Arctic exploration

North Pole Expeditions are journeys that have been made with the intention to reach the North Pole of the earth or to come as close as possible to him and to explore the situated around the pole lands and seas.

First phase ( until the 16th century )

To sailed 983 Erik the Red to the west coast of Greenland, while Thorgil met on his arduous journey, the northern parts of the east coast. In the year 1000 entered Erik's son Leif as first mentioned by him Hellu, Mark and Winland coasts, that is today's Labrador and Nova Scotia ( Nova Scotia ). In the following years several trips were made to new lands. 1266 was a voyage of discovery to the west coast of Greenland along the north instead of the 76th Latitude addition and westward to Lancaster Sound and Baffin Island after. These discoveries came but during the following centuries into oblivion.

In the 11th and 12th centuries took after a report of Adam of Bremen, the Frisians, the Norwegians under Harald III. and the Basques North rides. In the late 14th century the alleged journey of the Venetian brothers Nicolo and Antonio Zeno to Iceland, Greenland and Frisland described 160 years later by one of their descendants in the controversial Zeno card falls to the discovery of America to the Republic of Venice to complain.

In the first half of the 15th century, each message stopped from the Nordic countries. It was not until 1462, even before Columbus, the Portuguese João Vaz Corte- Real has probably again visited Newfoundland, which he called Terra Nova do Bacalhau, which literally means "New Land of stockfish " means. In 1474 he was given as a reward for his discoveries lands on the Azores island of Terceira. Columbus himself to be driven in 1477 from Bristol to Iceland. Anyway, drove the Venetians Giovanni Caboto in 1497 on the orders of Henry VII of England from Bristol to the west and came to the coast of Labrador. 1500-1503 took Gaspar Corte-Real and his brother Miguel several trips to the northwestern regions, and came here in the fish-rich waters around Newfoundland and the coasts of Greenland and Labrador.

1521 acquired Alvarez Fagundes the coast of New England and Nova Scotia and founded the Cape Breton a Portuguese settlement, are obtained from the news until 1579.

Second phase

A new wave of North rides was prompted by the experiments for finding a Northwest and Northeast Passage. Initially discovered Sebastian Caboto Hudson Bay and called whaling in life. But he succeeded as little as da Verrazzano in 1524 ( with four ships on the way) and Esteban Gomez in 1525 to find Giovanni the expected short route to India.

Since Caboto designed the plan to locate the North Cape and the north coast of Asia around a shorter sea route to East Asia, called the Northeast Passage or Northeast Passage. With the help of two merchants, he brought together three ships, two of which, however, under Willoughby already perished in the Barents Sea, while the third under the leadership of Richard Chancellor and Stephen Burrough after a successful overwintering in the White Sea was abandoned by the leaders. They went overland to Moscow for the tsar Ivan IV Vasilyevich, with which they completed a trade agreement, and returned in 1554 returned to England. Here stood the Queen Mary I kind of society that had the three ships equipped for Muscovite Trading Company and equipped them with great privileges. 1556 and 1580 ships were sent from the company again to the east, which sailed the Kara Sea and visited the mouths of the great Russian rivers. However, the sought passage they did not because of the large ice masses, so that one turned back to the Northwest Passage.

During these years, Martin Frobisher sailed to the Northwest to continue Cabotos discoveries, but only came up to the eponymous Frobisher Bay. 1585 Davis sailed from England, skirted the southern tip of Greenland, then crossed the Davis Strait, but had to after he had reached the west coast of this road at 66.4 °, turn back. In 1587 it reached 72 ° 12 ' north latitude and drove along the coast of Baffin inland along the south. The wildest rides north were the Dutchman Willem Barents to Novaya Zemlya, Spitsbergen and Bear Island 1594 bis 1597th

At the beginning of the 17th century the Danes sought repeatedly the former colonies in Greenland, again, but without making new discoveries (see Greenland expeditions under Christian IV ). It was not until Henry Hudson came from 1607 to 1610 between Greenland and Spitsbergen, then between Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya northwards, but was stopped at 81 Latitude of the ice. 1610 Jonas Poole was sent, who discovered in Svalbard deposits of coal and made ​​himself worthy of the big fishing. He led 1630-1634 several wintering on Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya and Jan Mayen through.

Robert Bylot and William Baffin in 1616 discovered a large number of Arctic islands, have been forced to turn back by the ice in Foxe Channel, drove to the west coast of Greenland along, discovered Baffin Bay and Smith Sound and reached the latitude of 77 ° 30 '. Since they did not believe in the existence of a northwest passage, and Luke Fox and Thomas James in 1631 searched in vain for a way out, for almost two centuries remained under all other attempts in this direction. The following expeditions were sent only for the purpose of fishing, and explored the famous landscapes in more detail.

In North Asia, the geographical knowledge have been enhanced by smaller expeditions, including by Semyon Ivanovich Deschnjow, in 1648 the north-eastern tip of Asia and circumnavigated the separation between the Old and the New World proved ( Bering Strait, the Bering Sea ).

In 1728 Vitus Bering sailed, a Dane in the Russian service, from Kamchatka to the Asiatic coast northward. 1741, he came again to the north of Okhotsk and examined the American coast to 69 ° north latitude. At the Bering island he was shipwrecked and died during the winter of scurvy. The survivors of the expedition, including the German regulator and Johann Georg Gmelin, went to Kamchatka. At about the same time was of Semyon Ivanovich Tscheljuskin named after him Cape, the northernmost tip of mainland of the Old World discovered.

At the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century New Siberia, Wrangelland etc. were found and examined. It was also demonstrated that Novaya Zemlya does not consist of a single island. 1778 the famous navigator James Cook had sailed through the Bering Strait to accommodate the Northwest Passage again, the width had reached 70 ° 44 ', but then, all stopped by the ice, turning to the east and had come at 69 ° on the American coast. 1806 William Scoresby invaded sr. and Jr. in the East Greenland Sea and Spitsbergen from as far as 81 ° 30 'north latitude before. Cook's successor Charles Clerke reached only 70 ° 30 'north latitude. Cook and Clerke held a North -West Passage impossible. Otto von Kotzebue was 1816-1817 before on the same path.

1823 led Edward Sabine and Douglas Charles Clavering on the east coast of Greenland extensive scientific investigations. Graah (1793-1863) circumnavigated 1828-1830 Cape Farewell and examined the coast of Greenland. William Edward Parry reached in 1827 in the north of Spitsbergen, the width of 82 ° 40 '.

The second phase of efforts to find a Northwest Passage, began in 1818 with the efforts made at the instigation of the British government journeys of John Ross and David Buchan. The expedition turned back but without notable success. Since the behavior of Ross was not endorsed by many pages, sent to 1819 Parry alone with the ships Hekla and Griper after the Davis Strait. They opened the Lancaster Sound and sailed through the Barrow Strait to Melville Island, where they had to overwinter ° 47 'north latitude and 110 ° 48 ' west longitude in 74. Knowledge of the North American archipelago was significantly enhanced by this expedition.

Having already Samuel Hearne had in 1770 the mouth of the Copper Mine River and Alexander Mackenzie in 1780 reached the Mackenzie River, drove 1820 John Franklin, John Richardson and George Back to Copper Mine river and explored until 1821 and on a second trip in 1825 and 1826, the Arctic coast to Cape Barrow, where Frederick William Beechey at the same time a foray tried. Also Parry together with George Francis Lyon was again gone with the Fury and Hekla on the Hudson Strait and discovered, among other things Foxkanal, the Fury and Hecla - Street. On a second trip, the expedition lost the Fury and returned after a hard winter.

1829 Ross sailed with the paddle steamer Victory, the first steamer in the history of polar exploration, the Lancaster Sound at the expense of Sir Felix Booth, which was discovered in 1831 by his nephew James Clark Ross on the peninsula of Boothia Felix, the magnetic North Pole. 1833 had already spent three winters in the ice and the need to leave Victory, when Ross returned to a whaling boat. Over the next ten years, it was mainly the armed by the Hudson's Bay Company expedition under baking, but especially under Peter Warren Dease and Thomas Simpson, who explored the North American coast between Cape Barrow and Boothialand and recordings charted before John Rae 1846-1847 penetrated to the Boothia Gulf, and thus completed the discovery of the American Arctic coast.

An expedition that was mainly because of their tragic end of far-reaching importance, and for the first time directed the world's attention on the polar regions, was the John Franklin in 1845 (called the Franklin expedition ) who travels with Francis Crozier on the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror had. When they received no news of them by the end of 1847, England sent three expeditions:

  • Thomas Edward Laws Moore and Henry Kellett by the Bering Strait
  • Richardson and Rae overland from the Mackenziemündung from
  • James Ross and Bird with the Enterprise and Investigator after Barrow street

All efforts proved ultimately unsuccessful. As the British government set up 1850 20.000 pounds sterling and Lady Jane Franklin again £ 3,000 for the rescue of survivors from. After further tests, which cost a total of more life than the Franklin expedition had been members, was the first time in 1854 by Rae Inuit receive news about about 35 to 40 white people, many of whom should have died of hunger and exhaustion. In later years, at the request of Lady Franklin James Anderson and Stewart near King William Island written records to locate the end of the expedition.

Third phase

Since 1868, the North Pole expeditions almost exclusively for purely scientific purposes, the discovery of the supposed open Polar Sea served first. The Americans sent 1860 Captain Isaac Hayes after the Smith Sound. After he had wintered on the east coast, he reached Cape Lieber at 81 ° 35 ' and went back to Boston in 1861. The same path also hit ten years later, which is under Charles Francis Hall and Emil Bessel expedition one on the steamer Polaris.

Very well equipped was the English expedition under Nares and Clements Markham, who sailed in 1875 by the Smith Sound after the Kennedy Channel. On Sled trips a part of the west coast of Greenland was explored and Markham penetrated to 83 ° 20 ', the most northerly point hitherto reached before. The expedition returned to England in 1876, with the firm conviction that in this way to reach the North Pole was impossible.

Germany also now joined the Polar Research: Carl Koldewey penetrated on the First German Arctic expedition in 1868 with the small sailing yacht in the waters between Greenland and Spitsbergen the east coast of Greenland a. This was more of public perception as scientific knowledge. After all, came together in 1869 as much money that you could own a steamer Germania and a second strong ship, the Hansa equip. In the next expedition to the east coast of Greenland could greatly expand the physical and meteorological knowledge of the waters to the west of Spitsbergen. In particular, we explored the Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord on the east coast of Greenland. 1872 went from the steamer Tegetthoff under Carl Weyprecht and Julius Payer and a handpicked crew, in order to advance between Novaya Zemlya and Spitsbergen to the pole. Near the Russian islands of the steamer was, however, surrounded by ice and drove north until the archipelago of Franz Josef Land inhibited the ride. While Payer on sled runners explored the country Weyprecht made ​​meteorological and physical observations on board. 1874 returned the expedition members after they had to leave, back in their boats to Novaya Zemlya the ship. In Franz Josef Land wintered 1881/82 and the Englishman Benjamin Leigh Smith.

Significant importance was Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld expedition on the Vega ( 1878-1879 ), who solved the problem of the Northeast Passage final. He won on his journey from Norway to Japan on the north coast of Asia past, substantial scientific data, but at the same time proved that this route had no value for shipping. Concerns about the whereabouts Nordenskiöld had the Russian trade Mr. Sibiryakov prompted to equip a steamer to search for the Vega, but at Jesso (now Hokkaidō ) was shipwrecked. Even the owner of the New York Herald, Gordon Bennett, had the steamer Jeannette under George W. DeLong, John Wilson Danenhower and George W. Melville sent to the Bering Strait. By 1881 every report of the expedition of Jeannette remained, although to educate their own destiny several expeditions were sent out. Finally, we received the news of the sinking of the ship in autumn 1881. As it turned out after the return of the survivors, the Jeannette was on 13 June 1881 crushed by the ice, she had very soon surrounded and sunk. After a march over the ice, the members stood with their three remaining boats in the lake to reach the delta of the Lena. The crews of two boats found among the Tungus of Siberia recording while that of the third boat all succumbed to the hunger and the cold down to two German sailors. The complete elucidation of the fate of the crew of the steamer brought Rodgers Tracking Bennett 's expedition sent out by the U.S. correspondent for the New York Herald, William H. Gilder. He also published the diary DeLong.

Fourth phase

In a new stage in the Arctic research occurred when Carl Weyprecht on the meeting of natural scientists in Graz 1875, the view expressed that only through simultaneous action and monitoring of numerous fixed stations in the Arctic regions would be likely to succeed. In the following years it was decided to establish a series of scientific stations for hourly magnetic and meteorological records for the period of one year, the First International Polar Year 1882-1883. This approach involves all European countries ( except Italy and Spain) and the United States participating. A total of twelve stations in the Arctic and two stations were built in the sub-Antarctic. The stations were as follows:

  • Point Barrow, Alaska, and Fort Conger, Ellesmere Island ( by the USA)
  • Godthaab, Greenland ( by Denmark)
  • Jan Mayen ( by Austria )
  • Thordsen Cape, Spitsbergen ( by Sweden)
  • Bossekop ( by Norway)
  • Dikson ( the Netherlands)
  • Saga door and Malyje Karmakuly, Novaya Zemlya ( by Russia)
  • Kinguafjord, Baffin Island, and Moltke Harbour, South Georgia ( by Germany )
  • Fort Rae ( on Great Slave Lake, by the UK and Canada )
  • Sodankylä ( through Finland)
  • Orange Bay, Cape Horn ( by France)

Officially, the geographic North Pole was first reached by the U.S. researchers Robert Edwin Peary and Matthew Henson and the Inuits Sigloo, Eghingwah, Ooqueah and their leader Uutaaq on 6 April 1909. However, it is not considered scientifically that this group has the pole actually achieved. In addition to doubts about Peary's incomplete records ( the sheet for the day on which the North Pole was officially achieved is empty), there are other facts that nourish the suspicion that Peary had never reached the geographic North Pole: the Canadian captain and experienced navigator Robert Bartlett had to turn back at 87 ° 45 'N latitude, which Peary's measurements could be directly confirmed by anyone. The unsatisfactory because of the measurements and records even then burgeoning controversy prompted Roald Amundsen to make 1911 more extensive and more conscientious in his South Pole expedition measurements. The partially enormous daily stages are classified today as unrealistic by experienced polar explorers. Matthew Henson, Peary's the personal assistant, also reported in his memoirs that he had been at the North Pole shortly before Peary expedition leader and have taken it there. Together we wanted to clarify the question of who was probably first at the Pole. However, it is obviously never come to this understanding.

Besides those mentioned, also took the New York physician and Arctic explorer Frederick Cook can claim to have reached the North Pole first, and that shortly before Peary. Peary then launched a campaign that ultimately gave him right. A central part of this campaign was to expose Cook's first ascent of Mount McKinley as a forgery. Several inconsistencies suggest that Cook was never near the North Pole.

Only the flight over the North Pole in 1926 by Umberto Nobile, Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth on board the Norge is scientifically properly. Without a doubt, is further evidence that in 1937 a group of Soviet scientists under the direction of Ivan Papanin flew to the North Pole and it actually entered the environment of the pole. The first man to reach the pole demonstrably walk, 1969, the Briton Sir Walter William Herbert.