Scapa Flow in the Orkneys would be the forbidding destination for many thousands of service personnel and civilians in both World Wars and the location of dramatic incidents such as the loss of the Hampshire with Kitchener on board in 1916, the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in 1919 and the sinking of the Royal Oak at anchor by U-boat U-47 at the beginning of the Second World War. It was a vital start-point for both naval wars and these memories capture all the suffering, loss and glory experienced by those who were there.
Malcolm Brown was for many years a BBC documentary producer; in 1966 he co-produced with Patrica Meehan the highly successful film Scapa Flow, which led to the first publication of this book in 1968. Since 1989 he has been a freelance historian at the Imperial War Museum, and is now best known for his books on military subjects, including Tommy Goes to War, Verdun 1916, The Imperial War Museum Book of the First World. Patricia Meehan spent several years as a welfare worker in postwar Germany. She began a long career in TV in the United States before joining the BBC, where she became a documentary producer specialising in contemporary history. Since leaving the BBC she has been a full-time writer. Her most recent books, The Unnecessary War and A Strange Enemy People, deal with aspects of British and German relations before and immediately after the Second World War.