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Dej

OT: Have a Monopoly set?

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Not WW1 but interesting nonetheless if you werern't already aware.

 

As far as I can determine the gist of the below is true.... if anyone knows otherwise please post.

 

 

Monopoly


Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British 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 or Italy where Allied POW camps were regional system. 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 honoured in a public ceremony.

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

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Well, this was posted on 26 December 2012, so it can't be an April fool's joke.

Sounds like it was true...

 

http://www.warhistoryonline.com/featured-article/how-allied-fliers-used-monopoly-to-escape-from-german-pow-camps.html

 

And here's a link which seems to show some of the silk printed maps:

 

http://www.mapforum.com/04/escape.htm

Edited by Olham

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.

 

What a great story!  Thanks for sharing Dej.  And thanks as well Olham for those additional links.  Really fascinating stuff.

 

.

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I can vouch for the fact it is 100% TRUE!

 

My Dad was in SOE/MI6...and he told me of this himself, many years ago..in fact, he was involved!

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Sorry Lou...it's on a 'need to know' basis!  :beee:

 

On a serious note, I don't have much more than he told me..but there was a whole department at the War Office who worked on Gizmo's and escape kits.

The Monopoly one, is just one of many weird and wonderful things they came up with.

 

My Dad worked alongside some of these inventors, before they decided to get shot of him into Nazi Occupied France :)

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My Dad worked alongside some of these inventors, before they decided to get shot of him into Nazi Occupied France :)

That's some pretty harsh office politics, WM. Did Dad make it through OK?
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:angry:  I call BS!! I just cut up all my monopoly pieces into tiny bits and didn't find a thing!!!

 

 

oh, wait...no small red dot in the "Free Parking" square. Drat!  blush2.gif.pagespeed.ce.FfsTJsX8hN.gif

 On the plus side, I can now have four times as many players as anyone else. 

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:angry:  I call BS!! I just cut up all my monopoly pieces into tiny bits and didn't find a thing!!!

 

Lol. Just as well though. How would you feel if you HAD found something, having just destroyed a priceless piece of history? doh.gif.pagespeed.ce.55mAjSdUju.gif   :censored:

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.

 

Thanks for posting the link WM.  I know you've shared it with us before in previous discussions but I'd forgotten so I fully enjoyed your father's fantastic story again.

That is one advantage of a fading memory, I can enjoy the same books and articles over and over as if they were brand new to me.

:biggrin:

 

.

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Thanks for posting the link WM.  I know you've shared it with us before in previous discussions but I'd forgotten so I fully enjoyed your father's fantastic story again.

That is one advantage of a fading memory, I can enjoy the same books and articles over and over as if they were brand new to me.

Ditto here - the benefits of getting older! Mmuahahahahaaa!!!

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I have arrived late on this thread folks, but found it very fascinating and informative. Thanks WM it's the first time I saw that article and quite an amazing story! Thanks Dej for starting this and contributing the Monopoly history lesson.

 

Best Regards Folks

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