Norwegian–British–Swedish Antarctic Expedition

- 71.05 - 10.916666666667Koordinaten: 71 ° 3 '0 "S, 10 ° 55 ' 0 " W

The Norwegian - British - Swedish Antarctic Expedition (also known as NBSX or NBSAE ) ( 1949-1952 ) was the first Antarctic expedition, which was organized multinational. The team members were from Norway, Sweden and the Commonwealth. The organization of the expedition later served as a model for a number of other.


Inspired by the Swedish geographer Hans Wilhelmsson Ahlmann (1889-1974) and coordinated by Harald Ulrik Sverdrup, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, the expeditions was particularly the clarification of questions of the glacier budget, depending on the meteorological conditions. Here Norway was responsible for meteorology and land surveying, UK for the geology and Sweden for Glaciology. In addition, Norway wanted to substantiate his claim to this sector of the Antarctic.

The arrival happened to the 600 -ton seal hunting ship Norsel and the 23,000 -ton whaler Thorshøvdi, on the 62 sled dogs were included, of which only 44 survived the journey. In addition, two light aircraft of the type " oyster" of the Royal Air Force were included to explore purposes. On land, a kind of snowmobile was used to bring tons of material from the discharge station to the base camp. On excursions into the interior, these alternated with the dogs. In January 1951, presented the Swedish Air Force two aircraft.

For the entire duration of the expedition was to the northeast of Cape Norvegia the base camp Maudheim 71 ° 3 ' S, 10 ° 55' W 71.05 set - 10.916666666667 for 15-member winter team led by John Giæver ( 1901-1970 ). Here are two station houses that were used for living and working, a generator hut, a workshop, a drill and a radio hut hut were built. The Huskies were housed in a snow tunnel. About 320 kilometers inland the Advance Base 72 ° 17 ' S, 3 ° 48' W 72.283333333333 - 3.8 was established. This was not always manned and served mainly to support the excursion team. In addition, a network of depots was built.

Of these bases from numerous trips were made, of which lasted the longest 80 days. On these excursions glaciological and geological investigations were carried out, but it was also a triangulation survey, which should serve the evaluation of aerial photographs. The reconnaissance flights were but little success because of bad weather and had to be canceled after the crash landing of a Swedish aircraft.

The expedition yielded some surprising results. Seismic Eisdickemessungen showed that under the uniform ice surface is a rugged mountainous country with numerous fjords. Still 250 km from the coast was a 700 m deep fjord be detected. The ice had in places a thickness of 2,400 m. Ahlmann's assumption that the thickness of glaciers has decreased over the past could be confirmed.

Over a period of almost 23 months of meteorological data were erfastt, especially in the free atmosphere by the rise of a total of 650 radiosondes regularly. Moreover, the reaction of the human organism to the Antarctic climate was medically examined.

On February 24, 1951, came to a tragic accident. In dense fog Bertil Ekstrom, Leslie quarter, Stig Hallgren and John Jelbart drove her snowmobile on the ice edge and plunged into the Norselbucht. Hallgren it to save themselves on a 200 m distant ice floe, while the others were drowned succeeded. He was rescued 13 hours later.


  • John Giæver (1901-1970) - Norwegian, head of the wintering team
  • Valter Schytt (1919-1985) - Swede, Chefglaziologe, Second Officer
  • Gordon de Quetteville Robin (1921-2004) - Australian geophysicist, Third mate
  • Nils Jørgen Schumacher ( born 1919 ) - Norwegians, Chief Meteorologist
  • Gösta Liljequist (1914-1995) - Swede, Assistenzmeteorologe
  • Ernest Frederick Roots ( * 1923) - Canadians, Chief Geologist
  • Alan Reece (1921-1960) - Briton, assistant geologist
  • Charles Swithinbank (* 1926) - Briton, Assistenzglaziologe
  • Nils Roer (* 1914) - Norwegian surveyor
  • Ove Wilson (1921-1981) - Swede, physicians
  • Bertil Ekström (1919-1951) - Swede, mechanical engineer, died in an accident on February 24, 1951
  • Egil Rogstad (1908-1987) - Norwegian radio in Charge
  • Peter Melleby ( * 1917 ) - Norwegian responsible for the dogs
  • Leslie quarter (1923-1951) - Briton, radio operator, died in an accident on February 24, 1951
  • John Snarby (1922 -? ) - Norwegians, Steward, departed in January 1951

Additional members who joined in January 1951 to the team:

  • Stig Hallgren (* 1925) - Swede, Photographer
  • John Jelbart (1926-1951) - Australian physicist, died in an accident on February 24, 1951
  • Bjarne Lorentzen (* 1900) - Norwegian Steward