Soviet Oceanography and the Second International Polar Year: National Achievements in the International Context
Unprecedented cruises and publications based on the data collected during 1932-33 are listed among the most prominent achievements of Soviet oceanography and the most significant input of the Soviet Union into the Second IPY program. This paper describes the preconditions of this success such as intensive international cooperation in the 1920sstrong governmental support in the beginning of the 1930s and unique environmental conditions with warm optimum in the Arctic. There were scientists who promoted the idea ofinternational collaboration and then turned it towards building national Arctic science, meeting demands of the authorities. In 1932 for the first time oceanographers went around the Franz Josef Land and participated in the first single-season crossing of the North-East passage. Operations along this newly established Northern Sea Route demanded rapid improvement of knowledge of the marine environment that led to the expansion of a network of field stations and vessel-based observations. Twenty six expeditions were fulfilledduring a period of eighteen months on board of several icebreakers and only two research vessels operated in the Soviet Arctic at that time. They sampled from the Greenlandic to the Bering Sea with hundreds of complex deep-sea stations and thousands of surface measurements.