2016-04 Vitznau, Lake Lucerne

I have obviously spent more time around Lake Lucerne this year than during all my life before The main reason for that was that I have attended several courses either in Lucerne or in Vitznau – and here some views from the terasse of the hotel in Vitznau… sometimes it looks as if it would be at the shores of the Mediterranean. .

30.07.2016 19:58 | Kuno Gross

2016-03 Ascona, a weekend in Ticino in early spring

Last year I spent a long weekend in Lugano. This year it was Ascona at the Lago Maggiore. The small city was just in the process of waking up from the “winter sleep” (from the touristic point of view).

Whilst for Easter everything is normally flooded with tourist it was still empty by middle of March. Weather was good and parking space was plenty. We had two nice little excursions by car into the “Valle Verzasca” and the “Valle Maggia” and another one with a rented boat to the famous “Brissago Islands” (Where we were the only visitors).

Amazingly we found there date-palms and orange trees with fruit (which naturally reminded me to the beloved Sahara). Here some photographic impressions:

2016-03 Lucerne, tourist's views

Lucerne with its wooden, medieval „Kappelbrücke“ is probably “the must” for most of the tourists coming to Switzerland.
The bridge, which is a part of the old fortification rather than a typical bridge connecting the two shores of a river, is indeed a picturesque view but not the only one in that city. I have to admit that I did neglect that city a bit in the recent years (to say so).
But when I had to go there for a business trip in March, I thought that it would be the perfect chance to book a hotel, where I have a direct view to the lake, the bridge and the Pilatus-mountain at once. Here the view out of the window:

17.03.2016 07:10 | Kuno Gross

New publications for 2016 / 2017

As mentioned earlier – we are working on new publications for 2016…. but it looks like it will become 2017 until they are being published.

Gerald J. Mostert with Kuno Gross & Andras Zboray
Airman's Desert Diaray 1942-46 / With 15 Sqn SAAF in the Desert War

This publication is based on Mostert's diary hwhich he kept during his service with 15 Sqn SAAF in the desert war from 1942-46. The numerous fascinating photos of 15 Sqn and also other aircraft take much more space in this little book than the actual text.

The book is ecpected to end up at about 80 pages including approx 160 photographs.

The latest information about this project can be found here: Link > BOOKS


Andreas Biermann, Roberto Chiarvetto & Kuno Gross
E Force – the Attack on Jalo

Whilst it was originally planned to publish a small booklet of something like 65 pages, the research on the subject has brought to light a wealth of new information, in particular also from the Italian side.

This has brought us to about 150 pages plain text until now and we are still not at the end…

The latest information about this project can be found here: Link > BOOKS


Friend's new books

I want to draw your attention to new publications of some of our friends. Have a kook at them:

Gyllenhaal, Lars & Norén, Karl-Gunnar
Spök Patrullen

The first book in Swedish about the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) was published by Fischer & Co in Stockholm.
Ghost Patrol, as the title translates, is also the first book about WWII in Africa that I have written, partially that is.
Karl-Gunnar Norén is the main author and has lots of African experience and has already written several books about Africa.

An English version of this book is under preparation
A more detailed description can be found here: Go to FRIENDS *************************************************************************************

Roberto Chiarvetto, Alessandro Menardi-Noguera, Michele Soffiantini
In Volo su Zerzura

This book is a “must have” for everybody interested in the exploration of the Libyan Desert. In never before detail it describes an Italian expedition by motor vehicles and aircraft into the Gilf Kebir in 1932.

This expedition, although known, went almost unnoticed beside the ventures of the famous explorers as Almasy, Bagnold and Clayton. Now it is the first time it is told in detail and illustrated by many many historical photographs.

An English version of this book is under preparation

And here the link to their website: In Volo su Zerzura

The book is in Italian language and can be ordered from here: Order book

Denniff's Dump

It is unbelieveable how fast the time is passing. It was on 27. January 2006 when I thought it would be a good Idea to have a look if anything is left of Denniff's Dump in the desert of Libya.

“Denniff's Dump” was established by the LRDG's Heavy Section with the aim to re-supply the patrols on “Road Watch” further to the north. Luckily the coordinates of this location were kept and so, after transfering them to modern maps, we started in the early morning from our camp near Sirte… with not much hope to find the place but full of motivation to spend a day in the desert.

Our car was a normal Volkswagen Passat and although it had “4 Motion”, it's belly was hangig very low and it was prone to get stuck as soon as the sand became soft. The car was definitely neither designed for nor suitable to do desert traveling or driving off road – but it was all we had these days. Since also the tires were just the normal road tires and we had no pump with us, we always carried a second spare tire on a makeshift roof rack. In addition we had spare fuel in Jerry-cans and two of the famous sand channels in the trunk.

The whole area south of Sirte was once underneath the surface of the Mediterranean Sea – and therefore one can find a lot of fossils of all kind.

But fossils were not what we were actually looking after. Having already driven quite a distance into the desert, the “going” became more and more challenging for our tortured vehicle – but there was no sign of some kind of fuel depot yet…

…until we suddenly detected a black spot on the horizon which, after driving closer to it, turned out to be one of the famous “Flimsy-Cans”.

We took this as a good sign for getting closer to the place we were actually looking for.

Although we were sure that we had finally reached exactly the place defined by the coordinates – nothing could be seen looking like a heap of Flimsies. Now, the only possibility was to look around for hours and hours – or to thnk where one self would hide a fuel depot.

The second possibility seemed to be the better one and very quickly we found the location of Denniff''s fuel depot. There was in fact not much left of it (ok, what would one expect on how a fuel depot should look after 70 years?) but it was the first time I even saw the wooden crates where two flimsies were boxed in each. Some further small “artefacts” could be found strewn in the near environment and we were all happy to have found a place which is mentioned in the books about the LRDG – and has probably never been visited again since the patrols took up the fuel in 1942.

01.01.2016 09:52 | Kuno Gross

Happy New Year 2016

The last news for this year. I have just completed the sorting of many photos for a new LRDG book to be published soon by a friend. Our project on E Force is progressing slowly – the manuscript includes now 144 pages of plain text. A small book with the title An Airman's Desert Diary is planned to be published by mid-2016…. and I am having a deep look into about one of the supply columns from Wadi Halfa to Kufra. That's it for now – quite a lot to do in the coming year.

28.12.2015 21:38 | Kuno Gross