The history of the world's first icebreaker “Yermak” and the significance of its first expeditions to explore the Arctic

Keywords: “Yermak”icebreaker, Northern Sea Route, Imperial Russian Geographical Society, Vice Admiral Makarov, Arctic research, polar expeditions

Abstract

In this article, the authors tried to consider and structure the stages of development and creation of the “Yermak”, the world's first Arctic icebreaker, and analyzed the stages of preparation and the results of its first expeditions to explore the Arctic. Systematic analysis of historical sources and biographical material allowed to separate and comprehensively consider the conditions and prehistory for the development and creation of “Yermak” icebreaker. Also, the authors gave an assessment to the role of Vice Admiral Stepan Osypovych Makarov in those events, and analyzed the role of Sergei Yulyevich Witte, Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev and Pyotr Petrovich Semenov-Tian-Shansky in the preparation and implementation of the first Arctic expeditions of the “Yermak”icebreaker. In addition, the authors considered and analyzed the assessment of Vice Admiral Stepan Osypovych Makarov and his personal contribution to the results of the first Arctic expeditions of the “Yermak”icebreaker made by Baron Ferdinand von Wrangel. The first polar expeditions showed that the idea of Vice Admiral Stepan Osypovych Makarov about the icebreaker fleet was viable and required further development. It is shown that the results of the first Arctic expeditions made by “Yermak” allowed to significantly develop knowledge in various scientific fields of Arctic and Earth research, namely, topography, astronomy, meteorology, hydrology, geology, magnetism, zoology, and botany. The use of these methods and approaches to scientific research allowed to retrace the way of life and professional activity of Vice Admiral Stepan Osypovych Makarov’s systematically and critically evaluate the sources used, highlight the main points in the current state of studying the subject and the results of predecessors, specify the most promising directions of research, give a description of the previous works on this issue and clearly distinguish issues that have not yet been resolved.

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Published
2021-12-12
How to Cite
Davydovska, H., Petruchenko, O., & Yanin, V. (2021). The history of the world’s first icebreaker “Yermak” and the significance of its first expeditions to explore the Arctic. History of Science and Technology, 11(2), 329-350. https://doi.org/10.32703/2415-7422-2021-11-2-329-350