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HMS Proserpine
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
RoleArea Command
Part ofOrkney and Shetlands Command
RN BaseLyness, Scotland
FirstRear-Admiral Sir Patrick Macnamara KBE
LastRear-Admiral Sir Patrick Macnamara KBE

Orkney was a base of operations and area command of the Royal Navy established during World War I and World War II.


Orkney was the site of a Royal Navy base at Scapa Flow, which played a major role in World War I and II. After the Armistice in 1918, the German High Seas Fleet was transferred in its entirety to Scapa Flow to await a decision on its future. The German sailors opened the sea-cocks and scuttled all the ships. Most ships were salvaged, but the remaining wrecks are now a favoured haunt of recreational divers. One month into World War II, a German U-boat sank the Royal Navy battleship HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow. As a result, barriers were built to close most of the access channels; these had the additional advantage of creating causeways enabling travellers to go from island to island by road instead of being obliged to rely on ferries. The causeways were constructed by Italian prisoners of war, who also constructed the ornate Italian Chapel. The navy base became run down after the war, eventually closing in 1957.

Naval HQ

Admiral-Superintendent, Orkney

Admiral Superintendent, Orkney
Rank Flag Name Term
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Patrick Macnamara KBE 1 May 1942 - March 1945.[1]


  1. "Patrick Macnamara Life and Career Post War". dreadnoughtproject.org. The Dreadnought Project.Org, 13 June 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2021.