Monopoly Game and WWII

Discussion in 'Humor - Jokes - Games and Diversions' started by Legion489, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    Starting in 1940, an increasing number of British & Canadian Airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape...

    Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of 'safe houses' where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.

    Paper maps had some real drawbacks -- they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.

    Someone in MI-5 (similar to America 's OSS ) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever.

    At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington Ltd. When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.

    By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game Monopoly. As it happened, 'games and pastimes' was a category of item qualified for insertion into ‘CARE packages', dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.

    Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany , Italy , France or where ever Allied POW camps were located. When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.

    As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add:

    1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass

    2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together

    3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!

    British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.

    Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war.

    The story wasn't declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.

    It's always nice when you can play that 'Get Out of Jail' Free'card!

    Many of you are (probably) too young to have a personal connection to WWII (Sep. '39 to Aug. '45), but this is still an interesting bit of history for everyone to know.
    arleigh, Sgt Nambu, BTPost and 7 others like this.
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    That is really cool bit of history. Not many would be suspicious of a Monopoly game.
    Sgt Nambu, Legion489 and Ura-Ki like this.
  3. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Interesting from the historical aspect and that of the craftsmen who figured out how to conceal those item into the game pieces... Wow!
    Motomom34, Sgt Nambu and Tully Mars like this.
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I find it rather dubious that the maps were somehow compressed and hidden in game pieces, unless you consider the game board itself a game piece. I can say it would be quite easy to sandwich a map under a backing to the board itself. That i can believe.
    Motomom34 and Legion489 like this.
  5. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I did not know about the rigged game, but I did know the troops hitting the beaches carried cloth maps, I can't recall if they were silk or another fabric.
    There is so much about that generation that continues to impress and amaze me. And leaves me filled with grief and , astonishment, and a hope for change , when I look at the teens to 30s kids of today.
    chelloveck likes this.
  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    Interesting topic! Thanks, Legion!
    Legion489, Motomom34 and chelloveck like this.
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