After the German surrender in 1918, the German High Seas Fleet was interned at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys. Determined not to see his ships fall to the hands of the Allied Powers, the German Admiral von Reuter decided to scuttle his fleet and secretly passed orders between his ships for their skeleton crews to open the seacocks. Most ships began to sink within hours, witnessed by a visiting band of school children suddenly caught up in an event of international importance.
This book follows the events of that momentous day, drawing on the eye-witness accounts of those who saw the crisis unfold at first hand. The book makes extensive use of archive material, personal letters and contemporary photographs to bring alive the extraordinary events of that midsummer’s day in 1919.