This film is part of Free
Antarctic Venture Norwegian, British, Swedish Expedition
Colour film of the very first international science expedition to Antarctica, outlining its aims, and recording the outbound journey of the ‘Norwegian-British-Swedish Expedition 1949-52’ team.
Colour film of the very first international science expedition to Antarctica, outlining its aims, and recording the outbound journey of the ‘Norwegian-British-Swedish Expedition 1949-52’ team. The main objective was scientific investigation, particularly to establish if climatic fluctuations similar to those observed in the Arctic were also occurring in Antarctica. The team, led by Norwegian John Giaever included British and Commonwealth experts on glaciology, geology and geophysics. It was based on the coast of Dronning Maud Land – Antarctic territory annexed by Norway at the end of WWII.
The expedition’s ship – the 600-ton ‘Norsel’ - sailed from Cape Town on 28th December 1949; heavier equipment and supplies sailed from Oslo, Norway, on the 24,000-ton whaler ‘Thorshøvdi’, together with 60 dogs (not all of whom survived the journey). Two light ‘Auster’ aircraft were taken for reconnaissance. Charles Swithinbank, an assistant glaciologist and Alan Reece, an assistant geologist were the British scientists. The film shows the transfer of supplies, the Norsel navigating the pack-ice, the establishment of Base Camp and the transportation by ‘Weasel’ (amphibious tracked vehicles) of 450 tons of supplies in preparation for the two year expedition.
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