Operation Salam, Hardcover, 412 pages, 21x27.4 cm, over 500 illustrations

Operation SALAM
László Almásy’s most daring Mission in the Desert War
Kuno Gross, Michael Rolke & András Zboray

ISBN 978-3-943157-34-5
Hardcover, 412 pages, 21x27.4 cm, over 500 illustrations

Price (including shipping):

United Kingdom:
GBP 34
EUR 47
Rest of the world:
USD 55

15 May 1942: The previous day in the dunes of the Great Sand Sea the operation had nearly met catastrophe at the outset. Almásy completely revised the plan and plotted a new route during the night. One of his vehicles was unserviceable, another damaged, and two men of his group were seriously ill. All were completely exhausted. He determined to send the two men back to base in the damaged truck, and to continue the operation by the new route. There might be enough fuel and water to reach the Nile, but not to return – and there were the desert patrols of the enemy!

30 December 2008: A definitive account of Operation Salam was long overdue. After some correspondence, the three authors decided to write this book, as a monument to Almásy‘s achievement. A patient three year research in archives and through personal correspondence uncovered much hitherto unknown information and details, enabling the authors to review, correct and where necessary to refute many of the stories, rumors and legends surrounding Almásy and his activities.

This is the story of one of the most daring secret operations of the Desert Campaign in the Second World War. A mission far behind the enemy lines, thousands of kilometers through the most arid corner of the Sahara desert, in order to deliver two German spies into the very heart of British-held Egypt. The German High Command did not count on success – but they did not reckon with Almásy’s resolve, endurance, experience, and luck.

This book provides full details of this operation based on all known accounts, including MI5 files and the intercepted secret W/T messages deciphered at Bletchley Park. Supplementing a nearly complete set of original photographs made during the operation, photos of the authors taken when they retraced the route provide a vivid impression of the dramatic landscapes Operation Salam had to cross to reach its target – and to return.

This book is dedicated as a monument to László Ede Almásy, sportsman, aviator, and one of the greatest desert explorers of the 20th century.


Foreword by Dr. Rudolph Kuper


The first phases of the Desert War in Africa
Secret missions of the Abwehr in North Africa
      Mil.-Geo. and Almásy's involvement
      Sonderkommando Ritter
      Plan el-Masri
      1st Operation Kondor

The Desert Campaign in late 1941/early 1942
Prelude to Operation Salam
Vehicles and equipment
Finally: Operation Salam begins!
From Gialo to Assiut
Return to Gialo

British Coutermeasures: Operation Claptrap
Almásy's departure from North Africa
The spy-mission: Operation Kondor
Further Abwehr missions in Libya
Epilogue - summary and conclusions

Detailed biographies
Other persons of interest
Notes & explanations

Operation Salam - diary 15 to 29 May 1942
Stanstede, Hans-Gerd: Unpublished Memoirs
Transcripts of intercepted W/T messages

Review of publications on Operation Salam/Kondor
Maps and sketches
Relted movies and documentaries


Sample pages:


I had always hoped that some enterprising desert-wallahs would search for the answers to the remaining points concerning that epic of desert exploration: László Almásy’s wartime crossing of the Libyan Desert in May 1942 to deliver Rommel’s spies to the Nile. Now my wish has been granted in this magnificently produced volume. It is a delight to peruse its well designed pages, with beautifully reproduced photographs and maps, an essential accompaniment to the text. The authors achieved what no one else has managed, to retrace Almásy’s routes across the desert in 1942. They have not only unearthed the unpublished memoirs of one of Rommel’s spies but have discovered a hitherto hidden cache of photographs taken by members of the Salam commando. (read full review here)
Saul Kelly, Kings College, London, author of "Hunt for Zerzura"

I offer my utmost appreciation and congratulations for your outstanding achievement with this book!
Dr. Stephan Kröpelin, Heinrich Barth Institut, Köln

Kuno, Michael, Andras, my dear friends, I have a copy of your book in my hands: your work is OUTSTANDING… this book is a breakthrough.
Roberto Chiarvetto, Italy

My wife and I congratulate you on this elaborate book. It arrived today, many thanks, we were very enthusiastic after turning the very first page.
Andrea & Alexander Almásy, Burg Bernstein, Austria

I am very impressed. It is a beautiful looking book, well laid out and the standard of production is uniformly high. I offer you and your co-authors my heartfelt congratulations. This book fills a space in an important chapter in the history of the war in North Africa in WWII. You can be proud of what you have contributed.
Dal McGuirk, New Zealand

The book. Magnificent. Fantastic. Attention to detail remarkable. Well done. Brilliant pics.
Jonathan Pittaway, South Africa, auhor of "LRDG Rhodesia"

I have read your SALAM volume in three days, and I must congratulate the co-authors of this work. All the effort, all this research! I know this story from various sites and sources, but the plot is very well written, encouraging one to read on - like a good thriller. What was particularly interesting to me was the history and all the circumstances that led to SALAM. I can well imagine Almásy in his casual, sloppy Austro-Hungarian style (my father's generation). What he must have endured with these inexperienced men, even if some of them were willing! I can only raise my hat to all three of you, all from the post-war generation, who dared to tell this story, with a VERY GOOD conclusion. Thank you!
H. O., veteran of Panzerarmee Afrika

The wait was more than worth it. I would definitely rate this book as first class both in form and content for any serious reader.
O.H., Oberstleutnant d.R.

I congratulate the authors on the outstanding result of their five year thorough research in official and private archives and in the desert. It obviously needed their enthusiasm to discover and publish after seventy years the really true story of “Operation Salam”. My impression is that the authors have extremely thoroughly double and triple checked the facts before making use of them – a rare quality nowadays.

This book is printed and illustrated by relevant historic and comparative present-day photos as well as maps and drawings in a way that made reading for me easy and most pleasant. I got the feeling to be part of the expedition and was most fascinated by the numerous details told in the story.

If one continues reading after the end of the story itself the contrast between Almásy´s professionalism and the amateur like behaviour of the spies and the naivety of the German signal communication becomes extremely clear and shocking. The comments of the authors on other publications dealing with the same subject seem to me who has read some of them very justified.

I appreciated this serious historic book very much because it greatly differs from many sensational war and spy stories having been published through out the past years.

Manfred Blume, retd. Col. and son in law of Nikolaus Ritter

WOW! What an epic publication! You and the otter authors must be so proud! Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! So detailed! The amount of research that must have been involved is evident in every page. Really forensic - but still a joy to read. I can't put it down at the moment!!!
Chris Ellis, Archaeologist