An unusual lantern, intended to serve a variety of purposes in the field, is now
in use by the German Army. The lantern (see fig. 3) is made almost entirely
of plastic, with a few parts made of zinc, aluminum, and glass. It is
completely demagnetized. Although it is resistant to all weather conditions, it
is less durable than steel or brass, and the Germans admit that it must
be handled with care.
The most notable feature of this piece of equipment
is its adaptability for different purposes. The principal
means of illumination is acetylene gas (carbide), but
candles may be substituted. The lantern can be dimmed
or completely blacked out by means of zinc screens.
There is a special front screen with a slotted slide for
lighting reference points. Just above this there is a circular
slide, which can be regulated to give varying
amounts of light. Zinc side screens may be inserted to
darken the sides of the lantern. When not in use, these
screens are placed in a pocket at the rear of the lantern.
A red or green glass pane can be inserted in the front
of the lantern whenever a colored light is desired, as
for prearranged signaling.
|Figure 3. German Multipurpose Carbide Lantern.|
A spare-parts kit and a plastic container for carbide
are issued for each lantern.
2. VARIETY OF USES
The German Army finds many uses for the carbide lantern. In the
instruction booklet which accompanies each spare-parts kit, the
enemy advises that the lantern be used:
a. For lighting personnel and equipment shelters, including dugouts;
b. For lighting small offices, communications centers, and improvised field stables;
c. For lighting closed vehicles;
d. For reading maps, compasses, and so on;
e. For tunnel work, unless safety lamps are required because of
explosive gases (the handle is fitted with a hook for work of
f. For railroad personnel;
g. As a signal lantern for ponton bridge engineers.
3. METHOD OF OPERATION WITH CARBIDE
a. The round carbide container, which also serves as
the lantern's base, should be filled with small lumps of
dust-free carbide up to the level of the three flanges on
the inside. Then the perforated pressure cover, which
is equipped with a spiral spring, is put on (with the
spring turned upward). On this spring there is fitted
a funnel with a little perforated tube, which points
downward. After these preparations, the filled carbide
container is screwed firmly into the lantern. It is important
to make certain that the rubber washer is in place.
If, after long use, the threads on the carbide container
become dry, they should be greased lightly.
b. The setscrew with a drip needle in the center of
the zinc water container must be screwed down firmly.
The slotted screw cap at one side of the water container
is then unscrewed, the water container is filled to the
top, and the screw cap is replaced.
c. The setscrew is given a single turn to the left. Gas
is produced by the water dripping into the carbide container.
This gas seeps evenly through the burner.
d. The flame should be about 1/3 inch high, and
should burn/without hissing. If necessary, the setscrew
to the water intake should be regulated.
e. One filling of water will allow the lantern to burn
for at least 8 hours if the above directions are followed
f. After use, the parts which have come into contact
with carbide must be cleaned. If this is not done, the
life and intensity of the flame will be reduced.
g. Before the lantern is stored away, it should be
drained of water. The setscrew should be well oiled.
4. DEFECTIVE BURNING
a. If gas leaks between the lantern and the carbide
container, it is probable that the rubber washer has not
been placed properly on the carbide container or that
the container itself has not been screwed tightly into
b. If the lantern sputters, the slotted screw on the
drip system between the water container and the lantern
should be tightened with a screwdriver. This
screw has a small rubber washer under it.
c. If the burner is stopped up, it must be cleaned
with the special cleaning pin provided for this purpose.
Any air leak should be sealed. If a new burner is to be
inserted, its threads should be coated with the air-sealing
substance carried in the spare-parts kit.
The spare-parts kit contains seven candles, a candle-holding
tube with push spring, a candle-holder base
plate, four burners, a wooden case with burner cleaning
pins, a large rubber washer for the carbide container
and two small washers for sealing the drip
system, a plastic container filled with an air-sealing
preparation, a plastic container filled with "Stauffer"
lubricant, a screwdriver, an extra side pane and an
extra front pane (both of clear glass), a red front pane,
a green front pane, and an instruction booklet.