From 1938 onwards, the concept of a Northern Sea Route was one of the dominating themes of Arctic literature. In 1940 Vize published a booklet that described the history of the Northern Sea Route (Vize 1940). Its history was not supposed to have started five or eight or twelve years previously, but no less than 400 years back! This feat was achieved by incorporating the history of the exploration of the northern coasts of Russia and Siberia, and having it culminate in the opening of the Northern Sea Route. So, Vize could begin with the Vikings in the ninth century and include all early exploration by Russians. In this way, most of the exploration had been done by Russians before Nordenski(jJd navigated the passage for the first time in 1879. Although scarcely fair to Nordenski(jJd, it brought the Russians priority of discovery, which was politically very important. In fact, it married ancient history to modem political ideas. Its weak point was the lack of knowledge about early Russian exploration. Vize brought up the old remark by Litke that the Russian seafarers of the sixteenth century lacked a Hakluyt to make them famous, thereby alluding to the English editor of travel narratives about the North. Nevertheless, Vize was convinced that by the mid-eighteenth century Russians had sailed all parts of the Passage except perhaps the stretch between 75°15'E and Ostrov Komsomolskoy Pravdy (this designates a small area east of Mys Chelyuskina). But for that area, all of the Northeast Passage had been first explored by Russians (ibid.: 16). Vize thus mixed the search for a passage with exploration of the coastal area, which strengthened Soviet claims to the area.