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Scapa 100 events set to begin this week

Events will mark the centenary of the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow.

A RICH and varied programme of events gets underway later this week as the centenary approaches of the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow.

The Scapa 100 events offer a wealth of opportunities to find out more about the deliberate sinking of the warships on June 21, 1919, the impact on Orkney at the time, and the continuing legacy today.

Following the end of the First World War, 74 ships of the German High Seas Fleet arrived in Scapa Flow for internment as part of the Armistice agreement.

On June 21, 1919, under the mistaken belief that peace talks had failed, the command was given to scuttle the fleet. Fifty ships went to the seabed.

In later years, many were later brought to the surface again during one of the most remarkable salvage operations ever attempted.

Those that remain – seven vessels in all – attract divers from worldwide and make Scapa Flow the premier wreck diving site in Europe.

The programme begins on Saturday, June 15, and involves talks by experts, performances by the German Navy and Royal Navy musicians, underwater imagery, a theatre piece, the screening of a 1986 documentary on the scuttling – and the chance to explore the seabed wrecks using the latest virtual reality technology.

Descendant of those involved in the events are set to come to Orkney, and a special service of commemoration will take place over one of the wrecks and at the Lyness Naval Cemetery.

Full details are available on the Orkney Islands Council website: www.orkney.gov.uk/Service-Directory/S/scapa-100-events-programme.htm and on the Scapa 100 Facebook page www.facebook.com/scapa100/

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