Monopoly Used as Escape Tool in WWII

November 20, 2007 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Games 

The Wall Street Journal had a great story today about the use of Monopoly to aid Prisoners of War in escaping during WWII. The British manufacturer of the game was approached and made a special edition of Monopoly with a red dot on the free parking which contained tools to aid in escape from German POW camps.

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.

I think this is pretty cool! Growing up, escape novels were my reading crack! I still can’t get enough of escape novels whether they are WWII or Alcatraz these accounts and adventures captivated me.

Monopoly as a WWII Escape Tool - The Wall Street Journal