In 1939, Operation Bernhard was a Nazi Germany project to forge British banknotes, counterfeit currencies. Originally, the project was dubbed “Andreas”. A the time the British pound was the reserve currency and was used as a main international payment method.
Nazi Germany needed forged currency to purchase raw materials for their defense industries. Counterfeiting currency was designed to solve German financial issues during World War II and also destabilize the economies of the nations they dubbed as enemies. Additionally, financing of espionage requires the use of foreign currencies. The challenge for the Nazis was to reproduce an identical paper for the banknotes and the watermark matrix. At the time, the task was given to professional counterfeiters, who were serving prison sentences. The process took close to 7 months.