Scapa Flow


Scapa Flow
/skah"peuh, skap"euh/
an area of water off the N coast of Scotland, in the Orkney Islands: British naval base; German warships scuttled 1919.

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Located off of Scotland's northern tip, the basin is about 15 mi (24 km) long and 8 mi (13 km) wide. Its extensive sheltered waters served as a major British naval base during World Wars I and II. The Germans scuttled their fleet there after World War I. The base was fortified in World War II following German attacks and the sinking of the battleship Royal Oak in 1939. The base closed in 1956.

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      extensive landlocked anchorage in Scotland's Orkney Islands, which lie off the northern tip of the Scottish mainland. The anchorage is approximately 15 miles (24 km) long from north to south and 8 miles (13 km) wide and is bounded by the islands of Mainland (Pomona) to the north, South Ronaldsay to the east, and Hoy to the west. The main entrance is in the south, from Pentland Firth, the strait separating the Orkney Islands from the mainland of Scotland. The Sound of Hoy on the west leads to the Atlantic, and three intricate channels on the east give access to the North Sea.

      Scapa Flow's extensive sheltered waters were selected as a suitable base from which the British fleet could patrol the North Sea. Little defensive work had been done by the outbreak of World War I, as the strong tides and the navigational hazards were considered sufficient defense. The Grand Fleet was based there from 1914 for much of the war. After the surrender of the German fleet in 1918 and its internment in Scapa Flow, the ships were scuttled by the German crews. During World War II the British fleet was again stationed at Scapa Flow, where it underwent considerable attack by both submarines and aircraft early in the war. In 1939 the battleship Royal Oakwas sunk, with a loss of 833 lives, by a German submarine. This attack was quickly followed by air raids, and the fleet was forced to put to sea. New defensive measures were rapidly installed. Airfields were also constructed, and the islands on the east were joined to Mainland by concrete emplacements known as the Churchill Barriers. The German air attacks continued only until April 1940. The base was finally closed in 1956.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Scapa Flow — [skap′ə] sea basin in the Orkney Islands, off N Scotland: British naval base: c. 50 sq mi (129 sq km) …   English World dictionary

  • Scapa Flow — Karte von Scapa Flow aus dem Jahre 1916 Scapa Flow …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Scapa Flow — Mapa de Scapa Flow. Scapa Flow es un fondeadero situado en las Islas Orcadas, Escocia, Reino Unido. Rodeado por las islas Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay y Hoy, es conocido sobre todo por haber sido el emplazamiento de la principal… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Scapa Flow — /skah peuh, skap euh/ an area of water off the N coast of Scotland, in the Orkney Islands: British naval base; German warships scuttled 1919. * * * Scapa Flow [Scapa Flow] an area of the ↑North Sea surrounded by several of the ↑Orkney islands and …   Useful english dictionary


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