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Scapa Flow

Scapa Flow (skăp´ə), area of water, 15 mi (24 km) long and 8 mi (12.9 km) wide, in the Orkney Islands, off N Scotland. It is bounded by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay, and Hoy. Scapa Flow was Britain's main naval base in both world wars. Lyness, on Hoy, was the headquarters. The British vessel Vanguard exploded in Scapa Flow in July, 1917, and the German fleet was scuttled there in 1919. In Oct., 1939, a German submarine penetrated the area and sank the Royal Oak, causing the British fleet to withdraw until 1940. The Churchill Barrier was begun the same year to block the eastern entrance to Scapa Flow by sinking 250,000 tons of concrete in the sounds linking Mainland, Burray, South Ronaldsay, and two smaller eastern islands. The barrier now forms a causeway linking Mainland to South Ronaldsay. The naval base was closed in 1956.

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Scapa Flow

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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Scapa Flow

Scapa Flow a strait in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, which was an important British naval base, especially in the First World War. The German High Seas Fleet was interned there after its surrender, and was scuttled in 1919 as an act of defiance against the terms of the Versailles peace settlement.

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