Culture

Scapa 1919: The Archaeology of a Scuttled Fleet

It’s only 2 weeks to go till events kick off for #Scapa100 which commemorates the scuttling of the German High Seas fleet in Scapa Flow on 21st of June 1919.

A new book Scapa 1919: The Archaeology of a Scuttled Fleet by award-winning author, nautical archaeologist, historian and explorer, Dr Innes McCartney has been published by Osprey.  The Orkney News will be reviewing the book in a future article but here’s a wee taster about what you can expect.

Scapa 1919 book front

Marine archaeologist Dr Innes McCartney reveals – for the first time – the location and state of the wrecks of all 25 warships sunk in the scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow.

Following on from his award-winning Jutland 1916, nautical archaeologist and explorer Dr Innes McCartney has focused his research on one of the greatest naval mysteries of World War I, revealing the story of a fleet lost for a century beneath the waves.

After the 1919 armistice, the German High Seas Fleet was interned in Scapa Flow whilst the Treaty of Versailles was under negotiation. Rather than surrender, the entire fleet attempted a mass-sinking, during which 52 of the 74 ships were successfully sunk. These ships have remained on the sea floor for nearly a century.

Using cutting-edge technology including multibeam imaging and underwater photography, McCartney has fully investigated the wrecks of some of the High Fleet’s most important ships, including the SMS König, the SMS Markgraf and many others.

Scapa 1919 inside

By comparing archive records and footage of the scuttle and subsequent salvage operations with his own research, he has been able to reconcile historical data and modern archaeological evidence to reveal, in stunning detail, the fate of the scuttled fleet.

Dr Innes McCartney  was the winner of the 2016 Anderson Medal for his book Jutland 1916: The Archaeology of a Naval Battlefield. 

Scapa 1919 The Archaeology of a Scuttled Fleet by Dr Innes McCartney £30.00 Published by Osprey Publishing

£21 on Amazon 

Scapa 100 programme

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