World War II Military Currency German Denomination
Military currency has, in the past, been issued to troops. It serves several functions. As World War II wound down, military currency allowed troops to make purchases in occupied territories, and those civilians providing goods and service could expect the currency to be backed by the issuing entity. Another use is to help control activities on the black market. This would be the most likely use for military currency issued other than during wartime.
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World War II
As the allies controlled more territory, troops had a need to make purchases from the civilians. These people were unfamiliar with the various currencies of the armies that occupied their territory, The need to have currency that could be distributed to troops in Europe and Japan in denominations, and the languages, of the occupied and liberated territories came about.
Military currency in denominations of Italian lire, French francs, German marks, and Japanese sen had to be issued to allow a flow of commerce between the troops and the civilians. Most of these issues were of small denominations. It would be expecting too much trust to have large notes for which the people accepting them would need to make change. There was still uncertainty as to which side would prevail.
Rarer are issues from World War I, but a few such issues do exist.
These small pieces of paper are actual parts of history. They are true artifacts.
As with other currencies, condition is important. If the piece has no fold lines, has crisp corners, has no pin holes, and has no other damage, it is worth more than a damaged piece. Remember, many of these pieces have literally gone through a war, so finding one issued late during occupation and having it survive with no damage is asking a lot. Yet there are some nice pieces out there.
As for owning a type set, these pieces can be found in reasonable condition for very low prices. This is a very affordable collectible. In fact, in order to cover shipping for the seller, you might need to buy a lot of ten or more on Ebay.
Of course, error pieces would be worth a premium. So are star notes. And look at the serial number. I had a small German piece that sold for over eighty dollars because it had a dash at the beginning of the serial number. But, had it been issued by the Russians, the dash would have been common, and there would have been a much lower value assigned to it.
After the Korean conflict the United States issued military currency in the denominations of the United States. These bills were to help control the black market. These military currency issues do not circulate well, and are expected to be redeemed. This makes redeeming large quantities without drawing suspicion very difficult.