Bombenangriff auf die Brücken von Koblenz
Bombenangriff auf die Brücken von Koblenz

Kuno Gross und Rudolf Meier

Bombenangriff auf die Brücken von Koblenz

On February 16. 1945 bombs fell on the village where I was born. I recall the stories told when I was a boy… but now we thought it would really be time to research the topic in depth and found a fascinating new subject for a little book… the other projects are postponed at the moment so that there is sufficient time to complete this one until the end of the year.


After doing some traveling in September, October was filled with the work on our new book about an attack of P-47D Thunderbolt* fighter bombers in February 1945 whre my home village was also hit (rather by accident than by intention). The new book is now in its final stages: Test print, last review and corrections and then the final print planned for the end of the month.

Have added also some other stuff I was working on earlier this year here: Rusty Bits

2016-10 Infanteriebunker "Sagimuehletal"

Switzerland is very famous for its bunkers. But they are not only found in the mountains as for example the Gotthard – also the area boreding to Germany was heavily fortified. Starting from 1937 until the 1990ies the army always treid to cope with the expected threat. Luckily these fortifications never had to proov their value in anger and after the collapse of the Sovjet-Union and the end of the “Cold War” eventually all of them were rendered useless and abandoned by the army. Unfortunately it was the order to remove everything of the installation – even the steel doors and the venitaltion pipes. So, when a good number of them was taken over to be kept as museums, they were nothing more than empty concrete-shells. Since then an association established first to maintain the Fortress Reuenthal has put tremendous efforts in cleaning, maintaning and re-equipping dozens of fortresses, bunkers and other mmilitary installations. Here a link to their website LINK >> Verein Festungsmuseum Reuenthal

I had the cance to join an excursion in the area of the “Bözberg” where we were visiting several of this bunkers and underground headquarters. The most pittoresque for me was the infantry-bunker in the Sagimuehletal which I want to present here in some photographs:

2016-10 Schloss Lenzburg

Although l, except for the years I had spent in Libya, I was laways living near to Schloss Lenzburg my last visit to the place dates back for at least 25 years – it was time to go there again and we had the luck of a sunny day in autumn during our visit. Great place with great views.

Below the text I copied out of the small brochure they hand out at the entrance:

Located on a rocky outcrop above the town, the same named Lenzburg is one of the most beautiful hilltop-castles in Switzerland. Today's castle complex is the result of 900 years of construction history. It evolved from a count's residence to a seat of administration of Bernese bailiffs to the private property of a rich American family.

The castle was obtaiend by the Canton of Aargau and the town of Lenzburg in 1956 and since then it is open to the public.

30.07.2016 22:05 | Kuno Gross

2016-09 Vienna
Vienna, Schloss Belvédére
Vienna, Schloss Belvédére

On the way back from Budapest we stayed for some days in Vienna. The hotel chosen had perfect rooms but was “a bit” too far outside from the City center. Wrong choice somehow. We visited the usual tourist attractions, Hofburg, Schloss Schoenbrunn and Schloss Belvédére. The later was obviously built for representatve purposes only – at least we could find no rooms which served the daily life. The building is used now as an art exhibition. The paintings may be of famous artists but I would actually not want many of them hanging on a wall in my flat. Not my taste. However – the only sign of Desert I found in vienna was also there. I don't recall the artist and the title of the painting. It was something like “oriental market*. The visit to the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum was great and also the Imperial Treasure was very impressive – it showed the past glory of the K.u.K. Monarchy in a perfect way. Apparently the modern architects think it is a good thing to give vienna a new architectural face. I have my doubts. Worst thing I have seen is the building where our hotel was incorporated: Grey concrete combined with black metal. Ugly and cold… remidned a bit to a burnt out industrial building.

02.10.2016 20:27 | Kuno Gross

2016-09 For the first time in Budapest
Budapest, Military Museum, WWI Uniform
Budapest, Military Museum, WWI Uniform

The second city to be visited in September was Budapest. I had never been there before. Also here nothing related to Desert” – except a few pieves of WWI uniforms in the *Military Museum up the castle-hill. Hungarian soldiers, then in the k.u.k Army were supporting the Turkish in this war. No – there was a second desert-topic: After several years I met again with Andras Zboray. Food was delicous: Indian stuff with Andras then Syrian and Lebanese in Retaurants. We really had some good days in Budapest – and I liked the old Metro line number 1 with its 19. centrury train stations. At least I believe that they date back to this time.

I actually wanted to visit the aircraft museum at Szoloneki, about 100 kms away from Budapest. Unfortunately it had been closed about a year before… und luckily it was opened from new at a new location in the same city, at an old railway station. Old buildings renovated and a new hall erected here. Very nice display of mainly russian type fighter jets. The only two bad things – not all the aircraft have yet been brought over to the new place and it appears as if the “big ones” will stay where they are. I am afraid that they will be scrapped…

02.10.2016 20:26 | Kuno Gross

2016-09 A few days in Munich

Munich is in easy reach from where I live. Used the chance to go there by train since absolutely cheap tickets were offered by the Swiss Federal Railways. The days were calm compared to the Oktoberfest which has started shortly after my visit. My “actual reason” to go to Munich was to get some photos of the Helwan HA-300 supersonic jet. One of the prototypes of the Egyptian aircraft was on display at the Flugwerft Schleissheim. It “was”. The aircraft was not there any more. One of the emplyees explained that it had been moved to the nearby depot of the museum to gain place for a MIG-15 (what sounds more than weird). A second one then knew that it was transferre to another museum but he had no clue to which. Asking a question on the museums website brought no reply… But in the meantime I know that it has been brought to Messerschmitt Stiftung in Manching. It is not listed on their website but there is a video showing the transport. Bad enough. The aircraft at Manchng are accessible for visitors about once a month on a Friday and only for announced groups. Else we had a good time in Munich.

Desert? Obviously not. Except for the Fieseler “Storch” in its “tropical version” as it was used in the Desert Campaign of WWII. But I am not sure if the tone of the color is not too brown… would expect it mor “sand-like”.

02.10.2016 20:21 | Kuno Gross