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Ross G363 Searchlight director binocular.

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by James Stewart, Mar 13, 2020.

  1. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    Not a weapon but ship-based technology still vital in WW2 and equally so today when you have to lay eyes on a target or object.
    This wee binocular produced by the British optical firm Ross ( their works as was located in Clapham, London, now sadly gone as is the firm itself), used to control and direct searchlights.
    To say that it is rather uniquely shaped is something of an understatement, it is quite heavy totally waterproof, not what you want to have fall on your toe and is something that you won't see every day of the week.
    From an optical point of view, almost any collector wants " German" gear " Zeiss" and consider it to be of the best quality, which in most cases it is but where does this leave British and US gear, was it or is it to be automatically regarded as second class and inferior?
    Does it follow that in WW2 we went to sea with second class kit, I do doubt that this follows certainly some of the German naval optical equipment was of the best quality but not all of it was and it did have some very complex and overly engineered items which were a luxury and often a simpler design would have been suffice and more cost-effective to do the job in hand. ( Typical of so much of the German industry of the time.)

    This one is a favourite of mine simply for what it is and for its rarity, I have seen one other for sale in twenty plus years and it is as good as anything designed for a similar purpose produced by Zeiss which I have had a look through.

    According to the records I can find online this binocular was a "Type P Mk II director fitted to Dido (&) Fiji Class cruisers and to KGV battleships for searchlight direction incorporating searchlight deflecting prisms along with forecasting graticule and barrage sight ."

    I had a small base plate made so it could be mounted on the German flakglas cradle it fits well and is great to use on this setup. ( The downside is the weight of the German set up to say it is heavy is to defy the obvious).

    This binocular I bought form a gentleman in the UK, I have bought several items from him over the years.

    IMG_0742.JPG IMG_0751.JPG IMG_0759.JPG IMG_0746.JPG IMG_0755.JPG IMG_0756.JPG IMG_2666.JPG IMG_0736.JPG IMG_0744.JPG IMG_0743.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
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  2. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    HMS_Dido_37.jpg King-George-V-01.jpg IMG_3150.JPG IMG_3149.JPG IMG_3105.JPG IMG_3105.JPG AAI-0026-HMNZS-Gambia.jpg

    Sometimes one can be totally surprised by what turns up via movie props, this from the "Mad Max" remark of a few years ago. Quite surprised to see it popping up.
    Dido, Fiji class cruisers and King George V Class battlewagon.
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..interesting..thanks....so it directly directed [ sorry ] searchlights? I've never seen this before.....
     
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  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I understand looking through the binoculars to direct the searchlight. What were the crosshairs on top for? Excuse my lack of knowledge, but I have never seen something like this.
     
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  5. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    LRusso216 - no apology required, I have to place hands on heart and say it is new to me as well in terms of graticule / range scale , I honestly do not know how it is applied.
    In terms of optical clarity and view this wee set is a 100% winner all the way to the bank.
     

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