It was during this trip that he, Scott, and another companion set a new southern record (82°S), which Shackleton would better just a few years later during the Nimrod expedition (88°S). In 1914, his ship, , Endurance Immediately understanding the extent of this new misfortune, Shackleton had no choice but to order his crew to leave Endurance and start building a camp on a nearby floe of ice, while salvaging as much material and food as possible. Now, those on board removed their last remaining belongings from the ship and set up camp on the ice. The ship was made specifically for the purpose of travelling through Arctic conditions and waters, with a thick rounded hull for smashing through ice. Nine days later, the ship (both prophetically and ironically—for reasons you’ll discover soon—named Endurance) reached the first stop of the journey: the Grytviken whaling station on South Georgia. Lansing describes Shackleton’s appearance in a vivid manner: He was now forty years old, of medium height and thick of neck, with broad, heavy shoulders a trifle stooped, and dark brown hair parted in the center. “Some of the party have quite given up hope of her coming.” Orde-Lees was clearly one of them. There was nothing else to do but to establish a routine and wait out the winter. In 1914, Ernest Shackleton led an expedition in an attempt to become the first to cross Antarctica on foot. On October 27, 1915, it finally succumbed: the ice started crushing the boat. WATCH: Full episodes of History's Greatest Mysteries online now and tune in for all-new episodes Saturdays at 9/8c. In December 1914, the ship Endurance set sail from a remote whaling station on an island off the southern tip of Argentina. “It is a return to the Ice Age—no warmth, no life, no movement. Their record for exploration “had been perhaps unparalleled among the nations of the earth,” and now they had to take “a humiliating second-best” to a much less-renowned country. Sounds simple. That happened in December 1911, when a highly prepared Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen decisively beat the (ironically) better-remembered one led by a British Royal Navy Officer named Robert Falcon Scott. He edited a weekly newspaper between 1946 and 1949, before joining the United Press and becoming a freelance writer in 1952. But, restless and resolute as he was, just a few years later, he turned to the “one great object of Antarctic journeyings” remaining: transatlantic journey, i.e., crossing Antarctica from the Wendell Sea via the South Pole to McMurdo Sound. . But after Shackleton’s ship, HMS Endurance, was trapped by pack ice—and slowly succumbed to its crushing pressure—the expedition's fate, and that of its crew, looked bleak. December 5, 1914, would be the last time Shackleton and his crew would touch land for the next 497 days. It had been 128 days since the James Caird had left; within an hour of the Yelcho appearing, all ashore had broken camp and left Elephant Island behind. His charisma, ability to focus his team’s minds and lead them through a physically and emotionally difficult situation to safety, is what keeps people coming back for me. How Shackleton and his men then made their escape on foot and in lifeboats is the stuff of legend. Unfortunately, just two days later it encountered the first ice pack on their journey. By late October 1915, still frozen immobile in the enormous ice pack, Endurance drifted over 500 nautical miles to the north-east. It was almost as if he had nothing to accomplish anymore. Do you want to hear all about the last major expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration? Well, maybe it’s best if we dedicate the first two sections of our summary to answering this question. While this was being done, the Weddell Sea group would be sledding toward the Pole, living on their own rations. No matter what the odds, a man does not pin his last hope for survival on something and then expect that it will fail. Help was almost at hand; but this, too, was not the end. Soon after, to the dismay of the crew, the ice floe begins to break, and Shackleton has to plan a trip to some kind of a nearby land—using nothing more than three lifeboats. For several weeks, the ship poked and prodded its way through leads in the ice, gingerly making its way south; but on January 18, a northerly gale pressed the pack hard against the land and pushed the floes tight against each other. Hundred years after the original expedition, Shackleton’s endeavor is even more interesting to people who investigate the traits and essence of great leadership. Unfortunately, they reach land there on the far side of the island. Whalers there reported something portentous: the conditions in the Weddell Sea were the worst they could remember. To stop this from happening and neutralize the depression as much as possible, Shackleton organized Sunday evening gramophone concerts and monthly lectures by the Endurance’s photographers, among many other jolly events that helped the sailors keep their spirits up. They eat penguins and seals, occasionally killing dogs as well, to conserve food. It is only due to Shackleton’s ability to motivate his people that the crew hasn’t given up altogether at this point. To history buffs and readers of exploration literature, this period is mostly known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. The men on the British expedition to Antarctica endured entrapment, hunger, … “Down into valleys, up to tossing heights, straining until her seams opened, swung our little boat.”. Shackleton’s plan—which owed a lot to an abandoned one penned by Scottish explorer, William Speirs Bruce—looked something like this: Shackleton’s plan was to take a ship [named Endurance] into the Weddell Sea and land a sledding party of six men and seventy dogs near Vahsel Bay, approximately 78° South, 36° West. His gray-blue eyes, like his mouth, could come alight with fun or darken into a steely and frightening gaze. Welcome back to our series on the libraries of famous men.. Part of explorer Ernest Shackleton’s genius for leadership, was how keenly he understood the way in which idleness can destroy men’s morale.Thus when his ship, the Endurance, became stuck in pack ice en route to a planned Antarctic expedition, he didn’t let his men simply sit on their hands. Finally, the men reach the Stromness whaling station, and Worsley immediately sails back to pick up the three men left behind. Once the other three members of the James Caird had been retrieved, attention turned to rescuing the 22 men remaining on Elephant Island. After six miserable days, the three lifeboats land on Elephant Island on April 15, the first time that the 28 men touch solid ground after precisely 497 days! All of her crew survived. So, merely a few days after reaching South Georgia, the exhausted Shackleton, Crean and Worsley—facing the fact that the James Caird is now too unseaworthy to use it to go round the island—set out on yet another dangerous and never-before-done journey to reach the Stromness whaling station by crossing South Georgia on foot! Ernest Shackleton never did reach the South Pole or cross Antarctica. There was no conceivable circumstance under which three strangers could possibly appear from nowhere at the whaling station, and certainly not from the direction of the mountains. He was sent home early due to bad health. And so Shackleton, Worsley and Tom Crean set off to reach it by foot—climbing over mountains and sliding down glaciers, forging a path that no human being had ever forged before, until, after 36 hours of desperate hiking, they staggered into the station at Stromness. “In all the world there is no desolation more complete than the polar night,” writes Lansing. However, when Amundsen reached the Farthest South latitude (90°S) on December 15, 1911, Shackleton was a bit shackled. He was just 47. Endurance was beset—in the words of one of the crew, Thomas Orde-Lees, “frozen like an almond in the middle of a chocolate bar.”. Shackleton is not: he knows that this is merely the beginning of the rescue journey. In 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton leads twenty-seven men on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. For a reason: during the Heroic Age, no less than 17 major Antarctic expeditions were launched from 10 different countries of the world. “It’s time to get off.”. It will be a greater journey than the journey to the Pole and back, and I feel it is up to the British nation to accomplish this, for we have been beaten at the conquest of the North Pole and beaten at the first conquest of the South Pole. With Liam Neeson, Julian Ayer, John Blackborow, David Cale. Through it all, Captain Worsley navigated through the spray and the squalls, until after six days at sea, Clarence and Elephant Islands appeared just 30 miles ahead. Shackleton joined the merchant navy at an early age and become obsessed with reaching Antarc-tica after he was forced to return home due to an illness on his way to Antarctica. Shackleton—for reasons explained above—barely even took this into consideration. Endurance may have been the name of Shackleton’s ship, but it’s almost the strapline for his entire expedition, too. Kieran Mulvaney is the author of At the Ends of the Earth: A History of the Polar Regions, and, most recently, The Great White Bear: A Natural & Unnatural History of the Polar Bear. Other caches of rations along the route would keep them supplied until they arrived at the McMurdo Sound base. South: The Endurance Expedition, by Ernest Shackleton. She was launched in 1912 from Sandefjord in Norway; three years later, she was crushed by pack ice and sank in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica. Shackleton was bold and daring when approaching lords, kings, business men and physicians for sponsoring his voyage He was confident of his abilities as a leader Pictured to the right: Frank Worsley, Ernest Shackleton, and Tom Crean After the Voyage of the Endurance (1917) And yet here they were: their hair and beards stringy and matted, their faces blackened with soot from blubber stoves and creased from nearly two years of stress and privation. Frank Wild, Shackleton’s second-in-command, wrote that “at least half the party were insane.” Yet they rowed resolutely toward their goal, and on April 15, they clambered ashore on Elephant Island. Freezing water began to rush in. He spoke softly and somewhat slowly in an indefinite baritone, with just the recollection of a brogue from his County Kildare birth. Written Case Study - Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and the Epic Voyage of the Endurance This case study analyzes how a prominent English polar explorer and his team of 27 men survived an expedition to Antarctica that went dramatically and dangerously awry. To make matters even worse, the ice had thickened in the meantime and Endurance had to endure much more pressure from the surrounding pack. We’… About a day later, the three men are stirred to hear the sound of a factory whistle: A peculiar thing to stir a man—the sound of a factory whistle heard on a mountainside. The men on the British expedition to Antarctica endured entrapment, hunger, frigid weather, angry seas—and near madness. He launched one more expedition to the Antarctic, but the Endurance veterans who rejoined him noticed he appeared weaker, more diffident, drained of the spirit that had kept them alive. Finally, on August 30, 1916, during his 4th rescue attempt aboard the steam tug Yelcho (loaned to him by the Chilean government), Shackleton reaches Elephant Island and rescues all 22 remaining members of his original expedition, 2 years and 22 days since leaving England. Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and the Epic Voyage of the Endurance Essay Example. Twenty months after setting out for the Antarctic, every one of the Endurance crew was alive and safe. But Shackleton procured a third ship, the Yelcho, from Chile; and finally, on August 30, 1916, the saga of the Endurance and its crew came to an end. The likelihood of anybody coming across them was vanishingly small, and so after nine days of recuperation and preparation, Shackleton, Worsley and four others set out in one of the lifeboats, the James Caird, to seek help from a whaling station on South Georgia, more than 800 miles away. All year, the ship had been trapped, the ice pushing and pinching the hull, the wood howling in protest. We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app for more amazing summaries and audiobooks. From the moment Ernest Shackleton and his crew aboard the British expedition ship, HMS Endurance had become immobilized 10 months earlier, they had been preparing for this moment. The County Kildare man died having become one of Ireland's best-known explorers of the Polar Regions. And by “beautifully written,” we mean “written in a way they don’t write books anymore”: Lansing’s prose belongs more to the 19th century than to the modern age, but that should be off-putting only to those who, unlike the protagonist of the book, are not persistent and tenacious enough to swim through the breathtaking layers of meaning and reach the surface both richer and more perceptive.A classic of exploration literature, Endurance is a story of heroic failure, and since heroic failure touches people even more than heroic success, it’s bound to remain engraved in your memory for quite some time. Born on February 15, 1874, in Ireland, Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton is now widely considered one of the principal figures of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. With Walter Modell, Lansing co-authored one of the last books from the Life Science Library, Drugs (1967). Though some of them had scientific interests, the primary object of most of these expeditions was, interestingly, to become the first expedition to reach the geographic South Pole. And old Norwegian whaler recoded the scene when the three men stood before the station manager Thoralf Sørlle: “Manager say: ‘Who the hell are you?’ And the terrible bearded man in the center of the three say very quietly: ‘My name is Shackleton.’ Me – I turn away and weep.”. Of all their enemies—the cold, the ice, the sea—he feared none more than demoralization. Endurance had left South Georgia for Antarctica on December 5, 1914, carrying 27 men (plus one stowaway, who became ship’s steward), 69 dogs, and a tomcat erroneously dubbed Mrs. Chippy. In a way, Shackleton used this to his benefit while soliciting funds for his Trans-Antarctic expedition, playing “heavily on this matter of prestige, making it his primary argument for such an expedition. Some of the younger dogs, too small to pull their weight, were shot, as was, to the chagrin of many, the unfortunate Mrs. Chippy. Boost your life and career with the best book summaries. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. The next day, the wind eased off and they made it ashore. Koehn, Nancy F., Erica Helms, and Philip Mead. 1, and Emma), Shackleton embarks on a series of unsuccessful rescue attempts to reach Elephant Island, where the other men of his crew have, in the meantime, all but given up on hope. Strenuous endeavors are made to free the Endurance from the ice, February 1915. From the Pole they would proceed to the vicinity of the mighty Beardmore Glacier where they would replenish their supplies at the southernmost depot laid down by the Ross Sea party. 12min Team | Posted on November 7, 2019 |. He had a wide, sensuous but expressive mouth that could curl into a laugh or tighten into a thin fixed line with equal facility. In 1914, explorer Ernest Shackleton and his team of 27 men set off to become the first people to cross Antarctica on foot. In December, 1914, the expedition, aboard the purpose-built polar exploration ship Endurance, enters the pack ice of the Weddell Sea off the coast of Antarctica some 1,100 nautical miles east of the Palmer Peninsula. It threw freezing spray in their faces and tossed frigid water over them, and it batted the boats from side to side and brought brave men to the fetal position as they battled the elements and seasickness. The mission is not complete, though: there are 22 men still on Elephant Island and they are all waiting to be saved. From there a small party, including himself, would set out on the first crossing of the continent, ultimately arriving at the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand, where another group would be waiting for them, having laid depots of food and fuel along the way. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. At more or less the same time, a second ship [named Aurora] would put into McMurdo Sound in the Ross Sea, almost directly across the continent from the Weddell Sea base. The extremely dangerous journey lasts for two weeks. It headed south toward Antarctica, where famed British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton hoped to lead the first crossing of the Antarctic continent on foot. Yet, after all that had gone before, this final task in many ways proved to be the most trying and time-consuming of all. Tom Crean, with a litter of sledge dog puppies on the Endurance. He was, above all, an explorer in the classic mold—utterly self-reliant, romantic, and just a little swashbuckling.”. On April 9, it did just that, splitting beneath them with an almighty crack. Grab a book and BOOST your learning routine. #BLACKFRIDAY 12min - Get your career back on track! They had been within a day’s sailing of their landing place; now the drift of the ice was slowly pushing them farther away with each passing day. Sir Ernest Shackleton. But their ordeal was far from over. “There is no good in deceiving ourselves any longer,” he wrote. Only those who have experienced it can fully appreciate what it means to be without the sun day after day and week after week. Ernest Shackleton died on this day, January 5, 1922, aged just 47. The plan was to sail his ship, the Endurance, to Argentina, then on to Antarctica, then walk across the continent where another crew would pick them up. Sir Ernest Shackleton, the intrepid explorer, is best remembered for embarking on a fateful voyage aboard the Endurance in a bid to cross the Antarctic. Explorer Frank Wild (1873 - 1939) looking at the wreckage of the Endurance, 1915. During the next month or so, everything was stockpiled on the floe. Few men unaccustomed to it can fight off its effects all together, and it has driven some men mad.”. Suddenly, there was no way forward, nor any way back. In 1914, a ship called Endurance set sail from Argentina. All Rights Reserved. Just eight years later, he died, aged 54. Shackleton gave the order to break camp and launch the boats, and all at once, they were finally free of the ice that had alternately bedeviled and supported them. , a ship called Endurance set sail on October 27, 1915, Endurance drifted over 500 miles... # BLACKFRIDAY 12min - get your career back on track skies, he! Before joining the United Press and becoming a freelance writer in 1952 LLC. And fairness entered the pack ice—the barrier of thick Sea ice that stands guard around the,..., February 1915 turn for the third time, but all of them would prove be... Months after setting out for the Antarctic lifeboats is the stuff of legend alight with fun or darken into steely! 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