Monday, January 20, 2014

The "Get Out Of Prison Camp Free" card

Rick emails to point out this incredible story:
Monopoly was more than a game for many World War II POWs, who used tools hidden in the boxed sets to help them escape. The story's been told before, but Christian Donland at Eurogamer looks deeply into the life of a high-strung, eccentric British intelligence officer named Clayton Hutton, who designed the escape tools and had them shipped to POWs in Monopoly games. The boxes arrived from phony charities with clues in their letterhead, like the Biblical lines, "Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." POWs could also spot them by the red dot on the Free Parking space, notes the Atlantic. Inside, they found shears, metal files, a silk escape map, mini-compass, and money in the local currency.
Nobody knows just how many escaped using these, but it's a very cool story.


Goober said...

I understand that it was considered a soldiers duty to at least try to escape when incarcerated in a POW camp, but man, can you imagine the cojones it would take to actually try it?

Even if you succeed in breaking out of the camp, you’re a thousand miles behind the enemy lines in hostile territory and you’ll be shot on site… Ready? GO!

It boggles the mind that anyone DID attempt, much less how many of them did.

Tacitus2 said...

The United States Air Force Academy has a small collection of such items. Only a small fraction one supposes, of the similar collection the Germans had at Colditz Castle in a sort of "museum"