Part of the occasional Sahara A to Z series
Hang around long enough and you’ll get the full set
L’Universo is a journal of the Italian Istituto Geografico Militare in Florence and the current 160-page special edition features the 1933 expedition to Libya led by Captain Oreste Marchesi.
Sahara specialist Michele Soffiantini organised a special visit to the Uweinat area from the Libyan side in 2010 while researching the Marchesi expedition in detail. The journal includes an in-depth analysis of the mission’s objectives in reaching to the southernmost corner of Libya, most probably to gain a foothold at the strategic landmark of Jebel Uweinat mountain, beyond the oases of Kufra which itself had only been occupied by the
Italians in 1931. The cartographical aspects of the survey are also described as well as a study of the mission’s surveying equipment.
It’s all in Italian of course, so I’m not much the wiser but it’s interesting to parallel it with the better known explorations of around the same time by Ralph Bagnold from the Egyptian side, as well as Laszlo Almasy. The glossy journal reproduces some great archive photos by Giuseppe Tschon from the ground and the air, as well as some fine maps produced as a result of the expedition.
Uweinat expert Andras Zboray of FJ Expeditions was part of 2010 trip with Michele and describes their finds here, along with scores of great photos – some of which also appear in the journal. On that occasion Michele and a pal climbed the 1251-metre Cima Marchesi, a peak on the very western edge of the Jebel Uweinat massif (1934m) and therefore well inside Libya, then and now.
Further information from: Istituto Geografico Militare
casezcomm AT geomil.esercito.difesa.it