Scott/Shackleton who would you rather work for ?

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by clanky, Apr 13, 2006.

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  1. Robert Falcon Scott

  2. Ernest Shackleton

    0 vote(s)
  1. I recall once discussing the idea that naval officerss divide into camps.
    The Scotts and the Shackleton's.
    Which camp would you rather work for, and why?

    Before anyone asks, I see myself more as a Chippy McNeish!
  2. Shackleton, he got his men out.

  3. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Uh! Amundson, he won by a month and got his men out! "whole and hearty!" Just to show I won't always agree with you Maxi :lol:
  4. Good point, but that wasn't the choice offered.

  5. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Yeh I know, not used to getting a choice! I have therefore had to agree and go with Shackleton.........Doh!
  6. The Amundson expedition was a cynical PR stunt, without any of the scientific rigour of the British expeditions. Its a well known fact that Amundson only did it in order to clinch a sponsorship deal with Helly-Hansen.
  7. All very well, but is your choice to be dead, even if it is a 'noble' death because you did the honorable thing, or alive and sponsored and first.

    I know where my vote lies.

  8. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    There you go again Maxi, now my votes back with the Noggi: Alive, sponsored, first, famous with a great career ahead of him......even if he did blow his fortune on that new fangled aviation thing. And I don't care if it's not an option I want to vote for Amundson.

    How do I take my vote back??
  9. I think as we only got the two options we are stuck with it, but between ourselves we know, and that should be good enough.

  10. Dr. David Livingstone (1813-1873), Scottish doctor and missionary

    Cos he came back, went to warm places, and could be wound up as he was a God Bother-er.

  11. Ah those were the days when with little encouragement you coulkd get god botherers to go and wander round Africa for a few years and give us some peace at home.

  12. Have a read of Ranulph Fiennes biography 'Scott'. Only one choice for me. Scott was a true hero and an inspired leader. Fiennes book explains a great deal and goes a long way to putting the record straight.
  13. Fienne's book on Scott was written in order to redress the criticisms of Scotts conduct of the expedition which began to emerge in the late 70s. IMHO he does an excellent job of doing so. Reading the story written by one who has actually travelled to the pole is also interesting.
  14. Shackleton would be my choice, although they obviously both have their own merits. I am no expert on either of them but from the little I know I pick Shackleton because when it came to choosing who went with him to reach South Georgia he picked the weakest of the men and left the strong ones behind to await rescue. It would have been an easy choice for him to take the strong men with him and leave the rest to their fate, but he took the hardest route and by doing so saved all his men. I admire that because being a good officer is sometimes about taking the difficult path.
  15. Spot on Chunky! Shackleton was a true leader in the best sense - he was never RN having joined the MN straight from school (Dulwich) at 16 years old and, being Anglo Irish, he was determined to follow the (then) Victorian tradition of exploration and served, firstly in sailing ships around Cape Horn, passed his various tickets as 3rd, 2nd Mate and Master before moving to steam ships with the Welsh Shire Line and then the Union Castle Line before achieving greatness as a polar explorer. His masterful achievement in saving his men is surely the mark of a true leader.

    I've had the privilege of visiting his grave in Grytviken in South Georgia on three occasions during the past 40 years (once involuntarily in 1982)and have never ceased to be impressed by his guts, courage and personality. Scott is a mere shadow.

    Yours aye,

  16. Cheers Fido. I knew Shackleton was MN and not RN - which makes his achievement all the more remarkable in some ways as he may well not have had the same kind of training in leadership that someone like Scott would have done.

    Have not been to visit his grave, but maybe I'll get there one day...

    Signing off for the weekend.

    Yours aye

  17. Shackleton was RNR, which in those days was MN officers who could be called up in wartime (As opposed to RNVR who where civilians). I read recently that he joined the RNR in order to gain support for his expeditions as the RN held sway over most polar exploration.
  18. Thanks GCYZ,

    I think that Shackleton accepted a RNR commission as a Sub Lieutenant to allow him to act as third mate on joining Discovery in 1900 - Scott has just been promoted Commander from Lieutenant (no Lt Cdrs in those days) in order to lead the National Antartic Expedition. Curiously, both also became Freemasons at around the same time - the Navy Lodge. Undoubtedly there was conflict between the Royal Geographic Society and the Admiralty. The expedition was the brainchild of Sir Clements Markham, president of the RGS but, curiously, the Admiralty was not keen on providing a ship or seconding RN officers - hence Discovery was built (a less than ideal vessel and twice the cost of a more suitable Norwegion design) and the mix or RN/MN officers.

    If you get the opportunity, 'SHACKLETON' by Roland Huntford (Abacus Books) is a terrific read - all 800 pages!

    Yours aye,

  19. Think I'll give that one a miss and look for a more reliable source.

    Huntford's The Last Place on Earth gives a very unflattering treatment of Scott, and made adverse comparison of the planning and execution of the large and well-funded British expedition against Amundsen's one.

    Fiennes' book rebutts Huntford's attacks upon Scott. He points out that as he lacked experience of Polar travel and man-hauling, Huntford was not qualified to comment on Scott's technical deficiencies. Fiennes also accuses Huntford of selective quotation editing, and of even inventing stories for his version of events. He makes a very sound case for casting significant doubt on the accuracy of Huntford's account.
  20. Thanks Dangermouse,

    Huntsford was not the only writer to make unfavourable comments about Scott but, in his book 'SHACKLETON', he was not discussing Scott v Amudsen in the race to the pole - rather Shackleton's early life, the 1900/01 expedition in Discovery, his subsequent exploits in Endurance and the subsequent retrieval of a seemingly impossible situation. It was, therefore, a book about Shackleton and not Scott. As for Fiennes, I regret that I am not a supporter of him or his lack of academia - but, of course, the reading and analysis of various commentators allows us all to form our own opinions and I am therefore grateful for his.

    Yours aye,


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