Scapa Flow in the Orkneys is a magnificent natural harbour and naval base, commanding the approaches to both the North Atlantic and the North Sea. It was developed immediately before the First World War when the fleet increased in numbers and the vessels in size. The German high seas fleet was escorted to Scapa in 1918 and on 21 June 1919 the 74 vessels were scuttled. At the start of the Second World War, a brilliant U-boat action torpedoed the Royal Oak at anchor with the loss of over 800 lives. The naval base was closed in 1956.
J. A. Cannon
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