The Story: The brave action of young King Peter II played a vital role in influencing the outcome of World War II, causing Germanys defeat at the hands of the Allies.
Peter II Karaorević of Yugoslavia was only 11 years old when he became heir apparent to the thrown upon the death of his father, King Alexander in 1934. Because of Peters youth, his fathers cousin Prince Paul was named Regent. Wishing to avoid Germanys war machine that was ravaging Europe, on March 25, 1941, Regent Prince Paul agreed to join the Axis Tripartite Pact, joining Germany, Italy and Japan. In a defiant move only two days later, Peter, then 17, was proclaimed of age and had himself declared King. He refused to capitulate to Hitler. This prompted the subsequent German invasion of Yugoslavia that diverted the German army and caused an unplanned 6 week delay in the start of Operation Barbarossa--the Nazi invasion of Russia. This delay resulted in Germanys defeat at the hands of the Russian winter. The Coins: The first and only coins to bear the portrait of King Peter II were issued in 1938. These silver 20 and 50 dinara coins were designed by Frano Menegelo. What makes these coins unusual are that the King faces left on the 20 dinara and right on the 50 dinara. Also, the legends on the 20 dinara are in the Latin alphabet and the legends on the 50 dinara are Cyrillic. The inscriptions on the obverse of the coins both read Peter II of Yugoslavia. The reverse side shows the Coat of Arms of Serbia, which features the double-headed eagle and the Serbian cross. This Coat of Arms was adopted in 1882; however, the design elements date back to the origins of the Serbian dynasties from the 12th century Byzantine era.
Data: 20 Dinar: Obverse: Bust of King Peter II facing left; Reverse: crowned double eagle with shield on breast Weight: 9.0 grams; Diameter: 27 mm; 50 Dinar:Obverse: Bust of King Peter II facing right; Reverse: crowned double eagle with shield on breast Weight: 15.0 grams; Diameter: 31 mm
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