Polar Explorers

victor-baumann-big-(3).pngHans Adolf Viktor Baumann (1870-1932)

Baumann was second-in-command on Otto Sverdrup's 2nd Fram expedition to northwest Greenland and the islands north of Canada.

Hans Adolf Viktor Baumann was born in Kristiania (Oslo). His career was within the Navy and shipping. He became a naval officer in 1893 and naval captain in 1911. He attended the technical college in Charlottenburg, Berlin, 1895-97, where he studied as electro-technician, and he was employed at the Naval Observatory in Wilhelmshafen (newly-founded [1869] German town and naval base) in 1897.

In 1898 Baumann joined Otto Sverdrup’s expedition with the Fram to northwest Greenland and the islands north of Canada. He was first mate and second-in-command, with authority over the five scientists on board. This latter position caused some disagreements, since Baumann did not quite see the need for all the scientific work – which in fact was a considerable result of the expedition, and his military manner did not suit the scientists. He took part in several of the expedition’s long dog-sledge journeys as observer and surveyor, and he taught Sverdrup and others modern surveying calculations.

This Fram expedition was noteworthy both for its wealth of scientific data and for the mapping of c. 150 000 km² of what is now the northernmost Canadian Arctic. Baumann was made a Knight of the (Norwegian) Order of St. Olav in 1903 for his work on the expedition.

Baumann married in 1904 and from 1908 he was employed as ship inspector for the shipping company Det Nordenfjeldske Dampskibsselskap. In 1922 he became assistant director and he was a member of several important committees.

 He died in Trondheim.

"Victory awaits him, who has everything in order - luck we call it.  Defeat is definitely due for him, who has neglected to take the necessary precautions - bad luck we call it"

Roald Amundsen

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