View Full Version : Monopoly. You'll never look at the game the same way again!

Loose rivets
11th Nov 2013, 03:44
Sorry, can't be arsed to take out any more of those >>>> thingies. Why they hell do people put them in, in the first place? I think we should be told.

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, but 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 was 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!


> I realize most of you are (probably) too young to have any personal

>connection to WWII (Dec. '41 to Aug. '45), but this is still interesting.

11th Nov 2013, 04:58
I realize most of you are (probably) too young to have any personal connection to WWII (Dec. '41 to Aug. '45), but this is still interesting.

You seem to have little personal connection with history. The war began in 1939.

11th Nov 2013, 05:04
" > The story wasn't declassified until 2007, .................."

I am sure I read of this before 2007, that was only 6 or so years ago.

A A Gruntpuddock
11th Nov 2013, 05:11
The way I read it, he didn't say the war started in 1941, just the creation of escape maps.

11th Nov 2013, 05:35
Sitigeltfel, LR's quoting a US source. So it's a US source, and it's a quote. First seen sometime around March 2010.

Edit: As Lon/Snopes shows below, 2009. Also, edit works again.

Lon More
11th Nov 2013, 06:45
According to Snopes (http://www.snopes.com/military/monopoly.asp) the story is not 100% accurate

11th Nov 2013, 06:55
If Rivets is a Yank, then Dec 41 (Pearl Harbor) to Aug 45 (victory in the Pacific) makes as much sense as Sept 39 (British dec of war in response to Ger attack on Poland) to May 45 (VE Day).

11th Nov 2013, 10:57
I suppose one could be controversial and say that the second world war began to start at 11 am on 11 November 1918...

On a lighter note, they were a cunning bunch those POWS...

Funny - Escape - YouTube


11th Nov 2013, 11:06
On the darker side of escaping I have been reading about South African born Squadron Leader Roger Bushell of 601 Squadron (the legendary Big X from the Great Escape, as immortalised on screen by Richard Attenborough).

I currently am reading an excellent biography on him called The Great Escaper.

Roger Bushell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Bushell)

The Great Escaper: The Life and Death of Roger Bushell - Love, Betrayal, Big X and The Great Escape eBook: Simon Pearson: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store


11th Nov 2013, 11:36
I assume Caco you were watching "Digging up the Great Escape Tunnel" on TV last night ?

Good stuff. Finding the radio set hidden in a tunnel and taking it to the bloke who made it had tears in my eyes.

11th Nov 2013, 11:39
I seem to remember that according to Leo Marks' book "Between Silk and Cyanide" it was his idea to print codes on silk for agents and Courtaulds who were persuaded to provide the silk....
Perhaps the idea of printing maps on silk followed?
(The book is well worth reading, by the way.)

11th Nov 2013, 12:43
I assume Caco you were watching "Digging up the Great Escape Tunnel" on TV last night ?

I was watching that programme OFSO. A really sad tale and one that goes to show how depraved a nation can become when it ignores basic civilised norms and laws, in that case the utter dismissal of the Geneva Convention by the Germans.


Loose rivets
11th Nov 2013, 14:10
If Rivets is a Yank, then Dec 41 (Pearl Harbor) to Aug 45 (victory in the Pacific) makes as much sense as Sept 39 (British dec of war in response to Ger attack on Poland) to May 45 (VE Day).

With one granddad from Dublin, being born in Sussex and raised as an Essex boy, Rivets is as Anglo Irish as Pete Bog. Same proportion of red hair in my brown beard, I'll have you know. Oh, and I was born in the Phoney War of '39. AND, I had a couple of silk scarves with maps printed on them, though too big to be hidden for long. I also had a beautiful brass compass with viewing prism, which my pal has to this day, and a morse code lantern set that weighed a tonne. And a mine detector that worked. However, being an average age of 3, I was not able to operate them to full efficiency.

However, I did clamber through a Lancaster before VJ day.

11th Nov 2013, 14:19
I did clamber through a Lancaster
One does, indeed, clamber through a Lancaster . . .

11th Nov 2013, 15:02
How technology has progressed.

Now we have things that fit in our pockets yet can conceal a monopoly set, amongst many other things.