Last Update December 16, 2021

  • Cuba P13, 25 Pesos.

    Irish/English Conflict Example

    To support their efforts to free Ireland from England, these "Fenian Pound" notes were produced, dated 1866, with a vignette of Theobald Wolfe Tone, the originator of the United Irishmen. The note says in part, "Five Dollars, redeemable...after the acknowledgement of the Independence of the Irish Nation at the Treasury of the Irish Republic”. It is signed by John O'Mahoney, founder of the Irish revolutionaries.

    Mexican Revolution Example

    Both the Loyalists (Carranza) and Revolutionaries (Villistas etal.) counterfeited currency to destabilize the opposing faction. Another technique used was to simply declare legitimate notes as invalid. Here's a real 20 Pesos note from the Banco Minero overstamped "FALSO" to invalidate it as an example. A counterfeit Pancho Villa note follows, thanks to Crutch Williams. Be sure to check his site out at Crutchfield's Currency..
    50 Pesos
    J.D. "Dave" Watson discusses and shows the geniune and counterfeit features for Villa notes of this period in his online catalog The Chihuahua Paper Money of General Francisco "Pancho" Villa 1913 - 1915. This link jumps to the counterfeit section. The entire catalog is worth a look (pouring over in my case!).

    Another tactic is to mark opposing governments genuine notes as counterfeit. This causes at least a drop in confidence of the currency and can destabalize the economy.

    Russian Revolution Examples

    There are several anti-Communist White Russian Army overprints used during the Russian Revolution, with a number of different values and overprints. An image and translation follows:
    1000 Rubles.Pick 953 .

    Russian General Denikin produced notes of 50 Karbovantiv denomination while warring in the Ukraines. This series of notes was already circulating in Ukraine and Denikin simply produced the same notes, with series 210 and up. The Ukraines declared the notes fake and stamped many of these as so. Here's an example of this note from Ron Wise's great web site, the note donated by Oleg Schulakov:
    Real P-6a 50 Karbovantsiv (1918)
    Fake P-6b 50 Karbovantsiv (1918)

    With the revolution over, Joseph Stalin had U.S. $100 counterfeited to raise hard currency. The paper was so difficult to reproduce, the Russians bleached lower denomination U.S. notes, the printed the $100 forged engraving on them. To distribute the notes, Stalin commissioned American gangsters to disperse the money, offering a 30% discount. When the gangsters discovered the notes were fake, not "dirty" money from illegal operations, they surrendered $40,000 to authorities.10
    Both German Marks and American Dollars were counterfeited, then fenced through a secretly purchased Berlin bank.11

    World War I Examples

    England used captured printing plates dated AH1334 (1916) to copy these 10 Pound notes from Turkey. The notes were never released, and found their way to a currency exchange house between 1925 and 1935. The reason they were never released is the British printed the "10" inside a siz-pointed star on the left border facing outside, rather than inside like the remaining sides. The simplest inspection would catch this mistake. Here is a closup of this error 10 Pound note error. They did not resurface until 1987, finding their way into numismatic circles.

    The biography of Royal Marine Lieutenant-Colonel Maurice Hankey, based on his diary indicates Great Britain forged German 20 Mark notes. This was probaly done by Waterlow & Company at their Watford plant. Certainly counterfeit German stamps have surfaced with tiny letters bearing "Printed in Watford". The 20 Mark notes have only been observed at auction once or twice, indicating either few forged notes made or at least disseminated.

    The Germans counterfeited the Imperial Bank of Canada’s $100 banknote presumably to undermine Canada’s financial system. According to Joseph Boling’s March 12, 2012 presentation to the Chicago Coin Club entitled Official Counterfeiting of Paper Currency, “The counterfeit $100 Imperial Bank of Canada circulated in the Middle East, and became known in Canada in the 1920s. The paper does not feel right on this intaglio item of middle quality — the intaglio is shallow, and all pieces seen in the numismatic market have a Persian bank stamp (the Imperial Bank of Resht in northwest Iran, on the Caspian).” The banknote is repeatedly overprinted with “COUNTERFEIT” and twice perforated with “VOID” above the signature areas.
    View this $100 front here View this $100 back here

    Between World Wars Example

    The communists overprinted a German inflation note, a partial translation being
    "Think of 1914-1923! The Nazis want war and "reflecting keeping" thus inflation!
    I can't read all the next line. View this 1000 Mark here

    The town of Essen released the folowing 10 Millionen Ruhrtaler, protesting the occupation of the Ruhr area by France and Belgium.
    Note Belgium, represented by the figure with the sword in one hand and money in the other, with his foot on the throat of the German. The reverse shows a poor German family leaving the area with only what they can carry on a cart. View this 10 Millionen Ruhrtaler here

    The Nazis overprinted a German inflation note, the translation being "Do not buy from Jews!
    View this 1000 Mark here

    The Nazis overprinted the same German inflation note, the translation being "The Jew takes our Gold, Silver, and bacon and leaves us this crap...come to Hitler, become a National Socialist"
    View this 1000 Mark here
    Did the Nazis know Jewish religion considers pig meat not Kosher, thus do not eat?

    The Völkisch-Social Bloc ("Völkisch-Sozialer Block" or "Völkisch-Sozialer-Block" or "VSB" or "V-S-B") was a right-wing electoral alliance in post World War I Germany. Its philosophy was loosely aligned with that of the NSDAP (Nazi Party). A 500 Mark note with Jews hanged and a translation of the propaganda is here..

    The town of Essen released the folowing 10 Millionen Ruhrtaler, protesting the occupation of the Ruhr area by France and Belgium.
    Note Belgium, represented by the figure with the sword in one hand and money in the other, with his foot on the throat of the German. The reverse shows a poor German family leaving the area with only what they can carry on a cart. View this 10 Millionen Ruhrtaler here

    In 1926 several people were arrested in the Netherlands while attempting to procure 10 million francs worth of fake French 1000-franc bills which had been produced in Hungary; after 3 years, the state-sponsored industrial scale counterfeit operation had finally collapsed. The League of Nations' investigation found Hungary's motives were to avenge its post-WWI territorial losses and to use profits from the counterfeiting business to boost a militarist, border-revisionist ideology. Germany and Austria had an active role in the conspiracy, which required special machinery. The quality of fake bills was still substandard however, due to France's use of exotic raw paper material imported from its colonies.

    World War II Examples

    Canada produced 10 Reichsmark notes for use in Canada! The "notes" were used in Winnipeg in February 1942 as a fundraiser for war bonds. An image and translation follow:
    10 Reichsmark.

    China protested Japanese control with several propaganda messages: No images available. Anyone have an image example?

    The largest and famous use of counterfeiting was the German project called Operation Bernhard. This was a continuation of "Operation Andrew" or "Andreas", which also copied British currency. It is curious to note these counterfeits were conceived by an SS officer named Alfred Helmut Naujocks. The curious part is that Najocks came up with the idea by noting the British near-perfect counterfeits of German auxiliary certificates of payment 50 Reichsfenning notes! See the British section for more on this note. When Germany rescued Mussolini from his captors the operation was paid for using forged British bank notes! The near perfect doubles of Bernhard caused England to remove the notes from circulation and replace with a different series notes. It is estimated over 40% of the circulating British notes were counterfeits, with 100,000,000 Pounds counterfeited. The only clear way to distinguish these notes from the original is in the watermark. In the original the line into the bottom N of England is slightly offset. In the German copy, this "error" has been corrected & the line runs into the middle of the Bottom N of England.
    Here's a 5 pound note example. Here's a 10 pound note example. Here's a 20 pound note example. Here's a 50 pound note example.

    No images available here of the few 100, 500, or 1000 Pound notes counterfeited. The 5 Pound notes represented 40% of the production, with 20% each for the 10-50 Pound notes. These notes were first distributed through Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Yugoslavia, and Sweden. The original plan to flood Britain with the fakes by air drops was changed due to the loss of the air Battle of Britain and the need for hard currency for espionage.10
    Due to the German Minister of Economics refusal to have anything to do with the operation, the group counterfeited its own German occupation notes! The notes were used to buy arms from Yugoslav partisans, who were supplied the arms by the allies.11

    Even before the British notes were counterfeited, the same workshops in Sachsenhausen had counterfeited Yugoslav partisan currency for about three weeks. Its chief was SS Sturmbannfuhrer (Major) Bernhard Kruger, for whom the Operation Bernhard was named. Does anyone have an example of these?
    By December 1944, passable U.S. $100 notes started to be produced. When over-run by the Allied troops, U.S. Major George McNally (ex Secret Service) estimated 6,000 notes were produced. Interviews with the prisoners put the number at 200.10

    Palestine 5 Pound noteswere copied for use as currency to pay spies and operations in the area. Enough of these notes were made that Pick values the counterfeits at less than half the originals. Since demand and availability are the main criteria for valuations, this points to a significant number of fakes.

    Germany produced three 1 Pound notes photographically for North Africa with different Arabic messages on the reverse. These were air dropped over Alexandria and Cairo in November and December of 1942.

    A fourth 1 Pound note was produced with the serial number C 78 A 419669 that was air dropped over North Africa (Tunisia, April 1943) and is printed on authentic wartime paper. On the reverse in Arabic text translates as:
    The time has come for you to fight the criminal Anglo-Americans and their agents, the Jews. Announce your revolt against them. Fight them. Don't let them achieve their goals. Deny your enemies all hope. The result will be that you have obeyed the commandments of Allah the Omniscient. You will have liberated the beloved nation from those thieves. Remember, the Anglo-Americans hate you just as much as the Jews. Beware of their propaganda. Don't trust their promises. Do not be deceived by the money they offer to pay for your help, or afterwards you and your children will be given to the Jews as spoils of war.

    Later in 1943, Germany again used 1 Pound note images on the front and back of a propaganda book and dropped these over Yugoslavia. The back shows a map of Sicily and the lower section of Italy. There is a hand pointing at the Allied bases in this area.

    In 1944 in nearby Croatia, the Germans counterfeited notes and air dropped these by the Luftwaffe, Pick P-S212 (P-M9) with a message on the reverse. Here is the 10 Lir, note with translation

    Germany wanted Austria to become part of Germany. To convince the Austrians, Germany used many forms of propaganda, including:

    Later in the war when the Soviet Union occupied Hungary, Germany counterfeited Soviet occupation money for Hungary. An anti-Soviet topic is on the reverse. The message follows: "It is only a piece of paper. It is not good for anything, just like the one that the Red Army's authority hands out to the people of the occupied Hungarian land...5 "
    100 Pengo, P-M8

    The Germans used two different anti-Allied forces messages on France 5 Franc occupation notes5 .

    In addition, the Germans printed another 9 leaflets that illustrate the 5f note with various propaganda texts above and below. These make references to massacres, betrayal at Dunkirk, and using French children as cannon fodder as examples.. No image is available. DOES ANYBODY HAVE THIS EXAMPLE?

    Many hundreds of different German and Austrian notes exist with Anti-Semitic messages added. While there is an article in "The Shekel" and the I.B.N.S. Journal (both penned by Herb F!) on this subject, many varieties are not cataloged. Here's some examples with translation:

    Germany copied 1920-29 Yugoslavia 100 Dinar notes in January 1944 as safe conduct passes for the Russian troops and Partisans in this theatre of operation. 100 Partisans are offered food and freedom by presenting the safe conduct pass and their weapons. There are two varieties known. No images are available. DOES ANYONE HAVE A SAMPLE?

    Germany also copied United States notes, including the following:

    Germany used fake 1 Chervontetz notes (P-202) to convince the Russian army their money was becoming worthless and to use the fake note as a Safe Conduct Pass to the "New Russian Republic".

    Great Britain

    The Political Intelligence Department of the British Foreign Office also made a parody of a 1940 50 Francs note of France, called "Code 90". The date (where the serial number goes) is 23-6-1940, the day General de Gaulle announced the formation of a French National Committee to continue fighting Germany. "Le Caisier Gernal" is replaced by "Le traitre Laval" or "the traitor Laval" and "Le Secretaire General" is replaced with ""L'espion Abetz" or "the pay Abetz". There are two small smiling caricatures of Hitler and Laval at the top of the columns on the left and right under the value "50". At the bottom reads "To the plundering Boche, nothing is impossible." in French. The notes were dropped by balloons from June 10-13, 1941. The notes seen with a hole on the left margin were dropped by balloons, while those without were dropped by airplanes. A complete translation is here .

    The British copied the German auxiliary certificates of payment 50 Reichsfennig notes, then typed four known messages on the reverse.

    The British Army produced a blue photocopy propaganda note of the Malaya JIM 10 dollar note from the psychological warfare division in Calcutta, India. The face of the leaflet is a blue photocopy of an original note with a bold diagonal stripe containing part of the message. The back is printed in red with the propaganda message in High Malay, Union Malay, and Chinese with the identification number SMA/39. The image and translation arehere. The leaflet was printed by the British psychological warfare division in Calcutta. valued at $30 - Fine , $50 - XF, and $75 - Unc8 . Thanks Monte for this image! An XF/AU condition note sold on auction for $510 on July 1, 2003.

    Notes from Thailand were counterfeited, reprinted from original plates by the printer, Thomas De La Rue8 .

    The British counterfeited Burmese money as well. One million 10 Rupee and 200,000 1 Rupee notes were ordered, with an additional one million 1 Rupee notes requested later, though it is not know if these were produced or distributed.

    The Allies copied a 5 Rupee note, with 2 messages in Burmese on the reverse:

    The British made rather crude 500 Yuan notes of the Central Reserve Bank of China and dropped tons of these on Shanghai in 1943. This accomplished two things - Japan to lose face (generally more important for Orientals) and problems with the local merchants questioning even the legitimate notes. No images are available.

    An Allied occupation lira was copied, with propaganda critical to the west in Northern Italy5.


    Schwan and Boling convey information of counterfeited note of China. When Japan captured Hong Kong, the private printer Chung Hoa Book Company and the plates to Central Bank of China and Bank of Communications were captured as well. The plates captured and used in Tokyo include:

    China also used 1 notes from a China puppet bank with Safe Conduct Pass information on the back.

    Japan forged 1, 5, 10, and 100 Rupee notes of India on a wide scale to destabilize the Indian Currency system. Many, perhaps most were caught by banks in Rangoon and Calcutta. A trade route from Rangoon to Calcutta through the Bay of Bengal from British Burma existed which probably was used to facilitate the exchange.
    Here's a 1 Rupee. genuine note.

    In the Philippines Japan would severally punish locals caught with guerrilla currency, including torture and/or death. This is because the currency helped support the guerrilla forces. There are notable exceptions in which large amounts of local currency was captured, but dumped on the local market. At the end of the war, the Philippines government, except these “illegal” issues, redeemed the sanctioned notes. Series numbers determined most “illegal” notes. They include:

    SAFE CONDUCT PASSES were produced for the Nanking Military government, with the line crosser's message in Chinese on the reverse:

    In August 1944 the Soviet Army reached the outskirts of Warsaw and called on the Polish home army to rise. The Poles under General Tadeusz Komorowski struck at the occupations forces assuming that they would be supported by the Soviets; but, as soon as the Polish insurrection had begun, the Russian advance stopped. No help was forthcoming. U.S. and British air forces improvised an aerial supply line but their help was insufficient. After more than sixty days of resistance, the home army capitulated and Warsaw was nearly leveled. During the uprising the Warsaw rebels put into circulation notes of the Bank Emisyjny w Polsce with a square overstamp. The stamp is found in nine varieties, three of which are translated here on four notes.
    Many thanks to for taking the time to scan four of the following important historical notes from their world currency inventory for sale. Thanks Anna!
    1 Zloty. 2 Zloty. 10 Zloty. 50 Zloty. 100 Zloty. 100 Zloty.14 Here's another 10 Zloty. with a different overstamp.
    The Germans used the note to distribute propaganda messages. The resistance fighters retaliated in kind by applying anti-German propaganda messages to some notes. DOES ANYONE HAVE THESE NOTES OR IMAGES?

    United States

    The United States printed 10 Yen notes of Japan with the message on the reverse. Here are images and message translations:

    Message 2009.
    Message 2016.
    Message 2017.
    Message 2034.

    These are listed as P40z, valued at $35 in VF condition2 .

    Soon after the liberation of the Philippines by the Allies a quantity of the Rizal Monument 10 Peso JIM notes was discovered at the bank at Tacloban. A propaganda message was overprinted on the backs of these notes for distribution in other areas. The message "THE CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE: WHAT IS IT WORTH?" was intended to undermine Japan's claim to have united the Asian peoples. Few were printed, since General Macarthur was fearful of the notes being passed as real and vetoed the operation. The original notes have well-printed overprints in reddish purple which is flat on the paper, just like the original lithographed inks. The ink is well soaked into the banknote paper, unlike the fakes make for collectors. No rubber stamps were used for original overprints. At least three different type faces were used on the genuine overprints, printed locally in the Philippines. Fakes have thick, bright ink that has a silk-screened look. The best indication of a fake overprint is the "?". On the fake, the "?" is printed slightly higher than the "H" beside it, while the original "?" is flush even with the "H". Fakes and originals have now been found on the following notes.

    The United States counterfeited at least 110,000 10 Rupee Burma notes for use as payments for spy operations. This is in addition to the notes produced by Great Britain for the area.

    10 Dollar Japanese Invasion Money for Malaya were also counterfeited by the United States Office of Strategic Services. It's estimated at least 50,000 notes were produced and shipped.
    Here's a 10 Dollarsexample. Real note above, OSS counterfeit below.

    The United States and Great Britain counterfeited Japanese invasion money (JIM) for the Philippines and Burma, using the fake notes for payments for spy operations and to undermine the local economy.
    Here's a 1000 Dollarsexample.

    The United States counterfeited 10 million pesos of Philippines Invasion money of the following denominations:

    The US reprinted Philippines Commonwealth treasury certificates of 1936 and 1941 for use by Philippine guerillas. The 1, 5, and 10 pesos notes of 1941 were delivered to the United States War Department between January and September 1943. These notes were chemically aged to appear used, using a process developed by the Bureau of Standards in 1943; the process involved tumbling the notes in coffee grounds and floor sweepings. Much more detailed information on amounts of notes, uses, and ways to spot the counterfeits may be found in Schwan and Boling's fine book.

    5 Rupee
    There exists a counterfeit 5 Rupees JIM note, with the reverse having anti-Japanese remarks written in Kachin. These were dropped on this hill tribe in northern Burma7.

    Counterfeited 10 Rupee notes are attributed to the United States7 .

    10 Marks note of 1929 (still circulating during the war) proclaims."Throw off your chains" and "the people will be protected" in German.

    Cold War Examples


    "MDP" - the Magyar (Hungarian) Democratic Party issued a near perfect photographic reproduction of the Hungarian 100,000 B-pengo (billion pengo), probably around 1951 with propaganda on the reverse. The image and translation are here.

    The Communist Party in Austria prepared two parodies of the 100 schilling Oesterreichische Nationalbank note of 1949. The parodies are identical on the front, but differ on the back in both message and format. One has the propaganda message horizontally while the other has it vertically. These leaflets, dated 22 February 1953, were produced by the Wahlgemeinschaft Oesterreichische Volksopposition (People's Opposition). The Communists had called themselves Linksblock (Left-wing bloc) during the 1949 elections, but changed their name to the more acceptable "People's Opposition" during the 1953 elections. No matter what the name, the Austrian people showed little interest, giving the Communists just 4 of 165 seats in their Nationalrat (Parliament).The horizontally oriented note message attacks the inflation allegedly brought on by the party in power.. The image and translation are here.


    On June 1, 1953, the Czechoslovak government carried out a comprehensive currency reform. The exchange method left large parts of the population feeling cheated of their savings. In Prague, Pilsen and Ostrava there were riots with casualties. On the nights of 13-17 July 1953, 6,512 balloons with more than 12 million leaflets climbed from the Bavarian town of Tirschenreuth into the sky. They arrived with the prevailing easterly wind in Czechoslovakia. By this time, the country was behind the "Iron Curtain". The note was produced by Crusade for Europe and Radio Free Europe as part of Operation Prospero, ballooned into Czechoslovakia. Learn more about Operation Prospero at a Psywar Society page here. The note, an original note, and the translation follows:
    1 Korun, P-73.

    Auckland shows an example of an East German 20 Mark note with a diagonal section on both sides with a propaganda message. These were spread in 1953 by ballons, mail, throwning from moving trains, and small rockets. The serial number - "F17653" reflects the start of the East German uprisings in June 17, 1953. The German version has many puns and double meanings.7. Images and translations here

    The same 20 Mark note with the reverse having anti-Communist propaganda printed in German and Russian by NTS, a group similar to Radio Free Europe is also known. In Russian, NTS stands for National Alliance of Russian Solidarity. At least two versions of this note exist 7.

    The NTS also reproduced at least four 100 Ruble and a 25 Ruble note to further their cause 5.

    Korean War Examples

    The UN forces dropped two billion plus (2,000,000,000) leaflets on North Korea and areas held by North Korean forces. Most were 4" X 5" and 5" X 8" leaflets. At it's height, the UN made 20 million leaflets per week. Methods of deployment included airdrops (loose, baled, and in bombs). The bombs were known as M16-A1 Cluster Adapter and held up to 45,000 leaflets each.

    The United States printed a UN sponsored Safe Conduct Certificate in three languages on the reverse of a North Korea 100 Won note. Three varieties exist, signed by Generals Ridgway, Clark, and van Fleet. The image may be viewed here.

    The last US General van Fleet had a different safe conduct pass, only resembling a currency note, signing himself Commanding General, UN Forces in Korea (He commanded the US 8th Army only.) The image is here.

    Another note-like Safe Conduct Pass has the instructions in both Korean only, viewed here.

    Included now is a note not counterfeited that really isn't a note. The North Koreans captured a note prepared in the USA for use by South Korea during the war. It was circulated by them in 1950 to disrupt the economy, but was never officially released... There are enough of these around to have a Pick number,
    P-3 1000 Won.

    Seoul’s War Memorial Museum reportedly contains DPRK (North Korea) manufactured South Korean currency from the 1950’s, the production of which reportedly continued into the 1960s. 17

    Bay of Pigs Invasion Example

    Since the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs by CIA backed Cubans was a covert operation, supposed "locals", flashing gold or foreign currency was deemed too noticeable. With relation’s non-existent with the Castro regime and not wanting to alert Castro, fake notes were printed for the invasion force of about 1200. These all bear series F69 and F70. All this secrecy was of course for not, with Castro waiting for the invasion. The note forged, a 20 Peso note, depicts Camilo Cienfuegos on the front and troops in the jungle on reverse. Cienfuegos died in a mysterious plane crash soon after the Cuban Revolution. There has always been speculation as to whether the CIA or Castro was behind his death. (Thanks Jerry for the information on Cienfuegos!) Here are both examples available:
    f69 series f70 seires

    Iran Revolution Examples

    Before the Shah Muhammad Riza Pahlavi was openly criticized by the Shi'i Muslems, the prime minister, Muhammad Musaddiq, was overthrown with American aid. Musaddiq had been governing with unlimited power for some time, and had been propagating for the Shah to be deposed. This move kept the Shah in power, as a Constitutional Monarch, until 1978. The Shi'i smuggled music cassettes critical to the Shah into Iran, which were then copied profusely.
    Here are two "notes" Ayatollah Khomeini supporters produced to promote their cause.
    5,000 Rial 10,000 Rial

    Grenada Invasion Example

    While four leaflets were dropped prior to the U.S. invasion of Grenada called Operation Urgent Fury, a leaflet similar to the Cuba P-103 note was prepared, but apparently not disseminated..5
    The Safe Conduct Pass intended for Cuban troops image and translation follow.
    5 Pesos

    Vietnam War Examples

    Before the United States entered the Vietnam War, France had fought the communist government. The French pushed the communists out of the South and tried to negotiate a settlement with Ho Chi Min but war broke out in December 1946. Over the next eight years, as the French tried to hold on to their Vietnamese colony, leaflets were used by both sides to support their armed forces and win the cooperation of the civilian population. The French used them to ridicule and undermine Ho Chi Min's currency. The translation for the following note says "Ho Chi Min's money is worthless. It holds no international value". The front of the note shows a drawing suggesting a use for Min's money.
    50 Dong, P-61b
    Thanks to Rod Oakland for this information and image. Find much in depth propaganda and history at Rod's web site, The Vietnam Wars.

    The Viet Cong also used propaganda.
    My thanks to Numismatic for the image and translation of this P60 1 Piastre note. The French Communist Party circulated this note in France only, attempting to influence the French to leave Viet Nam alone. View the note for a link to this French site with over 87,000 images of notes and coins.
    Here's a 5 Piastre, P-55 note stating "Overthrow Bao Dai - Support Ho Chi Minh". Thanks to Coins and Banknotes of Vietnam and French Indochina for the image and translation.

    Over 50 billion leaflets were distributed by the United States during the Vietnam War by several US agencies, more than 1,500 for every citizen of North and South Vietnam.
    The first U.S. attempts at a currency type leaflet was a North Vietnam 50 Dong reverse has the following message on the reverse: "Participate in the Three Readies".

    Here's the genuine note: 50 Dong, P-27
    Here's the propaganda note: 50 Dong, P-27

    The United States issued Safe Conduct Passes asking North Vietnamese and Viet Cong why they were fighting with their families waiting for them at home. To add to the thought planted with words, the front of the 5 Dong note was altered, adding a wife with baby in arms. The wife is waving the returning soldier-father home.
    5 Dong, P-13 Actual note.
    5 Dong, P-13X Counterfeit propaganda note with translation. 5 Million of these excellent reproductions were printed. An additional 2.5 Million were printed in the Philippines with red-brown color on thinner paper. It is thought the first series, while effective propaganda, with many VCs defecting also caused commerce problems with many passed as real notes8 . Thanks again to Coins and Banknotes of Vietnam and French Indochina for the improved high-resolution image!

    A double use note depicts cattle on one side and a monument on the reverse of this 1 Dong, P-71X note. Thanks again Coins and banknotes of Vietnam and French Indochina for these images. There were six varieties:

    Another double use note depicts patriots holding a North Vietnam flag on the 2 Dong note . These are P72x notes with code 4541. The message is the same as the 1 dong 4543 leaflets. Thanks again Coins and banknotes of Vietnam and French Indochina.

    The image and translation of yet another double use strip propaganda note depicts Ho Chi Minh on this North Vietnam, P-73x 5 Dong note .

    How many of these passed as real currency, with the strip cutoff is unknown, though the version with strip still attached is harder to locate.

    The Viet Cong produced promissory notes to give villagers when they took rice, etc. Auckland states the 1000 Dong notes were counterfeited and dropped by propagandists of the Republic of South Vietnam over Viet Cong controlled areas7 . Herbert Freidman states the American Psyops Specialist were thus not aware of the note when it was brought to their attention8 . The reverse says: "Ho Chi Minh money. Viet Cong support Bonds are worthless trash. Do not use Ho Chi Minh money. Boycott Viet Cong Troop Support Bonds to safeguard your own interests and property. Down with the Viet Cong's looting of the people's money and property through the use of public bonds". No images of this note are available. Check the links page for a link to the Psywar Society.

    Herbert Friedman again from his article titled "Vietnam War Propaganda Notes" mentions a forged Laos 200 Kip note The Pahet Lao issued this and other notes in areas they gained control over. This copy, Pick 23Ax (R5) note was made by the prior anti-communist Laotian government. The note is identical to the original, except a portrait of Ho Chi Minh replaces Lao temple. By releasing these notes, the hope was the locals and more importantly to misinform these locals that the “liberated” areas had fallen into the hands of the Vietnamese would deem the Pathet Lao money worthless.
    Here's the genuine note (P23Aa) 200 Kip, P23A
    Here's the counterfeit note:
    Counterfeit 200 Kip
    Here's a parody of the same note prepared by the U.S., leaflet 31: 200 Kip, P23A
    The front translates: This currency is counterfeit and has no value – it cannot be used
    The back is all text:
    The communists have printed this fake currency. This currency has no value at all.
    It cannot be used in exchange for other currency.
    The communists force people to distribute the fake currency for them.
    People who are not educated and don’t know the rules of law and are asked to deliver the currency. The government warns, “Do not accept it or be tricked by the communists.”
    Anyone who receives or is asked to distribute the currency should notify the local Police Chief.
    The whole Lao citizenry hates the fake money and the communists who print and distribute the fake money. The next generation will inherit the problem.

    This same article chronicles a South Vietnam note of , which saw much circulation in the back-country. Whether these were produced by Viet Cong insurgents for use as money or not was not know in 1983. Any new revelations? Here is the genuine note: 20 Dong, P6

    Gulf War Examples

    The Fourth Psyop Group in Saudi Arabia initially produced four counterfeit propaganda notes, using the 25 Dinar front the northern area used. With Arab concerns over the images being too similar to the originals, the images were blurred to avoid confusion with real notes. These notes were never released and are quite difficult to find. IF ANYONE HAS ANY IMAGES, I WOULD BE GLAD TO INLUDE THEM HERE. The four abandoned leaflets translations follow. The code numbers used are from Richard D. Johnson's book9.

    The United States 4th Psychological Operations Group had a detachment in Turkey, which also printed the series of Iraq 25 Dinar propaganda notes used in the northern area bordering Turkey.

    Here is the front of all the propaganda leaflets.

  • Leaflet E06. Saddam is depicted on the back of one of his soldiers on this note, the image and full translation.
  • Leaflet E07. The note with a big "?" image and full translation.
  • Leaflet E08. A Safe Conduct Pass image and full translation.
  • Leaflet E09. This note talks of worthless money. The image and full translation.
  • Leaflet E10. This note, directed to the 5th Corps, talks of reasons not to fight. The image and full translation.
  • Leaflet E11. The last one talks of no food, peace, or happiness. The image and full translation.

    In 1991 as part of an alleged covert CIA operation, five additional 25-dinar leaflets were prepared of thin Bible paper as a tool in quantity against the Iraqi establishment. This series was designed against the Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein and are extremely rare. These leaflets are extremely rare, prices of these leaflets between $100 and $150 each. The four leaflets, measure 3 inches by 5.95 inches and bear serial number 0342845. The following are images and translations:

    All known note leaflets are shown here. If anyone knows of others, please let me know.

    Yugoslavian War Examples

    The Serbs issued propaganda notes dated 1991 during the Yugoslavian War involving Serbian, Croatia, and Bosnia. Those notes were supposed to encourage Serbs to get involved in the wars. The images follow.
    1 "Serbian Girl" note
    50 "Serbian Girl" note
    The latter propaganda note was issued by R.Stekovic Produckija Raina and issued by Serbian nationalists to promote idea of "GREAT SERBIA". The warrior woman as Srbijanka and Chetnik General Draza Mihajlovic (killed by Tito's partisans immediately after end of WWII.)are depicted on obverse of the note. On the reverse side of 50 banknote shows Dubrovnik, Croatia, and says Serbia-Montenegro-Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina-Serbian Krakina-Skopje's Montenegro and Kumanovo-Republic of Dibrovnik' as United States of Serbia. "United Serbian Republics" where it proclaims which countries they considered as Serbian: Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Macadonia. (Thanks Eddy T!)

    The UN issued a "Wanted" leaflets, offering a reward for capture of Slobodan Milosevic and other war criminals. The image of one U.S. $50 note with $5 Million reward leaflet shows Slobadan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic, and Dusan Tadic. The note was featured in a New York Times article on propaganda.

    As recently as March 2002, a leaflet with Radovan Karadzic was dropped by helicopters in the area assumed to hold Karadzic in Bosnia and Montenegro. The war crimes fugitive Karadzic was indicted twice by the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim's and genocide during the Sarajevo siege. The leaflet also offers U.S. $5 Million dollor reward, with the reverse of a Bosnia P-67 note.
    P67 Like Leaflet

    United States - War on Terrorism Examples

    The U.S. has issued many leaflets in Afghanistan; most after major hostilities had ceased. Among these are "Wanted" leaflets, offering a reward for capture of the wanted person(s). The images and translations are follow:
    Pile of U.S. $20 notes Zawahiri Usama Bin Laden - This is a color master. The actual notes dropped were black & white.
    Pile of U.S. $20 notes Taliban Leader - This is a color master as well.

    The following use a new U.S. $50 note front image. All are folded into 1/8ths, with the note section exposed. All offer rewards of $5,000,000.

    A copy of the 10,000 Afghanis P63 note exist with added propaganda text in both normal and enlarged size.5 Afghans were given what appeared to be an enlarged copy of a 10,000 Afghanis banknote. On the front the figure "150,000,000" was overprinted over the 10,000. The reward amounting to over 4,000 US dollars, would be paid to any citizen who aided in the capture of Taliban or al-Qaida fighters. The notes were circulated around the Shah-i-Kot Valley and Gardez in Paktia Province.
    Large 10,000 Afghanis Here's the image and text message.
    The second normal sized note with the 150,000,000 overprint was dropped from a C-130 transport. It is not clear whether the notes were copies or genuine.
    Afghanistan P63 overprint

    Recent Economic War Examples

    In 1999, Pakistan's CIA (ISI) supplied fake India notes to criminals in India to de-stabilize the Indian economy. The image and press release are here.

    In 2006, a Pakistani government printing press in the city of Quetta was accused of churning out large quantities of counterfeit Indian bank notes. The Times of India reported this scandal, based on Central Bureau of Intelligence investigation. The money was allegedly used to fund terrorist activities inside India, the recent blasts in Mumbai being funded using this fake currency.

    North Korean officials have been caught distributing counterfeit U.S, $100 bills in Cambodia, Russia, Macao, and Mongolia. The regime is believed to produce some of the world's best bogus currency with the same model press used by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

    Another source of "super notes" is Syria:
    Oct 15, 1995: Fake $100 bills believed coming from Syria or Lebanon WASHINGTON (AP) -- High-quality, counterfeit $100 bills, believed made in Syria or Lebanon, have become so common throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe and the Far East that banks increasingly won't accept the big U.S. bills. The New Yorker reported in its Oct. 23 issue that U.S. officials suspect the counterfeiters may be trying to destabilize the U.S. economy. U.S. Treasury officials have played down the reports because of fears they could shake confidence in American currency. The State Department believes that Syria's military is protecting the counterfeiting ring, the magazine said The same note used in the Gulf War has been counterfeited on a large scale to be passed as real currency. As much as eight billion fakeIraqi Dinar have been smuggled into Cambodia over the past year from Thailand and are now in storage as efforts are made to convert them to a usable currency. The arrival of the cash, and promises of handsome commissions to anyone able to exchange it for US dollars, prompted a frenzy among officials to be the first to secure the deal.


    The Story of Paper Money 1

    Yasha Beresiner and Colin Narbeth, 1973.

    Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - 11th Edition2

    Bruce R. Colin II, 2005.

    I.B.N.S. Journal, Volume 26, number 33

    Herbert H. Friedman, 1987.

    World War II Axis Military Currency4

    by Bob Toy' 'Raymond S. and Meyer, 1967

    Discussions with Herb Friedman, 20105

    World War II Remembered - History in Your Hands, a Numismatic Srudy6

    C. Frederick Schwan and Joseph E. Boling, 1995.

    Air Dropped Propaganda Currency7

    R. G. Auckland, 1972

    I.B.N.S. Journal article "Vietam War Propaganda Notes8

    Herbert H. Friedman

    Seeds of Victory9

    Richard D. Johnson, 1997

    Nazi counterfeiting of British currency during World War II: Operation Andrew and Operation Bernhard10

    Bryan Burke, 1987

    Money of Their Own11

    Murray Teigh Bloom, 1982

    I.B.N.S. Journal article "Cold War Propaganda Currency"12

    Herbert H. Friedman, 1985

    History Detectives on PBS television, Epidode 2 .13

    aired first week of July, 2007.

    The Currency Collector web page.14

    articles by John Sandrock.

    Newton and the Counterfeiter15

    Thomas Levenson, 2009 web page.16

    article by Herbert H. Friedman.

    Congressional Research Service article "North Korean Counterfeiting of U.S. Currency"17

    Dick K. Nanto, 2009