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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > March 2016 > In Pictures: Endurance

In Pictures: Endurance

When Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to cross Antarctica met with disaster, his crew were hurled into an epic voyage of survival...

BY ENDURANCE WE CONQUER

AN ICE BREAKER

The Endurance has been designed to cope with the harsh conditions of the polar environment. Its black hull, measuring 44 metres long, is made of extra thick oak so as to barge through pack ice without sustaining damage. At the bow – which takes the brunt of the impacts – the timbers are 130cm thick. Yet even the Endurance can’t break its way through the frozen Weddell Sea during Shackleton’s expedition.

ALAMY X2, GETTY X3

AT A GLANCE

Led by British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-17) aimed to achieve the first land crossing of Antarctica. But when one of the voyage’s ships, the Endurance, became stuck in the ice and destroyed, the mission turned into one of surviving an unforgiving terrain. In an extraordinary feat of endurance and courage, it was nearly two years before Shackleton effected a rescue, without any loss of life to his crew. The expedition may have failed in its objective – and three men did, in fact, die aboard the other vessel, the Aurora – but the voyage of the Endurance is remembered as a remarkable success against the odds.

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The March 2016 issue of History Revealed.
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