13.2 Rahne Mari
HMS Strategy shadowed the trawler, observing surreptitiously on its periscope and grabbing ground. It dived deep and passed the ship to surface on the other side from a mile distance. There she was lurking for the kill.
Radio cracked, “Lima Juliet Alpha November! It’s time! Count down begins now!”
“Aye! Aye!” replied Captain Carl Perks and hit the siren. As planned, the crew seized their vests and dived into water. Last night; vital statistics, logs and docs, personal belongings and all tangible equipment were removed except that carried by the three Divas.
Captain of the trawler relayed on the intercom, “Torpedo Attack! Abandon the ship! Abandon the ship!”
Minutes later, a torpedo swept inches below the water surface and hit the ship. In moments, it sank.
Moyler snapped fingers at a young boy holding a Paillard Bolex H16 movie camera,” “Roll it!”
They rescued the entire crew on the deck of HMS Strategy. Among them were the Divas; Prince Hassan Mal Vatta, D’Migili Don Kaléfan and H’Lai Kalo.
Moyler told the captain, “Their bodies may be found but there can be no wounds to be found. No bullets. They drowned.”
Moyler came down the deck and talked to Prince Hassan Mal Vatta. “You should carry the weight of the awful truth when you go down,” he said, “The object of the exercise is to get some rocks which will remain ours; there will be no indigenous population except seagulls who have not yet got a committee.”
They were secured to the taffrail on the deck before she dived. They drowned.
HMS Strategy returned to Port T in Addu Atoll. This short event never entered in P234 log. Instead, that day, on 27th March, HMS Strategy was docked in Gan and they observed change of command. Captain Louis Willis flew to Colombo with Moyler and Lt Ford Pell took new command of the submarine.
His first job was to cover-up this affair and thus a German U-boat entered into play. U-510 was spotted in the Indian Ocean region. It took the blame. All the names of the twenty-three perished souls of the British crew were fabricated.
Moyler processed the film reel, altered the lease agreement and produced a fake that stipulated hundred years of lease period and tribute reduced to £2000 per annum. That was what the Maldive Government received from the delegate sent by the Governor after three months. For the war, the Maldive Government initially permitted the use of Gan without a price.
Secretary of State Gary Pierce assigned Captain Howard Law, an architect from a naval academy in Dartmouth, to accompany Arthur Moyler to Addu in order to do a survey right in the middle of the war. Moyler carried the original lease agreement and the reel when he arrived.
In the weeks that followed, they did some aerial photography and drew sketches that depicted a new runway appearing on the island of Meedu and Huludu, once again trees fell and cleared, inhabitants evicted, the entire east ridge of the atoll acquired into a naval port.
Arthur Moyler left Gan to return. And he left the sketches behind, the original lease agreement and the film, rather carelessly. He never had a chance to come back. He did not mention about recording the sinking of HMS Mellow on movie camera and others bothered not to mention. Even Richard Whyte at MI6 did not know about a recording when he briefed Major W W Phyllis in 1957.
Some figured the importance of the base early on. Acquired it for hundred years and on the verge of planning it for future use. Shortly after the war, things changed. There wasn’t a tenacious need to keep a base, it only added to the cost. In 1945, Port T was closed and deserted. Gandu islanders returned and started normal life. Moyler was appointed to Burma Office again.
No sooner Cold War erupted and bases around the globe grew of significance. Nuclear tests were carried out in sea bottom. Those islands became nuclear hotbeds. Suddenly, Britain lost important bases in Ceylon and the United States demanded Diego Garcia.
Apparently, Britain was left with this choice as they secured Gan for hundred years.