A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Ile Rouad - Bud's Big Blue

Poster stamp celebrating the French occupation of Ile Rouad, ca. 1916
Bud's Big Blue
Bud's Observations

Anymore, only stamp collectors recognize “Ile Rouad” as a real place on planet earth. Most folks, if they at all know about this small dot of an island in the eastern Mediterranean, call it Arwad (أرواد), the Arabic rendering of the ancient Phoenician place name.

In early 1915, the island city was a quiet Ottoman fishing village, although in the process of becoming a haven for French spies eager for intelligence about war preparations in Ottman Syria. On September 1 of that year the French navy invaded and, eventually, used the island to defeat the Ottoman military. Perhaps the French recalled the island’s strategic usefulness to the Crusaders in the late 13th century.

French cruiser Jeanne d’Arc, part of the Ile Rouad invasion forces.

Under a League of Nations mandate (1920), the French maintained a presence in Arwad until 1945 and hoped to build a military base there. After World War II ended, however, the United States pressured France to return the island to Syria unconditionally.

Ile Rouad’s 16 stamps were issued in 1916 and continued in use until 1919 whereupon the TEO (occupied enemy territory) stamps of French Syria replaced them. All are overprinted stamps of French Levant. Big Blue provides space for half of these, Scott numbers 4 through 12. They are cheap and easy to collect. In contrast, numbers 1 through 3, the ones with vertical hand-stamped overprints, are costly. These, the results of a stamp dealer’s speculation (1), were not regularly issued and, if cancelled, were likely not used postally. 

Ile Rouad, Scott #3, 1 pi on 25c, blue

 Census: eight in BBs, four on supplement page.

(1)  https://www.dcstamps.com/ile-rouad/

Jim's Observations 

Ile Rouad (Arwad Island) is located in the Mediterranean Sea just 2 miles off the coast from Tartus, south of Latakia, Syria. But on September 1, 1915, it was occupied by French Forces, and served as a staging ground for incursions into the Ottoman territory (Damascus 1918).

In 1919, the island became part of the French T.E.O ( Territorires Ennemis Occupes), and the stamp issues of French occupied Syria were used.

Page 1

Page 1 Close-up

Page 1

Comments appreciated!

No comments:

Post a Comment