Shackleton The Endurance And The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

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Shackleton, the Endurance and the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

How Shackleton had planned his Expedition couldn’t have been any more different than how it turned out. Not only did he not cross the Antarctic continent nor did he reach the South Pole. Shackleton, from previous experiences could have expected that. The fact that he didn’t reach the South Pole was something else. The trans-Antarctic expedition making him famous because of his absolute failure was something he would have never expected. Nor the fact that his successful leadership style, that saved his whole crew, would be studied over a 100 years later. This article is about The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition and the reasons and influences that drove him to attempt this significant task. Although he failed his legacy will live.

Overview of expedition
Shackleton’s aim for the “Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition” was to stop via the South Georgia Norwegian whaling station. The plan for the Endurance was then to sail through the Weddell Sea to Vahsel bay. 6 men (including Shackleton) would walk the 2900 Kilometres across Antarctica to the top of Beardmore Glacier via the South Pole to meet and meet up with Ross sea party. If all went to plan they would return home having been the first to cross the last continent.
The Endurance left London on the 1st August which was the same day World War 1 start. He offers his ship and men to the war effort but receives a reply in a telegram, ‘proceed’. The endurance then travelled via Buenos Aires (to pick up their remaining crew), to the South Georgia whaling station. After spending a month their preparing and waiting the ice to thaw, the Endurance leaves South Georgia at 8:45, 5th December 1914 (despite be...

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... Macklin recalled “We could see our base, maddening, tantalizing, Shackleton at this time showed one of his sparks of real greatness. He did not rage at all, or show outwardly the slightest sign of disappointment, he told us simply and calmly that we must winter in the Pack, explained its dangers and possibilities: never lost his optimism and prepared for winter.” And because of this calm leadership and optimism he managed to get all of his men back home.
According to the American Museum of Natural History, the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition won all expedition members the Polar Medal, a prestigious award. However Shackleton refused it to 6 members including New Zealander, Henry Mc Nish.
But the biggest achievement was that all men of the endurance expedition survived, and that through that Shackleton made loyal companions and friends for the rest of his life.
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