Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Kuno, Oct 8, 2009.
Am glad that you like it & will continue.
Now again a historical spot: "Howard's Cairn". Well known from the books dealing with the LRDG. It was actually a mark for the patrols to know where they have to turn north to come out of the Sandsea at Gharet el-Khot. Two years backt we had searched for it without success and this tme we fall practically on it.
A very interesting trip and great pictures. I served at what was then RAF IDRIS from 1964-1966 on the Overseas Experimental Unit and visited many places including Sebha. I made many trips into the desert as part of my work and made many Libyan friends. I look forward to further posts from you Kuno.
Thanks, Colin - would also be interesting to see photos of your time in Libya. A lot has changed since!
As per the record in my GPS I had a speed of 73,9 km/h when this small barrage was coming... driving in the noon time in the sandsea is fairly dangerous. There are no more contours. Only white. Burning eyes. No sign of this obstacle when I looked back to see, if the other two trucks were still following. Crash.
Just some impression from inside the sandsea:
Is that this shower?
You guys travel 5*
No, that's actually a tent, whee you sleep in a standing position to avoid that the scorpions and stuff like this can crawl into your ears during the night
Joke byside; the ladies had suc shower tent with them. Actually not to take a shower but just to wash...
Don't forget the Camelback Spiders
Guess that all those animals were already eaten by the snakes:
I'm just loving these pics.
Brightening up a cold autumnal night.
Love these photos and the details of your trip , I can't get over the dark colour of the metal - it looks like stone more than metal , that black colour is really like nothing I have seen before.
Who carried off the remains of these aircraft ?
A nice find for Guy, the Aircraft Historian: An Italian torpedobomber of the type S.79. Was found nearly intact in 1960 but since badly damaged. We were digging for quite a time to excavte the nose section and put it back on place:
Some more impressions out of the Sandsea. Surprisingly, the dunes got more complicated to cross towards the edge and the most difficult one was the last one before we left the sand and entered the stony area.
Out of the sand and back into 'Human Civilisation'. We reached "The Fence". Erected by the Italians within only 6 months from the coast at Bardia down and behind Giarabub over a length of about 300kilometres. The aim was to prevent supplies from Egypt for the Libyan rebels/freedom fighters. Seems to have worked well.
Then a lot of UXPO and debris remaining from the sige of Giarabub in 1941. There is a famous W/T message from the Italian Commander to his Army H/Q sent after the Italian Airforce had bombed the own positions, reading about like this:
Please propose to A/F to better bomb enemy positions than own. Presume that such would help to keep morale of native troops upright.
After 1'000kms through the desert, our tnks were about to be empty. The fuel station had benzin AND diesel. But the pump was not working...
So we had to wait...
Most of you will probably not be aware of the existence of the Lake Melfa some 40 kilometres out of Giarabub. Surprisingly it is to my knowledge not mentioned in wartime literature although it has a considerable size of about 300 x 500 metres. A high content of salt, probably comparable to the 'Dead Sea' make swimming 'light'. A great refreshment after the travel through the sands...
...but we did not consider those Piranha-like little fish. After a few minutes, nothing was left of my three colleagues
We distributed their belongings amongst the remaining members of the group and went back to Giarabub to see, if the diesel-pump at the fuel station would be working again.
Before it becomes boring I shall continue the presentation...
From Giarabub (after refuelling) we drove north on the asphalt road. Leaving out some (at least for me) interesting spots to gain time for the northern battlefields.
The advancing dust storm (rather dust wind) was not appreaciated by our colleagues without the windshield. We arrived at Bir el-Gobi, a place well known...
Although the wind is not visible in the photo - we decided to use the 'full tent' for the first time of the trip. Next morning, the weather was fine again and we headed towards the famous location of 'Bir Hakeim'. The closer we came the more debris was around and the more I started to talk about eventual mines which may still be active.
Then further north. Knightsbridge Memorial and then driving on the still existing 'Axis Bypass Road' towards te coast. The colleague overlooked a barbed wirde and his 'snorkel' suffered it. Lunch rest at some of the defences of the 'eastern perimeter' then looking for an accommodation in Tobruk.
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