“ ALLIED MILITARY CURRENCY “

Military Currencies are issued strictly for the use of troops; they are prepared by a (military) power or Government and declared by the overall commander to be legal tender for use by civilian and/or military personnel as prescribed in the areas occupied by its forces . ‘Military Currency’ should be of a distinctive design so as to be able to distinguish it from the national (i.e. official) currency of the country concerned, but it may be denominated in the monetary unit of either .

In the frame of the overall preparation for the invasion of German-occupied Western Europe, the Allies planned to print and issue special currency, denominated “French” currency, (aka “Invasion Notes”, or “Invasion Currency” ), which were supposed to help support scarce and devaluated current French banknotes and serve as a means of payment by Allied troops and citizens stationed in France . It should be noted that the above type of Allied currency had already been introduced in Italy in 1943 .

This ‘Allied Military Currency’ (aka AMC) was printed in the United States under strict security conditions by the Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company, Boston, Massachusetts and transported to Britain . For D-DAY, 19 trucks were required to deliver 3 billion French Francs, which were needed to change the British money held by American servicemen into French Military Currency and to cover a partial payment of US$ 4.03 per serviceman ! It should be noted that prior to D-Day, Allied servicemen also received, apart from the new ‘Invasion Currency’ current French banknotes, in circulation on the continent .

‘Allied Military Currency’ used in France consisted of 2 issues : The first one is called Supplemental French Franc Currency, while the obverse mentions FRANCE, indicates the amount represented, a serial number, and statements ‘émis en France’ (i.e. issued in France) and ‘série de 1944’ (i.e. series of 1944), the reverse side shows the French tricolor flag . These notes, printed by Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company, Boston, Massachusetts were of different colors and sizes and were issued in denominations of 2 – 5 – 10 – 50 – 100 – 500 – 1000 Francs (5000 Francs were NOT issued) .
Quantities of notes delivered; 2 Francs (200,000,000) 5 Francs (160,000,000) 10 Francs (80,000,000) 50 Francs (40,000,000) 100 Francs (144,000,000) 500 Francs (20,000,000) 1000 Francs (40,000,000) and 5000 Francs (2,720,000 printed) .


obverse & reverse side of 2 Francs note,
Supplemental French Franc Currency


The second issue is called Provisional French Franc Currency, while the obverse still mentions FRANCE, with serial number, ‘série de 1944’, but NO longer the statement ‘émis en France’, the reverse side only mentions FRANCE (no flag anymore) . These banknotes were also printed in the United States and issued with the (reluctant) agreement of the ‘Comité Français de Libération Nationale’ (French Committee of National Liberation) . The US Government instructed 2 printers to handle this second issue of ‘French Francs’, both Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company, Boston, Massachusetts and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Washington, District of Columbia . Denominations were 50 – 100 – 1000 Francs (500 and 5000 Francs, although printed, were not issued) .
Quantities of notes printed; 50 Francs (290,000,000) 100 Francs (950,000,000) and 1000 Francs (250,000,000) .

Remark : both issues described above, were to be used in Allied-controlled areas of occupation – the second issue (Provisional) replaced the first issue in June 1945, though the 2 – 5 – 10 (Supplemental) notes remained in circulation with the new (Provisional) ones until late 1946 – the 50 and 100 (Provisional Supplemental) Franc notes remained in circulation till 1948 …


obverse & reverse side of 50 Francs note,
Supplemental French Franc Currency



obverse & reverse side of 100 Francs note,
Provisional French Franc Currency


NOTES :
‘Allied Military Currency’ has been used in several countries in the E.T.O., such as ITALY in 1943 (denominations 1 – 2 – 5 – 10 – 50 – 100 – 500 – 1000 Lira, printed by Forbes Lithograph Mfg Co, USA), with two different series 1943 and 1943A representing a total of 971,662,000 notes; AUSTRIA in 1944-45 (denominations 50 Groschen – 1 – 2 – 5 – 10 – 20 – 25 – 50 – 100 – 1000 Schilling, printed by Forbes Lithograph Mfg Co, USA Bureau of Engraving & Printing, USA British printer); and GERMANY in 1944-45 (denominations ½ - 1 – 5 – 10 – 20 – 50 – 100 – 1000 Mark, printed by Forbes Lithograph Mfg Co, USA Bureau of Engraving & Printing, USA Soviet Military Government) with ‘individual’ prefix identification for Occupation zones (USA > 1, British > 0, French > 00, Russian > -) quantities printed represented 532,000,000 notes; but also in JAPAN in 1945 (denominations 10 – 50 Sen – 1 – 5 – 10 – 20 – 100 Yen, for use in Japan and Korea denominations 10 – 50 Sen – 1 – 5 – 10 – 20 – 100 – 1000 Yen, for use in Japan and the Ryukyus, printed by Bureau of Engraving & Printing, USA Stecher Traung, USA Finance Ministry Printing Bureau, Japan), printed quantities represented over 331 million notes . Little known is the fact that also DENMARK used AMC in 1945 (denominations 25 Ore – 1 – 5 – 10 – 50 – 100 Kroner, printed in England and issued by Allied Command Denmark) .


Austria - 100 Schilling Alliierte Militärbehörde
1944 issue (green color)



Japan - 50 Sen Military Currency
1945 issue (black & blue colors)



Denmark – 5 Kroner Allierede Overkommando
til Brug i Danmark
1945 issue (green color)



Italy - 1000 Lire Allied Military Currency
1943 issue (black & blue colors)



Germany - 10 Mark Alliierte Militärbehörde
1944 issue (blue & light blue colors)


More : US Banknotes were sometimes adapted by adding an overprint, they were then sometimes called "emergencey notes" (e.g. Hawaii 1942), it seems that a special issue of printed US banknotes with different color seals (1 – 5 – 10 Dollars) were also issued for the Invasion of N. Africa and Sicily . The Belgian Government authorized the issue as from 1 February 1943 of 5 – 10 – 100 – 500 – 1000 Francs, printed by Bradbury-Wilkinson, England, these notes were however recalled after November 1944 . In 1943 and in 1944 the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg also ordered 5 – 10 – 20 – 50 – 100 Francs notes printed by The American Bank Note Company, USA Waterlow & Sons, as well as Bradbury-Wilkinson, England for supplementing local currencies during the Liberation period . The Netherlands issued new 1 – 2 ½ - 5 – 10 – 25 – 50 – 100 Gulden banknotes, printed by The American Bank Note Company, USA and issued 4 February 1942, these were used to pay US troops, but were withdrawn after only ninety days of circulation (banknotes were also issued from 2 March 1943 for payment of Allied troops after Liberation of The Netherlands Indies) . Allied Troops landing in Norway in 1945 were issued with 1 – 2 – 5 – 10 – 50 – 100 Kroner notes printed by Waterlow & Sons, England (ordered & authorized by King Haakon of Norway) .


…somewhere in England,
distribution of “Invasion Currency” to military personnel
Paymaster is a Technical Sergeant,
member of the 6th Engineer Special Brigade



Display of so-called “Invasion Currency”,
i.e. Supplemental French Franc Currency





military personnel were required to ‘sign for acceptance’
upon receiving their “Invasion Currency”


Note: above pictures were taken during “Strictly G.I.” Re-enactment activities, in Normandy, France, June 1999