Maps Were Hidden Inside Playing Cards In World War II

Stratis” is not the only time something interesting has been hidden inside the layers of playing cards. The idea was actually used in a war!

During World War II, many ingenious and creative methods were used to hide important information from the enemy. One of these methods was the use of a “map deck”, where a map was hidden within the layers of playing cards.

The map deck was a set of playing cards that had been specially designed to include a hidden map of escape routes and safe houses for allied soldiers and airmen who had been shot down over enemy territory.

World War II map deck A re-creation of a World War II "map deck" card, which prisoners of war peeled apart to reveal safe routes to freedom.

The deck was created by the United States Playing Card Company and distributed by the United States government to its soldiers.

To the untrained eye, it looked like an ordinary deck of playing cards. However, there was a crucial difference: each card had a small piece of a map printed on the inside of the layers of the card. You had to tear the card open to get to the map, just like the signed bill location in “Stratis”. When the cards were carefully torn open, and the pieces of map were put together in a specific order, the full map would be revealed!

The map deck was intended to be a tool for escape and evasion. If a soldier or airman was captured by the enemy, they could use the map to navigate their way to safety. The map was basic, but included details such as roads, rivers, and landmarks that could be used to find their way to friendly territory.

The map deck was also designed to be easily destroyed. If a soldier was in danger of being captured, they could quickly tear up the map deck and scatter the pieces, making it incredibly difficult for the enemy to reconstruct the map.

The map deck was used extensively during World War II, particularly in Europe, where many Allied soldiers were shot down over enemy territory. The deck was also used by resistance fighters and spies who needed to navigate through enemy territory without being detected.

The map deck was a remarkable example of ingenuity and creativity in the face of adversity. It was a tool that helped many Allied soldiers and airmen escape from behind enemy lines and make their way back to safety. The map deck is a testament to the resourcefulness and determination of the men and women who fought in World War II, and it remains a fascinating example of how everyday objects can be turned into powerful tools of survival.

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