In the Land of White Death

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In the Land of White Death

An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic

Six months after Scott's expedition came to grief in Antarctica, a similar expedition left from northern Russia on a ship. In many ways it would prove worse off than the Scott expedition.

It was plagued from the start. Partly due to a shortage of funds (the ship had heavier taxes on it due to being built outside of Russia), partly due to not having a doctor on board (he was delayed, as were the books he was bring with him that would have proven to have better information than those the expedition did have), and partly due to leaving later in the already short summer than they should have.

While the account is primarily Valerian Albanov's (the ship's navigator) journal of what happened after he and several other crew members left the ship to try to reach land, there are references to the year and a half that was spent onboard the ship between the start of their journey and the time that Albanov left the ship.

It is a tragic tale, but it is also a tale of survival. What I took away from the account is that Mr. Albanov not only survived, but tried to ensure that his crew mates (at least those who came with him) survived. The tragedy is that only he and one other man made it out alive from a crew of about 30 people. What I also took away from the telling is that, while he didn't hold his crew mates in the highest regard, he also was hard on himself as well.

An interesting read and well worth reading.

Book Blurb for In the Land of White Death

In 1912, six months after Robert Falcon Scott and four of his men came to grief in Antarctica, a thirty-two-year-old Russian navigator named Valerian Albanov embarked on an expedition that would prove even more disastrous.

Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2010 5.00