Forgeries of WWII German stamps printed by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services 1942-1943. A must for all U.S. and German collectors!
Interested in the genuine Hitler Head stamps printed by Germany? Check out our special offer on the original stamps!
What was Operation Cornflake?
These stamps were key part of a high level clandestine plan to undermine the morale of the average German citizen. The Allies felt that if many German people started receiving Anti-Nazi propaganda in their morning mail delivered punctually at breakfast time by the mailman, they would feel that their "German Empire" was falling apart from within.
Catalogued by Michel, #15-17 Never Hinged complete set of three, the 6pf and 12pf of Hitler heads as well as the infamous Adolf Hitler grinning "Death Head" stamp inscribed "FUTSCHES REICH" (Ruined Empire).
How were these stamps created?
General "Wild Bill" Donovan, head of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) the U.S. espionage agency during World War II (that later became the CIA) ordered the stamps printed by OSS operations in Switzerland. The standard 6pf and 12pf Hitler Head stamps were forged in sheets of 50 instead of the sheets of 100 of the originals. The main differences lie in the paper (chalky coated paper for the originals, dull for the forgeries) and the perforations (14x14 1/2 for the originals, 11 1/2 to 13x12 1/2 for the forgeries-- note the graphic below). Also, an additional forgery of the 12pf was made, but the inscription was altered to read "Futsches Reich" meaning "Ruined Empire" (note graphic above).
How were these propaganda forgeries used?
The OSS decided that the best way to smuggle the mail into the regular German postal system was to bomb mail trains. In addition to bombs to possibly destroying the trains, they dropped sacks of mail containing Anti-Nazi propaganda. During the confusion of cleaning up the wreck, the false mail sacks were mixed with the damaged German mail. The OSS re-created all aspects of the German Postal system from real business return addresses to many thousands of names and addresses pulled from the telephone directories. They even replicated the mail bags, postal markings and every other detail of the postal system. Every letter was franked with a 12pf stamp or two 6pf stamps. On opening the letter, they would find it filled with anti-Nazi propaganda including the 12pf "Futsches Reich" stamp.
How were these stamps uncovered?
The sale of President Roosevelt's collection in the late 1940's provided the first inkling to philatelists that these forgeries existed! Our supply came from a personal aid to General Donovan who safely stored them away since 1944.
Dealers in Europe and the US have already eagerly bought those that we had allotted to our wholesale trade. We have reserved a small quantity of the best quality for our private clients like you. We can therefore offer the following (all offers include the normal 6pf and 12pf for comparison):
Also available are distinctive plate varieties for each stamp found in individual plateable position on each sheet. Only a few of each are available. Please ask for further details. For example:
If you would like this price list in PDF format, click the following link to view the OSS Forgeries price list. View our Ordering Procedure here.
Why should I buy these stamps?
If you collect US stamps, then these are legitimate US stamps printed by the US government. While we can't promise that they will be listed in the US Specialized Catalogue, they should be listed! If you collect German stamps these represent an important historical addition to your 3rd Reich collection!
Each set will be supplied with a Certificate of Authenticity as well as their fascinating story!
Copyright © 2019 to Current Henry Gitner Philatelists, Inc. All Rights Reserved