Chinese ship detained for looting WWII shipwrecks

| June 1, 2023

Malaysia has detained a Chinese ship (above) for looting from two WWII shipwrecks in the South China Sea. The ship was detained after illegally anchoring over the wrecks of HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales, sunk a few days after Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

Old shipwrecks are targeted by scavengers for their rare low-background steel, also known as “pre-war steel”. The low radiation in the steel makes it a rare and valuable resource for use in medical and scientific equipment.

The Royal Navy battleships were dispatched to Singapore during the war to shore up the defence of Malaya. They were sunk by Japanese torpedoes on 10 December 1941.

The strike – which occurred just three days after the attack on the US fleet in Pearl Harbour – killed some 842 sailors and is considered one of the worst disasters in British naval history.

Ammunition believed to be from the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, which were sunk by Japanese forces more than 80 years ago, was then found on board.

The UK Ministry of Defence had earlier condemned the alleged raid as a “desecration ” of maritime war graves.

The ship, registered in Fuzhou, had 32 crew on board, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said in a statement.

Cannon shells “suspected to be from World War Two” were uncovered during a search of the vessel. Malaysian agencies are also investigating the provenance of the ammunition.

The MMEA added that it is linked to a cache of unexploded artillery, said to be from the two sunken vessels, that police seized from a private scrap yard in the southern state of Johor earlier this month.

BBC News

Pity those old shells aren’t just a bit more unstable. It would be a lovely piece of irony for one to blow the bottom out of a scavenger’s ship, and warm the cockles of my heart. Or maybe the sub-cocklear region. Wonder if we could arrange appropriate fuzing…

Category: China, WWII

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even before we went to war, I had it hammered into my head, don’t mess with UXOs, I’m sure if some of those shells had gone boom, those Bugs would have just hosed off the deck and kept at it.




Looks like the CCP forgot to buy off the Prime Minister of Malaysia and his son too.

Army-Air Force Guy

This is the thanks the Allies get for helping kick the Japanese forces out of China.


That was written out of the history books long ago in China. If you try to tell a Chinese person that the United States and the UK said volunteers to fight against Japan before Pearl harbor they look at you like you are crazy.


Japan is guilty of teaching WW2 from a “different perspective”. I read the young Japanese actors that were in ‘Letters from Iwo Jima’ never heard of the island, the battle for, or anything else related to the campaign. The winners write the history, but losers write their own narrative. The looting of war graves regardless of nation is WRONG. Men paying the ultimate price to defend their nation must be respected.


I’m surprised China hasn’t released a statement yet saying that they were in Chinese waters since they claim almost the entire South China Sea.


Chicoms’ attitude is “f*ck everybody else”…
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Last edited 1 year ago by Anonymous
USMC Steve

It didn’t really work out that well for them in Korea. They met Mr Browning’s marvelous inventions, such as the M1917A1 watercooled .30. That and the fact that they had a shitty communist army.


Remember — our resident disgraced cop and enlightened jobless UCB flunky says “they isn’t communist.”

Even replied to my China born friend’s reply that they were with “well he’s wrong.”

Report for reeducation immediately!


Eh, he and they (the Chicoms) can bite me.

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Last edited 1 year ago by Anonymous

Grave robbing, despicable activities. Odd how thru out history Orientals have usually Honored Grave sites and now they loot them.

Wonder what kind of Earth Shattering KA-BOOM would 80+ years of unstable ordnance make? I’d buy a ticket to see that!

Wonder, too, how much of the scrap metal that we have sold to the Chinese Communists over the years will be used against us in the Chinese Communists’ march toward world domination?

Wake up world. The Chinese Communists will hang you with the rope that they sold you. QUIT buying products made by the Chinese Communists. The Chinese Communists are a Communist Government. SPAPOS showing up to squawk that the Chinese Communists are not Communists in

jeff LPH 3 63-66

When the NYC 3rd ave elevated train tracks were torn down before the war, Japan bought the scrap metal, then the attack on Pearl Harbor happened.

A Proud Infidel®™

IIRC the attack happened not long after shipments of metal and oil to them from the USA ceased.

Mike B

Wasn’t there a story about some WWII wrecks disappearing a few years ago?

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

It would be appropriate to send that CCP ship to the bottom (with all hands) to join the gravesites they were looting.


“Low Background” steel, made before atmospheric nuclear explosions and isolated from conramination, is absurdly valuable. Essentially, we can’t make it except in tiny lab quantities, or at insane expense in bulk.

It is essential for high-precision lab gear, and assorted detectors. Any pre 1945 scrap isolated in deep water is thus at least a semi-precious metal.


Sunk German ships at Scapa Flow (scuttled by them after WW1, not sunk at war) are a prime source– Brits (their base) have lock on much of it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Anonymous

Pre-Atomic steel is hard to get and in demand.

A Proud Infidel®™

IMO they have a special place in hell awaiting their arrival.