"Rusty Bits"

“Rusty Bits”; small stories, impressions and whatever may come to my mind…


Bunkar "Wutachmuendung"

Focussing a bit more on the research for the recent history of Switzerland. Recently I got the chance to do something about a bunker at the river Rhine, facing Germany. Built in 1938 as the first line of defence against a possible attack from Germany. Very interesting subject – I find:

03.10.2016 06:33 | Kuno Gross

Cani Islands - Then & Now

A small article which was published in CONTACT 2014/May, the newsletter of the CAF Swiss Wing:

01.06.2014 19:56 | Kuno Gross

Max Holste MH.1521 "Le Broussard"

The Max Holste MH.1521 Broussard is a 1950s French six-seat utility monoplane designed by Max Holste to meet a French Army requirement. It was designed to meet a requirement for a lightweight liaison and observation aircraft. It is a braced high-wing monoplane with twin vertical tail surfaces. It has a fixed tailwheel landing gear and is powered by a nose-mounted Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial piston engine.

It saw service in the Algerian War as an Army cooperation aircraft, mostly as an artillery spotter and in an air supply/ambulance role where its good short-field performance and resistance to ground fire were required. Its distinctive sound, made by its noisy radial engine and large propeller, was a disadvantage as the Algerian guerrillas could hear its approach long before other aircraft.

It remained in service until the 1980s, and can still be seen in France, the UK, and the United States being operated by enthusiasts or collectors. Lukas Schatzmann is running the only “Broussard” in Switzerland: HB-RSL

Technical Data:

  • Crew: 1
  • Passengers: 5
  • Length: 8.65 m (28 ft 4½ in)
  • Wingspan: 13.75 m (45 ft 1¼ in)
  • Empty weight: 1530 kg (3373 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2500 kg (5512 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 radial piston engine, 336 kW (450 hp)
  • Maximum speed: 270 km/h (168 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 5500 m (18045 ft)
  • Range (mx): 1200 kilometers
  • Start: 375 m
  • Landing: 500 m

01.06.2014 08:34 | Kuno Gross

Mareth Line (1943 - 2011)

The fighting for the Mareth line in Tunisia took place in early March 1943 and endet with the withdrawal of the Axis forces to the so called “Akarit line” further to the north. In this time a photographer took a picture of a bunker position near the City of Tatouine in the Dahar mountains. The purpose of this fortified position was to guard the entrance of the road through the mountains.

In 2011 I had the chance to visit this place with some friends whilst we were on the way to the sand dunes of the Grand Erg Oriental and I did not miss to take photos of these bunkers.

In 2012 a small booklet dealing with the Mareth line was published but I only got a copy of it in 2014 – and then I saw the photo of 1943 for the first time. And I was really astonished to see the same bunkers photographed from the very same spot as I had done it three years back.

04.04.2014 17:56 | Kuno Gross