Orkney & Scapa Flow at War 1939-45 View larger

Orkney & Scapa Flow at War 1939-45


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Your Towns & Cities in World War II series, featuring Orkney and Scapa Flow at war 1939-45.

By Craig Armstrong.

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£ 14.99

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Orkney was a key strategic location during the Second World War. The vast anchorage of Scapa Flow was the main haven for the Royal Navy's Home Fleet, which would be expected to both protect the sea lanes around Britain and to engage any German naval units within their area of operation. As such, the war was very real to Orcadians from the outset. The naval base, and by extension the islands, was a prime target for the Luftwaffe and attempts to bomb the anchorage were made from the beginning of the war.

Orcadians also made a huge contribution to the was effort through farming and in providing support to the thousands of sailors, soldiers and airmen who were based locally. Orcadians also raised considerable funds and gathered much-needed items, including scrap metal and even sphagnum moss for use in the treatment of wounds. Large numbers of Orcadians worked in the fishing industry and this was a staple supplier of food for the islands, as well as a key employer. The men aboard the trawlers were used to danger, but the war ramped this up even further as many became prey to German attacks from the air.

Although isolated from the mainland, the people of Orkney made a very substantial contribution to the war effort and many paid the ultimate price, losing their lives in the service country. 


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