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    WW2 HMS Repulse Sweetheart Brooch Sunk By Japanese bombers 1941


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    About this item

    For sale is a WW2 Royal Navy HMS Repulse Sweetheart Brooch. This is in good condition. 

      About HMS Repulse Fate:    In late 1941 Winston Churchill decided to send a small group of fast capital ships, along with one modern aircraft carrier to Singapore, to deter expected Japanese aggression. In November, Repulse which was in the Indian Ocean was ordered to Colombo, Ceylon to rendezvous with the new battleship HMS Prince of Wales. The carrier HMS Indomitable which was assigned to join them was delayed when run aground in the Caribbean. Prince of Wales and Repulse and their escorting destroyers comprised Force Z which arrived in Singapore on 02 December 1941. On the evening of 08 December Force Z departed for an attempt to destroy Japanese troop convoys and protect the army's seaward flanks from Japanese landings in their rear. Force Z was spotted during the afternoon of 09 December by the Japanese submarine I-65 and floatplanes from several Japanese cruisers spotted the British ships later that afternoon and shadowed them until dark. Admiral Sir Tom Phillips decided to cancel the operation as the Japanese were now alerted. Force Z turned back during the evening, after having tried to deceive the Japanese that they were heading to Singora. At 05:00 on 10 December Admiral Philips received a signal of enemy landings at Kuantan and correspondingly altered course so that he would arrive shortly after dawn. The crew of Japanese submarine I-58 spotted Force Z at 02:20, reported their position, and fired five torpedoes, all of which missed. Based on this report the Japanese launched 11 reconnaissance aircraft before dawn to locate Force Z. Several hours later 86 bombers from the 22nd Air Flotilla based in Saigon were launched carrying bombs or torpedoes. The crew of a Mitsubishi G3M "Nell' reconnaissance bomber spotted the British at 10:15 and radioed in several reports. The pilot was ordered to maintain contact and to broadcast a directional signal that the other Japanese bombers could follow. The first attack began at 11:13 when 551 lb (250 kilograms) bombs were dropped from eight G3Ms from an altitude of 11,500 feet (3,505 m). The battlecruiser was straddled by two bombs, then hit by a third which penetrated through the hangar to explode on the armoured deck below. This inflicted a number of casualties and damaged the ship's Supermarine Walrus seaplane, which was then pushed over the side to remove a fire hazard.   Anti-aircraft fire damaged five of the Japanese bombers, two so badly that they immediately returned to Saigon. In the ensuing attacks, Repulse was skillfully handled by her captain, Bill Tenant who managed to avoid 19 torpedoes as well as the remaining bombs from the G3Ms. However, Repulse was then caught by a synchronised pincer attack by 17 Mitsubishi G4M torpedo bombers and hit by four or five torpedoes in rapid succession. The gunners on the Repulse shot down two planes and heavily damaged eight more, but the torpedo damage proved fatal. At 12:23 Repulse listed severely to port and quickly capsized with the loss of 508 officers and men. The destroyers HMS Electra and HMAS Vampire rescued the survivors.   These little brooches are often miniatures of the badges of military regiments, naval units, the Royal Flying Corps and the RAF. They can also be made from modified insignia like cap badges, collar badges Etc. And are generally known as sweetheart brooches because they were often given as romantic keepsakes by members of the armed forces to their wives and girlfriends before they left for the front. One Londoner recalled that they ‘were received as gifts, love tokens or symbols to display that one of your loved ones was “doing their bit”‘ and remembered that ‘almost every female seemed to wear one’. Widely sold in retail and jewellery stores throughout the country and in small shops set up in military camps where last-minute gifts could be purchased before embarkation, families visibly articulated their support for their men as they left for potentially lengthy periods of separation in wartime by wearing brooches that matched the soldiers’ insignia.   This is in good condition.   This will be sent via Royal Mail 1st class signed for and dispatched within two working days.

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    16061 (MZ-47449)



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    Atlas Antiques

    Dorset, United Kingdom

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