After WWII fascist Germany was left in ruins after years of heavy war and was in need of rebuilding. The Allies and the USSR split it up at the Potsdam Conference of 1945 and each occupied certain Germany to help rebuild and have it under their realm of influence. Britain, Russia, France, and the US split it up into its own zones. Soon after taking control of their designated zone, goods that were meant to be used and consumed by the British occupying force started ending up in the local black market and being sold to local Germans at exaggerated prices. Read along to learn about the British Armed Forces Special Vouchers.

Attendees Potsdam Conference | Churchill, Truman, Stalin | Source: Wikipedia

Soldiers were usually paid in their home currency, and this could sometimes lead to negative effects such as black-market activities, inflation of the local economy and even the foreign money being used to support the opposition army. In combat zones like post WW2 Germany where there was no local government, and everything had been destroyed it was difficult to implement this system. So, this is why military currency vouchers were implemented. The military vouchers were pegged to the local currency and could only be used in designated zones.

Post WW2 Occupied Germany | Source: Wikipedia

In 1946 a new voucher system was introduced and was only supposed to be used only at designated military merchants known as canteens. This new currency would aid in curbing black market activities. However, soldiers and locals had caught on to this new military voucher system and black market activities continued. In 1948 a second series was released, and the previous generation was demonetized. All new issues of vouchers were done in secrecy to prevent contrabandists from dumping their vouchers and acquiring new ones. During the Suez Crisis in 1956 a new series was released. 1962 then brought a 4th series. A 5th series was released in the 60’s and 6th series in the 70’s.

British Armed Forces 3 Pence | 1st series | Source: Numista

British Armed Forces 3 Pence, 1946, 1st series. This is the smallest denomination in the series. The banknote is colored in purple and green. It’s design consists of guilloches with no imagery of people, buildings or anything else. The obverse side features only text alluding to the British Armed Forces and the denomination 3 Pence. The reverse side features text stating that its only valid in canteens associated with the military.

British Armed Forces Special Vouchers 1 Pound | 1948 ND | 2nd Series | Source: Banknote World

British Armed Forces 1 Pound, 1948 ND. Part of the 2nd series released in 1948 – 1960. Its front design features a guilloche along with English text while the reverse side features the denomination.

British Armed Forces Special Vouchers 1 Pound | 1956 ND | 3rd Series | Source: Banknote World

British Armed Forces 1 Pound Banknote, 1956 ND. It’s part of the third series of special vouchers used by the British Armed Forces during the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956. It is a brown, pink, and purple note. Both sides feature guilloches and the denomination. The reverse side also features a crown with a lion and the terms and conditions of use. Though the note does not have a watermark, it has a solid security thread.

British Armed Forces Special Vouchers 1 Pound | 1962 ND | 4th Series | Source: Banknote World

British Armed Forces 1 Pound, 1962 ND. Part of the fourth series of special vouchers issued by the British Army Council for military camps. It’s colored in violet, pale green, and lilac. Both sides of the note show the denomination with the terms and condition of the note included at the back. Though the note does not have a watermark, it has a solid security thread. British Armed Forces 10 New Pence, 1972 ND, 6th series. It depicts the denomination along with English text on the front and back design. It contains a solid security thread and a horizontal wavy line pattern watermark to enhance its security features.

British Armed Forces Special Vouchers 10 New Pence | 1972 ND | 6th Series | Source: Banknote World


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