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German History in Documents and Images
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German Army Postal Service: Loading the Mail Bags (c. 1917)
Between 1914 and 1918, roughly 11 billion letters from the front were delivered by the German Army Postal Service free of charge. Some 17.7 billion letters were sent in the opposite direction. The enormous amount of mail posed a management challenge to military authorities. At the same time, it also served as a virtually inexhaustible source of information on the general public mood. As of April 29, 1916, stations were set up at all army command offices to monitor war correspondence and draft reports on popular morale. In addition to the transmission of classified military information, all “inflammatory and disheartening announcements” were prohibited.