South Germany and Austria – 2008

 


2008 SHARKHUNTERS
“Southern Patrol”
Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia

You will notice that we have broken this “Patrol” report into the various days and places we went.  You may click on each of these photos below to hyperlink your way to that specific part of the report.

First days – München!  The name of the city, München, means “place of the monks” and it is very old with a great deal of history.  Sharkhunters made a lot of history here too.  Click on this photo of München and join us in this beautiful city.

MARILYN TIMMS (5516-1998) sent this email:
“I look forward to everything from Sharkhunters.  I’ve almost finished putting together a scrapbook from the Patrol. What an incredible experience that was.  Thank you so much.”


MARK KUBA (7306-2008)
brought his mother along on this “Patrol“.  Here is what MARK thought of the tour:Next is the famous city of Nürnberg.  There is a tremendous amount of history in this city.  Click on the photo and join us.

“The trip was a dream come true.  I am still living in Austria in my mind and would love to go back next year!  Austria is the land of Hansel and Gretl, unspoiled where man lives in harmony with nature.  It is Paradise.  Ten years ago when I was awakened, I was really poor but wanted to go to Germany and Austria & interview all the living leaders of WW II.  Harry did it instead!!!  The work was done!  My trip highlight was MANFRED ROEDER (1517-1990).

We departed Nürnberg for the picturesque drive through the Alps to Kärnten in southern Austria.  Click the photo.

 

2008 SHARKHUNTERS “Southern Patrol”
München, the place of the Monks….. and much more

We spent some great days in this city some eight and a half centuries old and filled with history of so many ages.  We toured the famous places in Munich – including some that were not on the normal tours.  We began in the Viktualenmarkt then saw Feldherrnhalle and the buildings of the Reich that are still standing, we saw Hitler’s apartment where his niece Geli was killed.  It is reported that she had a torrid affair with Hitler.  Did she commit suicide out of grief or was she killed as a possible hindrance?  We saw the house that Hitler bought for Eva Braun in the early days of their courtship.

JASON BULKELEY (7254-2007) brought his son, and he said this about this ‘Patrol‘:
“I had a fantastic time!  Most vivid memory was the dinner cruise in Opatija!  This was a great group; great leader!  The Ulrichsberg Memorial, the ‘special guest’ and the zum Türken stay were bonuses!”

Before we even got started, MARK KRATZ (7271-2007) stopped for a visit (below left) with Josef “Sepp” Dorsch as his home.  During our dinner at the Löwenbräukeller, our friend GEORG HÖGEL (240-LIFE-1987) gave a beautiful silk necktie (below right) emblazoned with the emblems of the German U-Bootwaffe of three eras to Sharkhunters Founder and President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) and said that he respected him for telling the true history of his comrades in the U-Bootwaffe.
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MARILYN TIMMS (5516-1998) wrote this about the ‘Patrol‘:
“I’m well pleased; it was well organized – thanks!  The Patrol was well paced – many things I would not have seen on my own – congenial fun group – so much was fascinating, it is impossible to pick the best moment.”

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When in München, one must visit the city hall (photo upper left) at either 11 am or noon to watch the dancing figures and the jousting knights that come forth from the tower and the music plays.  Somehow, the Bavarian knight always unhorses the French knight – he never loses.We also visited buildings that were built by the Third Reich,
such as this above right and below left..

 

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Lunch on our final day in München naturally, was at the famed Hofbraühaus where major party speeches were held in the third floor room that could seat some 800 people.  Photo upper right and both below is our group having a great lunch there.

This resplendent staircase leads to the third floor and we see the ceiling is much the way it was in the 1930’s.

In the two photos above, we see the room itself, but you must be standing right there to appreciate the size of the room.

 

TROY (7255-2007) had this to say about the “Patrol“:
“I had a fantastic time!  My best memories of the Patrol were Zeppelnfeld, Congreßhall and Nürnberg.  The Patrol was great!”

After our historic time in Austria, we went to Croatia for the first time.  You won’t believe this place!  Click the photo above.

Back to Bavaria for more great food, interesting places and people of history.

We spent more great days in this city that has so much history from so many eras.  Come along with us and enjoy what we saw, what we experienced and what remains in our memories.

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Just a hundred meters or so from our hotel is the old Königstor (the King’s Gate) where HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) and our friend DIETER FUNK (7368-2008) enjoy a glass of German white wine in a winestube that is more than 400 years old.

TROY (7255-2007) said this:
“I had a fantastic time!  Most vivid memory of the trip was Zeppelin Stadium and the Corgreßhall in Nürnberg.  The Patrol was great!”

Our group was then met by our friend MICHAEL KAISER (6166-LIFE-2000) for a special personally guided tour of historic places.

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At Zeppelnfeld, the place of the Party rallies, MICHAEL goes into great historic detail.

Photo below – Our group takes the special entrance, the one Hitler used when he arrived from the nearby train.

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……..and once inside……………

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Inside the huge grandstand is a special room where Hitler held receptions prior to coming out his special door to address the crowds.  The “gold room” (photo above) still has the inlaid swastikas inlaid in the ceiling.  This room is off limits to all – except Sharkhunters

Inside Hitler’s personal office.Another ceiling mosaic.

When Hitler was ready to make his appearance, this door (photo above) would open and he would emerge to the roaring crowds that had waited for him, sometimes for hours.  As with most speakers, he always made sure he was just a little bit late to heighten the crowd’s anticipation.  Only Hitler used these doors.

We see one more inlaid ceiling in this reception hall (above left) then set out for the Congreßhall (above right and below).  This was built similar to the Coliseum in Rome, but so much larger that the Coliseum could easily fit into the open area of the Congreßhall .

This building was to have housed many government offices, but it was never completed.  In the late stages of the war, it was used as a field hospital and when Germany surrendered, this area was taken over by the U.S. Army who found there were seventeen wounded men of the Waffen SS in this hospital…….these men were taken out of this hospital after the war was over – and in what can only be described as a shameful act, they were shot dead in this courtyard by American soldiers.

In this sort of panorama we get a feeling for the massive size of the Congreßhall.

In this part of the panorama we see RALPH FRÖHNER (7393-2008) taking a picture of HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) who is taking a picture of RALPH who is taking a picture of……….oh well, you get the idea.

Veteran fighter pilot HARRY SCHMIDT (7354-2008) said this about his time on this “Patrol“:
“I had a really good time.  Trip went as planned; well organized.  I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the Germans we met and hear their viewpoint.  The patrol was all a new experience.  I took it in as a learning opportunity.  Enjoyed seeing the country, landscape and layout of the historic sites visited.”

Below – the group listens intently as MICHAEL gives more explanation of the Congreßhall.

At one end of the Congreßhall is this special doorway (above left) that was made only for Hitler to use.  Above right photo shows the enclosed driveway that goes all the way around the outside of the Congreßhall – large enough for trucks to drive on it.

We paused for lunch (below left) in a very special place – Burger King!  But this is not just ANY Burger King, this one is in a former electric power station designed by Albert Speer!

In the old town section of Nürnberg we see one of the cathedrals (upper left) and the city hall (upper right and both below).

 


we are inside a special room in city hall where heads of state,
knights and kings met in conference over the centuries.

in the restaurant where we enjoy the special Nürnberger sausage.
Our friend Oberstleutnant Heinz Keith is waiting patiently for his meal.

 


We sure ate well on this “Patrol“.

15 year old Brandon Bulkeley came with his father and here he is getting his camera ready as U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran BILL NAPIER (2290-C/LIFE-1992) looks on.
Military cemeteries are always a place of honor and respect, and the city of Nürnberg is to be commended for the outstanding way they take care of them.  This memorial of the fallen soldier is awe-inspiring.“Wir Gedenken Euer”
“We Honor You”

Then we are in the fantastic museum that MICHAEL founded and operates.  It is a wonderful museum, and we will let the photos take you along on this trip into history.  The photos speak for themselves.

From the museum we go to the ‘Palace of Justice‘ and visit Room 600 (below left) where the Nürnberg Tribunals were held.  We are in Room 600, probably for the last time.  This room will be turned into a museum shortly.  Below right is the market square and the old fountain.


We sure did eat well on this ‘Patrol‘ too…..

The cathedral on the market square

 

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2008 SHARKHUNTERS “Southern Patrol”
Beautiful Austria
….. and much more

As our bus rolled southward,, the majestic Alps loomed ahead of us and soon we are deep into them, with castles along the side of the autobahn.  After a pleasant lunch stop not far from Salzburg, we arrived in Kärnten (Carinthia) in southern Austria.

We are again in beautiful Landskron Castle, high above the city lights below.  Upper left – JASON BULKELEY (7254-2007) checks the special Sharkhunters 25th Anniversary Menu and (upper right) MARK KUBA (7306-2008) talks with his mother.

our special menuthe Castle Minstrel entertains us.

After en excellent dinner, Sharkhunters founder HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) is knighted by the Graf (Count) von Lanskron.  He was the first American ever knighted at this castle and his certificate of Knighthood is upper right.  He was asked to swear to defend the castle with sword if ever needed.  Being a former weapons specialist, HARRY said he would rather use a machine gun.

The next American to be knighted (photos above center and right) was CHRIS BANDA (6733-2003) and he was followed by Austrian EDDIE KUMMER (6469-2001).

As already mentioned, we ate really well on this “Patrol
and above is our hotel breakfast
We spent time in the old town section of Klagenfurt, Capitol of Kärnten and there was a puppet show going on the for the local kids.
CHRIS with a veteran friendthere was a small Oktoberfest is this little town
with a camel ride for the kids.
The Lady Mayor looks on as JASON shows his
videotapes to a veteran upper left.
the entertainment.

 

This beautiful one-of-a-kind compass and case was a gift from our friend STEFAN STANCHEV (7341-2008).

Below left – the entertainment continues                      Below right – STEFAN‘s daughter and her husband enjoy the music.

During our time here in Austria, we visited the Castle Hochosterwicz, known as the “Castle of 16 Gates” because of the 16 fortified gates leading to the castle itself.  This castle never fell in battle.  Click on the photo of “Sepp” and come along with us.
 AND JOIN US AT THE CASTLE

During our stay in Kärnten, we again visited the shooting range and with so many guys who were “on the job” or retired from “the job”, there was some pretty great shooting!

Upper right – our friend Michael (on the left) owns the hotel.  On the right is HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983)

ULRICHSBERG Memorial!

Naturally, the main reason we are here, the high point of the entire “Patrol” is the Memorial Ceremony atop Ulrichsberg.

KEN USHER (7307-2008) drinks his schnapps as DAN
HARVEY (7290-2007)
waits; the schnapps girl is happy.
COOPER looks deep in thought…..probably the
mustard didn’t agree with him.
the Austrian Army does a great job with crowd control and, together with the Fire Department, use their four wheel drive vehicles to help people up and down the mountain who would have a tough time of it.
The Memorial on the mountain is fantasticthe ruined church has become its own Memorial to
the men who did not return.

…….in Memory of those who did not return
Inside this ruined church are dozens and dozens of Memorial plates to those honored veterans.

And the “Flame of Flanders” group is with us again.

 

 

2008 SHARKHUNTERS “Southern Patrol”
Croatia was Magnificent!


We went into Italy – the village of Redipuglia where a major battle of WW I was fought, and it was here that young Erwin Rommel distinguished himself and was decorated with the Pour le Merit, the Blue Max.

We visited Miramare, the castle home of
Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico.

Well, he thought he would be Emperor of Mexico
but the job did not work out for him.
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He probably should have remained here in
this beautiful palace at Trieste.

The dock where Maximilian boarded the ship
for his voyage to Mexico.

A small part of the gardens.

MARK KRATZ (7271-2007) looks around and
figures “It’s good to be ‘da king!”

Brandon Bulkeley and Mrs. Kuba enjoy the beautiful
day and the magnificent surroundings.

Then we went further south into Croatia, to the town of Opatija on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.  The beauty of this area is almost beyond description, so we’ll just let the photos tell the story.  These two photos (below) were shot right off my hotel room veranda.

 


Our hotel.

The door from the room onto the
veranda seen from outside…..

…..and from inside.

One evening we spent on a dinner cruise on the Adriatic – the sea of Ulysses; of Agamemnon; of so many of history’s great names.


A stowaway on board.

“Where’s the food?”

WILL BARLOW (7390-2008) looks around.

MARILYN TIMMS (5516-1998) enjoys the breathtaking sunset
from the deck as “Captain” MARK KUBA (7306-2008)
steers our boat across the Adriatic.

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As on all Sharkhunters “Patrols“, we ate REALLY WELL!

 

 

When one thinks of Bavaria, OKTOBERFEST pops into mind.  We ended our “Southern Patrol” there on the ‘wiesn’ which is the German word for ‘Meadow’.  The first many Oktoberfests were held in a meadow.  Today it is a huge midway.

MARK KRATZ (7271-2007) gave us this report:
“I had a fantastic time!  This was a great tour.  Being my first time in Europe, it exceeded my expectations.”