The Secret Missions of World War 2 - The Sinking of Royal Oak

Tomasz Derent
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It was the Autumn of 1939, October 14th. The HMS Royal Oak was anchored at Scapa Flow. She was a British Battleship, nicknamed „The Mighty Oak”,a veteran of World War I and the mighty pride of Royal Navy. The base at Scapa Flow, was near-ideal anchorage and many considered it impenetrable.
In the darkness of the night, on the 13th of October 1939, German submarine U-47 surfaced in Scapa Flow and crept slowly towards HMS Royal Oak. When the submarine was close enough, the commander of the U-boat, Günther Prien, had given orders to fire torpedoes. The battleship had no chance in this duel and very quickly started to sink. 833 men, including Rear-Admiral Henry Blagrove, died on board HMS Royal Oak.
U-47 had crept out of Scapa Flow unnoticed. This attack had caused great confusion among the British, as sinking of a mighty warship in a base considered secure and impenetrable was a big shock to Admiralty. It was a disaster and a big blow to the Royal Navy`s reputation. Prien`s success was a gift to the Nazi propaganda and the whole crew of U-47 became heroes in Germany.
This is the story of this daring mission.