The Orkney’s – The Churchill Barriers

During the 2nd World War the British Fleet was housed at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys. However, they were prone to attack from German Submarines. Boats were scuttled in the narrow straits between islands and torpedo nets were deployed but submarines still got through at high tide and sank a battle ship. Churchill ordered that causeways should be constructed to block the straits. These were controversially built using Italian POWs but solved the submarine problem. They became known as the Churchill Barriers and are now used as roads to connect the islands. The scuttled ships are still there and visible.

8 thoughts on “The Orkney’s – The Churchill Barriers

  1. Goodness me, this makes for painful reading.
    For goodness sake do some revision man, these wrecks are the remains of the German fleet as scuttled in 1919 following WW1.
    Pathetic.

    1. No – you obviously do not know your history.
      The scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow has nothing whatsoever to do with the barriers put into place to prevent U-boats. The block ships put into the narrow straits between islands was nothing to do with the German fleet. Wrong place, wrong time.
      For your edification I supply a link that might improve your knowledge. I don’t expect an apology.
      http://www.scapaflowwrecks.com/wrecks/blockships/

      1. May I suggest that you read it yourself? Read it properly and made your deductions as to what was in these waters. They did have to fill some gaps within the German scuttling, but nothing nearly as much as would have been required were the scuttling not there in the first instance.
        What you are referring to and unwittingly, are the man-made barriers, which are pretty much small fry in the grand scheme of things.

        I’ve just realised that you are under the impression that Scapa Flow is a tiny little stretch of water and only as big as your little camera’s viewer.
        No, it’s a big area, stretches out for miles and it has to be as it’s not some little fishing port, it’s naval ships, so everything is 20 times bigger than you imagine it to be.
        Trust me on that, we used to fish these waters and they are treacherous.

  2. No I’m not under any illusion about Scapa Flow. It is big. I’ll take your word for how treacherous it was. I can imagine.
    In World War 1 ships were scuttled. In World War 2 more ships were scuttled to prevent more submarine attacks until the barriers were laid down with great concrete blocks. I cannot see what the problem is?
    Some of those blockships were likely from World War 1 and some from World War 2 (ordered by Churchill until the Churchill barriers could be erected).
    I thought it was fascinating.

    1. There were a lot of different things of interest – the unusual landscape, Neolithic sites, wildlife, World War interest and the people – who had a very strong Nordic ancestry and saw themselves as very different to mainland Scots.

      1. Speaking as one who grew up as Orcadian, although I’m not one today, I’m not sure who you are speaking for. You exaggerate entirely with this “saw themselves as very different” and let me clearly intimate here that these are your words and certainly not theirs. Anybody living Island life has a different set of priorities by nature of the terrain, but there ends. Technically there’s not much different than those living on Isle of Man or Wight.
        Some by blood lines do have a stronger Nordic ancestry than others but you or anyone for that matter wouldn’t know it and it’s long ago been watered down. They’re not exactly running about with helmets with horns. There’s probably just as much Yorkshire in the mix these days.
        The Orkneys today are nothing like what they would have been one hundred years ago as it’s been infiltrated by all sorts of people since, with many English, too many hippy types probably to be honest, all looking for that “alternative lifestyle”. And boy, do these buggers get a wake up call when it eventually dawns on them that nowt’s for free and they have to work their buts off to survive. It’s a comedy of errors and good entertainment for most of us. It takes them at least two generations to begin to be accepted.
        There’s your difference. It’s not them that’s different – it’s everybody else.

  3. Well I can only go by the people I talked to when we were over on the Orkneys. They certainly identified more with Viking culture than mainstream Scotland. Maybe they weren’t typical?
    I’m sure it has all changed. It’s the same the world over. The Neolithic stuff draws in certain people.

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