Our understanding of key events throughout history continues to evolve as new evidence comes to light. The documentary Churchill's Traitors takes on a series of historically significant events - the raid at Pearl Harbor, the fall of Singapore, and the consequent demise of the British Empire - and forces us to reconsider them in an altogether new context.
Calling upon archived records that have remained hidden for nearly three quarters of a century, the filmmakers reveal a secret ingredient to Japan's success during this tumultuous period in history: high-ranking officials in the British government. This shocking allegation indicates that British and American forces were betrayed by members of their own team, and one figure who was a close confidant to Prime Minister Winston Churchill himself.
Britain and Japan were allies throughout World War I, during which time a number of relationships were forged between high ranking military officials from both nations. One such official was Lord Bill Forbes-Sempill, a highly experienced British officer and one of the country's finest fighter pilots. Sempill's bond with the Japanese was so profound that he assisted them in the construction of fighter planes and aircraft carriers in the lead-up to the Second World War. This, of course, empowered the Japanese in their victories in Pearl Harbor and Singapore.
The film features interviews with a series of historians who have crafted a narrative from careful examination of archived records. The revelations they offer are numerous and startling. Viewers will learn about the investigation of Sempill by the United Kingdom's counter-intelligence agency MI5, which began as early as 1923. We're provided insights into Churchill's own reaction to the betrayal, and how it created within him a conflict between procuring justice and salvaging his own reputation. The film also offers anecdotes on the suspicions of United States military forces prior to Pearl Harbor, and how the Mitsubishi company was cleverly used a cover for Japan's wartime ambitions.
This is high stakes espionage, and it ultimately determined the outcome of some of the most consequential events of the 20th century. Churchill's Traitors weaves a tale that is every bit as gripping as a John le Carre novel.