December 11, 1911: Filchner departs South Georgia for the Weddell Sea

Wilhelm Filchner’s ship, the DEUTSCHLAND, was built in Norway specifically for work in polar seas. Under the command of Captain Richard Vahsel, the DEUTSCHLAND left Grytviken December 11,1911 to make a landing at the southern limit of the Weddell Sea. His plan was to make the first Antarctic crossing and determine if Antarctica was a single piece of land.

None of the explorers had any previous polar experience. Filchner wrote: “None of us knew if we would ever come back alive”.


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