The Sinking of the Royal Oak

About the Show

Just weeks into World War Two, the Orkney Islands were the scene of one of Britain’s greatest naval disasters. The Royal Navy’s northern base, Scapa Flow, was supposed to be impregnable. But on a cold, dark night in October 1939, a single German submarine entered the harbour. It fired a salvo of torpedoes into the great battleship, HMS Royal Oak. Her crew had no warning, and little chance of escape. Over 800 men died. For the first time on television, we tell the full story of the sinking of the Royal Oak. We reveal how one of the most daring raids of World War Two became shrouded in controversy, how it led to the largest single loss of boy-sailors in the Royal Navy’s history, and how British complacency handed Hitler his first great propaganda victory of the war.