Dotnava, after ca.1926 renamed Dotnuva, is a township with an agricultural academy on the strategic Šiauliai – (Kaunas) – Vilnius railway line, ca. 12 km north of Kėdainiai. In World War One, during the second battle of Šiauliai, Dotnava was in the zone covered by 3. Kavallerie-Division and in late July 1915 housed the division’s headquarters.
During the German withdrawal from the East at the end of 1918, Dotnava – and Kėdainiai – were important militarily and in early 1919 were held by successive units of the Grenzschutz and by fresh Lithuanian volunteers.
In the czarist period, Dotnava had had a post office (as Datnov) but none during the German occupation. A Lithuanian post office or agentūra was set up in first half of 1921, if not earlier. So far, no details are known about its beginnings and staff.
For stamps, Dotnava started off with Fourth Berlin Issue, followed by the Sėjėjas Issue etc. In the absence of a postmarker, early cancelling was done in manuscript showing date and place. No other provisional markings have been recorded, as yet.
A standard calendar-type postmarker was provided in late 1921 inscribed “DOTNAVA”. After ca. 1925, in subsequent postmarkers the spelling was changed to “DOTNUVA”
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling in manuscript:
20 / VI [1920 or 1921] pair, Berlin IV 40 [colln. Jankauskas]
– / V (20?) Berlin IV 60 [colln. V. Jurkša]