrian Empire. At the end of the World War I, in 1920, Dalmatia was divided between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which controlled most of it, and Italy which held small portions of northern Dalmatia around Zadar (Zara) and the Kvarner Islands of Cres, LoÅ¡inj and Lastovo (Lagosta). The 1915 London Treaty had established that at the end of the war Italy would have been adequately rewarded with much larger portions of Dalmatia. At the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920) Italy invoked Article XIII of the Secret Treaty of London (26 April 1915) which made provisions for an â€œequitable compensationâ€ to Italy in the event of the British colonial dominions being augmented at the expense of Germany and her allies. Additionally articles V, VI, and VII envisaged the possibility of substantial acquisitions of Albanian territory by Italy. Later on, a similar treaty between France and Italy was signed at St. Jean de Maurienne (20 April 1917). Italyâ€™s request for a mandate over Valona (Vlore) and Central Albania was rejected and eventually Italy was allowed to retain the tiny island of Saseno [Sazan]. The end result was very displeasing to Italy and may have influenced later developments. Meanwhile Italian troops had landed at Zara on 4 November 1918 (the day that marked the end of World War I in Italy). However, following new negotiations with Britain, in 1921, when the Rapallo Treaty (1920) came into being, Italy had to surrender vast areas of Dalmatia to Yugoslavia. At the same time, Zara became part of the Kingdom of Italy. In 1919-1920 the local corona enjoyed parity with the Italian lira; this changed in December 1920 when the corona underwent a major devaluation which, among other things, resulted in dramatic increases in postal rates. The Italian stamps overprinted â€œcentesimi di coronaâ€ and â€œcoronaâ€ issued in early 1919, for Trento, Trieste and all liberated territories were used in Dalmatia as prescribed. They provided the Dalmatian post offices with 11 different definitive denominations, two express mail denominations and no less than 10 different postage due denominations. Despite this adequate selection of denominations, on 1 May 1919, an Italian 1 Lira Floreale definitive stamp was issued with â€œuna / coronaâ€ overprint on two lines for exclusive use in Dalmatia. A similarly overprinted stamp had previously been issued for all territories, the only difference being the two-line overprint which read â€œ1 / coronaâ€. On the heels of the Rapallo Treaty, in February 1921, the Governorship of Dalmatia authorised the overprinting of Italian stamps for exclusive use by the local post offices. As a result, during the same month a â€œ25 / centesimi / di coronaâ€ overprint on an express mail 25c of Italy was issued, followed by, in April 1921, by a 5 and a 10 â€œcentesimi di coronaâ€ definitive stamps on matching Italian 5c and 10c. As Italian troops evacuated large areas of Dalmatia, some five additional overprinted definitive stamps were issued between July and October 1922. Their respective face value matched the corresponding denominations on Italian definitive stamps: 25c on 25c, 50c on 50c, 1 corona on 1 lira, 5 corone on 5 lire, and 10 corone on 10 lire. At the same time an express stamp was prepared and shipped to Zara where a blunder in the overprint was immediately spotted. In fact, the 1.20 lire Italian express mail stamp prepared to be issued later on in Italy, but eventually discarded and not issued due to an increase in postal rates, was overprinted â€œLIRE 1,20 / di coronaâ€ â€“ a wording that would have created confusion, both with the general public and the postal clerks. Ironically enough neither the Italian express stamp nor its overprinted twin for use in Dalmatia were ever issued. The former was later sold by the Rome post office to collectors to increase philatelic sales revenue; the latter, much in typical Italian tradition, found its way, in small quantities, to the philatelic market. To complete the Zara post office stock, in October 1922, four Italian postage due stamps were overprinted with matching overprints: 50 / centesimi / di corona on 50c; 1 corona on 1 lira; 2 corone on 2 lire; and 5 corone on 5 lire. It must be noted that the earlier definitive issues with overprints for Dalmatia were occasionally used as postage due stamps, and as such they are very rare on cover. The postal validity of all Dalmatian stamps came to an end on 19 June 1924, when Italian stamps replaced them. Yugoslav and Italian nationalism continued to flare up in the region and this situation worsened with the anti-Slavic policies of the fascist regime. In April 1941, after Germany attacked Yugoslavia, Italy occupied most of the Dalmatian region and its islands. After 8 September 1943, the Dalmatian area under Italian control was taken over by the Germans. Although formally still under the administration of Mussoliniâ€™s R.S.I. [Repubblica Sociale Italiana], Zara was actually under German control. [See the Zara section] On 31 October 1944, German forces withdrew from the area and Yugoslav partisans took over; in January 1945, Zara was annexed to Yugoslavia — a unilateral move that received formal approval with the 10 February 1947 Treaty of Paris. *** — *** COPYRIGHT: We own the copyright in this site and in material published on it such as articles, technical profiles, technical information, general information, descriptions and photographs of all items. Those works and the entire content of this website are protected by copyright laws around the world. All our rights are reserved. All images, text and stamps featured on this site (virginstamps.com) are our SOLE PROPERTY and may not be copied or reproduced in any form whatsoever. Swift legal action will be taken against any individual, organisation, group, or company found to have violated our copyright in any form or reproduced any of the webpages, images or content without prior written permission.
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