Sedov Georgiy Yakovlevich
naval officer and polar explorer.
Born on the shores of the Sea of Azov in the family of a
fisherman, from childhood he loved and recognized the sea. Life
was such that only at the age of 14, Sedov was able to go to school. Having
passed three classes in two years, because of the need to earn
money, he stopped his studies and became a clerk in a grocery store. But
such a life naturally did not suit him. At
the age of 18 he left home and enrolled in nautical classes in
winter, he studied hard, in the summer he earned money as a sailor
on ships sailing the Black Sea, while gaining the necessary sea
having graduated from the nautical classes in 1898, Sedov received
the title of long-time navigator. For
some time he sailed as an assistant captain, then as a captain on a
small cargo ship that traveled between Novorossiysk and Batumi. All
his free time Sedov gave self-education, and in 1900 passed the exam
for the rank of warrant officer of the navy. After
that I went to Petersburg and won the right to pass the exam for the
full course of the Marine Corps. It
was not easy to do this, since the children of hereditary nobles
were taken into the elite Marine Corps first of all and only in the
case of an incomplete set of high-ranking officials and higher
had to fully demonstrate his characteristic stubbornness, which,
together with good preparation, helped him to pass an exam a year
later and receive the rank of lieutenant in the Admiralty. He
was seconded to the Main Hydrographic Board.
In 1902, he first came to the Arctic as part of the hydrographic
expedition of General A.I. Varnek,
who quickly appreciated the ability and dedication of Sedov, always
ready to perform the most difficult and dangerous tasks. At
that time, Sedov conceived the idea of an expedition to the North
During the Russo-Japanese War, Sedov commanded the destroyer of
the Amur Flotilla, at the end of the war he was appointed manager of
the installation of floating warning signs in the Far Eastern seas,
and then worked as a military hydrograph on the Caspian Sea.
A serious test for him was the appointment of the head of the
expedition for the hydrographic study of the mouth of the Kolyma. This
most important state assignment was successfully fulfilled.
In the summer of 1910, Sedov filmed the Krestovaya
Bay on Novaya Zemlya. During
this period, he decided not to postpone the realization of his dream
of an expedition to the North Pole.
In 1912, he presented his expedition project to the Chief of the
Main Hydrographic Department, General A.I. Vilkitsky. They
talked about Sedov’s project in various circles of Russian society
and, as it turned out, the general reaction to it was mostly
historiographers explain this primarily by their hostility towards
Sedov as a native of the lower class, and also by the fact that the
North Pole, as it was then believed, was already reached by R.
there is some truth in this, but the main reason is most likely
shows that the main task of the Russian Arctic studies since the
time of Lomonosov was a comprehensive study of the possibilities of
navigation along the northern shores of Siberia, which is so
necessary for the development and development of this region. Russia
has never participated in the so-called "race to the pole". In
addition, the planned route from the
Franz Josef Land was the least successful
for reaching the pole because of its length, the characteristics of
the ice surface and the dominant currents. The
elaboration of the details of the project was also not deep enough. This,
in particular, related to the speed of movement on the ice, the
amount of necessary food for dogs, etc. In addition, Sedov hoped to
start moving from 83°N from
Petermann Earth or Oscar Earth, which actually did not exist, and
this was already known. A
special commission under the maritime ministry chaired by A.I. Vilkitsky
as part of Captain 1st Rank Bukhteev,
Captain 2nd Rank A.V.Kolchak, Colonel Mordvinov, Privy Counselor A.A. Bunge,
State Counselor L.L. Breitfus,
court councilors Tolmachev and A.A. Byalynitsky-Birulia recognized
the plan of the expedition to the pole as ill-conceived. The
State Duma refused Sedov to finance the project.
But not such a man was Sedov to retreat. He
decided, by all means, to conduct an expedition in this, in 1912,
organizing it with private donations. In
an effort to make big donations, he verbally and in writing made a
broadcasting statement about the undoubted success of the upcoming
expedition, the rapid conquest of the pole, the glory of Russia,
on abundant donations was not justified. In
addition, time is tight. As
a result, due to lack of funds and time, unfair suppliers, lack of
proper control by the head of the expedition was organized poorly. The
departure of the ship of the expedition
"St. Foka" from Arkhangelsk in mid-September questioned the achievement of
Franz Josef Land in the same year.
On the bridge “St. Foka” in
the Barents Sea, from left to right, Sedov, mechanic
Zander ?, Pavlov,
Kushakov, Pinegin, Vize
Novaya Zemlya.1912 - 1913
Because of the unusually heavy ice conditions, the vessel could
only reach Novaya Zemlya, where it was lost by ice and left for
the winter. During
this wintering period, the expedition achieved the greatest
scientific results. It
was for them, and not the race to the pole, that it should have been
was first mapped the South Crusade Islands. As
a result of the land routes of Sedov, the northern tip of Novaya
Zemlya acquired a completely new, true look: new bays, glaciers and
ridges were discovered and mapped. Geological
and biological studies were conducted on the northern part of the
northern island of Novaya Zemlya. In
parallel, was preparing for further swimming. Only
on September 3, 1913, “St. Foka” was able to move to Franz Josef Land. As
of the expedition, by this time it was time to go back home. It
was with such a proposal that the leading members of the expedition
addressed Sedov on August 29. It
was a terrible moral blow, but Sedov remained adamant, he could not
September 13, anchored at Cape
Flora on the
southwestern tip of Northbrook Island. By
this time, the coal reserves had dried up, and animal fat, ropes and
old sails were burned in the fire chambers. Having
a little replenished the fuel reserves with the remnants of the coal
of the former American expedition A. Fiala here, they moved north
but were soon stopped by insurmountable ice and wintering in Tikhaya
Sedov in the cabin "St. Foka"
(from the archive of the
Russian Geographical Society)
The second wintering due to lack of food and fuel was held in
difficult conditions. Sedov,
like many members of the expedition, was sick with scurvy, but
nothing could break his will and make him refuse to go to the pole. February
15 with sailors G.V. Linnik and A.M. Pustoshniy on
three sledges and with eight dogs, he set off on his last route. The
tragic outcome of the march was obvious to everyone, since, at best,
the provisions could be enough only to the pole. Sedov
went to the obvious suicide, for a man like him, this outcome in
this situation was the best. The
fact that Sedov understood the death of his campaign confirms, in
our opinion, the following fact. At
the last moment, he refused to take part in the campaign of V.Yu. Vize,
motivating this decision by unwillingness to disrupt scientific
- regretted himself and the sailors - no.
Sedov appointed Kushakov as acting head of the expedition. Left
to that instruction, in fact, was the testament of Sedov. In
it, he appears primarily as a surprisingly noble person. Here
are excerpts from it:
1. If possible, do not change my order. To
resort to this only in extreme cases ...
2. Concentrate scientific work mainly along the east coast of
the British Canal, as more free of ice cover ...
4. Send one expedition to Cape Flora under the command of the
artist Nikolai Pinegin. Prepare
firewood for the ship there and leave a note in a prominent place in
case any ship arrives there ...
8. Wait for the pole party in Tikhaya Bay only until August 1
of this year, after which build a stone dugout and leave in it a
small supply of provisions, shotgun shells and in general everything
you need for a shelter for 3 people, and go to Russia on board the
ship or karbas and in no case stay on a new wintering beyond the
Arctic Circle, for many of our people will not endure the third
9. Leaving Franz Josef Land, leave on Cape Flora copies of the
maps you made hydrographic work and other works, repair one house
the provisions in order and put them in a cottage, and also repair
the carbas in Cape Flora in case we had to sail to Russia .......
10. When you arrive in Russia, do not worry about applying for
a ship to be sent to us, as this will be a waste of money, because
if we are to survive, then we will get home on our own ...
12. One of your main tasks is attentive care for the health
and integrity of the people of the expedition, a successful outcome
of which will serve as a great benefit for the cause and a high
moral reward for you.
On the seventh day of the march, Sedov could no longer walk and
was forced to move on sledges. Nevertheless,
he did not want to hear about return, hoping for replenishment of
food in the
Teplits Bay on Rudolph Island from
the stocks of Italian and American expeditions left there. But
to reach this island they were not destined.March 5, 1914 Sedov
sailors wanted to get to the Bay of Teplits, to replenish stocks
there, and then with the body of Sedov return to the ship. But
because of the huge divorce they could not reach the bay on the sea
ice, but did not dare to go on the glacier. In
the end, they refused to deliver the body of Sedov to the ship and
buried him either at Cape
Auk, or Cape Brohork of Rudolph Island, having filled up with a
pile of stones and installing a cross from the skis. Nearby
they put the flag that Sedov wanted to hoist at the pole. In
1938, at Cape Auk, employees of the polar station “Rudolph Island”
found fragments of skis, rusty cans, decayed pieces of tarpaulin,
ropes and fur clothing. There
was also a small hatchet-hammer and a flagpole, on which scraps of
the Russian flag remained. The
flagpole had a copper sleeve labeled “Polar Expedit. Sedow
body of Sedov was not found. Discovered
items are stored in the Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic in St.
1977, the flagpole was delivered to the North Pole by an expedition
"Arktika" nuclear-powered icebreaker.
The expedition returned to Russia in 1914. On
the way back, on Cape Flora, a famous meeting was held with the two
surviving members of the expedition G.L. Brusilov
navigator V.I. Albanov and
sailor A.E. Konrad.
Paying tribute to the courage and determination of Sedov, his
love for Russia, the desire to bring her fame, one cannot fail to
say that in Soviet times his role in the exploration of the Arctic
was clearly exaggerated, and he was literally canonized. Obviously,
it cannot be put on a par with such researchers as, for example, N.A.-E.Nordenskiöld, F.
Nansen, V.A. Rusanov, F.P. Litke, F.P.
A memorial plaque with the inscription “Expedition Leut. Sedov
At the place of the alleged burial of Sedov Cape Auk, the crew of
the diesel-electric ship
“Ob” erected a pillar, reinforced with
stones, with an inscription in the upper part: “Sedov”, lower around
the circumference: “Expedition to “Sedov”.
In 1929, the expedition of O.
was given a memorial
plaque with the inscription: "The place where G.Ya. Sedov died, who
died during the campaign to the North Pole".
The northern entrance cape of
Tikhaya Bay and the glacier on
Hooker Island in the Franz Josef Land Archipelago.
of Sedov. Abandoned
polar station "Silent Cove"
(photo by N. M. Stolbov)
(photo by E.Suvorova)
the southwestern part of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Called
by the Northern Hydrographic Expedition in 1925.
the island of the archipelago of Nordensheld. Named
in 1939 by an expedition on the hydrographic vessel
island in the
Dyrovataya Bay in the west of Vaigach Island. Named
in 1902 by A.I. Varnek.
Population of the Sedov Bay
(photo by A. Brataev)
the Kara coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Discovered
in 1910 by V.A. Rusanov. The
name was given in 1925 by the expedition of the Institute for the
Study of the North on the sailing-motor vessel "Elding" under the
leadership of R.L. Samoylovich.
the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. In
1912, G.Ya. Sedov called the “lip of
Suvorin” in honor of one of
the organizers of his expedition. The
real name was given in 1914 by members of the expedition of Sedov.
In addition, in honor of the icebreaker steamer
The archipelago at
the entrance from
the west to the strait of the Red Army between the
islands of Komsomolets and the October Revolution. Opened
in 1930 by the expedition of the All-Union Arctic Institute on the
icebreaker steamer "G. Sedov". Originally
named in honor of the Soviet commander S.S. Kamenev,
and in 1937 renamed in honor of the icebreaker steamer that opened
of Sedov) between the islands of Pravda and Nansen of the
archipelago of Nordenskjold, where the icebreaker steamer "G. Sedov
”was hiding from the ice when unloading the property of the polar
station“ Island of Truth”.