The Second Great War No. 53

BLOW THAT SHOCKED THE EMPIRE On December 2,1941, the battleship ‘Prince of Wales ’with other units of the Eastern Fleet arrived at Singapore (see illus., p. 1906), whence ‘The Times ’.correspondent cabled that the effect on Japanese policy would be eagerly watched. That policy was made clear on the 7th, when Japan attacked Hawaii, the Philippines, Hongkong, Siam and Malaya. On the 8th Rear-A dm iral Sir Tom Phillips (C.-in-C. Eastern Fleet) took out the ‘Prince of Wales ’and the battle-cruiser 1 Repulse ’to intercept Japanese transports moving towards the K ra Isthmus. After leaving he learnt that no fighter escort would be available, but cloudy weather offered some concealment. When later the weather cleared, and he had been sighted by enemy aircraft, Sir Tom Phillips turned back. Receiving a report of enemy landings at K uantan, he sent off his own planes to investigate the result was negative, and he told his aircraft to return to Singapore. Then it was that our warships were attacked by Japanese bombers and torpedo-planes: H.M ‘Repulse,’.S. after repeated hits, sank at 12.30 p.m. on December 10 (local time) the ‘Prince of Wales ’went down about an hour after. These photographs show the last moments of the letter vessel as, listing heavily, she is abandoned by her complement. Of 2,925 in the two warships all but 595 were saved. Sir Tom Phillips perished, and Captain J.G. Leach, of the 4 Prince of Wales.’ Captain W. G. Tennant, of the ‘Repulse,’ was rescued. Photos, Associated Press 2 G
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