Thursday, 10 November 2016

Stamps of the Isle of Man and Latvia

Recently I ordered some stamps from the Isle of Man and from Latvia, both on the same day. Latvia's arrived nearly four weeks ago and the order from Isle of Man also finally arrived on Tuesday.

One souvenir sheet I ordered from the Isle of Man celebrates the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland (issued 17-02-2016).

The Battle of Jutland was fought between the 31st May and 1st June 1916 near the coast of Denmark's Jutland Peninsula. It was the largest naval battle and the only major encounter between the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during World War I. It formed a part of a larger German strategy to break the British blockade against Germany and to allow German naval vessels to access the Atlantic. Fourteen British and eleven German ships were sunk with a great loss of life. But although more ships and sailors were lost on British side, they were able to prevent the German plans. In German it is known as Skagerrakschlacht (Battle of Skagerrak).

One of the stamps from Latvia celebrates the Centenary of the Latvian Riflemen (issued 25-10-2015)

At the beginning of World War I was the Latvian territory a part of the Russian Empire and had a direct border with the German Empire. Already in August 1914 Liepāja and the Užava Lighthouse were attacked by German troops, but just in May 1915 the war reached the whole of Latvia leading to many Latvians leaving their region. Also much of the region's industry was evacuated to Russia and was lost forever. In September 1917 Riga was captured by German troops. After the Russian Revolution parts of Latvia were given to the Germans according to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, who quickly established an occupational regime which ruled between March and November 1918. After the end of World War I the Latvian War of Independence was fought, which ended with the recognition of the Latvian Republic by Soviet Russia in 1920. 

The Latvian Riflemen were founded in August 1915 after a public proclamation by State Duma members. The first battles of the 1st Riflemen Battalion took place on 25th October 1915, when they fought in the Russian army against the Germans. After a great offensive the Latvian Riflemen helped to stabilise the front line along the Daugava river, which was held until the Russian army's collapse in 1917. 

A FDC I ordered from Latvia bears this year's EUROPA stamps (issued 09-05-2016).

You can see the other stamps on my stamp blog.

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