11 August 2019
It’s the 100 anniversary of one of the most shocking outcomes at the end of WWI. The German High Seas Fleet had been interned at Scapa Flow while waiting to hear its fate at the Treaty of Versailles.
Author: Dr Innes McCartney
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
It’s the 100 anniversary of one of the most shocking outcomes at the end of WWI. The German High Seas Fleet had been interned at Scapa Flow while waiting to hear its fate at the Treaty of Versailles. However, having heard those terms, the German in charge, Admiral von Reuter had no intention of letting the pride of the German Navy fall into British hands. In July 1919 he ordered the entire fleet to be scuttled. Of the 74 ships moored in the Orkney waters, 52 sank beneath the waves. This glossy, sumptuously presented book both takes you underwater to look at the wrecks today and also explains how years of salvage operations have reduced the number still there to just nine. There’s archive footage of the scuttling, underwater scanning and photography from the seabed, details of the salvage operations for each ship that’s been recovered and what happened to them afterwards. It’s a tour-de-force, not just of interest to those who are interested in diving and a general readership but also those who want to know what happens to ships under water for 100 years.
• Osprey Publishing
• ISBN 978-1-4728-2890-3
• 340 pages • Hardback • £30
As reviewed in The Armourer July 2019
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