Thomas Vilhelm Garde

Last updated
Thomas Garde
Born22 October 1859
Copenhagen, Denmark
Died24 June 1926
Copenhagen, Denmark
AllegianceFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Service/branchNaval Ensign of Denmark.svg  Royal Danish Navy
Years of service1877 - 1921
Rank Commander
Awards Service Medal
Order of the Dannebrog

Thomas Vilhelm Garde (22 October 1859 24 June 1926) was a Danish naval officer, distinguished for his explorations in Greenland.

Greenland autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark

Greenland is an autonomous constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for more than a millennium. The majority of its residents are Inuit, whose ancestors began migrating from the Canadian mainland in the 13th century, gradually settling across the island.


Garde became a sub-lieutenant of the Danish Navy in 1880, rising to the rank of First lieutenant in 1881, captain in 1898, Commander in 1908 and Rear Admiral in 1918. He retired from active service in 1921.

Sub-lieutenant is a junior military officer rank.

Lieutenant is a commissioned officer rank in many nations' navies. It is typically the most senior of junior officer ranks. The rank's insignia usually consists of two medium gold braid stripes and often the uppermost stripe features an executive curl.

Captain (naval) Naval military rank

Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The rank is equal to the army rank of colonel.


Garde was junior leader of the Umiak Expedition of 1883-85 led by Gustav Holm. They thoroughly explored the coast of southeast Greenland, by journeys from Cape Farewell using umiak boats. Garde explored Lindenow Fjord (62° 15' N), where have been found the Scandinavian ruins on the east coast. Wintering at Nanortalik, he discovered between there and Cape Farewell 200 live glaciers, of which 70 had a sea face more than a mile (1.61 km) wide. During his surveys of the Julianahaab district, southwest of Greenland, in 1893, he made a long journey over the Greenland ice cap, which proved to be of unsuspected height. In his trip of 13 days he traveled 180 miles (290 km) across the ice and reached an elevation of more than 8000 feet (2438 m). He was awarded the Roquette medal by the Société de Géographie of Paris.

Gustav Frederik Holm Danish writer and explorer

Gustav Frederik Holm was a Danish naval officer and Arctic explorer, born at Copenhagen.

Cape Farewell, Greenland cape in Greenland

Cape Farewell is a headland on the southern shore of Egger Island, Nunap Isua Archipelago, Greenland. As the southernmost point of the country, it is one of the important landmarks of Greenland.

Umiak ship type

The umiak, umialak, umiaq, umiac, oomiac, oomiak, ongiuk, or anyak is a type of open skin boat used by both Yupik and Inuit, and was originally found in all coastal areas from Siberia to Greenland. First arising in Thule times, it has traditionally been used in summer to move people and possessions to seasonal hunting grounds and for hunting whales and walrus. Although the umiak was usually propelled by oars (women) or paddles (men), sails—sometimes made from seal intestines—were also used, and in the 20th century, outboard motors. Because the umiak has no keel, the sails cannot be used for tacking.

In 1897, he led the Russian icebreaker Nadeshny from Copenhagen to Vladivostok. [1] He became a commander in the Royal Danish navy, chief of staff, from 1908 to 1911 Assistant to the Minister of the Navy and in 1918 Rear Admiral. Garde's narratives of his explorations appeared in Meddelelser om Grønland, ix, xvi (50 volumes, Copenhagen, 1876–1912). His observations formed the foundation for the first complete description of West Greenland waterways, including information about wind and ice. [2]

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, excluding Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is the largest metropolitan area in Europe proper and one of the largest cities in the world; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

Copenhagen Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

Vladivostok City in Primorsky Krai, Russia

Vladivostok is a city and the administrative center of Far Eastern Federal District and Primorsky Krai, Russia, located around the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia's borders with China and North Korea. The population of the city as of 2017 was 606,589, up from 592,034 recorded in the 2010 Russian census. Harbin in China is about 515 kilometres (320 mi) away, whilst Sapporo in Japan is about 775 kilometres (482 mi) east across the Sea of Japan.



The Garde Nunataks (Garde Nunatakker) in Greenland were named after him by the 1909–12 Alabama Expedition. [3]

See also


  1. Danish Royal Navy biography
  2. Garde, T.V. (1900). Windcharts of the Northernmost Part of the Atlantic and of Davis-Strait constructed on the Basis of Observations belonging to the Danish Meteorological Institute. Copenhagen.
  3. "Catalogue of place names in northern East Greenland". Geological Survey of Denmark. Retrieved 18 June 2016.

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