Kevin L. Kitchens
Fascinating history here...
In a nod to the Geneva Conventions, Germany allowed POWs to receive letters and packages from their families and various charities. The Red Cross was therefore allowed to get into POW camps, but British Intelligence refused to compromise them, forcing Hutton to turn to Britain’s latest fad – Monopoly.
The now-classic board game had arrived from America in 1935, and John Waddington Ltd. got exclusive printing and packaging rights. They also had the right to “Britify” the game by replacing American streets with those in London.
That established, they began sending out the special Monopoly boards. Depending on the information they received, they were able to tailor the games, accordingly. Sometimes, real money was hidden among the fake ones so escapees could buy whatever they needed. At other times, the token pieces were made of real gold for the same purposes.
Special boards were marked with a red dot on the Free Parking space. Those which had maps of Italy had a period after Marylebone Station. If it came after Mayfair, then the map was for Norway, Sweden, and Germany. Northern France had a period after Free Parking.