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Overland Mail Baghdad-Haifa Pages

Postal Rates and Overland Mail Surcharges


Eastwards bounded rates from Greece

Postage Rate Greece - Iraq (surface mail):

Date Format dd.mm.yyyy

FromTillCover up to 20 gramsEach additional 20 grams
1.1.192331.12.19242,00 Drachma 1,00 Drachma
1.1.192530.9.19252,50 Drachma 1,25 Drachma
1.10.192531.5.19262,50 Drachma 1,50 Drachma
1.6.192630.4.19273,00 Drachma 1,80 Drachma
1.5.192731.5.19324,00 Drachma 2,40 Drachma
1.6.193231.8.19325,00 Drachma 3,00 Drachma
1.9.193230.4.19337,00 Drachma 4,20 Drachma
1.5.193319.9.19418,00 Drachma 5,00 Drachma


FromTillPost Cards
1.1.192331.12.19241,20 Drachma
1.1.192531.5.19261,50 Drachma
1.6.192630.4.19271,80 Drachma
1.5.192731.5.19322,40 Drachma
1.6.193231.8.19323,00 Drachma
1.9.193230.4.19334,20 Drachma
1.5.193319.9.19415,00 Drachma


FromTillRegistration Fee
1.1.192331.12.19242,00 Drachma
1.1.192531.5.19262,50 Drachma
1.6.192630.4.19273,00 Drachma
1.5.192731.5.19324,00 Drachma
1.6.193231.8.19325,00 Drachma
1.9.193230.4.19337,00 Drachma
1.5.193319.9.19418,00 Drachma


FromTillPrinted Matters


Surcharge for the use of the Overland Mail


Decree No. 11 dated 4 March 1931Surcharge
50 Lepta (1/2 Drachma) per letter of 20 grams
 50 Lepta (1/2 Drachma) per postcard

1 Drachma on documents, printed matter and merchandise samples


Decree No. xxxSurcharge abolished



Finally the first decree from the Greek Post Office has been found, the first of such covers from Greece to Iraq carried by the Overland Mail i discovered as well.

Click images to enlarge cover images.


Registered cover from the rate period 1 May 1933 - 19 September 1941, sent from Athens / Greece dated 8 February 1935 to Baghdad / Iraq, Route Instruction "Via Tereste Palestine".


Reverse side (reduced) of the cover, showing the correct franking of 16,50 Drachma (8 Drachma postage, 8 Drachma Registration Fee and 0,50 Drachma Overland Mail Surcharge.

Transit markings Jerusalem (14 February 1935) and delivery postmark Baghdad (20 February 1935).

Decree dated 4 March 1931, published in the Greek Government Gazette no. 56, dated 9 March 1931, Page 387:

Download header of the decree (PDF Format, 381 KB)

Download Decree (PDF Format, 286 KB)








Εν Αθήναις τη 9η Μαρτίου 1931


Αριθμός φύλλου 56

Athens, 9 March 1931


Issue number 56

Περί καθορισμού πρόσθετων ταχυδρομικών τελών επί των διαβιβαζομένων διά της ταχείας οδού Συρίας-Ιράκ αντικειμένων αλληλογραφίας
.        (11)

On setting up supplementary postal rates on mail sent via the faster route Syria-Iraq      (11)




Περί καθορισμού πρόσθετων ταχυδρομικών τελών επί των διαβιβαζομένων διά της ταχείας οδού Συρίας-Ιράκ αντικειμένων αλληλογραφίας


Έχοντες υπ’ όψει το άρθρον 52 του νόμου 4581 της 28 Απριλίου 1930)132 «περί Ταχυδρομικής ανταποκρίσεως», προτάσει των Ημετέρων επί των Οικονομικών και Συγκοινωνίας Υπουργών και μετά γνώμην του Συμβουλίου Επικρατείας, απεφασίσαμεν και διατάσσομεν.

Άρθρον μόνον

Τα διά της εκτάκτου δι’ αυτοκινήτων ταχυδρομικής οδού Συρίας-Ιράκ διαβιβαζόμενα εξ Ελλάδος αντικείμενα αλληλογραφίας υπόκεινται πλην των συνήθων ταχυδρομικών τελών και εις πρόσθετα τοιαύτα ως έπεται.

Επιστολαί, λεπτά πεντήκοντα ανά 20 γραμμάρια βάρους, ή κλάσμα αυτών.

Επιστολικά δελτάρια και εικονογραφημένα λεπτά πεντήκοντα ανά τεμάχιον.

Έγγραφα υποθέσεων, έντυπα, δείγματα εμπορευμάτων, δραχμή μία ανά πεντήκοντα γραμμάρια ή κλάσμα αυτών.

Εις τους αυτούς Υπουργούς ανατίθεμεν την δημοσίευσιν και εκτέλεσιν του παρόντος Διατάγματος.

Εν Αθήναις τη 4η Μαρτίου 1931

Ο Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας


Οι Υφυπουργοί

Επί των Οικονομικών
B. Δεληγιάννης

 Επί της Συγκοινωνίας
Χ. Λαδάς


On setting up supplementary postal rates on mail sent via the faster route Syria-Iraq


Taking into account article 52 of law 4581 dated 28 April 1930)132 “on postal correspondence”, the proposal of our Ministers of Finance and Transport and following the consultation of the Council of State, we have decided and ordered.


Single article

Mail items sent from Greece via the special mail route Syria-Iraq serviced by cars are charged with supplementary postal rates on top of the regular rates as follows.

Letters, at 50 lepta per 20 g of weight or a fraction thereof.


Postal cards including illustrated ones, at 50 lepta per item.

Documents, printed matter, merchandise samples, 1 drachma per 50 g or a fraction thereof.

To the said Ministers we entrust the publication and the implementation of this decree.

Athens, 4 March 1931

The President of the Republic


The Deputy Ministers

Of Finance
V. Deligiannis

Of Transport
C. Ladas


In addition three Post Office Circulars have been found so far as below:

Postal circular no. 133676 dated 19 March 1931, published in the "Bulletin of the Postal and Telegraph Service" of 1931, p. 150:

Download circular (PDF Format, 304 KB)

Transcript in Greek language is (hopefully) coming short y 

No 133676.

To Regional directions of Post Offices, Exchange Post Offices and the Athens Central PO.


Οn receipt of the present, you are allowed to receive mail addressed to Iraq (Mesopotamia) to be routed via the special car service via Syria-Iraq.

These pieces of mail should bear on the left upper corner the instruction “via the quick route Syria-Iraq” written by the senders, and the usual postal rates will be paid with a surcharge as:


Letters, D. 0,50 for each 20 g or part thereof.

Postal stationery cards and illustrated postcards, D. 0,50 per item.

Business papers, printed matter, commercial samples, D 1 per 50 g or part thereof.

The above mentioned items will be transferred by the post offices to the Athens central PO or the Piraeus exchange PO and these two offices prepare a special bundle of mail to be enclosed in the Beyrout mailbag.

You should inform the public of this quick service to Iraq by car via Syria-Iraq, noting that this will save 5 days compared to the usual sea route via Bombay which takes more than 20 days.


The regional postal directions are to inform the post offices under their supervision of the above.

Athens, 19 March 1931

The Director of Posts

Th. Pentheroudakis 


Postal circular no. 277653 dated 20 August 1934, published in the "Bulletin of the Postal and Telegraph Service" of 1934, p. 474/475:

Download circular (PDF Format, 547 KB)

Transcript in Greek language is (hopefully) coming shortly 


Section of postal connections.

Reg. nr. 277653


Instructions are given herewith regarding the fast postal transportation by motor car to Palestine (Iraq).

To all the postal administrations.

     Modifying our circular order nr. 133676 of 19th March 1931, we let it be known that as from 1st September next the fast motor car (serviced) route Jerusalem-Bagdhad will be used instead of that of Beirut-Baghdad for those (items) bearing the proper additional postal fee (letters 50 lepta per 20 gr. post cards 50 lepta per item), printed matter and other correspondence items 1 Drachma per 50 gr. of correspondence items for Iraq.

     On the mentioned items it should be written by the senders the indication ''Over the fast route Palestine-Iraq'' instead of the until now (used) ''Over the post. route of Syria Iraq''

     These items you should forward to the Central Post Office of Athens, in order that the latter (the P.O.) enclose these in its regular despatches to the Jerusalem Post office.

     On this occasion and BECAUSE we noticed that the median volume of the correspondence forwarded through the said fast motor car route does not exceed 1 klg per quarter (of the year),whilst the rest of the correspondence to Iraq, which is forwarded over the usual slow route (via Bombay), amounts to 8 kg during the same period, so there is an analogy of 1 to 8, not justified on account of the said minute excess fee, we conclude from this that the public is not aware of the existence and the benefits that derive from the use of the above mentioned postal route through which, with only an extremely low excess fee, our service's items of correspondence arrive at their destination inside six days, whilst if sent over the usual via Bombay route arrive to their destination after 21-23 days from their despatch from here. PLEASE through proper notification posted up at a well evident point in your office, and if possible advertised without expenses in the local press, let all interested take good notice and regularly use the herewith mentioned fast (route).

     We expect, as a result of your actions, the through the future statistics confirmed increase of the volume of the over the above mentioned fast route forwarded correspondence.

Athens 20th August 1934

The Director

K. Theofanopoulos


Postal circular no. 226407 dated 14 March 1936, published in the "Bulletin of the Postal and Telegraph Service" of 1936, p. 194:

Download circular (PDF Format, 256 KB)

Complete transcript will (hopefully) coming shortly!  

No 226407.


In regard with the possibility to send mail to Persia also by the quick route via Palestine.

To Post Offices.

1) It is reminded that mail to Persia besides the usual route, is also possible via the quick route via Palestine by car.

By this route, mail from Greece reaches Persia 4 days earlier than the usual route (via Hungary-Russia).

2) All mail to Persia sent by this route is subject to a special surcharge of 50 lepta (per 20g) for letters and 1 Drachma (per 50g) for other mail.

3) You should inform the public of the above possibility offered.

Athens, 14 March 1936

The Director

K. Theofanopoulos