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Tired of Damon and Massengale? What Two Polar Explorers Teach Us About War and Leadership | An Enlightened Soldier

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The use of supply caches was the only way the two explorers could successfully make the 1700 mile journey in this unforgiving environment. In order to alleviate the amount of supplies the team hauled during the expedition, each team established these caches halfway to the South Pole. Amundsen understood that friction would wreak havoc on his team. He knew that weather conditions may not be ideal, that navigational instruments may break, and that fatigue may make finding these critical food sources complicated. Their survival rested on the proper marking of these depots. As described by Roland Huntford, “The method [Amundsen] adopted was a line of black pennants on short sticks running east-west across course. Twenty were laid out half a mile apart; ten on each side, making a transverse marking 10 miles long. This was well within any conceivable instrumental error, so that even in thick weather, the chances of missing a pennant were small.” Scott only marked his depots with a single flag, exposing himself to catastrophe when the same friction that Amundsen prepared for paid a visit.

Brilliant accounting for fail by Amundsen. 

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