Review – Scapa 1919: the archaeology of a scuttled fleet

1 min read
Innes McCartney
Osprey Books, £30
ISBN 978-1472828903
Review John Buglass

This a handsome and well-researched volume on the history and archaeology of the German High Seas Fleet. It presents the results of the latest underwater survey techniques.

McCartney’s book concisely presents detailed ‘ship biographies’ of all the major, and most of the minor, ships at Scapa. These biographies cover both those which remain on the seabed and those long-since salvaged, and include the key points of the ships’ lives both before and after their scuttling in 1919. Of particular interest is the role many of the ships’ crews played in the 1916 mutiny. Each vessel is accompanied by impressive survey graphics and photographs of the ship in service, as they were scuttled, and during salvage or as they lie on the seabed today.

Readers should not be put off by the book’s subtitle: there is much here for not only those with an interest in maritime archaeology but military archaeologists and historians as well. The book can also be seen as a very useful ‘diver’s guide’ to the current state of the wrecks.

This review appeared in CA 355. To find out more about subscribing to the magazine, click here.

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