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Gilf Kebir; LRDG outside Wadi Sora

Location: Egypt, Gilf Kebir, just outside Wadi Sora
Occassion: An LRDG-truck is guiding Commando-Trucks from El Fayoum to Kufra which they reached at 31. August 1942.

It is always a truly amazing feeling to have located the very same spot where a historical event took place, or, as in this case, some trucks have halted which later on took part in the failed Special Forces attack on Tobruk.

This “Then & Now” is included as mayn others in our book “Operation Salam”.

Operation Salam; László Almásy’s most daring Mission in the Desert War
Operation Salam; László Almásy’s most daring Mission in the Desert War

Adras Zboray, Michael Rolke & Kuno Gross

Operation Salam; László Almásy’s most daring Mission in the Desert War

The book is still available either from this Website or from any online-bookshop

Pilatus SB
Pilatus SB-2 Pelican - Das Schweizer Bergflugzeug

Kuno Gross

Pilatus SB-2 Pelican - Das Schweizer Bergflugzeug

Der Pilatus SB-2 „Pelican“ wurde im Auftrag des Eidgenössischen Luftamtes vom „Studienbureau für Spezialflugzeuge“ der ETH Zürich entwickelt und dann von der Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG in Stans konstruiert und gebaut. Es gab nur ein einziges Exemplar, ein Serienbau wurde nie aufgenommen.

Ausser ein paar wenigen Artikeln wurde nicht viel über dieses Flugzeug publiziert. Das neue Buch soll jetzt die ganze Geschichte bekannt machen.

The Desert Ghost
The Desert Ghost

Kuno Gross

The Desert Ghost

The article is about the LRDG-Truck in the Sandsea in Egypt. It is a “remake” of my first article back in 2011 – but including all information found in the time being…amongst them stunning photos of the first discovery back in the 1970ies.

Flying over Zerzura. Italian militaries in search of the unknown
Flying over Zerzura. Italian militaries in search of the unknown

Roberto Chiarvetto, Allessandro Menardi Nouguera, Michele Soffiantini

Flying over Zerzura. Italian militaries in search of the unknown

The English version of In volo su Zerzura is printed and will soon be available

Gaddafis Rache; Aus dem Tagebuch einer Geisel
Gaddafis Rache;  Aus dem Tagebuch einer Geisel

Göldi, Max

Gaddafis Rache; Aus dem Tagebuch einer Geisel

Am 15. Juli 2008 wurde Hannibal Gaddafi, Sohn des damaligen libyschen Diktators Muammar Gaddafi, in Genf vorübergehend in Haft genommen. Der Vorwurf: Er und seine Frau hätten ihre Bediensteten misshandelt. Der Gaddafi-Clan sah dadurch seine Familienehre beschmutzt und begann einen unerbittlichen Rachefeldzug gegen die Schweiz, der zwei Jahre dauern und in die Geschichtsbücher eingehen sollte.

2018-10 Trains & Locomotives

There are not only tanks which attracted me this year but also a lot of vintage trains and locomotoves. This is really heavy stuff. It smells, it is noisy – and heavy. Quire another experience to sit on a wooden bechn in a shacking old steam-powered “Triebwagen” compared to the “S-Bahn” I take every morning when going to work. And it is absolutely amazing how they organize it that those trains (occassionally) can also drive on the regular rails… thanks a lot to all those enthusiasts who keep this technical monuments “alive”!

06.11.2018 15:51 | Kuno Gross

2018-09 Panzer-Weekend

I travelled much less in 2018 than in the years before – or “normally”. The reason may be our little daughter… but that does not mean that one has to stay at home always. In the years since I am back in Switzerland I slowly discover the Country from new – and next to the attractions of the landscape, lakes, rivers, forrests and mountains, there is a lot of “technical stuff” to be seen. It appears that Switzerland is full of enthusiasts, organized in associations or as individuals, who spend all their time and money to keep old machinery up and running.

A good example is the Swiss Military Museum, a private association, who maintains a huge collection of military equipment – twice this year they organized a “Panzer Weekend” where some of their tanks could be seen “in action”. Impressive to see and hear those beasts!

06.11.2018 15:32 | Kuno Gross

"Rusty Bits"... about old Bedford Trucks
"Rusty Bits"... about old Bedford Trucks

Kuno Gross

"Rusty Bits"... about old Bedford Trucks

Something about old Bedford trucks in the Sultanate of Oman.

Articles in magazines and publications
Articles in magazines and publications

Kuno Gross

Articles in magazines and publications

During the years I wrote a number of articles for some magazines and publications. I have now opened a separate folder to present them

2018-03 Oman: Unexpected Rain

It is the first time I have seen a “desert monitor lizard” (Varanus griseus) and I think it was a fairly big one – he was actually really annoyed to meet us… at least this was the impression I had.
Whilst it can grow up to 150 cm this one was “only” about 100cm I wuold guess. An impressive encounter

The Sultanate of Oman does not “only” have mountains and dunes but many other faces of fascinating desert landscape. I was very happy that I could join a couple of friends who actually knew the Country and its “small corners” very well – I could just follow them in the second car and enjoy the changes of the landscape. Ok – I missed the “exploring” portion therefore… but that was not a problem at all.

Honestly – I would not have expected to see rain in Oman. When the clouds appeared on the horizon it was quite a surprise… but I thought the rain would stay in the distances and not touch us. Wrong I was…

When the rain started… it was smooth in the beginning and grow heavier every minute. We were not prepared for that – me especially since I did not have a tent for the night with me.

But we were very lucky and found a natural shelter… something like a roof. Perfectly dry and with a great few to the falling rain.

Ok, I had my doubts since a part of that “roof” had obviously collapsed only a short while ago. Before falling asleep I asked myself what signs would possibly warn me if the portion above me would collapse. No idea if there would be some sort of cracking sound before… anyway; nothing collapsed and we stayed dry that night.

The next morning huge areas of the desert were transforemd to mud. We discussed to risk it to cross a narrow gap to continue the journey as planned – but the risk to get stuck was substantial – so we decided to turn back and make a detour around the wet area. We lost about a day I presume but: We were driving and not helplessly stuck in the mud in a very remote area.

12.05.2018 18:45 | Kuno Gross

2018-03, Oman & a new Book

Oman and the Rub' al-Khali

Whilst the biggest part of the “Rub' al-Khali” (The “Empty Quarter”) is actually on the soil of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabis, the smaller part within the boundaries of the Sultanate of Oman is by far easier to access – not because of the terrain but because of the visa regulations for foreigners.

We have spent only twelfe days n the Country, amongst them four in the dunes – and it was just marvellous. Beside two military vehicles (not sprayed in “Desert Pink” we have seen just nobody: The dunes and us – that is exactly how it should be!

And it was a most relaxing journey for me – I had Wolfgang and Mia in front of me. They now the Country very well and Wolfgang is an excellent drivr in the dunes… I just had to follow and enjoy.

Three people and two cars sounds a bit too much… in fact it is true: Three people would easily fit into a Toyota Land Cruiser, even if beside the regular luggage some “desert gear” has to be carried. But that would mean less fun to me (onley one person can drive in one car) and in particular it would reduce our “safety margin”.

My five top safety rules for desert-traveling are these:

1) Stay calm – in whatever situation you are, once you get nervous, hectic, angry… then it becomes dangerous

2) Proper navigation – all means nothing if you don't know anymore where you are… and where you have to go

3) Have sufficient amount fuel – without fuel, nothing happens anymore. You stay at a place where you cannot walk back to an inhabited place or a road. Not good.

4) Have a sufficient amount of drinking water – no water… no life.

5) Have a second car with you – this is the one who pulls you out of the soft patch of sand you got stuck in

That's it.
And here some photos:

Desert Pink
Desert Pink - real or not?

KUno Gross

Desert Pink - real or not?

To consider the color “pink” as an actual camouflage for vehicles in the desert did never sound plausible to me. Some “sources” (I do not know if these are really sources or just quoted hearsay) state that “in the Sahara, under certain conditions in the evening sun, the sand appears to be pink”.

01.04.2018 18:24 | Kuno Gross