Scapa Flow: The defences of Britain’s great fleet anchorage 1914–45

T-62 Main Battle Tank 1965–2005

Scapa Flow: The defences of Britain’s great fleet anchorage 1914–45
Fortress 85

Author: Angus Konstam
Illustrator: Peter Dennis
Osprey Publishing 2009, 64 pages
ISBN: 978-1-84603-366-7

Scapa Flow: The defences of Britain's great fleet anchorage 1914-45 at Osprey...

A strategically important natural harbor in the Orkney Islands, Scapa Flow served as Britain’s main fleet anchorage during World Wars I and II. In 1914 and again in 1939, the British began building a comprehensive defensive network by fortifying the entrances to Scapa Flow, and then extended these defenses to cover most of Orkney. By 1940, it had become an island fortress, the largest integrated defensive network of its kind in Europe, manned by as many as 50,000 Commonwealth troops – or at least that was what the Osprey Website said!
As I have mentioned previously I have had an interest in naval combat for many years, during which time I have read many references to Scapa Flow, but never really read a significant amount about it. Needless to say I embraced the opportunity to rectify this with an element of enthusiasm! The book itself is largely broken up into fairly sensible sections, which are also easily digestible if you don’t want to read the entire book in one sitting. Broadly speaking the book has sections covering WW1, the interwar years, WW2, a tour of the Island, post WW2 and then the state of the defences today. The split makes it very easy to track down specific pieces of information later!

Like all Osprey books it is loaded with fantastic illustrations which really serve to enhance the quality of the book, and serve as a valuable resource. Likewise the quantity of pictures further adds to this, providing ample opportunity to reference the text with visual aids.

Reading the book was, unlike service on the island for many, rather enjoyable. The book provided all the basic information that I wanted as well as giving me a significant number of other references sources to check for further information. Safe to say then that the Osprey site was right on the money and the book itself would find a place on many a 20th century naval gamers bookshelf!

- Chris

Last Updated On Wednesday, September 9, 2009 by Blake at Battlefront