Herbert Schröder-Stranz

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Herbert Schröder-Stranz
Born(1884-06-09)9 June 1884
Disappeared15 August 1912(1912-08-15) (aged 28)
Nordaustlandet, Norway
Known forexpedition to the Northeast Passage

Herbert Schröder-Stranz (9 June 1884 – c. 15 August 1912) was a German officer and explorer of polar regions. He led the German Arctic Expedition of 1912.


The crew of the German Arctic Expedition, Schröder-Stranz in the center

Schröder-Stranz was born at his family estate at Stranz, West Prussia (modern Strączno, Poland) and later added the name of his birthplace to his family's name (Schröder is a common name in Germany).[1][2]

Schröder-Stranz joined the German Army and was deployed in German South-West Africa, he later travelled the Russian Kola peninsula, where he began to plan an expedition to discover the Northeast Passage.

In 1912 a preliminary expedition started aboard of the schooner "Herzog Ernst", a ship under the command of Alfred Ritscher and named after Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, the main sponsor of the project.[1]

The crew, among them the illustrator Christopher Rave, assembled on 1 August 1912 in Tromsø. As the public fund-raising had been less successful than expected, Schröder-Stranz searched for a way to improve the publicity. He changed the initial plans and proposed to cross Spitsbergen's Nordaustlandet from the South to the North, the first expedition to do so.[1]

The expedition left Tromsø on 5 August 1912. On 13 August 1912 the "Herzog Ernst" was halted by pack ice three miles beyond Nordaustlandet's North Cape. On 15 August 1912 Schröder-Stranz and three crew members disembarked and tried to cross the pack ice, ten miles away from the nearest mainland, with kayaks and sledges. This was the last time Schröder-Stranz was seen alive, only 7 out of 15 members of his crew survived the following winter.


  1. ^ a b c Mills, William J. (2003). Exploring Polar Frontiers. p. 578. ISBN 1-57607-422-6.
  2. ^ Thadeusz, Frank (2008). "Harakiri im Polarmeer" (in German). Der Spiegel.

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