In today's Times I spotted this photo of a wartime factory producing the 50 cigarette tins that kept us going during our time overseas. I remember writing about these tins here: Fraternization with the locals. and on the same thread the tins are mentioned again in an article about their use as local currency. Dealing with the local civilian population was always a tricky process during our service overseas and was fraught with either misunderstanding from both sides and this applied wherever we happened to be at the time. While we were in North Africa I witnessed this happen between some of my compatriots and the local Arab inhabitants. We were en-route to join our Regiment at Tunis. As we made our way to Tunis, the train at times was moving at walking pace and the lads aboard were bargaining,swapping and selling their '50 cigarette' tins to the local Arabs. The 'double sting' that I saw went as follows: One of the lads had cut each cigarette into three and had packed the lower part of each tin of 50 with toilet paper. The cigarettes were beautifully arranged so that when the sticky tape that sealed the tin was peeled off and the lid removed, the tin was seen to be completely full. The Arab trader,in turn, was offering what appeared to be completely genuine Egyptian Francs which he counted off in front of the soldier who was selling the cigarettes. The sting, from his end, was that each note had been carefully cut into two pieces. Each party to the sting held on to their goods until the last possible moment until the train speeded up and then the Arab gentleman beat a hasty retreat whilst the English squaddie whooped with joy at what he thought was another good deal, until, that is, he checked the notes!. On consideration, the Arab trader had the best deal, at least his cigarette ends were smokable. The squaddie lost completely out because his money was unusable. A classic case of the Biter being Bit ! !