Louis Palander


Louis Palander

Infobox_Person
name = Adolf Arnold Louis Palander


imagesize =
caption =
birth_date = October 2, 1842
birth_place = flagicon|Sweden Karlskrona, Sweden
death_date = August 7, 1920, aged age|1842|10|2|1920|8|7
death_place = flagicon|Sweden Djursholm, Sweden
occupation = naval officer and arctic explorer
spouse = Anna Katarina Grischotti
child =
relations =

Adolf Arnold Louis Palander (October 2, 1842 – August 7, 1920) Swedish naval officer and mostly remembered as the captain on Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld's "Vega" expedition, the first successful attempt to navigate the Northeast Passage.

Early navy career

Louis Palander was born in Karlskrona in October 1842. His father "Axel Fredrik Palander" was a rear admiral (lower half) in the Swedish Royal Navy, and the director of the Royal Navy shipyard in Karlskrona. His mother was "Emelie Jacquette Constance du Rées". Louis Palander became a naval cadet already at the early age of 14. In 1864 he graduated from the Navy Academy in Karlberg as a second lieutenant and participated in expeditions to the Mediterranean, Sierra Leone and Liberia on the corvette "Gefle", as well as in a trip to the United States. After several other appointments at sea, Louis Palander participated in Nordenskiölds expedition to Spitsbergen in 1868, on board the steamer "Sofia" (the ships captain was baron "Fredrik von Otter"). He married Anna Katarina Grischotti the same year.

Thereafter, Palander served on the ship "Vanadis" on an expedition to the Mediterranean in 1869-1870. He was subsequently promoted to lieutenant and was the ships captain on the postal steamer "Polhem", first during the winter of 1870-1871 between Gotland and main land Sweden, and then during 1871-1872 to secure the postal route across the Öresund in severe winter conditions. He was also the ships captain on the steamer "Polhem" during Nordenskiölds winter expedition to the Spitsbergen islands in 1872-1873, where he displayed exceptional courage and skill and significantly contributed to the scientific work. From the base camp at Mosselbay, Palander and nine other men accompanied Nordenskiöld on the unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole in May-June 1873. Upon return to Sweden, Palanders request for an honorable discharge from the navy was granted, and he took employment first as a captain on cargo ships en route to England, and later as a captain for a steamer line based in Gothenburg.

The Vega expedition

In 1877 Palander returned to the Royal Navy and offered to become the captain on the expedition to navigate the Northeast passage. For this purpose, Palander secured the whaling ship "Vega", and selected the crew and officers. The ship sailed from Karlshamn on June 22, 1878, and arrived in Tromsö (Norway) on July 17th where Nordenskiöld boarded the ship. The expedition, which was carried out during 1878-1879, was ultimately successful, and shortly before the end of the voyage, he was promoted to the full rank of captain. Upon return to Sweden, he was made a nobility by the Swedish king Oscar II under the name of "Palander af Vega", and parliament awarded him an annual pension of 4 000 Swedish crowns yearly. Palander was an accomplished amateur photographer and brought home approximately 60 photographic plates depicting the journey and people encountered during the trip.

Later navy and political career

During 1881-1883, Palander served as an aide-de-camp to the director of the Royal Navy shipyard in Karlskrona, as well as to the "Department of Sea Warfare" during 1886-1889. In 1889 he was promoted to commander and in 1893 he was appointed as chief of the supply service for the administrative office of the Swedish Royal Navy ("Swedish: Marinförvaltningens intendenturavdelning"). In 1896 he was promoted to rear admiral (lower half) and first aide-de-camp to the king, and subsequently in 1897 appointed as the director of the Royal Navy shipyard in Karlskrona. In 1899 he was made the director of the administrative office of the Swedish Royal Navy ("Swedish: Marinförvaltningen") and in 1900 promoted to full rank of rear admiral (upper half). In 1901 he became a cabinet minister responsible for the Department of Sea Warfare. In 1903 he was promoted to vice admiral.

On 2 August 1905 he resigned his post as cabinet minister together with the rest of the government (as a consequence of the political crisis arising from the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden) and resumed his post in the Swedish Royal Navy.

References

* "Svenskt Biografiskt Handlexikon" (SBH), 2nd edition, Albert Bonniers Förlag, Stockholm, 1906.


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