Second German Antarctic Expedition

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lottery ticket (1912)

The Second German Antarctic Expedition from 1911 to 1912 was a research trip with the aim of crossing the continent of Antarctica by land across the geographic South Pole. It was directed by the geophysicist Wilhelm Filchner . Richard Vahsel , the captain of the expedition ship Germany , died on this voyage. The patron of the expedition was the aged Bavarian Prince Regent Luitpold . They were financed by private donations and the income from a special state lottery.

Course of the expedition

Germany left Bremerhaven on May 4, 1911 . After a stopover to replenish supplies in Buenos Aires , where the expedition leader also went on board, she set course for South Georgia on October 4, 1911 , which she reached on October 18, 1911. After a research stay of 48 days in Grytviken there , where extensive research on various scientific subjects had already been carried out, she set out for the Weddell Sea on December 1, 1911 , her route taking her past the South Sandwich Islands .

On January 30, 1912, the occupation of Germany discovered a previously unknown region in the south of Coatsland , which Filchner named Prinzregent-Luitpold-Land after the patron of the research trip  . Then the barque reached the southernmost point of its voyage. On January 31, 1912, the researchers sighted the southern boundary of the Weddell Sea at 78 ° S, an ice barrier that Filchner initially named after Kaiser Wilhelm II , who later changed the name to Filchner Ice Shelf (today: Filchner-Ronne-Ice Shelf ). On February 9th, the construction of a station building for wintering began there in Vahsel Bay , but shortly before its completion on February 17th, part of the ice shelf suddenly broke off and fell into the sea. The building was badly damaged and the Deutschland had to keep a safe distance. The equipment from the station that had to be abandoned could just about be recovered and brought back to the ship with the help of the dinghies. Further attempts to land in order to create the conditions for wintering on the ice shelf were unsuccessful and the researchers had to stay on the ship.

The subsequent wintering, the Germany survived unscathed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, from which she, drifting to the west and north, remained enclosed from March 6, 1912 to November 26, 1912, so that the realization of the actual goals of the research trip was no longer possible was. At least observatories could be set up on the ice near the ship, free balloon , tethered balloon and kite ascents were possible, and deep-sea plumbing could also be carried out routinely.

In December 1912, the ship returned to South Georgia, where Filchner declared the expedition over. This dissolution of the expedition in Grytviken took place, as it was said, “ with side effects similar to mutiny ”. During the nine-month drift drive, there had been such massive tensions between the expedition members that an originally planned continuation of the expedition had become an illusion. Despite this scandal, and although the actual expedition goal could not be achieved, the Second German Antarctic Expedition is by no means a fiasco, but a success. After all, Filchner and his team had collected enormous amounts of scientific data and, with the discovery of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and the Prinzregent-Luitpold Land, gained important new insights into the topography of the Antarctic.

Scientific participants

Postage stamp souvenir vignette for the 75th anniversary of the expedition (1986)
  • Wilhelm Filchner (1877–1957), cruise and expedition leader, geodesist, Asia researcher
  • Erich Barkow (1882–1923), meteorologist
  • Wilhelm Brennecke (1875–1924), oceanographer
  • Fritz Heim (1887–1980), geologist
  • After the expedition was disbanded in Grytviken in December 1912, Alfred Kling , navigator, took over the Germany as captain.
  • Felix König (1880–1945), alpinist
  • Ludwig Kohl (1884–1969), expedition doctor, had to be left behind on Grytviken in 1911. Wilhelm von Goeldel took over his function.
  • Hans Lohmann (1863–1934), marine biologist and zoologist, only on board as far as Buenos Aires.
  • Erich Przybyllok (1880–1954), geomagnetic and astronomer
  • Heinrich Seelheim (1884–1964), geographer; Chief scientist on the first leg of the journey to Pernambuco
  • Willi Ule (1861–1940), geographer and limnologist, only on board as far as Pernambuco.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. a b Reinhard A. Krause: For the centenary of the German Antarctic Expedition under the direction of Wilhelm Filchner, 1911–1912 (PDF; 28.36 MB). In: Polar Research . Volume 81, No. 2, 2011 (published 2012), pp. 103–126.
  2. The bird world of the Antarctic Peninsula 23 days / 22 nights with: birdingtours ( Naturschutzbund Deutschland ); Retrieved July 16, 2013
  3. P. Bjørvik: Experiences in the North and South Seas .- Translation of the handwritten Norwegian title: Oplevelser i Nord og Sydishavet av Paul Björvik .- NPOLAR Dagbøker, DAG-008, Norsk Polarinstitutt, Oslo 1913, pp. 1-66 (p. 57)
  4. ^ U. Rack: Social-historical study on polar research based on German and Austro-Hungarian polar expeditions between 1868-1939 (PDF; 28.7 MB). In: Reports on polar and marine research 618, 2010, p. 77
  5. In mid-July 1912 Wilhelm Filchner had apparently been intensively involved in planning the continuation of the expedition. See: W. Filchner, To the sixth continent. The second German south polar expedition , Ullstein, Berlin 1922, p. 351
  6. Kling was in World War I first officer on SMS eagle under Felix von Luckner . In professional circles he is considered to be the real head of the legendary actions of the auxiliary cruiser (source: Reinhard A. Krause, op.cit. )