These particular binoculars were manufactured by the company Carl Zeiss. Carl Zeiss is a German manufacturer of optical systems, founded in Jena, Germany in 1846 by optician Carl Zeiss. The binoculars were produced and once used for long-watch land and sky observation by German forces, between the years of 1939 and 1945.
Wartime binoculars were ruggedly constructed to withstand the rigors of field service. They were used for various tasks, including daylight observation of enemy troop movements, directing fire from artillery toward advancing enemy troops and armor, directing fire at enemy aircraft, and night observation. The angle of the binoculars allowed the observer to sustain watch for long periods of time. The angle also permitted a necessary versatility, as the watchman was able to perform both higher aerial observation and observation of enemy troops on the same visual plane as the watchman. These binoculars are adjustable and moved with the viewer, to track down targets with ease.
The wartime code for this binocular, “blc”, is engraved on the side of the binocular. “blc” is the secret manufacturing code assigned to Zeiss by the German Army Ordnance Department. The use of the “blc,” code instead of the company’s normal logo on the side, was a precautionary one to ensure the secrecy of factory production should the binocular fall into enemy hands.
World War II binoculars were true military weapons, designed for defense and reconnaissance. They were never designed for civilian use, and were constructed without cost in mind, as the reliability of the optics far outweighed the monetary cost. The eyepieces can be adjusted for focus and the distance with a turn of a knob. The shade settings for the lenses can also be adjusted.
These particular binoculars also possess sun filters, which were a necessary feature in wartime. It was a known military tactic to fly in line with the sunlight, so filters helped to cut the glare of the sun in order to increase plane and bomber tracking. Nowadays, sun filters are also a useful feature for anyone who plans to use the binoculars in a brightly lit room.
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