The Nazi board game that taught the Hitler Youth how defeat the enemy





British children of the time were playing marbles and hidding in air raid shelters.

But for youngsters under the Third Reich, this board game was invented to teach them the tactics of warfare - against a British foe.

The war time amusement, Adlers Luftverteidigungs spiel, which translates as the Eagle Air Defence Game, involves two or more players attacking enemy positions on a geographically illustrated board while defending friendly territory.

Specifically designed in 1941 to prepare young members of the Hitler Youth 'for an attack on the Fatherland', the box illustration shows a British plane being shot down by a German gunner - indicating exactly where the manufacturers thought such an attack might come from.

Players take turns to roll a die with six symbols on it to decide the success or failure of each military move with points awarded for each successful military move.
A roll of a red cross means 'damage to people' - the highest scoring type of damage in the game.

As well as the die, the game comes with little model airplanes to symbolise aerial attacks.

Various positions on the board represent valuable bombing targets, in a similar way to Battleships, a game familiar to many British children.

Barrage balloons and flak guns helped defend the positions and the game was like a smaller version of the popular pastime of Risk.

The object of Eagle Air Defence was to attack airfields, barracks, gas and electricity works, iron works and radio stations.

And the instruction booklet included with the board and pieces explain that the game was 'developed by an officer of the Luftwaffe with the aim of the defence of our airspace.'

As well as providing entertainment for German children, it explains: 'Its more profound reason is to be prepared for an attack on the Fatherland.'

The game, which is due to be sold at auction for an estimated price of £100, was made in Dresden, the German city which was later subjected to a massive bombing campaign by the Allies.

It was designed to be played by over-12s - all of whom were compulsory members of the Hitler Youth - either two individuals, or two teams from the 150-strong 'Gefolgschaft' groups which met every week.

Children aged 10 to 14 were all members of the Deutsches Jungvolk division of the Hitler Youth.
Roy Butler, from Wallis and Wallis auction house in Lewes, East Sussex, said: 'It came in a box that is about A4 size and there is a picture on the front of a British plane being shot down.

'It's obviously designed for two players or teams and the object is to attack various installations while defending your own.'

He continued: 'The board looks as if you are looking down on top of an aerial photo, although it is a fictional town.

'There is a specially made dice, which is how you move around the board and there is also a booklet of instructions, which is of course in German.
'It is a very interesting item from the war.'

Last year it was revealed that German children collected Nazi photographs of Hitler and his generals like a Panini football sticker album during the war.
The images formed part of Joseph Goebbels's propaganda policy.



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