An amazing act of wartime betrayal

Sometimes we record an interesting programme on the television and do not watch it until some weeks or even months later. So it was only this evening that we viewed a BBC2 programme broadcast on 21 May with the title “The Fall Of Singapore – The Great Betrayal”.

The programme told the astonishing story of how British figures fed military secrets to the Japanese in the 1920s and 1930s which enabled the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor and take Singapore in the early years of World War Two. A key agent of the Japanese was a member of the British aristocracy called William Forbes-Sempill who was the 19th Lord Sempill.

The British secret service MI5 was tracking Sempill’s subterfuge at each step and finally brought the information to the attention of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister, yet astonishingly Sempill was never prosecuted.

You can read a fascinating review of the programme here.


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