On This Day

HMS Vanguard Disaster

HMS Vanguard in 1909
HMS Vanguard in 1909

Historical Context

On the 9th July 1917 a series of internal explosions blew apart HMS Vanguard, a Royal Navy battleship stationed in Scarpa Flow in the Orkney Islands during WWI. Of the 845 men on board just two survived the sinking late at night.

The wreck was declared a war grave in 1984. It remains one of the Royal Navy's worst disasters.

Photo Info

Location taken: Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, Scotland

Related Events

  • 1917-07-09 British battleship HMS Vanguard explodes at Scapa Flow (the result of an internal explosion of faulty cordite), killing 804

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