“Eagerly on the lookout for the relief ship,” recorded Macklin on August 16, 1916. In 1914, a ship called Endurance set sail from Argentina. The men on the island were settling down to a lunch of boiled seal’s backbone when they spied the Yelcho just off the coast. “In all the world there is no desolation more complete than the polar night,” writes Lansing. 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. His first experience of the polar regions came relatively early: he was in his 20s when he was assigned the role of third officer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s landmark Discovery expedition of 1901–1904 that was organized by the British Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society with the objective of carrying out scientific research and geographical exploration of the untouched continent. “The floe has been a good friend to us,” wrote Shackleton in his diary, “but it is reaching the end of its journey, and is liable at any time now to break up.”. Sounds simple. While there, they would make a few attempts to sled over the ice, but all of them would prove to be unsuccessful. After his death, the name of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton—who died in debts due to many failed business endeavors—was largely forgotten by both his compatriots and the world, contrary to that of his one-time captain and longtime rival afterward, Robert Falcon Scott. If you are interested in the history of exploration – and especially the exploration of the Antarctic region during the first quarter of the 20th century – then Endurance is one of the classic books on the subject. Learn more … And with that, they turned north one last time and went home. 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. It was almost as if he had nothing to accomplish anymore. With his death, Wild took the ship to Antarctica; but it proved unequal to the task, and after a month spent futilely attempting to penetrate the pack, he set a course for Elephant Island. The storms had pushed the James Caird off course, and they had landed on the other side of the island from the whaling station. 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! Directed by George Butler. 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. 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. Unfortunately, just two days later it encountered the first ice pack on their journey. However, in the decades that followed, things changed, and nowadays it is Scott whose heroism and leadership qualities are often questioned, while Shackleton’s name has become almost synonymous with the word “leadership.” Like this summary? In December 1914, the ship Endurance set sail from a remote whaling station on an island off the southern tip of Argentina. Few men unaccustomed to it can fight off its effects all together, and it has driven some men mad.”. “She’s going, boys,” came the cry. But their ordeal was far from over. #BLACKFRIDAY 12min - Get your career back on track! “Once more I see the old faces & hear the old voices—old friends scattered everywhere,” wrote Macklin. But for them, it was the first sound from the outside world that they had heard since December 1914—seventeen unbelievable months before. Shackleton—for reasons explained above—barely even took this into consideration. During the next month or so, everything was stockpiled on the floe. Ernest Shackleton, like all of us, is as flawed as he is brilliant, or as flawed as he is effective. There was nothing else to do but to establish a routine and wait out the winter. Lupoid, one of Shackleton's sledge dogs, named for his resemblance to a wolf. In the time that passed between abandoning Endurance and watching the ice swallow it up completely, the crew salvaged as many provisions as they could, while sacrificing anything and everything that added weight or would consume valuable resources— including bibles, books, clothing, tools and keepsakes. 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. 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. 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.”. There’s a reason why people remember Alfred Lansing for this book, and why they remember Shackleton’s failed expedition primarily through it: Endurance is an exceptionally researched and beautifully written book on a topic. “The boat tossed interminably on the big waves under grey, threatening skies,” recorded Shackleton. However, when Amundsen reached the Farthest South latitude (90°S) on December 15, 1911, Shackleton was a bit shackled. The British didn’t take the news of the Norwegians reaching the South Pole before them lightly. 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. . There now remains the largest and most striking of all journeys—the crossing of the Continent.”. 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. Grab a book and BOOST your learning routine. “The Boss may come today!” he declared daily. On September 3, 1916, the Yelcho reaches Punta Arenas, with all 28 members of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition aboard. On August 1, 1914, aboard the Endurance, Shackleton would set sail for Antarctica for the third time. 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. Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) was a British explorer most famous for his Endurance expedition to Antarctica (Larson, 2011). Things took a turn for the worst when the news of Robert Falcon Scott’s tragic death reached England. Of course, not everybody was impressed: in some circles, this undertaking was criticized not only as being too “audacious,” but also being kind of “impossible.” Perhaps it had been both. Some of the younger dogs, too small to pull their weight, were shot, as was, to the chagrin of many, the unfortunate Mrs. Chippy. Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the "Endurance" set sail for Antarctica in 1914. His gray-blue eyes, like his mouth, could come alight with fun or darken into a steely and frightening gaze. Once the other three members of the James Caird had been retrieved, attention turned to rescuing the 22 men remaining on Elephant Island. The Stunning Survival Story of Ernest Shackleton and His Endurance Crew. While this was being done, the Weddell Sea group would be sledding toward the Pole, living on their own rations. He edited a weekly newspaper between 1946 and 1949, before joining the United Press and becoming a freelance writer in 1952. 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). “It’s time to get off.”. Freezing water began to rush in. 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. 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. Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and the Epic Voyage of the Endurance Essay Example. 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. The Patience Camp would be the crew’s home for the first third of 1916. After Roald Admunsen had reached the Pole, Ernest Shackleton was still craving an Antarctic quest, and set himself the challenge of being the first man to cross Antarctica, by land, through the South Pole, from the Weddell Sea to … In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton led an expedition to Antarctica but soon after arrival, Shackleton's ship--The Endurance--was destroyed by shifting glaciers, and he was tasked with leading his 27 men across the tundra, on an epic struggle for survival. Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance . Worsley had by that stage not slept for 80 hours. In March 1916, the ice floe where the Patience Camp is located successfully makes its way to about 60 miles from Paulet Island, but impassable conditions make floating to the island all but an impossible goal. Endurance may have been the name of Shackleton’s ship, but it’s almost the strapline for his entire expedition, too. 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. His companions grew increasingly dispirited and doubtful. After his death, the name of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton—who died in debts due to many failed business endeavors—was largely forgotten by both his compatriots and the world, contrary to that of his one-time captain and longtime rival afterward, Robert Falcon Scott. Frank Worsley, Captain of the Endurance and navigator on the James Caird.Seen here on board the Endurance In 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton leads twenty-seven men on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Ernest Shackleton, Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer who attempted to reach the South Pole. Finally, the men reach the Stromness whaling station, and Worsley immediately sails back to pick up the three men left behind. The next day, the wind eased off and they made it ashore. The men on the British expedition to Antarctica endured entrapment, hunger, … FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Koehn, Nancy F., Erica Helms, and Philip Mead. Unfortunately, they reach land there on the far side of the island. 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. Well, maybe it’s best if we dedicate the first two sections of our summary to answering this question. Hundred years after the original expedition, Shackleton’s endeavor is even more interesting to people who investigate the traits and essence of great leadership. This one they couldn’t get through: they got stuck immobile inside and had no choice but to leave Endurance drift away with the pack ice for the next several months. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Where the Endurance went down is well known; the … On October 27, 1915, it finally succumbed: the ice started crushing the boat. 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.”. Shackleton Endurance Expedition - Timeline In 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton, an established Polar explorer of the heroic age, set out on another Antarctic expedition - this time to cross the Antarctic continent. It is only due to Shackleton’s ability to motivate his people that the crew hasn’t given up altogether at this point. Explorer Frank Wild (1873 - 1939) looking at the wreckage of the Endurance, 1915. 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. He was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. The County Kildare man died having become one of Ireland's best-known explorers of the Polar Regions. Boost your life and career with the best book summaries. He worked as a journalist for some time in Britain and was elected secretary of the Scottish Royal … And then he adds something even more central about his character, something almost superhuman in an Ahab-or-Santiago-kind-of-way: “Whatever his mood—whether it was gay and breezy, or dark with rage—he had one pervading characteristic: he was purposeful.”. No matter what the odds, a man does not pin his last hope for survival on something and then expect that it will fail. Do you want to hear all about the last major expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration? Now they had a new foe to contend with: the open ocean. Endurance was the three-masted barquentine in which Sir Ernest Shackleton and a crew of 27 men and one cat sailed for the Antarctic on the 1914–1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. 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) Eventually, they lost sight of land completely: in fact, due to the Weddell Sea current, they started circling back to South Georgia and they were further and further away not only from their target but also from any land whatsoever. December 5, 1914, would be the last time Shackleton and his crew would touch land for the next 497 days. All year, the ship had been trapped, the ice pushing and pinching the hull, the wood howling in protest. 59° 46' S., long. During this time period,the Endurance is pummeled by enormous ice floes on a consistent basis, and ultimately is damaged beyond repair and sinks in November 1915. Against the advice of experienced whalers whom he meets in South Georgia en route to his destination, Shackleton proceeds with his plan to cross the Weddell Sea. The fact they drifted about 60 nautical miles from their intended target didn’t matter much: it was bearable. Shackleton and his twenty-seven crew members abandon the boat and … Now, those on board removed their last remaining belongings from the ship and set up camp on the ice. Twenty-five days later, what remained of the wreck convulsed once more, and the Endurance disappeared beneath the ice forever. Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton CVO OBE FRGS FRSGS (/ ˈ ʃ æ k ə l t ə n /; 15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was an Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. Frank Hurley/Royal Geographical Society/Getty Images. The government of Uruguay proffered a vessel that came within 100 miles of Elephant Island before being beaten back by the ice. First discovered by a Russian expedition in 1820, the continent of Antarctica became an object of fascination for numerous explorers around the world during the last years of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century. With Walter Modell, Lansing co-authored one of the last books from the Life Science Library, Drugs (1967). 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. Hoping that a new ice floe will drift them to safety, on December 29, Shackleton sets a new camp on another ice pack, and dubs him “The Patience Camp.”. 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. Yet, after all that had gone before, this final task in many ways proved to be the most trying and time-consuming of all. Alfred Lansing was an American journalist and writer, best known for his 1957 classic, Endurance. 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. South With Endurance The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914 – 1917. The ship was made specifically for the purpose of travelling through Arctic conditions and waters, with a thick rounded hull for smashing through ice. But, very soon—in the middle of January 1915, to be exact—they happened upon another ice pack, some 200 miles from Vahsel Bay. The men on the British expedition to Antarctica endured entrapment, hunger, frigid weather, angry seas—and near madness. Ernest Shackleton died on this day, January 5, 1922, aged just 47. The Endurance in young sea ice. He was, above all, an explorer in the classic mold—utterly self-reliant, romantic, and just a little swashbuckling.”. And while some were crippled by seasickness, others were wracked with dysentery. We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that Nature renders. 1-Page Summary of Endurance In 1914, Ernest Shackleton led an expedition in an attempt to become the first to cross Antarctica on foot. But also, at this point, Shackleton’s crew’s only hope. Frank Hurley/Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge/Getty Images. 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. 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. Two days after leaving South Georgia, Endurance entered the pack ice—the barrier of thick sea ice that stands guard around the Antarctic continent. 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. The 28 men spent months drifting on ice floes and traversing the Southern Ocean in … All Rights Reserved. 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. A voyage of this magnitude and consequence has never been attempted before. See why. It was the first time they had been on dry land since leaving South Georgia 497 days previously. Other caches of rations along the route would keep them supplied until they arrived at the McMurdo Sound base. Since the floe to which Shackleton’s crew had initially set a camp had also crumbled under pressure in the meantime, the crew had to relocate. To make matters worse, soon the Antarctic summer (which coincides with our winter) ended and the endless polar nights began. © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Sir Ernest Shackleton. Of all their enemies—the cold, the ice, the sea—he feared none more than demoralization. Ernest Henry Shackleton was born on 15 February 1874 in County Kildare, Ireland. 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. 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. In 1914, explorer Ernest Shackleton and his team of 27 men set off to become the first people to cross Antarctica on foot. Though remote and uninhabited, Elephant Island is much more reliable than a lifeboat or an ice floe, so the crew is happy and relieved. and accommodate ourselves to a state of barbarism is wonderful. The goal of expedition leader Shackleton, who had twice fallen short—once agonizingly so—of reaching the South Pole, was to establish a base on Antarctica’s Weddell Sea coast. After lengthy preparation, everyone is excited for the adventure. 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