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Binoculars


alantwo
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From the 1-4 East Lancs Brigade RFA War Diary

VIII Army Corps Routine Order No.5 dated 3rd August 1915.

BINOCULARS.

A large number of N.C.O’s and men are wearing

binoculars other than their own or those issued by

Government to their own unit.

G.O.C. Divisions will take steps to see that

no binoculars (either Government property marked with

a broad arrow or Government property issued on payment

and marked with a double broad arrow) are in possession

of N.C.O’s and men to whom they do not rightly belong.

These, together with all unowned private binoculars

found in the trenches are to be collected and handed in to

ordnance.

------------------

Officer Commanding, 4th East Lancs (H) Brigade

------------------

For your information and necessary action.

[signed]

Captain R.A.

Staff Captain R.A.

29th Divl. Arty.

5-8-15

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Mate,

Other of those stupid orders that show the class system in the British Army.

Why shouldn't soldiers use bino's in the trenches, since it was to help them find and kill their enermys sioldiers.

I must say that many aussies like to collect these things from their enermies and use them against them.

As a former Tank commander all such had bino's during my time. sorry to see that it was not in the British Army during there time at Gallipoli.

S.B

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This does seem rather odd.

But might it be that there was a real shortage of Bins. on the peninsular for people whose job required them (ie Arty spotters etc) given that it was an order issued by an Art'y Captain and this was a rather heavy handed and officious way of collecting as many as possible for redistribution?

Chris

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Hi

The shortage of binoculars is well documented, which is why a lot of different types were in use (after the British public 'donated' or 'lent' their own to the military). As the Western front had a shortage I suspect that there was also a shortage in Gallipoli!

As with all 'Orders' there is something behind this one that caused it to be published, it may be those troops whose job 'needed' them had a shortage while those troops who found them just 'useful' had them. This may have been down to the general shortage, captured binoculars being kept at the front and also, it can't be ruled out, theft from stores! In the 1970s-1980s in the British military binoculars were clased as a V & A item and would have to be signed for and that is with less of a wastage rate than in WW1. I do not think it can be put down to 'Class attitude', what is needed is the paperwork that led up to this order, that is what would get to the bottom of it all.

Mike

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Given German support for the Turkish Army, binoculars "liberated" may well have been nice instruments made by Zeiss and the like. Officers were very jealous of rankers toting nice binoculars.

They often snaffled them.

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Mate,

Other of those stupid orders that show the class system in the British Army.

Why shouldn't soldiers use bino's in the trenches, since it was to help them find and kill their enermys sioldiers.

I must say that many Aussies like to collect these things from their enermies and use them against them.

As a former Tank commander all such had bino's during my time. sorry to see that it was not in the British Army during there time at Gallipoli.

S.B

Steve reread the order. There had obviously been a lot of theft or questionable acquisition in 8th Corps as evidenced by the way the order is worded. You know issued binoculars were a Controlled Store item. The fact that they were included in the CES for your Leopard when you were a junior Rommel, doesn't mean the British Army didn't have a similar scale of issue. Hmmm I wonder where we Australian's got our scale of issue from .......................................?

As a former Infantryman I can say I was always amused by the souvenir hunters, you don't see many amongst those that have to carry it for days on end. Though whilst a Section 2ic, I did spend time emu bobbing dropped equipment.

Cheers,

Hendo

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Mates,

Your right, after thinking more on this subject I agree with the shortage of this vital peice of equiptment for Artillery officers and others.

But there use by soldiers in the field, even if usefull, were vital to keep the enermy under view and not just from the mark one eyeball.

Then again large numbers of so called trench periscopes were in use at this time by aussie infantry and others in the trenches at Anzac, so how many bino's were in general use at Gallipoli to warrent this order?

I know I would not be giving up my bino's just because some officer didn't have a pair, but then again its not the first time I have been ordered to give up some thing because others wanted it?

I do wonder how many this order gathered from the so called rank and file, after its issue.

S.B

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