On 21 June 1919, at Scapa Flow, in Orkney, one of the most extraordinary events in naval history occurred. To the astonishment of those who witnessed it, the German High Seas Fleet, one of the most powerful in history began to sink.
By late morning, 10 battleships, six battlecruisers, eight light cruisers and a host of smaller ships lay on the seabed. Although at the time the Admiralty stated that salving the ships was an impossibility, from 1924 onwards, each of the ships was raised and scrapped.
This account of the salvage operation, which was first published in 1973, begins with a description of the origins of the German High Seas Fleet, its role during the Battle of Jutland, its surrender under the terms of armistice in 1918 and scuttling in Scapa Flow. (pb)