P.O.W. Chess Revisited
Here are some images from WWII to help bring words to life
The first three photos came from Life Magazine:
German prisoners of war playing chess in the POW camp's recreation room
German POWs In England playing chess in the POW camp's recreation room.
This set was hand carved at Barth POW camp
Turned figures of pine wood, the horses carved, the white figures nature wood the others painted with ink, around 1946, probably from German POW in Russia.
A hand-carved POW set
This 32-piece wooden chess set (below), encased in a coconut shell, was hand carved by Lieutenant Lancelot Hugh Herd while a prisoner of war in Changi Prison, Singapore.
The Nazis had a high-security POW camp in Colditz Castle, Colditz, Germany that specialized in containing Allied officers who had repeatedly escaped other prisons. It's estimated that 316 prisoners escaped Colditz using the chess escape kit.
Because of the secrecy, scarcity and the disposable material used to make these kits, very, very few have survived.According to Hasbro Games, the current manufacturer of Monoply:
Escape maps, compasses and files were inserted into MONOPOLY game boards smuggled into POW camps inside Germany during World War II. Real money for escapees was slipped into the packs of MONOPOLY money.
Above is a silk escape map and a wartime UK edition of Monopoly.
See P.O.W. Chess for F.A. O'Mally's experience with chess in an R.A.F. POW camp.