Sir Ernest Shackleton and his 27 men made up the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.They planned to cross the Antarctic continent on foot. It was a feat not accomplished until 1957-58 during the International Geophysical Year.
This was his 3d expedition to the Antarctic. He had been with Scott in '01 and, in '07; he and 3 companions made it to within 97 miles of the poles and then raced with hunger and death to return. They made it. He was knighted. Peary then got to the North Pole in '09 and Amundsen got to he South Pole beating out Scott — who, with his 3 companions, died trying to get back.
Shackleton put together two very stout ships designed for the ice. He chose the crew- "In the matter of selecting newcomers, Shackleton's methods would appear to have been almost capricious. If he liked the look of a man, he was acceptied. If he didn't, the matter was closed. And these decisions were made with lightening speed. There is not record of any interview...lasting...more than five minutes."
They had planned to skirt the Weddell Sea "and its evil (ice) pack and find the coast ...ice-free" It didn't happen. The ship was blown and pushed into the ice pack in the Weddell Sea and stuck there. "The Endurance was beset. As Orde-Lees, the storekeeper, put it,"frozen, like an almond in the middle of a chocolate bar....The Endurance was one microscopic speck, 144 feet long and 25 feet wide, embedded in nearly one million spuare miles of ice...".
On October 24,1915 the pressure of the ice movement became enough to buckle the decks and break the beams. "...the stern was thrown upward 20 feet, and the rudder and sternpost were torn out of her." Shackleton went into the forecastle and said, "She's going , boys... I think it's time to get off."
Getting off meant making camp for months on a floating surface of ice flows with their 3 saved boats, their dogs, and the supplies they managed to pull out of the ship while it was being crushed. Then there was an attempt to pull the boats and supplies across the ice toward an island that held the hope of supplies left behind by a previous shipwreck. The ice changed direction and the island was left behind. They lived on the ice eating seals and penguins. Their survival is the story and action-adventure it is. No need for special effects or invention. These are a strangely collected group of adventurers who were formed into a brave, resourceful team by a man who was always one of them and yet always remained "The Boss".