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Storia postale della
Venezia Giulia

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Detachment of the Yugoslav Army for the Slovenian Littoral, Trieste and Istria
Veselko GUŠTIN


Throughout May and the beginning of June 1945, there was diversified diplomatic activity among the allies on the governance of Julian Venetia (it. Venezia Giulia, VG). The Western allies asked for administration over Trieste, Gorizia, Monfalcone and Pola, together with a certain territory and the Isonzo valley, due to the need for a connection between Trieste and the occupied zone in Austria. Finally, on June 9, 1945, an agreement was reached relating to the distribution of VG in two zones, signed by Šubašić. A more detailed agreement was concluded on June 20, 1945 by General Arso Jovanović and the head of the Allied Command Office for the Mediterranean, Lieutenant-General Morgan.

We will be interested in Zone A and some provisions concerning it in the future. It was agreed, among other things, that in Zone A a detachment of the Yugoslav Army (JA) would remain but under Allied command. Colonel Dragomir Benčič was appointed commander of the detachment. The detachment of the JA had the San Giusto hospital in Gorizia available for its needs.

On June 20 all the units of the detachment of the JA were transferred from the cities to the Karst, i.e., to Kostanjevica and the surrounding villages. In Kostanjevica, originally there was also the headquarters, which moved to the village of Opatje selo on September 4, 1945, where it remained until October 1947. The allies also allowed the extension of the JA to the villages of Pliskovica, from September 1, 1945, Gabrovica, Škrbina, Brestovica, Kobjeglava and Gorjansko, and later also to Šempolaj, Kobdilj and Renče.

In the detachment area there was no space for the operation of the AMG and their police. Unlike other places in Zone A, where the NOOs (National Liberation Committees) were abolished and their administration established, the NOOs continued to operate. The detachment of the JA lasted until October 1947.

Figure 1. Territory of the JA detachment for Trieste, Istria and the Slovenian Littoral in Zone A of VG, 1945-47: the red area is marked after June 20,1945, and the blue after September 1,1945.

Postal History

The first time I read about the detachment of the JA was in the Italian philatelic literature (R. Pinelli). With regards to the functioning of the postal communications, B. Morenčič (V. Guštin, B. Morenčič, Postal history and philately in the littoral) says “The detachment of the JA took the official and personal mail of officers and soldiers every day and he transported it with his own means to Ljubljana, and on the route he also collected and delivered post in Ajdovščina and Postojna. When leaving or arriving their detachment territory, AMG exercised no control over the postal items. At the same time, Morenčič wrote that "an employee of the auxiliary post in the village of Opatje selo (on the territory of detachment of the JA) went herself to Gorizia for the postal items she gave to the KNOO (regional committee for liberation).
This is all we know about the postal operation.

Figure 2. Letter from the Artillery Division of the Detachment of the JA for the Slovenian Littoral, Trieste and Istria (ŠTAB BRDSKOG MOT. DIVIZIONA * Odred Jug. Armije za Trst, Istru i Slovensko Primorje *) za Hreljin, sent: 10.X.1945, arrived: 28.XI.1945.


Figure 3. An envelope of the Red Cross (RK) of Slovenia transported by JA couriers at the: ODRED J.A. ZA S.P. TRST I ISTRU - VOJNA POŠTA (JA Detachment for the Slovenian Littoral, Trieste and Istria - military post) in Serbian/Croatian. Since Mr. Stergulc Andrej was no longer in the “propagandni odsek Odreda za Slov. Primorje, Trst in Istro” the letter was transferred to Gostilna/Bovec/Gorica. Transported (from the employee) to Miren: MERNA 18.4.46 continued as recommended with regular mail from Zone A to Bovec: PLEZZO RACC.ASSIC.20.4.46 It was taken by the recipient.

These are the only two letters that I have seen from the JA detachment in Zone A.

It is also worth mentioning the postal links held by the PNOO Secretariat for the Slovenian Littoral (and Trieste) in Trieste, Via Carducci 6, with the hinterland of Slovenia.

Figure 4. Official letter from PNOO of Trieste on 12 July (July 1945) for Maribor, OF department. The letter was sent to the JA courier.


Figure 5. Letter from Trieste / Trst, Via Beccaria 7 for Velika Nedelja. On the back is written: Please, send the letter to Milica in Maribor, because I don't know the address. Letter was transported by JA courier from Trieste to Ljubljana, and then on 9.X.45 by regular mail to Velika Nedelja.

Dr. Veselko GUŠTIN