Friday 31 March 2023

Defending the Malay Barrier: Force Z Sortie Part 2

Having survived an air attack, although with Prince of Wales having sustained damage, Force Z continues with its patrol intending to intercept the Japanese invasion convoy.

During the first watch (2000 - 2400 hours of darkness), a blip was reported on the Prince of Wales' radar heading on a reciprocal course at 12,000 yards (60cm).  

Force Z consisting of the battleship, Prince of Wales, battlecruiser, Repulse, and destroyers, Electra, Express and HMAS Vampire alerted their lookouts but they failed to identify the contact. Prince of Wales fired star shells and immediately illuminated two Japanese destroyers. For their part, the Japanese lookouts spotted the Prince of Wales. 

An overview of both forces as contact is made. The Japanese on the right with markers indicating the ships illuminated by star shells.

Continued -