Fredrik Hjalmar Johansen (May 15, 1867 - January 9, 1913) was one of Norway's most famous polar explorers.
If Johansen had not saved Prestrud from certain death and carried him to the base camp, Amundsen would have faced massive criticism on his return to Norway for losing members of the expedition. Johansen quarrelled with Amundsen in front of the other men when he returned to camp. Amundsen reacted to the argument by dismissing Johansen from the party heading for the South Pole and placed the less experienced Prestrud over Johansen as leader of a minor expedition towards King Edward VII Land.
It should also be noted that Johansen was the most experienced with polar climate and dog sleds of all the men on this expedition, including Amundsen.
On the return to Norway Amundsen made the whole crew sign a paper that stated that they were to keep quiet about the whole expedition. Amundsen was to have the sole right of writing about it in his soon to be published book. Johansen had to disembark before reaching Norway and was never credited for his contribution by Amundsen. All this led to a vicious circle that ended in Johansen's suicide in 1913.
Hjalmar Johansen was a man of a simple and kind character who helped his comrades with his physical strength, extraordinary endurance and skill when in a polar climate. Without him, Fridtjof Nansen would have died near the north pole. Roald Amundsen would have had to face devastating criticism when returning with one or more men dead because of recklesness.
Now, a hundred years later, Fredrik Hjalmar Johansen is finally recognized as one of the three greatest polar explorers in Norwegian history. This is largely thanks to Ragnar Kvam Jr's biography "Den tredje mann" (The third man) which was released in 1997.