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Tank Optics Before The "electronic" Era


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#1 Inhapi

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1044 AM

Hello again,

 

i'm wondering about tank and especially recce vehicle optics.

 

AFAIK, there were two optical systems:

 

1, periscopes or direct sight blocks (and variants) 

2, gun aiming optics;

 

I wonder tough why no more optics of a bit better magnification were carried ? I'm specifically thinking of higer magnification + larger aperture size optics.

 

if these were not carried , why ? Was it due to doctrinal issues or production limitations ?

 

I guess (especially for recce vehicles) having something at least in binocular size (say 8 x40 or 10 x 50 or so) would be an enormous help in scanning the terrain ahead of you in detail.

 

I remember from the Chieftain's videos (but might be mistaken) that the gunners' sight would be used to scan the terrain in more detail, but i guess this was a rather clumsy affair to do (altought when the gunner saw a target he would ofc have it directly in his sights)

 

I guess crew could alwas carry smallish binoculars, but were these useful for someone sticking his head out of a hatch to use ?

 

What about a small telescope mounted on the TC hatch (or even the loaders hatch) ?

 

Thanks for any answers.


Edited by Inhapi, 31 January 2020 - 1048 AM.

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#2 Ssnake

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1149 AM

Why, we Bundeswehr vehicle commanders routinely carried an 8x40 pair of binos?


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#3 Inhapi

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1212 PM

Why, we Bundeswehr vehicle commanders routinely carried an 8x40 pair of binos?

 

Thanks

 

Was this standard issue, or commanders own initiative ?


Edited by Inhapi, 31 January 2020 - 1212 PM.

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#4 lastdingo

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1310 PM

Binoculars were already commonplace with German WW2 tank commanders.

 

Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-748-0088-02A_Russ

Panther_tank_commander.jpg

 

4c5ce3ccce1b16b5eb65a702b2445405.jpg

 

261c8329eea04005c0e1cfbcca9f6940.jpg

 

The photos are staged (see the hats...), but it's pretty safe to say the PK guys did not bring the binos.


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#5 R011

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1328 PM


Why, we Bundeswehr vehicle commanders routinely carried an 8x40 pair of binos?

 
Thanks
 
Was this standard issue, or commanders own initiative ?

I don't know about the Bundeswehr, but binos were issue equipment to Canadian crew commanders. They were not especially small, 7x50 types with a reticule in mils to help in range estimation.
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#6 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1431 PM

A centurion gunnery manual from the 1950s recommends a pair of Ross binoculars for the commander.
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#7 DogDodger

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1610 PM

FWIW, the 1957 and 1964 editions if FM 17-12 Tank Gunnery discuss the binoculars and how to use the range scale they contained.

 

KTpFOgW.jpg


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#8 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1727 PM

American tanks in WW2 had a specific storage bracket for issue binoculars. I think they were M6.  The binos come in a leather case that drops right into the storage bracket.  On an M5A1 the bracket is in the center of the turret back below the radio mount.

Binoculars were standard issue with the tank


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#9 DKTanker

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1826 PM

For quite some time we had M17 7x50s with an X/Y axis mil scale, on each tank, then at some point we were equipped with 8x40s with both a mil scale and laser safe lenses.


Edited by DKTanker, 31 January 2020 - 1829 PM.

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#10 DKTanker

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 1828 PM

 

I don't know about the Bundeswehr, but binos were issue equipment to Canadian crew commanders. They were not especially small, 7x50 types with a reticule in mils to help in range estimation.

 

Sounds like our M17s.


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