Robert Falcon Scott

Robert Falcon Scott. He managed to obtain two expeditions to the South Pole and was the main promoter of British exploration in the 19th century.


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  • 1 Biographical synthesis
    • 1 The first trip
    • 2 The second expedition
  • 2 External links
  • 3 Sources

Biographical synthesis

He was born on June 6, 1868, in Devonport. In 1880 he entered the Naval Academy, HMS Britannia, and 2 years later he became a midshipman. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1897 . As early as 1887 Scott had come to Sir’s attention. Clements Markham , the main promoter of British exploration in the 19th century. In 1899 , after Markham obtained partial government endorsement for the dashboard intended for polo, Scott was chosen to lead the National Antarctic Expedition.

The first trip

The expedition ship would be Discovery, which sailed from England in 1901. As soon as they reached the Antarctic shores, Scott explored the Ross Shelf Great Ice Shelf and established a land base in McMurdo Sound where the expedition spent a harsh winter. In early spring, Scott and his men continued exploring according to plan. With the help of sledges, they discovered what they would baptize as the Eduardo VII Peninsula and penetrated the heart of the Antarctic continent to latitudes never reached: on December 31, 1902, the expedition reached latitude 82º 17 ‘, that is, 300 miles further south than Borchgrevink. The lack of food and the appearance of scurvy among some members of the expedition prevented further progress.

In England, Scott was promoted to the rank of captain of the navy and awarded the gold medal by the Royal Geographical Society of London. At that time he met his future wife, Kathleen Bruce, and wrote The Voyage of Discovery, a work in which he realistically narrated the adventures of the expedition to Antarctica. Dedicated to his great friend and father of the expedition, Sir Clements Markham, the book was a great bestseller.

The second expedition

In early 1905 , Scott began a nationwide campaign to raise funds for a second expeditionary adventure to the South Pole. But, despite the scientific success of his first mission and being considered a hero, he did not find enough support to return to the frozen continent immediately. Eventually Scott seized the services of the ship Terranova and experimented with the first motorized snow vehicles. He rejected the idea of ​​using dogs to pull sleds, preferring the use of Siberian foals, which he mistakenly believed better prepared for snow and low temperatures. In the event of death, he thought, the animals would serve to feed the expedition. This misjudgment was to be one of the causes of the tragic end of the adventure.

On June 10, 1910, Newfoundland


Robert Scott on the second expedition

he sailed from England for Australia with all the expedition equipment and a team of more than thirty people. Among them were Lawrence Oates, a cavalry officer, Lieutenants Edward Evans and Henry R. Bowers, and Dr. Edward Wilson, a close friend of Scott’s. On October 10, the Newfoundland arrived in Melbourne, from where it made its way without further delay to Antarctica.

During his short stay in Australian lands, Scott received a warning from his most serious competitor, the Norwegian Amundsen, who, from Whales Bay, advised him to leave. Amundsen was preparing to perform the same feat and did not want competitors. Scott, far from giving up, resolved to go ahead and try by all means to crown the expedition successfully; Thus began an anguished race between the two explorers.

Amundsen had an advantage over Scott’s expedition. Extensive experience in cold-land exploration (he had started at the age of fifteen) had made Amundsen an expert on the environment; he knew much better what kind of material was suitable (fur anoraks, dogs, pegs, snow shovels). Against this, the equipment of the British expedition, pulled by colts and dressed in British navy uniforms, was not exactly the most suitable.

The October as December as 1910, the Newfoundland reached the McMurdo Strait; it crossed the Ross Sea until crossing, in December of the same year, the Antarctic polar circle. From that moment, Scott and his companions undertook an inhuman journey of 1,500 miles from their position to the South Pole. The mechanical sleds were soon immobilized in the ice, since their engines could not withstand the low temperatures of Antarctica. On February 17, 1911, the expedition ran into new difficulties in the ascent of the Beardmore Glacier; they lost eight foals and five dogs of the thirty-three they carried (Amundsen used more than a hundred dogs for the same feat). The expedition members were forced to carry a large part of the supplies themselves, further delaying an already difficult journey. On January 4In 1912 , Scott and his four companions began the final march; on the way they lost all the draft animals that were left. On January 12 , after countless sufferings of all kinds due to the frenetic pace that was imposed, the expedition reached the South Pole. To their terrible disappointment, they saw the tent and the Norwegian flag left by Amundsen five weeks earlier. Scott wrote in his journal: “My God, this is a terrible place! And especially terrible for us, who have tried so hard without being rewarded for priority.


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