Libya / a 5'500km Journey on the traces of the lost Planes

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Kuno, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    I don/t know, who came to the conclusion that a wall around the famous 'fig tree' would really be a good idea. For me, the place has lost his flair since.

    Next day we visited Sidi Rezegh. The marabout is still standing as in the days of the battles in this area. Same to te eastern defences. Always fascinating, how good the Italian civil construction was...

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  2. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    The German Memorial leaves a deep impression. And the view down to te bay shwos that Tobruk is not anymore, what it was 65 years ago. The city has more than grown since. Most of the buildings left as unpainted gray walls of concrete blockwork.

    The so called 'war museum' is in fact a joke. The only exhibits are the 25pdr, a Pak.38 and an Italian gun plus remnants of a heavy coastal gun. The cellar which is said to have been Rommals Command Room is closed as usual but not worth to be visited anyway - it is completely empty and in fact has never been used by Rommel at all.

    The most interesting exhibit is an old 'Caterpilar' presented as an "Italian Tank". And as such it came even into a publication of the 'Department of Antiquities'.

    LBG was dumped here as well bu has been removed to the AFB of el-Adem and is not accessible for visitors any more.

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    dbf likes this.
  3. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    The cemetery of Knightsbridge/Acroma. The uncle of my visitors from South Africa and his comrades are burried here as well.

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  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Thanks for this photo report Kuno, I doubt if many of us will ever be able to get to see these sights ourselves.
  5. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    It's my pleasure to provide you some impressions!
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Fascinating record of your trip.
    Thank you for showing it.
  7. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Thanks for sharing Kuno, its very much appreciated

  8. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    We were returning to Tripoli along the coast. Time was running and we had to drive west. Could have spent at least three weeks more to search the area but had to limit ourselves...

    From tobruk, passing Gazalah, Tmimi. Then looking down to Derna (as well grwon x times its previous size). Following the coast of the Mediterranean. Rest at the antique city of Cirene, then to Benghazi, where we stayed fo the night.

    Remembering each corner where I had to stop and refill water two years ago. Cirene - Benghazi required about 60 litres then. The headgasket...

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  9. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Benghazi - Tripoli. The last stage. 1'050 kilometres which are actually considered as only boring. Ok, if you just have to drive it, then it is really boring. And dangerous. But if you stop at certain points, then that stage is far from being boring:

    Beda Fomm / Mosque Ridge
    Marble Arch
    The 'museum' at Sultan with the reliefs and statues of Marble Arch

    There would be much more but there was just not enough time. The last wish of Guy was to see the place were the closing scene of 'Icecold in Alex' was done.

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  10. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

  11. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    And naturally, there were some more remnants found.

    An Italian SPA TL.37. The only one I know about in Libya. Most probably it will be covered by waste material very soon. Nobody is interested in such things....

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  12. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Another 'Mistery Plane' for me is this Junkers Ju.88. fortunately Ifound another stamped number and this gives some hope that an identification could be possible. Unfortunately the number is only from a turbo-charger and another one from the exhaust system. Only little hope therefore.

    Strange to me is, that whilst fuselage, wings, engines, rudder are completely missing, the forward canopy, one leg of the undercarrigae and parts of turbo- and exhaust-system are still existing.

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  13. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    And another Imam Ro.1. A wreckage dating back to about 1930, lost during the attack on Kufra?

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  14. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    That's it. Hope you could enjoy the journey as I did and as my guests have confirmed they did. The damage on my Landrover, after hitting the dune, has found bigger than expected. The axle and all that staff around is somehow bent. Even one of the springs was broken... the mechanic said that I can be happy that I drove a Landrover.

    It will be repaired. Then prepaired. For the next journey.

    This next journey was not planned. But probably it will happen sooner than expected - back to Europe due to the ongoing dispute between the Country I am living in and the one I am coming from...
  15. adamitshelanu

    adamitshelanu Steve in Raleigh, NC

    Wow, Kuno! This thread is the journey I did _not_ make.

    In 1966 after landing at Tangier, Leblanc had been listening to radio every night for news on fighting in Sudan. His plan was to turn south in Libya to Chad and then east to Sudan and then north to Egypt.

    Finally by Tobruk it was final: Sudan was "too hot" and that we would continue on to Salloum, El Alamein, etc.

    Thank you for doing this!
  16. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    A wonderful adventure that you made and documented so well.

    Many many thanks.

  17. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Welcome. Was my pleasure....

    ...and my rover is back on the road in a 'healthy status' again. New halfshafts, axle-body fixed, new seals, broken differential-casing fixed, broken spring replaced, right chassis-beam straightened. Workshop told me that I was lucky to rive such vehicle...
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Makes me think, how many miles did a LRDG lorry survive for ?
    I wonder what state they were in at the end of a patrol.
  19. solotk

    solotk Junior Member

    Thanks Kuno, a really interesting photo-essay. My late Father was a young Platoon Commander in Libya , just after the war. His favourite memory was being sent to a PoW camp with 6 native troops to 'look after a couple of prisoners' as he was briefed, to find out to his surprise and horror there were nearly 300 seasoned 'man-mountain' Afrika Korps who had the camp running like clockwork and were just building up their repatriation points :) From his recollection , the desert at that time was littered with wrecks and abandoned aircraft . The Ammunition dumps, they just blew up as they found them. It seems incredible, that in such a vast area , there aren't more aircraft wrecks? There is much more found on the Steppes of Russia, than appears evident in Libya? Surely the locals couldn't have smelted them all down? :D
  20. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    It seems incredible, that in such a vast area , there aren't more aircraft wrecks?

    Seems you were right, soltok.
    There was a nearly intact P.40 found recently in Egpyt.

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