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SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 "Southern Patrol"
    
Österreich
Our 2015 "Southern Patrol" now takes us through the magnificent Bavarian Alps, across the border into Österreich.  This is German and it means "Eastern Kingdom".  To us it means Austria, and the Austrian Alps are just as beautiful.

The drive south.....

 
We stopped for our lunch break along the way    
     
 

The scenery here will take your breath away - come on guys, look at the Alps not LISA.  These are the same Alps that felt the footsteps of the Roman legions as well as the elephant troops of Hannibal from Carthage.

The castle in the photo below is just off the Autobahn and there is a small parking place for cars to pull off so that people may take photos.

Our lunch is finished and we have full tummies, so we head south.

   
 
     
  .....and we arrive at our home in Austria; Hotel Gretl
     
 
Check in here   the lobby


With check-in complete, we set out on a three-hour tour.

 
     
 

We are told that people come from all over Europe to be married in this little church.  It is considered to be good luck.

   
 

Before you start singing that theme song, we are not on the SS MINNOW with Gilligan, the Skipper too - the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Maryann.....here on Gilligan's Isle.

We are on the sightseeing boat on the beautiful Worthersee and our cameras are taking it all in.  These are just a few of the shots we got on this crystal clear Alpine lake.


At the Marinekameradschaft - it means more or less the Navy League and we are invited for a luncheon of fellowship, visiting with old friends and meeting new ones.

 

Before we go into the luncheon we pass the emblem of the city of Klagenfurt, the dragon.  Local legend says that this dragon was once alive in medieval times and it roamed all over Europe.  The dragon could eat only virgins so when it got here, the poor thing just starved to death!

The legend goes on to say that if a virgin would walk past the statue, the tail would wag.  They say it has not moved in more than fifty years.

  As we enter the clubroom, we get an idea
why the poor dragon starved to death.....
     
 

KARL-HEINZ FISTER, Member #7729, Präsident of the MK;
     HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE, Sharkhunters President;
          ERNST PRUEGL, Member #7684 the Austrian Australian

 

What an honor!  KARL-HEINZ pinned this stickpin (needle in German) on COOPER, making him an honorary member of the Marinekameradschaft there in Klagenfurt.  It is huge honor.

     
 
Peter is a Doctor of Law  

With PAUL RÖSCH, Member #7019.  He was Oberleutnant and a tank commander with the 5th SS. He's approaching his 97th birthday and that is his Italian lady friend between him and COOPER.

     

COOPER has not shrunk and is not standing in a hole.  He is still 5' 10" tall but RICHARD STURM, Member #7807 at the left in this photo and his friend at the right, are just gigantic.  There are more guys this huge here; they just stay away from the camera.

It is great that they remember the old Germanic ways but even better, these men form more or less the Praetorian Guard for the old veterans to protect them from attacks by nutjobs such as Antifa.  Can you imagine trying to get past a group of these guys to attack the old veterans?  Talk about a death wish.........

 

  Don't smoke in the MK headquarters or the lion will get you.

A short editorial here by Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE.  For military veterans in most countries, we have our clubs such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars etc. and we have our club HQ usually in a prominent place.  The national flag is flying outside and in the case of the American veterans, we have the POW/MIA Flag just beneath the American Flag.  At the American Legion Post in my town there is a huge sign proclaiming this is an American Legion post and there is a Huey helicopter out front.  Most Legion and VFW posts have a helicopter, a tank, a field artillery piece or some type of military hardware out front.

That is not allowed in Germany or Austria.  This MK meets in a converted coal bin in the basement of an office building.  It has been cleaned up and refurnished beautifully, but you will not see a huge sign out front.  There is no flag waving, no tank or chopper or field piece..........or anything.  Think about that, especially if you are a veteran.

............and now, the Fellowship Evening; random photos of a great time

 
The 'Flame of Flanders' is well represented   Our friend PETER STOCKNER, Member #6894 taking photos
     
 
This man had very rare books for sale   Our friend PAUL RÖSCH, Member #7019 of the 5th SS
     

GREG LUTTON, Member #7848;
    ERNST PRUEGL, Member #7684
          and HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE whose medals are:
1. Stickpin of the Marinekameradschaft, Klagenfurt;
2. The Ulrichsberg Cross in Gold;
3. 2015 Ulrichsburg Participation Pin;
4. Landesehrenzeichen of Salzburg in Gold;
5. Landesehrenzeichen of Kärnten in Gold.

These are all extremely important and worn by COOPER with deep respect and honor for all.

 
     
 
They sure moved a lot of beer this night   The 'Praetorian Guard' has their own section
     
 
     
 
     
 
    Some artifacts given to COOPER by PRUEGL

 

For those who do not know, even though they may not make a big display of it, clubs and associations are allowed for the Heer (Army), the Kriegsmarine (Navy) and the Luftwaffe (Air Force) but since the Waffen SS was declared a 'criminal organization' they are not allowed to have such clubs - out in the open.

And so the 4th branch of the German military calls itself 'Kameradschaft IV' or simply 'K4' which is pronounced 'Kah Fear' so if you hear anyone talking about 'Kah Fear' you will understand.

What is so unusual about this situation is that this table flag was brought here by a group of Syrians who are here every year.  Very impressive.


Ulrichsberg Memorial
This is the high point of our Southern Patrol - this is why we are here.  These veterans and others are here to remember all who fell in battle no matter what uniform or under which Flag they fought.  It is incredibly moving.

 
     

All is in readiness for this beautiful day..........

Above - the band is ready with powerful music;
Above right - only a very small police presence is necessary
Right - ERNST PRUEGL, Member #7684 is making the banners ready.

Police presence is small because the Antifa nitwits who generally try to disrupt this beautiful meeting are busy helping people come into Western Europe illegally so there is no need for police here.....and the police are where the Antifa idiots are to keep them from hurting themselves.  They are not all that intelligent.

 
     
 

Masses of people are arriving..........

 

.............meeting old friends

     
 
     
 
     
 

..........all is in readiness with these beautiful wreathes

     
 
Our dear friend WOLF-DIETER RESSING, Member #7220 with his adorable little grandson, who is a bit shy.   Once Jenny Reitci gave him a pen and some paper,
he was a much more comfortable.
     
 
   

Before the Memorial begins, we meet with old friends.
Above - the mayor of Redipuglia, Italy and his lovely wife.
Below - with the policeman in charge of the security.

 
     
Once inside, the services begin.....    
 
President Hermann Kandussi begins the program   A priest celebrates Holy Mass
     
 
     

The mayor of Redipuglia talks of cooperation between Ulrichsberg and his town, where one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of World War One took place between the Austrian and the Italian troops.  We visit his town and we can still see the slit trenches, the bunkers and the biggest war memorial in all of Europe.

It was in this battle that Oberleutnant Erwin Rommel earned his Blue Max.
                                         

 
     
 

As we depart, we say goodbye to NILS LARISCH, Member #7808 and his lady.  Now we are off to lunch

LUNCH in the ALPS - INCREDIBLE!  Great food, breathtaking view and good fellowship.

 
     

What a place!  Incredible view, great food and - uh oh, if you order the venison it might not be good for Bambi's father here.

 
     
 
     
The view up here in the high Alps is incredible!    
 
     
 

Sadly, our time in Austria is coming to a close.....for this year, but we will return in 2016.  Hope you can join us.

Now on to a castle in the sky .................. CLICK HERE
 

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