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Striven, Loch

Loch Striven is one of two sealochs that extend into the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll and Bute, the other being Loch Riddon. Running in a northerly direction, Loch Striven extends for 8 miles (13 km) from Strone Point on the Kyles of Bute to its head a half-mile (1 km) northeast of Craigendive.

Loch Striven was a test-site for the 'bouncing bombs' designed by English engineer Barnes Wallis during World War II. Initially these were used in the famous 'dam-buster' raids, but Loch Striven was chosen to train for a new operation against the German battleship Tirpitz, lying in a Norwegian fjord. Given that no examples of these 'highball' bombs remain, an operation in 2010 attempted to recover one of the more than 150 practice-versions which had been dropped in the loch.

The remains of a short-lived oil rig construction yard lie at Ardyne Point on the eastern side of the entrance to the loch. A sizeable NATO Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL) depot is located to the north and this includes at least sixteen oil storage tanks buried in the hillside. The deep water of the loch has provided a berth to lay-up ocean-going vessels at times when they are not required.


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