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Mr. Kobayashi
08-22-2016, 11:36 AM
The effects of the Second World War were felt on every other continent, some more severely than others - but what about the freak continent, Antarctica? Did the largest conflict in history have any known effects down there at all or was it 'business as usual' for the duration? Were there any plans by either side at any stage to involve Antarctica in the conflict in any capacity?

The closest I've got by JFGI reveals a British Operation Tabarin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Tabarin) which aimed to establish a permanent British presence in response to ze Germans dropping swastika flags around the place and to put off Japan from taking the Falklands (!!), but I've not been able to find much more.

Amateur Barbarian
08-22-2016, 11:44 AM
Wartime operations simply weren't possible in that climate in the 1940s. As a recent thread pointed out, even our most badass aircraft carriers stay within the tropic lines 99% of the time.

There were no resources and what harbors and staging areas that might have been created were a long ways from the conflict zones. So Auntie Arctica sat that one out.

Maybe not so lucky for the next great war, when it's mostly dry land and there's less of that to go around...

dolphinboy
08-22-2016, 12:14 PM
Antarctica wasn't considered a strategic asset for either the Allies or Axis powers during WWII.

carnivorousplant
08-22-2016, 12:41 PM
There were no resources and what harbors and staging areas that might have been created were a long ways from the conflict zones. So Auntie Arctica sat that one out.



But what about the Nazi UFO bases? :dubious:

Sailboat
08-22-2016, 12:54 PM
Note that there were some arctic and subarctic automated weather stations set up by the Nazis in remote areas, but that's the other pole of the planet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Station_Kurt

Amateur Barbarian
08-22-2016, 01:29 PM
But what about the Nazi UFO bases? :dubious:
Fat lotta good they did in the end, eh? They never did solve the freeze-up problem.

carnivorousplant
08-22-2016, 01:53 PM
Fat lotta good they did in the end, eh? They never did solve the freeze-up problem.

Yes, Adolf is probably still complaining about the weather.

clairobscur
08-22-2016, 03:17 PM
The German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis called at Kerguelen during December 1940. During their stay the crew performed maintenance and replenished their water supplies. This ship's first fatality of the war occurred when a sailor, Bernhard Herrmann, fell while painting the funnel. He is buried in what is sometimes referred to as "the most southerly German war grave" of World War II.

The Kerguelen island is 70 south.

DrDeth
08-22-2016, 04:01 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_auxiliary_cruiser_Pinguin

The Pinguincaptured the Norwegian whaling fleet in the area around South Georgia.

dtilque
08-22-2016, 07:07 PM
Yes, Adolf is probably still complaining about the weather.

They're never going to get that Fourth Reich thing going, are they?

The Kerguelen island is 70 south.

I actually know the lattitude of this place off the top of my head, because it's one of only three islands antipodal to the contiguous USA. In specific, it's opposite the western section of the US-Canadian border, which is well-known to be at 49 N. So it's at 49 S, opposite Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Not exactly in the Antarctic, unless you count Montana in the Arctic.

Freddy the Pig
08-22-2016, 07:21 PM
The closest I've got by JFGI reveals a British Operation Tabarin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Tabarin) which aimed to establish a permanent British presence in response to ze Germans dropping swastika flags around the place and to put off Japan from taking the Falklands (!!), but I've not been able to find much more.The Germans had indeed been poking around the coast of Antarctica in 1938-39. They were primarily concerned with whaling--still a significant industry at the time--but were also fantasizing about a possible future military base.

This report (https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/attach/49/49783_.pdf) (PDF) has a pretty good summary. As the authors say, "The follow-up German expeditions planned for 19391940 and 19401941, which might have led to the construction of a base had the reconnaissance proved successful, could not be carried out because of the outbreak of war."

It was enough, however, to get the attention of the British:Bearing in mind that, early in World War II, Argentina and Chile were friendly with Germany, Great Britain decided, during the war, that it needed to demonstrate occupancy as one means of rebutting these competing claims. The British chose to do this by establishing permanently manned bases that could be used to obtain information on shipping activity, to deny the use of harbours to German ships, and to support teams of researchers engaged in geographical discovery and scientific investigation (Fuchs 1982: 2254). Denial of the islands as bases to potential enemies began with the
visit of HMS Queen of Bermuda to Deception Island, on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, in March 1941 to destroy stocks of coal and to puncture fuel tanks. Argentina had placed marks of sovereignty on Deception Island in 1942. They were obliterated in January 1943 by HMS Carnarvon Castle, which hoisted the Union Flag there (Sullivan 1957).Then there was Operation Tabarin, which you've already mentioned.

So, "obliterating" the boundary markers of an unfriendly neutral, and puncturing one's own fuel tanks, was about as badass as the action got on the White Continent during World War II.

carnivorousplant
08-22-2016, 10:19 PM
They're never going to get that Fourth Reich thing going, are they?





Not with him doddering about on that walker that slips on the ice.

Wendell Wagner
08-23-2016, 04:06 AM
In the novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, one of the characters is sent to an American base in Antarctica during World War II. I can't find any information on such a base. I presume that it was made up for the novel.

Bones Daley
08-23-2016, 05:20 AM
I have it on the authority of Professor Eric Dubay that far from being a continental land mass, Antarctica is actually a ring of ice surrounding the whole planet ... I'm not quite sure how that works, but that's what he says .

Ken001
08-23-2016, 06:03 AM
Ah well Dubay, he might be talking about Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer where indeed the planet has a circle of ice. http://io9.gizmodo.com/5579127/the-first-novel-of-riverworld-covers-some-deep-waters-but-its-a-rough-ride