FIFENESS TO BERWICK UPON TWEED
Scotland’s south east coast is dominated by the estuary of the River Forth. The countries capital, Edinburgh, lies just to the south of the coastline and, as a result, the river has become a key artery for shipping bringing goods from all over the world to the population and industries of the city. The wide firth has many small islands across it’s breadth including May Island and Bass Rock that in poor visibility often caught unsuspecting or careless ship‘s captains unawares with tragic consequences. As the river narrows smaller islands like Inchkeith and Inchcolm further narrow the navigable channel and were often the site of further strandings and loss of life.
As the river passes Queensferry it is spanned by three resplendent bridges – The Forth Rail Bridge : now a world heritage site opened in 1890 – the Forth Road Bridge completed in 1964 – the new Queensferry Crossing opened in 2017. The three bridges spanning the river within a few hundred yards of each other are a unique sight.
Prior to World War One the area at Rosyth, on the north side of the river, was selected as an ideal location for a key naval base where ships of the Royal Navy could be based with easy access to the North Sea. This proximity to the North Sea was particularly important as concerns grew with the increasing naval might of Germany. At various periods during the war large numbers of British battleships were based there although the establishment of a larger more strategic base at Scapa Flow reduced Rosyth’s importance over the years of the war. A number of the ship’s of the fleet set out from the Forth to the infamous Battle of Jutland and, in a more significant historical event, the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet took place off the Forth before the fleet were escorted north to internment in Scapa Flow. The importance of the Forth to the British in both wars was emphasised by the attention paid to the area by German U-boat fleets and aircraft who laid thousands on mines in the firth during both conflicts. The attentions of these same German foes resulted in many attacks and losses to British and other merchant ships off this coast while plying the convoy routes from the east coast of England north to the Transatlantic trade routes.
Area Wreck Map
Anlaby – Avondale Park – HMS Campania– Chingford – Emley – Glanmire – Grecian – Island – Islandmagee – Nyon – HMS Pathfinder – Poderosa – President – Royal Archer – Royal Fusilier – Salvestria – Sneland I – Thomas L Devlin – U-12