The Bull & The Barriers - The Wrecks of Scapa Flow View larger

The Bull & The Barriers: The Wrecks of Scapa Flow


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The story in words and pictures of the wrecks dotted in and around Scapa Flow, and a tribute to those whose bodies remain forever trapped underwater in the Royal Oak and other ships.

By Lawson Wood.


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£ 17.99

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From time immemorial the natural harbour of Scapa Flow in the Orkneys has been a haven for ships. Its wide expanse of open water protected by islands on most sides has two unique features: it is sheltered from the worst of most storms, and is large enough to house a Battle Fleet. During both world wars Scapa housed the British Home Fleet. It is this capacity to contain a fleet in relative safety and security that has led to the area having the largest profusion of naval wrecks in the western world.

At the end of the First World War, Germany surrendered her Imperial Navy and it was laid up in Scapa Flow. After almost a year of internment, the German commanders decided to scuttle the fleet rather than have it divided up among the victors. Over fifty vessels, ranging from destroyers to battleships, were deliberately sunk by their German crews. Many have since been salvaged, mostly in the 1920s and 1930s, but even today many remain and the harbour has become a haven for divers from all over the world.

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