BATTLE OF BRITAIN AT 80: Defending the Fleet

For the islands in the far north of the UK, the Battle of Britain began much earlier – in 1939, as Andrew Thomas reveals

When hostilities broke out in September 1939 the Royal Navy’s (RN) main base for the Home Fleet became Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland – one of the world’s great natural harbours – just as it had in World War One. From there the vessels were able to deliver strategic effect by restricting access for German surface raiders to the Atlantic.

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