This book is an analytical account of how Roald Amundsen used sledge dogs to discover the South Pole in 1911, and is the first to name and identify all 116 Polar dogs who were part of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition of 1910-1912. The book traces the dogs from their origins in Greenland to Antarctica and beyond, and presents the author's findings regarding which of the dogs actually reached the South Pole, and which ones returned.
Using crewmember diaries, reports, and written correspondence, the book explores the strategy, methodology, and personal insights of the explorer and his crew in employing canines to achieve their goal, as well as documents the controversy and internal dynamics involved in this historic discovery. It breaks ground in presenting the entire story of how the South Pole was truly discovered using animals, and how deep and profound the differences of perception were regarding the use of canines for exploration.
This historic tale sheds light on Antarctic exploration history and the human-nature relationship. It gives recognition to the significant role that animals played in this important part of history.
Mary R. Tahan is a writer, producer, and documentarian, with a professional background in journalism and marketing. Internationally renowned for her educational and informational series, she has authored many scholarly articles and historical books, and produced/directed documentary films.
Her scholarly articles and lectures/presentations focus on Antarctica and the "heroic age of exploration", and cover many countries, and she has documented individuals and organizations as well as cities and historical events. As part of her research for her series of films and books on Polar exploration, Mary R. Tahan traveled to Antarctica by invitation of the Dirección Nacional del Antártico (Instituto Antártico Argentino), where she performed on-site photography and videography of the Antarctic landscape and historical sites, as well as conducted interviews with scientists and curators. Her research has also taken her to Argentina, Norway, France, Russia, and England, where she has also interviewed Polar historians and descendants of the early explorers of the Arctic and Antarctic.
Preface. Canine Explorers in the Antarctic.- Acknowledgements.- Maps.- List of Characters and Countries.- Notes on Norwegian and English Names.- Chapter 1. Introduction: Dogs, the Arctic, and Amundsen's Clandestine Switch to the Antarctic.- Part I. The Strategic Plan, The Secret Ingredient.- Chapter 2. The Vital Importance of Sledge Dogs.- Chapter 3. Two "Eskimos" to Care for Good Greenland Dogs.- Chapter 4. A Perfect Ship, a Professional Crew, and a Home for Pet Dogs.- Part II. From Greenland to Norway.- Chapter 5. The Voyage of the Hans Egede.-
Chapter 6. Fram
's Test Voyage and the Island of the Misfit Dogs.- Chapter 7. The Secret Passage and the Circumnavigating Pups.- Part III. Journey Across the Seas to Antarctica.- Chapter 8. The Voyage South - Dogs First, Dogs All the Time.- Chapter 9. The Wooing of Lasse and the Caring for the Dogs.- Chapter 10. The Females and the Mother Ship - Woman Shall Not Come on Board.- Chapter 11. Maren and Her Sons in Madeira; Enduring the Heat.- Chapter 12. The Births and Deaths of October.- Chapter 13. The Lady and the Sea.- Chapter 14. Christmas Among the Ice Floes.- Chapter 15. The Arrival in Antarctica.- Part IV. Depot-Laying, Winter's Work, and a False Start. Chapter 16. The First Sled Ride.- Chapter 17. Great Surprise! It's the Terra Nova
!.- Chapter 18. The First Depot Run - Flying on a High.- Chapter 19. The Second Depot Run - Disaster for the Dogs.- Chapter 20. The Third Depot Run - Third Time Is Not the Charm.- Chapter 21. Born and Bred in Antarctica.- Chapter 22. The Divine Trio - Fix, Lasse, and Snuppesen.- Chapter 23. Hjalmar Johansen's Charges - Camilla, Knegten, Uroa, and Rotta.- Chapter 24. Don Pedro Christophersen, and Balmy Buenos Aires.- Chapter 25. A Midwinter Night's Dream.- Chapter 26. Now Is the August of Our Winter's Content.- Chapter 27. The Premature Start.- Chapter 28. The Decisive Ejection and the Change of Plan.- Part V. Sled Trek to the South Pole and Back.- Chapter 29. Snow Trek.- Chapter 30. The Eastern Party's Expedition to King Edward VII Land.- Chapter 31. The Push to the Plateau - Kjoring Across the Ice Waves.- Chapter 32. Pulling for the Chief - The Climbing of the Mountain Peaks.- Chapter 33. Butcher's Shop - "The Final Reward".- Chapter 34. A Devil of a Climb - the Devil's Glacier.- Chapter 35. The Dogs at the South Pole.- Chapter 36. The Return Trek from the South Pole.- Chapter 37. The Search for the Devil's Depot .- Chapter 38. The Eastern Party, the Fram
and an Australian in Antarctica.- Chapter 39. The South Pole Party Returns Home.- Part VI. The Return from Antarctica.- Chapter 40. Their Final Destinations- The South Pole Dogs and Sled Dogs.- Chapter 41. Impressions that Dog Us.- Notes on Original Source Material.- Bibliography.