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Publications Catalogue

This catalogue contains all books currently published by Bluntisham Books. We hold sufficient stocks of each item to satisfy most requirements.

This catalogue was published January 2012

The Third Reich in Antarctica - The Story of the Third German Antarctic Expedition 1938-39
By Colin Summerhayes and Cornelia Ludecke
The origins of the Third German Antarctic Expedition lie in a combination of the aspirations of German scientists to contribute to exploring and understanding the Antarctic environment, and the Nazi Party's drive for self-sufficiency on the road to war. In 1936/37 Germany had joined the whaling nations in the South Atlantic, keen to obtain whale oil without having to use valuable foreign currency reserves needed for rearmament.

Considering that it needed a local whaling base, Germany decided to explore the possibility of setting up a supply base on the coast of Dronning Maud Land. The man in charge of German whaling was Councillor of State Helmut Wohlthat who in 1938 put this idea of unclaimed Antarctic territory as a territorial basis for German whaling, to his superior, Hermann Goring, the Commissioner for the Four Year Plan for Economic Development.
Following consultation with other ministries, Goring approved the concept, and assigned resources for a reconnaissance expedition, including a ship and two seaplanes for aerial survey and photographic,-mapping. The Third German Antarctic Expedition was born.

The expedition was led by Alfred Ritscher, a captain in the German navy and on 19 January 1939 Schwabenland arrived in Dronning Maud Land and began charting the region. Nazi German flags were placed on the sea ice along the coast and the area was named Neu Schwabenland after the ship. Its scientific studies, using state of the art equipment for meteorology and oceanography, made major discoveries. The expedition retuned to Hamburg on 11 April, 1939.

This is the story of an ambitious and little-known expedition, which set out to map a large piece of Antarctica from the air, and in the process discovered an 800 km long mountain range and previously unsuspected freshwater lakes.
ISBN: n/a 200pp + 8pp colour, hardback, jacketed, over 90 illustrations £25.00
The Japanese South polar Expedition 1910-12 A Record of Antarctica
Compiled and edited by The Shirase Antarctic Expedition Supporter's Association
Translated and edited by Lara Dagnall and Hilary Shibata
The Japanese Antarctic Expedition, 1910-12, under the leadership of army lieutenant Nobu Shirase was the first exploration of Antarctic territory by Japan. After initial scepticism about the expedition they sailed from Tokyo on 29 November 1910, in Kainan-maru, a vessel only 100 feet in length.

They arrived in Wellington on 8 February 1911 and three days later departed for the Antarctic. The entire trip south was dogged by poor weather and when the coast of Victoria Land was finally sighted conditions were so bad that a landing was impossible. They sailed on through the Ross Sea only to find even worse ice and soon it was impossible to go any further.

Shirase ordered the crew to turn the ship northward for Australia. They arrived in Sydney on 1 May, 1911 and were initially greeted with suspicion and hostility. Captain Nomura went back to Japan, with the secretary to the expedition, returning some five months later with provisions, ships' parts and other equipment.

During the following season a second attempt was made to reach an Antarctic landfall, with the specific objective of exploring King Edward VII Land.
At the Great Ice Barrier they met Roald Amundsen's ship Fram, which was waiting in the Bay of Whales for the return of Amundsen's South Pole party.

Seven men were landed on the Barrier and a 'Dash Patrol' journeyed southward to 8005'S, at which point adverse weather and lack of food and time forced their return. Meanwhile the ship landed another party on the coast of King Edward VII Land, where an exploration of the lower slopes of the Alexandra Range was carried out.

In mid-February Kainan-maru returned to Japan, reaching Yokohama on 20 June 1912. The expedition had sailed some 27,000 miles since leaving Japan and despite not reaching the Pole, they had achieved many of their other goals. There was a tremendous reception upon their return to Tokyo. Nobu Shirase died in 1946.
ISBN: n/a 416pp, + 8pp colour, hardback, 100 photos and illustrations £35.00