Monday, March 21, 2011

Get Out Of Jail Free Card

It’s fascinating sometimes at how war creates an atmosphere where some of the craziest ideas immerge, and sometimes works. Who would ever thought that you could use the Monopoly board game as a tool for prisoner of war escape attempts.

A very useful item to have if you want to escape is a reliable map. A paper map has drawbacks. They get soggy when wet, and if you look at my father’s P.O.W. map there is a tendency to burn when too close to a flame. Someone in MI-5 (British intelligence) got the brainstorm of using silk rather than paper for the maps. Silk doesn’t get soggy, and is quiet when opened.

As it just so happens the British maker of the Monopoly board game John Waddington Ltd. had perfected the technology of printing on silk. So maps geared to where the P.O.W. camp was located (the camps were regional) were produced, and put into the monopoly playing pieces. The story was classified until 2007 when the John Waddington company, and its employees were honoured.

Who would have thought it!

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