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"Portable German Reading Lamp" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A WWII U.S. report on a German military reading lamp used in WWII, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 51, October 1944.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


[WWII Portable German Reading Lamp]

A new portable electric-battery reading lamp that can be strapped to the forehead, particularly useful in studying maps and aerial photographs and in plotting fire-control data at night, has been produced by the Germans. Freeing the user's hands, it has the additional advantage of providing a safe light for close night work in forward areas. When the lamp is tilted downward at a 45° angle its visibility is virtually zero if the beam is kept from striking a shiny or brightly colored object.

When the beam is directed at a map or chart, held in the normal reading position, the effectively lighted area is approximately 7 by 11 inches.

The lamp consists essentially of three parts, battery case. lead wire, and an enclosed lamp receptacle. An elastic strap, attached to the receptacle, enables the user to wear it like a miner's lamp. The battery case is carried in the user's hip pocket, and the lead wire lies along his back.

The Bakelite battery case is light in weight. Its dimensions are 1 1/4 by 3 by 4 inches and it contains a 4.5-volt dry battery.

[German 88-mm antitank gun Pak 43/41.]
German 88-mm antitank gun Pak 43/41.

The lamp receptacle is tubular in shape, 1 3/8 inches in diameter and 2 inches in length, and it, like the battery case, is made of bakelite. The front end of the tube is inclosed except for a fan-shaped light opening three-eighths by five-eighths inches. The opening is provided with both a clear-glass and a blue-glass covering. The desired covering may be placed over the light opening by turning a circular holder, into which both glasses are fitted. The blue glass cuts the normal light intensity about 25 percent and slightly intensifies red detail on a map. A semicircular hood extends three-eighths inch beyond the light opening. The tube contains a 3.5-volt lamp.

The electrical lead connecting the lamp receptacle to the battery is a very flexible rubber-insulated steel wire.  


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