Heavily illustrated, this fairly simple text outlines some of the extraordinary events which took place at Scapa Flow in two world wars.


Scapa can never have been an easy billet, and the small ships took a perverse pride in the difficult conditions of their service, especially the ‘drifters’ which patrolled the tricky waters, and undertook minesweeping, with no facilities or technological aids to speak of:  ‘On one occasion in a thick fog we made contact with our relief ship by playing hopeful airs on the bagpipes.  Another ship claimed that it had developed a high-powered cheese which glowed in the dark …’

That’s the Navy for you:  a great generator of myth.

2 responses »

  1. Now that looks interesting. I have fond memories of Scapa Flow, not as a sailor in two world wars but as a child in the 1960s when my parents spent a fortnight in a huge, rambling and completely empty house on the north coast of the island. I’ll keep an eye open for the book.
    Cheers, Alen

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