Books, History Class, Publishing, Uncategorized, World War 2, Writer's Life

WWII Allied Military Currency: Book Launch Giveaway

Allied Military Currency, printed for the invasion of Sicily and Italy, 1943

Hello Readers, Writers, and History Lovers! It’s the second day of my pre-book-launch giveaway. (If you haven’t heard about this, the details are at the end of this post.) Today, I’m writing a bit about one of the prize items I’m giving away: Allied Military Currency from Italy in 1943. (Nifty, right?)

As the Allies began offensive operations in 1942, moving across North Africa, then up into southern Europe, the question arose—what would be the best way to keep the soldiers paid?

After all, if they were paid in the currency of their home lands there were potential issues of inflated exchange rates, black market activity, and large quantities of dollars that could end up in enemy hands.

If (as was more typical) they were paid with the currency of the country in which they were operating, it could work better, providing the government of that country cooperated. However, what if the government were hostile? In turmoil? Non-existent?

The solution? The Allies decided to print their own money.

Note that the 1 Lire note is from the first series. The 5 Lire note is from series “1943 A,” after the 1 and 2 Lire notes had been discontinued. Maybe that’s why the 5 looks a bit more used.

The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing was put on the job. They had already had the responsibility of creating special “Hawaii” dollars, just in case Japan took over the islands and the U.S. had to declare the money there worthless. They’d also created special “Yellow Seal Certificates” for the troops in North Africa.

With the advance into Sicily and then Italy, they were tasked with creating AMC, or Allied Military Currency that would be for specific countries with a 1:1 exchange rate for local money. After Italy, AMC was created for France, Germany, Japan, and Austria.

The task was immense, so the BEP hired out to Forbes Lithographic Manufacturing to help get the European Currency out there. BEP reps—including Secret Service Agents, according to one source—kept a close eye on the AMC quality and inventory.

The first run of Italian AMC “Lire” had bills in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 which were all square-shaped. Larger denominations were rectangular, looking more like normal dollars. By the time of the printing of the second series, inflation had made the “1” and “2” denominations basically worthless, so they weren’t included.

The front of the bills shows the number amount of Lire in Italian and in numeral form. The back includes the “Four Freedoms” outlined by President Roosevelt in his January 6, 1941 State of the Union Address: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s site, by the end of the war 971,662,000 had been printed and delivered in support of the Allied war effort.

Giveaway Details

  • Two participants have a chance to win one of these pieces of WWII Allied Military Currency, a red poppy enamel pin, and a FREE copy (e-book or signed paperback) of my new novel, Where Shall I Flee?
  • One participant will win these items and ALSO win a copy of Ruth G. Haskell’s book, Helmet’s and Lipstick, which tells about her experiences as a WWII U.S. Army nurse.

How to Participate

  • Due to the complexities of international giveaway laws (not to mention shipping costs,) these prizes are limited to American citizens only. (Sorry.) Also, if you are under 18, you must have parental or guardian permission to participate. Void where prohibited.
  • To enter, either comment on this blog post, or on my Facebook page with the words “Count Me In.”
  • If you do not use Facebook or have difficulty commenting on WordPress (I’ve run into troubles sometimes) you may also send me an e-mail through my Contact page.)
  • You may comment on all of the “launch posts” this week to be entered multiple times. Just one entry per day though, please.
  • On launch day, November 1, I will put all of the entries into a hat and have a fair and impartial person (i.e. one of my kids) draw the names of the winners. I will post the names both on the blog and on Facebook. (If a name is drawn twice, we will redraw.)
  • If you enter, please stop by the blog or Facebook page to check to see if you are a winner and find out how to claim your prize.
  • **If I don’t hear back from winners by November 6th, I will redraw.**

For More Information on Allied Military Currency

Here’s an excellent fact sheet from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

As well as an interesting post from Atlas Repro Paperwork

And some tidbits from GovMint, a site with information on coins worldwide.

AND if you’re wondering just what my upcoming book is all about, here’s the cover and the blurb!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cover-e-book-revised-1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is where-shall-i-flee-graphic-1-1.png


Lieutenant Jean Hoff of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and infantryman Corporal George Novak have never met, but they have three things in common.

They are both driven by a past they’d rather leave behind.

They have both been sent to the embattled beachhead of Anzio, Italy.

And when they both wind up on the wrong side of the German lines, they must choose whether to resign themselves to captivity or risk a dangerous escape.

Where Shall I Flee? follows their journey through the dangers of World War II Italy, where faith vies with fear and forgiveness may be necessary for survival.

10 thoughts on “WWII Allied Military Currency: Book Launch Giveaway”

  1. Wow! I learn something new every day! Never knew about the special currency and have never seen any examples of it (except in your photos). Thanks for sharing this fascinating aspect of the war. And COUNT ME IN!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy you found it interesting too! I’ve been hunting for some on ebay for a while for this giveaway, and was so pleased these pieces showed up just in time 😊
      Consider yourself counted in!


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