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Veteran surprises LRDG buffs

Photo: LRDG and SAS veteran Jack Mann (left) with Karl-Gunnar Norén


A veteran of both the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) and SAS surprised the audience at a recent book launch at the Swedish Embassy in London. The launch event of Long Range Desert Group: History & Legacy was attended by LRDG and SAS veteran Jack Mann, who astounded those in attendance with his remarkable energy and memory.

LRDG and SAS veteran Jack Mann (left) with Karl-Gunnar Norén

The book is the result of a research expedition in Egypt using two 1943 Jeeps. After taking part in the ‘2,300-mile Sahara epic’, Swedish military vehicle enthusiast and main author Karl-Gunnar Norén, decided to write a book with LRDG history highlights including several unpublished LRDG photographs, original LRDG training notes and on his own Jeep experiences of Egypt.

Although Karl-Gunnar had been to several deserts, not least in Libya, to see more of the LRDG he needed to find fellow enthusiasts. This he did by joining the 2012 research expedition with Toby Savage that consisted of two 1943 Jeeps and LRDG buffs from the UK and US supported by Egyptian travel and security professionals.

There are LRDG buffs all over the world, but only a handful have driven in the tracks of the LRDG in World War Two Jeeps to find what remains of the legendary unit in modern Egypt. One of the group’s findings is apparent from the photograph on the front cover of Long Range Desert Group: History & Legacy, taken by former Classic Military Vehicle magazine editor John Carroll. It shows the remains of a CMP 4×4 Ford from the LRDG Rhodesian S Patrol left behind in 1941 due to a broken steering column.

Karl-Gunnar Norén, with the most original and intact LRDG Chevrolet there is, preserved at the Imperial War Museum in London. Photo: Lars Gyllenhaal

To his own desert experiences, Karl-Gunnar added the story of LRDG veteran Bill “Swede” Anderson. Relatives of “Swede” Anderson attended the book launch at the Swedish Embassy in London on May 24 together with Jack Mann. After just a few words from him it became clear his willpower and charm are intact.

Long Range Desert Group: History & Legacy is published by Helion and Company and is available from Casemate UK:

Look out for a review of the book in an upcoming edition of Classic Military Vehicle. 


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