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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Wednesday 11 March 2015

Orkney Islands

I was up in the Orkney Islands this week, I haven't been up for a few years. One of my favourite Scottish island groups with a rich history. Picts then Vikings, Orkney was part of Norway until 1468 when it was effectively ceded to Scotland as part of Queen Margaret's dowry.

This is unsurprisingly a maritime story that includes the naval base of Scapa Flow, home to the fleet in both world wars. I picked up James Miller's book while up there, an an excellent and well illustrated read on the bumpy flight back.

A famous WW2 incident was the sinking of the battleship Royal Oak by U47 commanded by Gunther Prien. The loss of life is commemorated in the cathedral.

There is a small museum in Kirkwall with a few military items of interest. A new museum focusing on Scapa Flow will open soon at Lyness. Stromness also has a fine maritime museum.

And finally the Bishops and Earls palace.

Well worth a visit.


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