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Counterf-Hitler: Examples from the £134million in dodgy bank notes Adolf hoped would ruin the British economy expected to fetch £2,000 at auction
A rare set of fake bank notes Hitler had printed in a bid to ruin the British economy during World War Two are expected to fetch £2,000 at auction.
Hitler hoped the £134million of counterfeit notes he produced in 'Operation Bernhard' would force a huge hike in inflation and spark a cash crisis if introduced to wartime Britain.
He ordered millions of the notes, in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations to be printed in 1942. Four bank notes recovered from Lake Toplitz in Austria will be auctioned next month.
The £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes will go under the hammer at Mullock's auctioneers at Ludlow Racecourse, Shropshire on August 18.
Nazi spies had been ordered to smuggle the cash into Britain and flood the economy with the fake money.
But Hitler's plan was foiled when British spies got wind of the idea and intercepted the shipment of the notes.
The Bank of England first learned of a plot from a spy as early as 1939. It first came across the actual notes in 1943, and declared them 'the most dangerous ever seen.'
The initial plan was to destabilize the British economy by dropping the notes from aircraft, but Hermann Goering's Luftwaffe declared it did not have enough planes to deliver the forgeries, and the assets were put in the hands of SS foreign intelligence.
Many were transferred from SS headquarters to a former hotel near Meran in South Tyrol, Northern Italy, from where they were laundered and used to pay for strategic imports and German secret agents operating in the Allied countries.
As late as the 1940s every banknote issued by the Bank of England was recorded in large leather-bound ledgers, still in the Bank's archives, and clerks first recorded the counterfeits from a British bank in Tangiers.
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