This Crazy (but True) Survival Plan Saved Countless WWII Soldiers

Everything Manward does focuses on our beloved Triad.

It’s a powerful concept that we all must master.

Recent science proves that by concentrating on our Liberty, Know-How and Connections (the Triad), our odds of leading a happy, fulfilled life are greatly enhanced.

Nothing proves the idea more than a little-known story from World War II.

We’ve looked at the importance of map reading before. It’s obvious that every soldier must know how to read a map.

But what if they don’t have a map? What if they’re being held prisoner and have no idea where they are?

Thanks to the concepts within our Triad, the lives of thousands of desperate captured and tortured soldiers were saved.

If the men in those WWII prison camps wanted to regain their Liberty, they’d need to lean on their Connections on the outside to get them some vital Know-How.

In this case, our Triad came in the form of a board game.


For centuries, armies have printed maps on silk. The fabric is quiet, waterproof and easy to hide. WWII soldiers carried them on nearly every mission.

But it’s how the lifesaving maps ended up in Axis prisoner of war camps that exemplifies the power of our Triad.

The geniuses inside Britain’s newly created intelligence agency – MI9 – hid the maps within the highly popular board game Monopoly.

Knowing the German army would allow humanitarian packages from the Red Cross within its camps, the military worked with John Waddington LTD – the British manufacturer of Monopoly – to create a lifesaving plan.

It was incredible.

They used cutouts within the game board to conceal a silk map of the area surrounding the camp. They also added a compass, small tools and a file. And, perhaps the gutsiest move, the manufacturers agreed to place real currency within the stacks of fake bills in each game.

Everything a soldier needed to escape and survive was secretly tucked within the game or its pieces.

Most importantly, Allied soldiers were told before they headed off to the front line to look for the games if they were captured. A small red dot on the “free parking” space was their signal that the board had been modified.


The plan to get the games into camps was elaborate.

Again, gaining Liberty for these soldiers took great Connections and Know-How.

The most important part of the puzzle was getting the right maps to the right prisoners. After all, a prisoner in Sweden wouldn’t have much use for a map of Germany. And a map that covered the entire region wouldn’t be all that useful.

MI9 had Waddington make six different versions of the game – one for each region of German prisoner camps.

Then a period was added after a particular street name on each board. The placement of that period told folks which map was inside the game.

It was ingenious… and it worked.

Thousands of lives were saved as the boards were overtly distributed to prisoners across Europe.


There are uncountable lessons in this crazy fact of war.

We can link it to preparation… communication… the ability to read a map… improvisation… determination… the list is endless.

But what the Brits did ultimately proves the value of our Triad.

It took Connections to make the plan happen.

The soldiers and airmen who were penned up in prison camps could not have gotten out alone. It took a vast network of allies helping to free them.

It also took Know-How to make it happen. The tools the prisoners were given were useless without the skills to use them. What good is a clandestine map if we don’t know north from south?

And finally, Liberty… sweet Liberty.

The war itself was a show of just how far man will go to defend his Liberty. But the ingenious tactics used to free prisoners of war show just how nuanced and enduring the battle can be.

Whether we’re fighting on a large or small scale… preserving Liberty is an endless war.

They certainly didn’t know it, but the men who relied on those Monopoly boards were relying on our Triad.

It’s powerful stuff.

We must all work to master it.

P.S. It’s no coincidence that when we talk about “Liberty” in the Digest, we’re often discussing money. A strong investment portfolio can mean the difference between early retirement and an extra decade (or more) plugging away at someone else’s vision. It’s serious stuff. Which is why I’m so excited to have helped Manward Trader subscribers close a 110% gain yesterday – in less than two weeks! To see how I homed in on this high-flying opportunity – and others like it – click here.

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