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

2015-11 Hamburg, a week in the North of Germany

I don't know for how many years I had planned to pay a visit to Hamburg once. End of October the occassion came and it was well worth doing it. I would not at all say that I have seen and visited everything what is offered by the city. But there were many magnificent views and locations.
In particular I have enjoyed the two days excursion arranged by freinds living up there to Nordholz, Kiel and Schloss Eutin – which was illuminated with candles that evening.

And again: No desert. But Two evenings talking about past times in Libya and the many excursions we did on weekends….

17.11.2015 06:49 | Kuno Gross

2015-10 Paris, searching for traces of the Desert

Ok – I have to admit that I dod not go to Paris to really look for traces of the desert. But somehow I managed to find some. We have the “sand channels” at Le Bourget (okokok – I know this type came only up after WWII and they actually were used to improve the surface of landing grounds for aircraft). Then we have the “Bir Hakeim” – Metro station, remembering Bir Hakeim and the fight of the Free French in the Desert War. Then, naturally, the French Army museum. But what is definitely not good (and this is not only my opinion): All those vitrines are reflecting the light from lamps and windows – difficult. And it is also difficult to read the plates explaining the exhibits – too often there is simply not enough light available to read what is written. Enough of criticism – I really enjoyed to stay for a week in Paris.

06.10.2015 18:55 | Kuno Gross