VITUS BERING IN NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GERMANY
In 1724 Danish-born navigator, Vitus Jonassen Bering, was appointed leader of an expedition by Peter The Great to explore the eastern most limits of Russia and determine whether Asia and North America were connected by land. In 1728 he set sail from the Kamchatka Peninsula and passed through what would later be named the Bering Strait. His plan for a second expedition was expanded into Russia's Great Northern Expedition (1733–43), which mapped Russia’s eastern Arctic coast. After exploring the Alaskan coast, his ship was wrecked on what later became known as Bering Island. There he fell ill from scurvy and died in 1741. Bering’s explorations paved the way for a Russian foothold in North America.In his own exploration of Vitus Bering’s achievements, Gerd Ludwig traces landmarks of Bering’s expeditions in a story published in National Geographic Germany’s February 2007 issue.