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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



In Iraq Report 1930. H.M.S.0. the following has been found:

Greece continues to use the long sea route rather than the Overland Route. This could mean that Greece has not implemented any surcharges nor used the route serviced by the Overland Mail.

This was valid until.... I finally the first decree from the Greek Post Office has been found. A 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:



Εν Αθήναις τη 9η Μαρτίου 1931ΤΕΥΧΟΣ ΠΡΩΤΟΝ

Αριθμός φύλλου 56

Athens, 9 March 1931

VOLUME AIssue 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
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:

Complete transcript will come shortly!   

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:

Complete transcript will come shortly!  
Complete translation will come shortly!
It indicates
that it is useful to use the faster route by cars to Iraq for mail to Persia, because it is by four days faster than the usual route via Hungary and Russia. 


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

Complete transcript will come 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