The Secret South: A Tale of Operation Tabarin 1943-46: Lamb, Ivan Mackenzie
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The Secret South: A Tale of Operation Tabarin 1943-46

Author(s): Lamb, Ivan Mackenzie

Copyright: 2018, UK
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.xlii, 262, photo frontis, 34 bw photos, 4 illus, 2 plans, 6 maps, appendices, black cloth
Condition: dj & cloth new

Early in 1944, nine men landed on a tiny, barren island off the west coast of the Graham Land Peninsula in Antarctica. Armed with only a small assortment of rifles and pistols and with an obsolete 12-pounder mounted on the bows of their decrepit supply vessel, officially, their purpose was to prevent German U-boats and surface raiders from using Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic harbours for refuelling and resupply. Unofficially, they were tasked with reasserting British territorial rights in the face of increasingly confident incursions by neutral Argentina.

This expedition, code-named Operation Tabarin, was the precursor to the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, and the arrival of the nine British and Commonwealth soldiers, sailors and scientists marked both the beginning of Britain’s permanent presence on the Antarctic continent and the commencement of a complex programme of scientific research and geographic exploration which continues to this day.

Ivan Mackenzie Lamb (1911-90) was the expedition’s botanist but, until now, his narrative has never been published. His account provides a fascinating insight into this top secret military operation. He was a member of the naval party that established three manned bases, he remained in the field throughout the operation’s two-year duration and took part in all three major sledging expeditions. This is a key eyewitness account to this important period and has been illustrated with contemporary photos and expedition maps.

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