The Tragedy of the Italia, with the Rescuers to the Red Tent.

An account by an Italian reporter aboard a Russian icebreaker looking for Nobile after the airship had crashed.

p. 43-44: During the early days of the voyage [aboard Krassin] my Russian colleagues brought out a small newspaper called Our Expedition, containing short leading articles, geographical and scientific explanations concerning the regions where the ice-breaker was to work, and caricatures of the leading personalities of the expedition. Later on, when events crowding upon us one after another made it impossible to publish the complete newspaper more than once a day, the system of issuing bulletins was adopted. These were posted up in the mess-rooms of the crew and distributed just as if they were “special editions.”

p. 52-53: At midnight, when the state of our wireless station allowed it, we used to intercept the communiqués of the Swedish Press…. In this way we learned what the big foreign newspapers were publishing about the progress of the Krassin…. Then when the discussion which inevitably followed the reception of the news bulletin began to slacken, young Mme Worontzowa used to read to her compatriots, and her efforts, judging from the deep attention with which they were followed, must have been extremely interesting. Still, a person compelled to sleep on the corner sofas of the little saloon might have felt some doubts as to the beauties of Russian literature on Polar expeditions.

p. 56: A censorship was in force on board the ice- breaker. In the case of the Russian journalists, this was chieflv in the hands of Captain Oras. In this connexion I almost always came into contact with Professor Samoilovic, who, I am glad to be able to say, always showed me the greatest courtesy. Not once, in fact, did Professor Samoilovic take exception to a single sentence or even a single word of the telegrams I sent to the Corriere della Sera. Naturally I was careful to see that my messages were completely objective and did not forget the duties incumbent upon me as a foreigner onboard a vessel of the Russian state. In my case, therefore, the censorship in the Krassin was little more than a formality. It was natural that Professor Samoilovic, as head of the expedition, should wish first of all to inform the Moscow Committee of the progress of the operations, and it was only right that I should bear in mind this legitimate desire.

p. 159: Engineer Troiani, whose feet were giving him trouble, had been transferred to the ship’s hospital, where he occupied a berth over that of Captin Mariano, and passed his time in reading La Noce sur le Pack or in delving into records of Polar exploration, greatly scandalized the other survivors, who declared that they had quite enough of the pack and of Arctic expeditions.

p. 195, after giving up on the Krassin: Cupboards full of books, navigation instruments, tins of preserved food, and kitchen utensils were all strewn about in hopeless confusion, and were left to roll from one side of the vessel to the other for an entire night, for the crew, entirely occupied with managing the ship, could spare no time to clear up the disorder.