Detailed color-lithographed antique map of Spitzbergen and of the ill-fated German expedition led by Herbert Schröder-Stranz.
The title translates as "General map of Spitsbergen to illustrate the course of the Schröder-Stranz expedition and the aid expeditions to rescue it."
Petermanns Geogr. Mitteilungen maps such as this are often quite difficult to find separately.
Overview of the Expedition
German Wikipedia provides the following history of the expedition:
In 1905 Schröder-Stranz had the idea of using a scientific expedition to clarify whether the north-east passage could be used for shipping . After several years of unclear funding, a patron was found with Duke Ernst von Sachsen-Altenburg . First, in 1912, the suitability of the equipment and the crew was to be checked as part of a pre-expedition to Spitsbergen . It was planned to carry out the actual expedition a year later; which, however, should no longer occur.
On August 5, 1912, the pre-expedition set sail with 15 participants under the leadership of Schröder-Stranz on board the Duke Ernst in Tromsø . The group consisted mainly of inexperienced scientists and adventurers, also captain Alfred Ritscher was traveling in the Arctic for the first time; only the Norwegians hired as a team knew the area. Shortly before departure, Ludwig Kohl-Larsen , the ship's doctor, jumped off because the adventure seemed too daring to him. After the continuation of the journey through pack ice between the North Cape and Cape Platen had become impossible, Schröder-Stranz, together with three companions, left the ship on August 15th to take a sleigh to cross the inland ice of Northeastland . His plan was to get back on board in Krossbai on the west coast of Spitsbergen by December 15th at the latest . Schröder-Stranz and his companions have been missing since then.
Six days after the departure of Schröder-Stranz and his companions, the ship Herzog Ernst reached the Sorgebai (also Treurenberg-Bai) on August 21, where she was to leave supplies for Schröder-Stranz in the shelters there. Due to unfavorable winds and pack ice, she was unable to leave the bay and was trapped by the ice. The attempt to get to the Adventbai on foot to avoid overwintering on the polar night of Spitsbergen paid four participants with their lives. While the rest of the crew turned to Sorgebai , only Captain Ritscher reached the settlement Longyearbyen with frostbite on December 27, 1912 with frostbite .
Several rescue expeditions were sent out to the rest of Herzog Ernst's team the following spring, among others by Kurt Wegener (started on February 21, 1913), the Norwegian Arve Staxrud from April 12, 1913 and one under Theodor Lerner . Staxrud reached the Sorgebai by land on April 24 and rescued the team with dog sleds.
After learning about the rescue by Staxrud, Lerner continued to search for Schröder-Stranz. However, his expedition was not a good star either. In May 1913, his ship was enclosed in ice on the North Cape of Northeastland. Lerner and his companions then went on extensive hikes in the area on skis and dog sleds, but without discovering a trace of Schröder-Stranz. On June 26, the ship was finally crushed by ice masses and sank shortly afterwards. However, the team managed to save large parts of the equipment. On July 25, 1913, the crew managed to take boats to the Sorgebai, where the Duke Ernst was still. The expedition participants were able to save themselves with the now maneuverable ship.
August Heinrich Petermann (1822-1878) is a renowned German cartographer of the nineteenth century. Petermann studied cartography at the Geographical Art-School in Potsdam before traveling to Edinburgh to work with Dr. A. Keith Johnston on an English edition of Berghaus’ Physical Atlas. Two years later he moved to London, where he made maps and advised exploratory expeditions as they set off to explore the interior of Africa and the Arctic.
In 1854, Petermann returned to Germany to be Director of the Geographical Institute of Justus Perthes in Gotha. There, he was the editor of the Geographische Mittheilungen and Stieler’s Handatlas. The Royal Geographical Society of London awarded him their Gold Medal in 1860. He continued his interest in exploration in Germany, fundraising for the German Exploring Expeditions of 1868 and 1869-70, which sought an open Arctic sea. Tragically, he committed suicide in 1878.