Tour Scotland Video Of Old Photographs Of Scapa Flow Orkney Islands



Tour Scotland video of old photographs of Scapa Flow, meaning bay of the long isthmus, a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. It is sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy. Scapa Flow had been used many times for exercises in the years before World War I , and when the time came for the British fleet to move to a northern station, Scapa Flow was chosen for the main base of the British Grand Fleet, even though it was also unfortified. Following the German defeat in World War I, 74 ships of the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet were interned in Gutter Sound at Scapa Flow pending a decision on their future in the peace Treaty of Versailles. On 21 June 1919, after nine months of waiting, Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, the German officer in command at Scapa Flow, made the decision to scuttle the fleet because the negotiation period for the treaty had lapsed with no word of a settlement. After waiting for the bulk of the British fleet to leave on exercises, he gave the order to scuttle the ships to prevent their falling into British hands. The Royal Navy made desperate efforts to board the ships to prevent the sinkings, but the German crews had spent the idle months preparing for the order. The British did eventually manage to beach the battleship Baden, the light cruisers N├╝rnberg, and Frankfurt together with 18 destroyers, but the remaining 52 ships, the vast bulk of the High Seas Fleet, were sunk without loss of life. Nine German sailors died when British forces opened fire as they attempted to scuttle their ship, reputedly the last casualties of World War I. At least seven of the scuttled German ships, and a number of sunken British ships, can be visited by scuba divers. Of interest to folks with ancestry, genealogy or Scottish Family Roots in Scotland who may wish to visit one day.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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