In 1941, on this day the S.S. Automedon was boarded by the German Raider Atlantis in the Indian Ocean.DLG '40 - Part 3: Force Orange
Onboard the Automedon were the plans for the defence of Singapore. The Germans discovered the documents but the recent peace settlement with Britain prohibited them from sending them to the Japanese. Shortly afterwards, the architect of that peace, David Lloyd George announced the formation of Force Orange (Lloyd George who had been appointed Prime Minister as an 'honest broker' after the Battle of Britain).
Heading towards Singapore was a battle group including Prince Of Wales and Repulse with support from HMS Indomitable, an Illustrious class aircraft carrier. First Sea Lord Sir Dudley Pound felt that Singapore could not be adequately defended, unless the Royal Navy sent the majority of its capital ships there, to achieve parity with the estimated nine Japanese battleships. That had been until recently considered unacceptable as the British were at war with Germany and Italy. On December 7th, the attack on Pearl Harbour would create an improbable scenario. British Seapower would be the only effective deterrent to Japanese aggression, which had been demonstrated in the invasion of French Indochina. ..(the story continues).