Get Out of P.O.W. Camp Free?

A few weeks back we linked to a blog post describing the optimal strategy in the game Monopoly.

This fascinating article by Brian McMahon describes how the game of Monopoly was used during World War II to aid in the escape of Allied POWs.

(Is it just me, or does it seem from reading the story that this was an incredibly risky strategy — the Monopoly boxes contained maps that showed where Allied safe-houses were located within Nazi controlled areas. Wouldn’t it be a disaster if some of these maps were confiscated by the Nazis? Allied soldiers who were going off to fight were being told to look out for the specially-marked Monopoly boxes. All you needed was one traitor or P.O.W. to confess under torture, and the Nazis would know to intercept the Monopoly games.)

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  1. psb says:

    #2,

    “If they have property with no houses but not enough cash to build hotels, it can be worth ‘monopolizing’ the houses.”

    Your post implies that a player could, if he had enough money, just buy a hotel outright if he has sufficient cash for it, even if there are no houses available. That is actually not true. Technically speaking, you need to trade in 4 houses + cash for 1 more house to get a hotel.

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  2. psb says:

    #2,

    “If they have property with no houses but not enough cash to build hotels, it can be worth ‘monopolizing’ the houses.”

    Your post implies that a player could, if he had enough money, just buy a hotel outright if he has sufficient cash for it, even if there are no houses available. That is actually not true. Technically speaking, you need to trade in 4 houses + cash for 1 more house to get a hotel.

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  3. Lauren says:

    #2, what do the rules of Monopoly have to do with P.O.W.’s using the game box to store maps? (And #13 is right about the 4 houses + cash = 1 hotel)

    I’m sure that using the boxes were very risky, but sometimes you just take what you can get, especially if you’re a P.O.W. If someone had slipped the info to the Nazi’s then the prisoners would have found some other way to store their maps.

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  4. Lauren says:

    #2, what do the rules of Monopoly have to do with P.O.W.’s using the game box to store maps? (And #13 is right about the 4 houses + cash = 1 hotel)

    I’m sure that using the boxes were very risky, but sometimes you just take what you can get, especially if you’re a P.O.W. If someone had slipped the info to the Nazi’s then the prisoners would have found some other way to store their maps.

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