Operation Bernhard

The Nazi Forgeries Meant to Destroy the UK Economy

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Operation Bernhard, a little-known facet of World War II, was a meticulously orchestrated counterfeit currency operation undertaken by Nazi Germany.

Led by SS Major Bernhard Krüger, the operation utilised skilled inmates within the confines of Sachsenhausen concentration camp to replicate British pound banknotes with remarkable precision.

The objective was to flood the British economy with counterfeit money, causing economic disruption and eroding confidence in the financial system.

While the operation did manage to introduce a significant number of fake banknotes into circulation, the impact was limited by the vigilance of British authorities, who employed diligent measures to identify and remove the forgeries.

Operation Bernhard remains a historical example of the lengths to which wartime adversaries are willing to go in pursuit of strategic advantage, highlighting the intersection of creativity and malice within the complex tapestry of war.