Original U.S. WWI M1917A1 Artillery Panoramic Sight By The Warner & Swasey Co - Dated 1917
Original Item: Only One Available. Here we have a very nice WW1 M1917A1 Panoramic Gun Sight by The Warner & Swasey Company, Cleveland, Ohio, a very well known maker of these sights. They were used on a variety of artillery pieces, allowing more precise spotting while firing. This gun sight is in very good condition, and as far as we can tell is fully functional. The optics are clear and fully functional, and the crosshairs are still fully visible. The green paint is still very good, and the overall finish is very nice.
The top of the objective lens housing has the manufacturer and specification information:
THE WARNER & SWASEY CO
CLEVELAND OHIO. U.S.A.
1917 No 2 H.L.S.
That “No 2” denotes the serial number making this already attractive piece even more eye-catching! Having such a low serial number on any item, especially this old is extremely difficult to come across.
The Warner & Swasey Co
During the early- to mid-20th century, the company was well known in American industry. Its products, both turret lathes and instruments, played very prominent roles in the war efforts for both world wars. Warner & Swasey took part in the transition to numerical control (NC) and computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools during the 1950s through 1970s, but like many other machine tool builders during those decades, it ultimately was affected by the prevailing winds of merger and acquisition in the industry. It was acquired by Bendix Corporation in 1980.
The various adjustment knobs allow both elevation and traverse adjustments, definitely valuable for "dialing in" artillery fire. There is also an aiming port on the top right of the sight to help confirm alignment.
In great shape, ready to display, or even use!
Artillery of World War I
The artillery of World War I, which led to trench warfare, was an important factor in the war, influenced its tactics, operations, and incorporated strategies that were used by the belligerents to break the stalemate at the front. World War I raised artillery to a new level of importance on the battlefield.
The First World War saw several developments in artillery warfare. Artillery could now fire the new high explosive shells, and throw them farther and at a higher rate of fire. Because of this, enemies in trenches were no longer always safe, and could constantly be fired upon. In some areas, artillery concentration was common, with several guns firing onto an area such as a line of trenches, each gun firing several rounds per minute for hours. Artillery barrages were also used before an infantry battle, to distract the enemy away from the place of attack, or the paths behind the lines were fired on so that enemy reinforcements could not safely reach the front lines.
Mortars were revived by the Germans because of their ability to shoot at an angle above 45 degrees, and they, therefore, could theoretically (although not often) drop shells directly in an enemy's trench before exploding, for maximum damage. Artillery shells were used for weapon emission by the German troops in 1915, and the Allies followed their example after the Second Battle of Ypres.
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