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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Wreckage of German Warships Surveyed Near Scotland

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Scapa Flow shipwrecksORKNEY, SCOTLAND—BBC News reports that members of the Orkney Research Center for Archaeology (ORCA) have been working with professionals from Sula Diving and volunteer divers from around the world to survey World War I–era ships resting at the bottom of Scapa Flow. When the war ended, Germany’s High Seas Fleet was interned at the British Royal Navy base at Scapa Flow, but Admiral Ludwig Von Reuter, in an effort to keep the ships from being seized by the Allies, managed to sink 50 of the 74 vessels. Many of these wrecks were later salvaged. Pete Higgins of ORCA said masts, searchlights, plating, small steam pinnaces, funnels, and spotting tops have been found in the remaining underwater scrap piles. To read about World War II–era shipwrecks discovered in the Pacific, go to “Wrecks of the Pacific Theater.”

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