MY POLAR FLIGHTS by Umberto Nobile


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Umberto Nobile, an Italian colonel and aeronautical engineer, flew twice across the North Pole, once with Amundsen and later with his compatriots in the ill- Italia voyage. Now Signor Nobile, a once active anti-fascist, retells those tales simply, swiftly and with great heart. The Amundsen Norge flight, using one of the author's dirigibles, successfully circled the North Polar Sea. Two years later charting still further unknowns and with a larger airship, Nobile and crew conquered Seyernayn Zemlya, eastern Spitsbergen and northern Greenland, only to meet sudden catastrophe when the ice-clogged Italia crashed. The resultant suicide of his Swedish friend Malmgren, the half-broken wireless, the frenetic rescue parties and the desperation and ultimate heroism of Nobile and his company are vividly captured. The author explores also the professional rivalry and vilification between Amundsen and himself, a subject and discussion which brings credit to neither. Far more poignant were the denunciatory campaigns waged against Nobile by his government a newspapers the Italia debacle. All in all, a slight but noble testament and record, one to spark the spirit of adventurous souls anywhere.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1961
Publisher: Putnam