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An enormous betrayal by British spies for the Japanese before World War II

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 14, 2012 8:29:02 AM PST
DarthRad says:
Wow, just wow, is all I can say after watching this brilliant BBC documentary "The Fall of Singapore: The Great Betrayal"

It's a must see piece of history that gives all the details, much of it classified as Secret until recently, of how British traitors gave away their country's greatest secret - naval air power - to the Japanese in the years before World War II. And how they were never punished for their crimes. And how Churchill himself covered it all up (which is probably why it was classified as secret all these years).

Among millions of other victims were the British garrison at Singapore, the crews of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse, and the U.S fleet at Pearl Harbor, directly impacted by this betrayal.

Here are some references for you to get this documentary video:

The main reference:

You can link to the downloads by torrent or emule through that site, or go to the where there are additional links (you have to be registered and logged in with this site to use this link):

The documentary is also posted on YouTube as a five part series:

I had read that Britain had given the Japanese their start in developing the technology of naval air power, but this documentary tells just how much more help the Japanese got from the British.

It far surpasses Britain giving away the Rolls Royce Nene jet engine to the Soviets in 1946 as one of the dumbest moves of all time:

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 9:03:52 AM PST
Before the understanding among the Entente Powers was formalized as an alliance in 1915, the British had an alliance with Japan dating back to 1902.

This alliance proved quite useful during the Russo-Japanese War. Episode #2 of,_Ace_of_Spies deals with the British spy Sidney Reilly, who facilitated the 1904 Japanese attack against the Russian ships at Port Arthur.

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 11:53:52 AM PST
DarthRad says:
Yes, Japan entered WWI on the side of the British, and were encouraged by the British to attack and take over the German Concession of Tsingtao

Although China regained Tsingtao in 1922 from the Japanese, this gave the Japanese a taste for occupying China, and they would retake Tsingtao in 1938.

The German colonial period also is where Tsingtao beer got its start.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 1:54:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2012 1:59:57 PM PST
patrick says:
a lot of this material has been long covered in books like the contentious "Odd Man Out" and "Letting the side down" , I think?

the individual concerned in Odd Man Out certainly didnt escape retribution, British MPs took him to the end of a pier in Singapore, shot him through the back of the head and toppled him into the harbor either shortly b4 or during the Singapore evacuation, knowing full well the scale of of the inevitable British defeat looming there.

im going to view the docu, though, if i can, since Ive read those two books obviously Im interested.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 1:57:23 PM PST
patrick says:
saw that Chinese beer in US supermarkets, but never tried it...seemed fairly expensive for "Made in China"..

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 4:09:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 2:17:07 PM PST
patrick says:
just watched, interesting...mostly deals with Rutland and Sempill, who are certainly covered in Murphys 'Letting the side down"..

Odd that it doesnt mention Heenan, in the context of Japanese espionages contribution to the defeat of the British in Malaya...

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 8:18:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 9:22:12 PM PST
DarthRad says:
The thing that really hit hard in the BBC documentary was that Churchill KNEW all about Semphill, but continued to protect him and covered up for him simply because Semphill was a member of the aristocracy and House of Lords.

They show the actual documents which prove that Churchill knew that Semphill was a spy and yet prevented the Admiralty from drumming him out of the service. These were the documents kept secret for all these years. Sure takes Churchill down a few notches in my estimation.

Dunno if those books mentioned that part about Churchill.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 8:52:19 PM PST
I don't know if this is the case or not, but it's often to keep a spy you know about around. You can use him to send disinformation to his bosses.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 8:45:32 AM PST
DarthRad says:
Yes, but Semphill had already done considerable damage, and he was never exposed or punished for his treason post-war. Keeping all this under wraps had only one purpose - not embarrassing Churchill and the Conservative Party.
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  4
Total posts:  9
Initial post:  Nov 14, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 16, 2012

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