Those who have survived perilous group situations in Antarctica and elsewhere
stress that the first order of business upon being stranded is to appoint a
leader and a second-in-command and then doggedly follow their orders. On the
Endurance expedition, Shackleton held absolute if fatherly
control over his men throughout the ordeal, while Frank Wild was very
much his right-hand man. According to Alexander Macklin, Wild was
"always calm, cool, or collected, in open lanes or in tight corners he was just
the same; but when he did tell a man to jump, that man jumped pretty quick."
Many historians would agree that Shackleton's success in returning himself and
every one of his 27 crew members to safety was due in great part to his and
Wild's quiet, cooperative authority.