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Quiz about Shackleton  Against Impossible Odds
Quiz about Shackleton  Against Impossible Odds

Shackleton - Against Impossible Odds Quiz


In August 1914, on the eve of World War I, Ernest Shackleton set out with a hand-picked team of explorers hoping to be the first to cross Antarctica on foot.

A multiple-choice quiz by Macjaq. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Macjaq
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
330,908
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
1602
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. 1 August 1914. The expedition ship leaves London bound for the Southern Ocean via Argentina. Shackleton will join the team in Buenos Aires. What is the name of the ship? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. 5 November 1914. The 'Endurance' arrives at Grytviken, South Georgia, in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Shackleton consults local whalers and the expedition takes on fresh supplies. The United Kingdom has claimed sovereignty over these islands but what is the nationality of the whaling community? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. 31 December 1914. After weeks spent picking its way through unusually heavy ice, 'Endurance' crosses the Antarctic Circle. During this time the mixed group of officers, specialists and ship's crew (28 men altogether) has evolved into a team. What is Shackleton's approach to leadership? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. 14 February 1915. The brief Antarctic summer is over, the 'Endurance' is stuck fast and drifting north with the pack ice, away from the intended landing point. Shackleton orders an end to ship routines and the ship itself becomes the team's winter station. At this stage what does Shackleton consider to be the greatest threat to his men? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. 27 October 1915. The 'Endurance', which began breaking up some days earlier, is finally abandoned. Shackleton and his team are encamped on the ice. Life on-board during the winter and the ship's gradual disintegration have been captured by Australian Frank Hurley, a brilliant photographer. Hurley is well aware of his own value and has earned a nickname. What is it? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. October 1915-March 1916. On the drifting pack ice Shackleton accepts that the journey across the continent must be abandoned and survival is now the goal. During this period one of several decisions made for the well-being of the group earns Shackleton the intense dislike of the expedition's carpenter, Scotsman Henry McNish. What is this decision? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. 9 April 1915. After fifteen months trapped in the pack ice, the floe begins to break up and the expedition team takes to the sea in three open boats, each named for a major donor to the expedition's funds - the 'James Caird', the 'Dudley Docker' and the 'Stancomb Wills'. After seven days of storm conditions the boats reach their intended landfall, only 60 miles from their starting point. Where do they come ashore? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. April-August 1916. Most of Shackleton's men will spend the next four months on Elephant Island while Shackleton and five companions set out in the 'James Caird' on a 16 day, 800 mile journey to seek help from South Georgia. What kind of shelter does the team adapt for use on the island?
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. April 1916. The 'James Caird' is only able to land on the uninhabited side of South Georgia and Shackleton and two others (Irishman Tom Crean and New Zealander Frank Worsley) hike overland to Grytviken. Reaching the whaling settlement at last they are astounded by which piece of 'news' from the outside world? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. 30 August 1916. The tug 'Yelcho' carrying Shackleton and the crew of the 'James Caird' reaches Elephant Island to rescue the remainder of the team. How many of the 28 men have died since the 'Endurance' left England two years earlier? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. 1 August 1914. The expedition ship leaves London bound for the Southern Ocean via Argentina. Shackleton will join the team in Buenos Aires. What is the name of the ship?

Answer: Endurance

'Endurance' was a wooden Norwegian barquentine, 144 feet (43.9 metres) long and weighing 300 tons. She was purpose built for polar work. On 4 August 1914, while the ship was still in British waters, the United Kingdom was placed on a war footing. Shackleton and his crew offered their services to the Government but were authorised by the Admiralty to proceed with their mission.

In addition to Shackleton, photographer Frank Hurley joined the expedition in Buenos Aires. An unexpected addition was a stowaway, Perce Blackborow, a Welsh teenager smuggled aboard by a crew member.
2. 5 November 1914. The 'Endurance' arrives at Grytviken, South Georgia, in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Shackleton consults local whalers and the expedition takes on fresh supplies. The United Kingdom has claimed sovereignty over these islands but what is the nationality of the whaling community?

Answer: Norwegian

The whaling station operated under a lease granted by the British Governor of the Falkland Islands.
3. 31 December 1914. After weeks spent picking its way through unusually heavy ice, 'Endurance' crosses the Antarctic Circle. During this time the mixed group of officers, specialists and ship's crew (28 men altogether) has evolved into a team. What is Shackleton's approach to leadership?

Answer: Even-handed, requiring everyone to share a range of daily tasks.

In contrast to the hierarchical approach of earlier leaders, such as Robert Falcon Scott, Shackleton's attitude was unusually egalitarian for the time. The officers and specialists (doctors, photographer, etc) were all required, along with the crew, to help with the running and maintenance of the ship. Even the most fastidious of the officers, Captain Orde-Lees, who objected to being asked to scrub the decks, acknowledged the value of this approach in developing discipline.
4. 14 February 1915. The brief Antarctic summer is over, the 'Endurance' is stuck fast and drifting north with the pack ice, away from the intended landing point. Shackleton orders an end to ship routines and the ship itself becomes the team's winter station. At this stage what does Shackleton consider to be the greatest threat to his men?

Answer: Boredom

Shackleton's previous involvement in Antarctic expeditions had given him a strong sense of the danger of inactivity in a bleak Antarctic winter. For the time being most of his men (particularly the seamen, who had not expected to winter on the ice) were unable to pursue their usual tasks, and psychological problems or personal disputes might have developed.

As counter-measures Shackleton instituted a formal schedule of winter duties, had new sleeping quarters constructed on the ship, and divided responsibility for care of the dog teams. Games and evening entertainments were also organised.
5. 27 October 1915. The 'Endurance', which began breaking up some days earlier, is finally abandoned. Shackleton and his team are encamped on the ice. Life on-board during the winter and the ship's gradual disintegration have been captured by Australian Frank Hurley, a brilliant photographer. Hurley is well aware of his own value and has earned a nickname. What is it?

Answer: The Little Prince

Hurley's dedication to his craft led him to strip to the waist and work in four-foot deep icy water to rescue his negatives from the abandoned 'Endurance'. His work provides an invaluable (and beautiful) record of the expedition.
6. October 1915-March 1916. On the drifting pack ice Shackleton accepts that the journey across the continent must be abandoned and survival is now the goal. During this period one of several decisions made for the well-being of the group earns Shackleton the intense dislike of the expedition's carpenter, Scotsman Henry McNish. What is this decision?

Answer: The sled dogs, and the carpenter's cat, are shot.

The sled dogs were progressively shot during this period as feeding them was rapidly reducing available rations. The decision that this should include McNish's cat Mrs Chippy (actually a male) was fair, given that many of the other men had become deeply attached to the dogs.

However, for the rest of his life, McNish blamed Shackleton for the loss of his cat. McNish, a Glaswegian, died in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1930 and is buried in the same cemetery as Captain Orde-Lees, the expedition's ski expert, whom he had disliked.
7. 9 April 1915. After fifteen months trapped in the pack ice, the floe begins to break up and the expedition team takes to the sea in three open boats, each named for a major donor to the expedition's funds - the 'James Caird', the 'Dudley Docker' and the 'Stancomb Wills'. After seven days of storm conditions the boats reach their intended landfall, only 60 miles from their starting point. Where do they come ashore?

Answer: Elephant Island

Hungry, tired and suffering from frostbite, boils and blisters, the expedition members set foot on land for the first time since 5 December 1914.

The expedition's main private backers (the British Government was also an important contributor) were Sir James Key Caird, a Scots jute manufacturer, Dudley Docker, an English businessman, and Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills, a philanthropist.
8. April-August 1916. Most of Shackleton's men will spend the next four months on Elephant Island while Shackleton and five companions set out in the 'James Caird' on a 16 day, 800 mile journey to seek help from South Georgia. What kind of shelter does the team adapt for use on the island?

Answer: Upturned boats mounted on stone walls.

Snow caves were attempted but were abandoned when the men discovered their body heat melted the caves from the inside. No timber was available on the island, nor did it have structures left over from previous occupation. The tents alone were inadequate to keep out the prevailing winds but were used to wind-proof the stone walls.
9. April 1916. The 'James Caird' is only able to land on the uninhabited side of South Georgia and Shackleton and two others (Irishman Tom Crean and New Zealander Frank Worsley) hike overland to Grytviken. Reaching the whaling settlement at last they are astounded by which piece of 'news' from the outside world?

Answer: "The war is not over!"

The expedition had left Europe at a time when it was confidently predicted that the war would be 'over by Christmas' and had been completely out of contact with any source of news since departing South Georgia in late 1914.

Shackleton would not have been overwhelmed to hear that Edward VII was dead - he died in 1910. Johnson's epic flight did not take place until 1930. D. H. Lawrence's controversial novel 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' was first published in 1928. However, the famous trial under Britain's Obscene Publications Act (1959) took place in 1960 when Penguin published the full uncensored version of the book.
10. 30 August 1916. The tug 'Yelcho' carrying Shackleton and the crew of the 'James Caird' reaches Elephant Island to rescue the remainder of the team. How many of the 28 men have died since the 'Endurance' left England two years earlier?

Answer: None

This was the real achievement of Shackleton and his team. They had endured more than a year on the ice in appalling conditions and survived the hazardous voyages by open boat to Elephant Island and South Georgia without losing a single human life.
Source: Author Macjaq

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