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Known by mariners since Viking times as a safe anchorage in notoriously savage waters, Scapa Flow is the seaway that runs between the Orkney mainland and the island of Hoy.
As the northern base of the Royal Navy and Allied fleets in two world wars, it witnessed some of the most seminal events in modern naval history.
It was from here that The Grand Fleet set off in 1916 to do battle at Jutland; it was from that Lord Kitchener sailed to his death aboard the Hampshire; it was here that the surrendered German fleet was scuttled in May 1919; and it was here that 800 sailors lost their lives in October 1939 when HMS Royal Oak was torpedoed by a German submarine. The late W.S. Hewison's book is the ultimate history of this remarkable place.
In addition to the military story, he also tells about the impact war had on the native island community as their remote archipelago was transformed into the hub of Britain's naval war machine.
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