New Swabia

Activities in Antarctica
During the 20th Century
International agreements
Antarctic Treaty System
British Commonwealth activities
Scott's 1st expedition (1901-04)
Shackleton's 1st expedition (1907-09)
Scott's 2nd expedition (1910-13)
Shackleton's 2nd expedition (1914-17)
Shackleton's 3rd expedition (1921-22)
Mawson's expedition (1929-31)
The Graham Land Expedition (1934-37)
Operation Tabarin (1943-45)
Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic
Expedition (Fuchs-Hillary)
(1955-58)
French activities
Charcot's 1st expedition (1903-05)
Charcot's 2nd expedition (1908-10)
German activities
Drygalski's expedition (1901-03)
Filchner's expedition (1911-12)
The New Swabia Expedition (1938-39)
Norwegian activities
Amundsen's expedition (1910-12)
U.S. activities
Operation Highjump (1946-47)
Operation Windmill (1947-48)
Ronne's expedition (1947-48)
Operation Deep Freeze (1955-56)


New Swabia (German: Neuschwabenland or Neu-Schwabenland) is a section of the continent Antarctica between 20°E and 10°W (overlapping a portion of Norway's claim zone Queen Maud Land), which was claimed by Nazi Germany between 19 January 1939 and 8 May 1945. It is named for the German region of Swabia.

Early expeditions

Like many other countries, Germany sent several expeditions to the Antarctic region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of them were scientific. The expeditions in the late 19th century were astronomical, meteorological and hydrological, and took place in the Southern Ocean and on South Georgia, the Kerguelen Islands and the Crozet Islands, mostly in close collaboration with scientific teams from other countries. However, at the end of the 19th century, the Germans started to focus on Antarctica itself.

The first German Antarctic Expedition took place from 1901 – 1903. Led by Arctic veteran and geology professor Erich von Drygalski, was the first to use a hot-air balloon in Antarctica. It also discovered and named Kaiser Wilhelm II Land. The second German Antarctic Expedition (1911 – 1912), led by Wilhelm Filchner, aimed to cross Antarctica in an attempt to determine if Antarctica was one piece of land. The crossing attempt failed before it even started but the expedition discovered and named the Luitpold Coast and the Filchner Ice Shelf. A German whaling fleet had put to sea in 1937 and when it successfully returned in the spring of 1938, plans for a third German Antarctic Expedition were drawn up because of the war.

New Swabia expedition

The third German Antarctic Expedition (1938 – 1939) was led by Alfred Ritscher (1879 – 1963). The main purpose was to secure an area in Antarctica for a German whaling station, as part of a plan to increase Germany’s production of fat. Whale oil was then the most important raw material for the production of margarine and soap in Germany and the country was the second largest purchaser of Norwegian whale oil, importing some 200,000 metric tons annually. Besides the disadvantage of being dependent on foreign sources, especially since it was likely Germany soon would be at war, this put considerable pressure on Germany’s foreign currency assets.

Enlarge picture
The 1938–1939 expedition logo
On December 17, 1938 the New Swabia Expedition departed Hamburg for Antarctica aboard the Schwabenland, a freighter capable of carrying and catapulting aircraft. The expedition had 33 members plus the Schwabenland's crew of 24. In January 1939 the ship arrived in an area already claimed in 1938 by Norway as Dronning Maud Land and began charting the region. In the following weeks 15 flights were made by the ship’s two Dornier Wal aircraft named Passat and Boreas over an area reported to be about 600,000 km² (though others claim it was half this size. The result was more than 16,000 aerial photographs. However, these photographs have to date proven to be useless since they consist of endless white with no indication of latitude/longitude[1]). To assert Germany’s claim to newly-named Neu-Schwabenland three German flags were placed along the coast and 13 more were air-dropped further inland. Others claim these flags were iron poles about one and a half metre long, with a swastika carved in it at the top. They were dropped in the ice each 30-40 km apart.[1] Teams also walked along the coast recording claim reservations on hills and other significant landmarks. The expedition established a temporary base and also reported the discovery by air of hot springs with vegetation in some areas of the so-called Schirmacher Oasis which now hosts Maitri station. The place was named after captain Schirmacher, who conducted the flight during which the freshwater lakes were discovered shortly before the Schwabenland's return to Germany in February 1939.

Two more expeditions were scheduled for 1939-1940 and 1940-1941. These expeditions were expected to search for suitable whaling grounds and more importantly, extend Germany’s territorial claims in the Antarctic. The second expedition would also address some military issues, probably investigating the feasibility of naval bases from which Germany could control the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean along with the Drake Passage. Both were cancelled with the outbreak of World War II.

The name Neuschwabenland (and sometimes “New Schwabenland” or New Swabia) is still used for the region on some maps, as are many of the German names given to its geographic features. Neumayer Station, Germany's current Antarctic research facility, is located in the New Swabia area.

Legal standing

Enlarge picture
Map of Antarctica showing the location and size of New Swabia as claimed by Germany from 1939 to 1945.
No country ever recognized Germany's claim. Although individuals have insisted that through a legal loophole the German Third Reich still exists judicially within the former borders of New Swabia, this is not supported by either German or international law nor by the terms of unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers signed by representatives of the German government on May 8, 1945 (the date usually given for Germany's abandonment of the claim) leading to the Berlin Declaration made by the Allied Control Council, which legally dissolved Germany's civilian government and was further acknowledged in 1990 when a re-unified German government signed the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany.

See also

References

1. ^ Boudewijn Büch. Eenzaam, Eilanden 2 ('Lonely, Islands 2'), Holland 1994


Coordinates:
The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native population.
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British Imperial Antarctic Expedition or the Nimrod Expedition[1] (1908 - 1909) to Antarctica was led by Ernest Shackleton aboard the Nimrod with a crew that included George Buckley, Frank Wild, Eric Marshall, Edgeworth David, Jameson Adams, and Raymond Edward
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The Terra Nova Expedition (1910–1913) was a British expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott with two principle objectives: to be the first to reach the geographic South Pole, and to undertake scientific research and exploration along the coast and interior of Antarctica.
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Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (colloquially, "Shackleton's Expedition" or "The Endurance Expedition"), was the fourth British Antarctic expedition of the 20th century, and aimed, but ultimately failed, to be the first to cross the Antarctic continent.
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Shackleton-Rowett Expedition (1921 – 1922) was Ernest Shackleton's last Antarctic expedition. It was ended by his death from natural causes.

The apparent objective was to circumnavigate Antarctica, looking for islands nearby, though it seems to have been fuelled by
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The British Australian (and) New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) was a research expedition into Antarctica between 1929 and 1931, involving two voyages over consecutive Austral summers.
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The British Graham Land Expedition (or BGLE) was a geophysical and exploration expedition to Graham Land in Antarctica between 1934 to 1937.

See also

  • List of Antarctica expeditions

References


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During World War II, Operation Tabarin was a small British expedition launched from the UK in 1943 to the Antarctic to establish permanently-occupied bases.

Reasons for the expedition

There were several reasons for Tabarin.
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The 1955–58 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE) was a Commonwealth-sponsored expedition that successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica, via the South Pole.
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French Antarctic Expedition refers to several French expeditions in Antarctica.

First expedition

Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec (February 13, 1734 - March 3, 1797) was a French explorer.
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French Antarctic Expedition refers to several French expeditions in Antarctica.

First expedition

Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec (February 13, 1734 - March 3, 1797) was a French explorer.
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Erich Dagobert von Drygalski (February 9, 1865 – January 10, 1949) was a German geographer, geophysicist and polar scientist, born in Königsberg, Province of Prussia.
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Wilhelm Filchner (September 13, 1877 - May 7, 1957) was a German explorer.

At the age of 21, he participated in his first expedition, which led him to Russia. Two years later, he travelled alone and on horseback through the Pamir mountains.
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Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (July 16, 1872 – c. June 18, 1928) was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions. He led the first Antarctic expedition to the South Pole between 1910 and 1912. He was also the first person to reach both the North and South Pole.
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Operation Highjump (OpHjp), officially titled The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program, 1946-47, was a United States Navy operation organized by Rear Admiral Richard E.
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Operation Windmill (OpWml) was a U.S. Navy exploration and training mission to Antarctica in 1947-1948. This operation was a follow up to the First Antarctic Development Project which was called Operation Highjump. The expedition was commanded by Commander Gerald L.
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The Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition (RARE) was an expedition from 1947-1948 which researched the area surrounding the head of the Weddell Sea in Antarctica. Finn Ronne led the RARE which was the final privately sponsored expedition from the United States.
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Operation Deep Freeze (OpDFrz or ODF) is the codename for a series of US missions to Antarctica, beginning with "Operation Deep Freeze I" in 1955–56, followed by "Operation Deep Freeze II", "Operation Deep Freeze III", and so on.
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Queen Maud Land is an English translation of Dronning Maud Land, the official name in use by Norwegian authorities and British Antarctic Survey on the part of Antarctica claimed by Norway on January 14, 1939 as a dependent territory.
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Anthem
"Das Lied der Deutschen" (third stanza)
also called "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
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Swabia, Suabia, or Svebia (German: Schwaben or Schwabenland) is both an historic and linguistic (see Swabian German) region in Germany. Swabia consists of much of the present-day state of Baden-Württemberg (specifically, historical Württemberg and
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Earth's oceans
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The Southern Ocean, also known as the Great Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the South Polar Ocean
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"Leo Terram Propriam Protegat"   (Latin)
"Let the Lion protect his own land"
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