Monopoly, not just any game...;)

First I heard of this, but it's pretty cool, must have puzzled the Germans...Lol
POW editions of Monopoly from WWII included escape kits

A Wall Street Journal blogger describes how the UK manufacturer of Monopoly produced special "loaded" editions of the game for distribution to Allied POWs during WWII, complete with files, escape maps, and real money.

In 1941, the British Secret Service asked the game's British licensee John Waddington Ltd. to add secret extras to some sets, which had become standard elements of the aid packages that the Red Cross delivered to allied prisoners of war. Along with the usual dog, top hat and and thimble, the sets had a metal file, compass, and silk maps of safe houses (silk, because it folds into small spaces and unfolds silently). Even better, real French, German and Italian currency was hidden underneath the game's fake money. Departing allied soldiers and pilots were told that if they were captured they should look out for the special editions, identified by a red dot in the Free Parking space. Any sets remaining in the U.K. were destroyed after the war. Of the 35,000 prisoners of war who escaped German prison camps by the end of the war, "more than a few of those certainly owe their breakout to the classic board game," says Mr. McMahon.
Well we clearly and blatantly broke the Rules. I expect the Guardian will want to bring the perpetrators to account and stand them on trial. I'm surprised the game hasn't already been banned for indoctrinating children to the ways of feelthy Kapitalism.

Anyway, that's a wheeze we can't use again.
We showed great ingenuity during WW2, aided by Churchill's willingness to listen. RAF crew on bombing raids over Germany had shoe heels that would open clockwise, thus evading detection by German staff in their POW Camps: because they always thought logically (except when supporting Hitler) they didn't attempt to conduct searches for contraband hidden in buttons, etc, in a counterintuitive way.
Aircrew also had the escape boot: Stores reference Number 22C/917-924.
Escape boots consisted of a lace up, black leather walking shoe with an attached, zip-up black leather legging. In the event of landing in enemy territory, the wearer separated the leggings from the show section using a folding pocket knife concealed inside a pocket of the right boot. It was believed the walking shoe would be less obvious and more comfortable for the wearer to escape.

I have a later Pattern that I wore for Gliding School. Very handy for having to let down somewhere hostile; like Birkenhead or Bebbington!


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Fascinating. My stepfather had a white silk square printed with a b/w map of Burma from when he was an RM Commando there - it's now in the RM Museum.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
M Gaming 12
sgtpepperband Gaming 7
Shakey The Quarterdeck 5

Similar threads