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Sinking of the first Prince of Wales on 10 December 1941

In the intial post here I mentioned the last time the British sent the pride of their fleet, the capital ship Prince of Wales, to see off the Asian challege to the white man demonstrate that Britain still ruled the waves. That Prince of Wales is now on the sea floor off the coast of Kuantan, Malaysia, or would be if the metal from the wreck is not being pirated as described here.

Lest anyone think that history never repeats itself, or that the British still haven’t got the hint that the world has moved on from their great power ambitions, the British now plan to do exactly the same thing with their next Prince of Wales. As described here they intend to use their new naval toy next to show the Japanese Chinese who are the masters and who are the servants in the international order.

The new Prince of Wales is just as shiny, strategically impotent and as attractive a target as the last one. The newer ship is also much, much bigger and is unlikely to be attacked by Japan, but those who know their history will know that it was a lack of air cover that doomed the first Prince of Wales.

The more recent Prince of Wales will be protected by the new do-everything Lightning II multi-role fighters. Given the genuine fears over that plane’s development program and ultimate combat performance and how, like the Japanese, the Chinese are unlikely to be intimidated by Britsh bluster and strategic overreach, I can’t imagine what could possibly go wrong this time either…