While overprinted stamps are very popular, it’s quite rare to find any relating to military campaigns so these examples are a real find.
In most cases, soldiers used the free ‘on active service’ system which supplied free envelopes. Or they might simply write ‘OAS’ on the cover. However, as with the examples here, some members of the armed forces bought stamps which were overprinted to show their military designation.
These examples are from the North African campaign in Tunisia and Libya. The overprinted BA stands for ‘British Army’, MEF is ‘Middle East Forces’ and MAL is ‘Military Administration Lira’, the currency surcharge. The two postage due stamps indicated that the recipient had to pay an excess before their mail would be handed over.