Naval Expeditions

Home ] ROYAL NAVY ] US NAVY ] GERMAN NAVY ] FRENCH NAVY ] Japanese Navy ] Austro-Hungarian ] Italian Navy ] Canadian Navy ] Australian Navy ] New Zealand Navy ] Russian Navy ] Turkish Navy ] Portuguese Navy ] Spanish Navy ] Chilean Navy ] Argentine Navy ] Brazilian Navy ] Greek Navy ] Swedish Navy ] Norwegian Navy ] Danish Navy ] Dutch Navy ] Belgian Navy ] Maltese Navy ] Uruguayan Navy ] Chinese Navy ] Indian Navy ] Polish Navy ] South African Navy ] Pakistan Navy ] Libyan Navy ] Kuwait Navy ] Irish Navy ] Israeli Navy ] Other Navies ] Unidentified Ships ] Naval Losses ] Merchant Navy ] Ocean Liners ] Ports & Dockyards ] Naval Commanders ] [ Naval Expeditions ] Information ] Messages ] Ship Name Histories ] Fleet Reviews ] Navy Lists - Royal Navy Crew Lists ]

The Discovery. Captain Scott's expedition to the Antarctic is one of the famous expeditions undertaken at the start of the 20th Century. Scott's ship Discovery is pictured below.

The departure of Captain Scott's expedition on board the Discovery for the Antarctic in 1902.

Below is a passage from the magazine Navy & Army Illustrated, May 17th 1902.

Until the expedition of Sir James Ross, no serious attempt had been made to penetrate the Antarctic. For many years Arctic exploration was inspired by greed with the idea being that it was possible to find a way round the north of America to the Indies. In trying to carry out such a scheme, Florida was discovered. Never-the-less, in this search for the North-West passage, we have one reason why Arctic exploration has so long held the palm from Antarctic. The glamour attaching to the early endeavours to find a route to India was transferred later to attempts to find a waterway to the North Pole; and after all the North Pole is nearer to European countries, and particularly to Britain, than is the South. This, perhaps, accounts, in more ways than one, for the preference which has been shown for Arctic as opposed to Antarctic exploration. It is from Europe and America that expeditions have sprung. The North Pole lies as it were, at the threshold of these two continents. It is so near, and of late years the attempt to reach it has become a sort of religion. And yet the South Pole is far more interesting, perhaps in proportion to its isolation. For it is isolated, and there is nothing more remarkable in geography than the way in which land stretches away towards the North Pole, and may possibly even reach it, while the South Pole and surroundings - whether of land or ice - are separated by many miles from the nearest land. A map hardly conveys to the observer a sense of the isolation of the Southern White Land to which the Discovery has gone - unless the reader of the chart be a little above the average. The interest of Antarctic exploration among civilised nations is a plant of recent growth. It has taken root, but we are not sure that even now it is flourishing as strongly as it ought to do. The English whalers who went southward in 1892, did not cross the Antarctic Circle. Then the Belgica wintered in the Antarctic pack, and in 1894 the Antarctic spent some time in exploration. The next attempt was that of the Southern Cross, commanded by Mr Borchgrevink, and this vessel carried out systematic exploration, and an expedition from her reached the most southern latitude yet attained. The Discovery which is shown in our picture leaving Port Chalmers, New Zealand, on her fateful voyage of discovery, will we may fairly hope extend the information acquired by these antecedent voyages. Her skipper, Captain Scott, is a naval officer of well-known scientific attainments, and he is well supported by his officers, and the picked men who form his crew. A relief ship, we believe, is to be sent out, and there are other expeditions exploring the same region, so that a certain amount of co-operation is conceivable. That this co-operation will take place if practicable is certain, but we know so little of the region in which the explorations are being conducted that no-one can say what the chances are for or against the meeting of the various expeditions. At any rate it is permissible to indulge in high anticipations as to results. An isolated Australia has yielded some strange types of animals resembling those extinct in Europe in pre-historic times. If there exists any flora and fauna in the ice-bound regions surrounding the South Pole, may we not anticipate that they will be cognate to species now extinct in Europe rather than to those with which we are familiar today?