German Third Reich, 5 Reichspfennig, Military Issue 1940

The German small coins were demonetized shortly after the beginning of the Second World War (1939-1945). They contained copper, a metal badly needed for the armament of the troops. As substitutes, surrogate coins from zinc with face values of 1, 5 and 10 pfennig were issued. Those surrogate coins had nothing to do with the old pfennig whatsoever – even when the obverse bore the tiny letters "R" for "reichs-" and "Pf" for "pfennig." Pfennig, from now on, was merely a name; it did not indicate a value any more. And because surrogate coins did not have any value, they were kept only exceptionally and accidentally. This piece is such a surrogate coin from 1940. As issuing office, the "reichskreditkassen" (imperial credit office) is named.