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Seventy years after the end of World War II, the full story of Britain’s secret Antarctic expedition has still never been told. Launched in 1943, Operation Tabarin was an expedition to secretly establish bases, keep a watchful eye on German and Japanese activities, and curb opportunistic Argentinian incursions.
Ivan Mackenzie Lamb 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.
After the war, he used his diary to complete a vivid story of his time in Antarctica. It is a key eyewitness account and has been illustrated with contemporary photos and expedition maps.
Operation Tabarin is without doubt one of the most significant expeditions of what might be described as the ‘post-Heroic’ phase of Antarctic exploration; ultimately it would develop into the British Antarctic Survey, arguably the most important and enduring of all government-sponsored programmes of research in the Antarctic. Operation Tabarin also set in train a series of events that would lead, ultimately, to the Falklands War of 1982.
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