Recently declassified archival materials reveal that the United Kingdom conducted a sustained program of so-called black propaganda at the height of the Cold War. This article examines roughly 350 operations in which the British government spread propaganda through forgeries and front groups. Placing the campaign in its broader global history, the article demonstrates that British black propaganda mainly targeted Soviet activity in Africa and Asia as part of the postcolonial battle for influence. The British government engaged in black propaganda far more often than has previously been kown, including aggressive operations seeking to disrupt, attack, and sow chaos as much as simply to expose lies. Although much of the content was broadly accurate, the fake sources deliberately deceived audiences in order to encourage a reaction, incite violence, or foment racial tensions.

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