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ONSV22TGA105

Original German WWII 10x50 Dienstglas Binoculars bmk with 1943 Dated Case By Ernst Leitz (beh) - Dated 1941

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Military binoculars and those used by the German military in the Second World War are some of the most collectable antique binoculars. Values can be especially high for a U-boat captain's binoculars, while field used examples such as this one are far more affordable and display nicely!

Dienstglas binoculars were among some of the most prized souvenirs for Allied Servicemen. After the War they became a desirable accessory and many found new owners through optical retailers and surplus stores. For example, Peerless Camera Stores in New York offered Zeiss Dienstglas binoculars 10x50 for $97 and 6x30 for $38 in 1946!

Binoculars used by the German military in the Second World War were made by a wide range of makers. The most well-known were Carl Zeiss, Ernst Leitz, Swarovski and Voightlander. Up to 1940 they carried the maker's name and as well as the word “Dienstglas” which means service glass. From around 1940 the maker's name was replaced by a three letter code.

There were three common types of binoculars issued to the German military before and during the Second World War: 6x30, 7x50, 10x50.

This example is dated 1941 and bears the 3 letter code for Ernst Leitz, beh, on the back of the left side. The right side bears the specification 10 X 50 over the serial number 357193, however the "Dienstglas" marking above these was scratched out for some reason, and then painted over. Particularly after Germany invaded Russia in 1941, the Wehrmacht needed binoculars that could withstand cold temperatures. A number of markings exist that indicate lubrication with low-temperature grease. One of those markings are KF, which can be found underneath the 3 letter code beh on the left side of the binos.

Other markings present on the binoculars are for the Graticule. The presence of the graticule is indicated by 'h/6400', although some binoculars with the graticule do not have it. This Leitz example has the marking present as well as the Graticule present in the right side. Graticule is just another name for a reticule, a grid, network, or crosshatch found in the eyepiece of various optical instruments to aid measurement or alignment.

To the left of H/6400 you will find a single letter, “M”, which stands for metric, meaning the screw threads are measured by the metric system. There is a leather tab on the center “hinge” which is marked with the date 1941 beside the initials beh.

The original black finish on both the metal and leatherette are retained very nicely with minimal wear and paint loss. All lenses are clear and the optic is still able to be focused properly. The leather case also retains the black finish very nicely and appears to be without damage. Attached to the bales on the sides are a lovely, original carry strap.

This is truly a wonderful example of the ever so popular 10x50 “Dienstglas”. Comes more than ready to display!

Models
Binoculars used by the German military in the Second World War were made by a huge number of makers. The most well-known were Carl Zeiss, Ernst Leitz, Swarovski and Voightlander. Up to 1940 they carried the maker's name and as well as the word 'Dienstglas'which means service glass. From around 1940 the the maker's name was replaced by a three letter code.

There were three common types of binocular issued to the German military before and during the Second World War: 6x30, 7x50, 10x50.

6x30
The 6x30 was the type commonly issued to NCO and officers. According to 'Deutsche Soldaten' they were issued to the squad leader independent of rank. They often had a graticule which is a series of lines in the right-hand lens. It was used to estimate distances. If you knew the size of a man or a truck that you could see with the binoculars, you could estimate the distance based on the number of lines it measured in the graticule. It was a technique that soldiers had to learn.

Early binoculars were made from brass. Later ones were made from an alloy of magnesium and aluminum, which was extremely light. Towards the end of the War binoculars were sometimes made from bakelite.

7x50
These are the classic night vision binoculars preferred by sailors. However, this spec was also used by the Wehrmacht (Army) and Luftwaffe (Air Force) as well as the Kriegsmarine (Navy). They are larger and usually the classic Zeiss shape.

10x50
These are the most practical size for modern applications such as bird watching or spectator sport. They give you powerful magnification and bright lenses. They had specialized use in wartime and were issued to artillery units. Senior officers have also used this type of binocular.

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, used a pair of 10x50 Dienstglas binoculars. His had the bakelite eyepiece caps missing. He more than likely had them removed to better fit his “trademarked” dust goggles.

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