DISASTER AT THE POLE: THE TRAGEDY OF THE AIRSHIP ITALIA AND THE 1928 NOBILE EXPEDITION TO THE NORTH POLE

Wilbur Cross

Published by Lyons Press, 2000
ISBN 10: 1585740497 / ISBN 13: 9781585740499
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Synopsis: The true story of the harrowing wreck of the dirigible Italia during a polar expedition and the heroic rescue attempts to save her and her crew.

From the Back Cover: Shackleton, Scott, Amundsen. The great twentieth-century polar explorers. But others, too, were engaged in scrambles to the poles. One of the most bizarre and unfortunate involved that enormous and impressive spectacle of aviation's early days: the airship.
In 1926, against the backdrop of Mussolini's rising power, General Umberto Nobile, one of Italy's premier aeronautical engineers, gained acclaim by crossing the Pole in a dirigible, accompanied by the famous Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. It was an unprecedented achievement for a lighter-than-air craft, and it would have gone down in history as the first flight over the Pole had Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett not accomplished that feat in an airplane only three days before. Encouraged by his success, Nobile decided in 1928 to take a newly designed dirigible to the North Pole, land men who could conduct scientific explorations, and then fly them safely back to base. But on the Italia's return flight, disaster struck. The ship crashed down on the ice pack hundreds of miles from help. The survivors, including the injured Nobile, were stranded on an unstable ice floe, desperately trying to make radio contact with the outside world. Their disappearance inspired one of the most far-reaching rescue missions ever undertaken. Seven nations and hundreds of men in air, sea, and land reconnaissance engaged in a needle-in-a-haystack search over the arctic wastes. Many of the would-be rescuers were injured or killed - the most famous being Roald Amundsen, who lost his life in a plane crash.
Drawing on interviews he conducted with Umberto Nobile and other survivors in the 1950s, Wilbur Cross resurrects a stunning tale that has been long overlooked by history. He brings to life the struggles of the survivors throughout nearly two months on the ice, including the fate of three men who set off on a doomed trek to reach help. Disaster at the Pole also reveals the truths of the controversy surrounding Nobile, who was rescued first and was accused of cowardice and desertion by Italy's fascist government. Filled with political intrigue, heroics, and cruel twists of fate, the story of the Italia is one of the most fascinating among polar tragedies.

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Title: DISASTER AT THE POLE: THE TRAGEDY OF THE ...
Publisher: Lyons Press
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition

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