21/06/2017
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German warships were scuttled at Scapa Flow - On this day in history

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On 21 June 1919, the German officer Rear Admiral Von Reuter gave the order for the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow Orkney.

The High Seas Fleet had been kept at Orkney following the signing of the Armistice, whilst the Allies decided upon the fate of the ships. Von Reuter had ordered the flood valves of the ships to be opened and their internal water pipes smashed, to help them sink quickly.

Once it became apparent what was happening, British forces attempted to save the fleet, rescuing 21 ships. The rest sank and over the years, some were salvaged for scrap, whilst the rest are classed under the 1979 Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act.

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