By Alar Pastarus

During the war of independence in 1919 the territory occupied by the Estonian Armed Forces was considerably larger than the territory of Estonia. Although the occupation was of short duration, several stamp issues were made during that time. There appeared issues in Smiltene, Gdov, North Latvia (Valmiera), Pskov and by the White Russian Northern Army (OKCA). The Estonian Army did not interfere with the activities of local governments, so the issues were initiated either by the White Russian or Latvian Forces. There is one exception. The Smiltene issue was made by the direct order of the local Estonian military commander. However, as all theses areas were under the Estonian High Command, these issues can be considered as part of Estonian philately.

The Smiltene Issue
Russian stamps of 1909 or 1917 provided with a new value by a black rubber handstamp. Issued on May 31, 1919 and valid only a few days. The overprint is usually applied diagonally from lower left to upper right.

The Pskov Issue
Russian stamps of Arms type with a double line horizontal overprint. The overprint is black with the exception of the 10 kopek value, which has a red overprint. The stamps was overprinted by Semskaja Litografia in Pskov and issued on August 1, 1919. They were valid until October 15, 1919.

The "Estonia Philately & Postal History Handbook" by Vambola Hurt and Elmar Ojaste (in English and German) gives additional information about the issues in the areas occupied by Estonian Armed Forces.