During the Second World photographic reconnaissance units based in Scotland were responsible for some of the most significant reconnaissance missions of the war. This included the famous sortie flown out of RAF Wick by Flying Officer Suckling that located the German battleship Bismarck in a Norwegian fjord and led to its sinking days later. To prepare for missions over occupied Europe, extensive training flights were made around the United Kingdom and over 6500 of the aerial photographs taken over Scotland are now accessible on this website.
The photographs were taken between 1940 and 1945 and contain unique images of Scotland at war. Highlights include commando training camps, merchant shipping, coastal defences and radar stations. These photographs were formerly held by M Section of the Allied Central Interpretation Unit, RAF Medmenham, who were responsible for aerial photographs of the United Kingdom during the Second World War.
During the Second World War, Dundee was home to submarines from several Allied nations. One such vessel is seen moored to a quayside in Dundee in this image taken on 2 July 1943.
Inveraray Commando Training Centre
The commando training camp in the grounds of Inveraray Castle was one of several set up in Scotland to train elite troops for special operations in occupied Europe. It is seen here on 3 June 1941.