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Home* News and Stories → Ship of Fran­k­lin-expe­di­ti­on found in Nor­thwest Pas­sa­ge

Ship of Fran­k­lin-expe­di­ti­on found in Nor­thwest Pas­sa­ge

This is the his­to­ri­cal dis­co­very of the year in the Arc­tic – at least: The Cana­di­an government has announ­ced to have found the wreck of one of the two ships of John Franklin’s expe­di­ti­on.

John Fran­k­lin was out to find the Nor­thwest Pas­sa­ge with 2 ships, HMS Ere­bus and HMS Ter­ror, and 129 men, sai­ling into the pas­sa­ge in 1845. Both ships and all men disap­peared. Many expe­di­ti­ons were sent out to res­cue Fran­k­lin and his men or to find out what had hap­pen­ed. This was a boost for geo­gra­phi­cal explo­ra­ti­on in the Cana­di­an arc­tic, but the fate of Franklin’s expe­di­ti­on was never ful­ly resol­ved. After years, the first traces were found; it beca­me clear that the men had left the ships, try­ing to reach safe­ty, a hopeless effort con­si­de­ring the vast distan­ces and the har­sh cli­ma­te. The­re were signs of can­ni­ba­lism, but most must have died of star­va­ti­on, cold and scur­vy. Lead poi­so­ning may have added to an over­all health decli­ne. Fran­k­lin had alrea­dy died befo­re the ships were deser­ted.

The 2 ships had been equip­ped with ever­ything one could think of at that time, it was one of the lar­gest arc­tic expe­di­ti­ons ever and its loss was a trau­ma for the Bri­tish Roy­al Navy. The dis­co­very of one of the 2 ships 169 years later is a sen­sa­ti­on. It is so far unknown if it is the wreck of the HMS Ere­bus or the HMS Ter­ror.

The Cana­di­an government has put the search for Franklin’s ships on the agen­da some years ago.

Franklin’s ships HMS Ere­bus and HMS Ter­ror in the Nor­thwest Pas­sa­ge (source: Wiki­me­dia Com­mons).

Franklins Schiffe: HMS Erebus and HMS Terror

Source: Spie­gel Online

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!



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last modification: 2014-09-09 · copyright: Rolf Stange