Author Topic: Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars  (Read 184 times)

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Rodolfo Peirano

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Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars
« on: June 08, 2019, 02:12:21 PM »
Here an interesting series of image of the USS Bowfin submarine.

The second and third images show the cannon and its two aiming optics; two Baush a Lomb big binoculars


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Niall McLaren

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Re: Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 04:38:19 PM »
These B+L bino sights have awesome optics - similar to a blc gasmask and, while the whole assembly weighs a ton, the optical inners can sometimes be picked up separately.

I have two sets - one with the reticle but thought they were for surface torpedo firing (like the Zeiss UDF). I suppose they could have been used for both though...
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Rodolfo Peirano

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Re: Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2019, 02:34:57 PM »
Thank you for the inner image of the prism cage.

I think that the binoculars was completely sealed as the UZO. In the image are shown mounted (couple) on a gun  :) I wonder how they could be used in pairs by two men who were supposed to separately aiming the cannon.
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Niall McLaren

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Re: Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2019, 05:21:58 PM »
Forgive me Rodolfo - I didn't see the top image! :-[

I've only ever seen them bridge mounted but, as you say, they appear to be gun mounted too. The US must have been awash in optics as these obviously cost a lot to make - one on the bridge and two on the gun. ;) ;)
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard

Niall McLaren

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Re: Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2019, 05:38:20 PM »
Here's the info I was aware of;

The Mk-91 and Mk-93 were left up in the sail of the the submarine all the time. We used to pressure test them to about 300 ft. They sat on top of a TBT (Target Bearing Transmitter) that directly sent the direction the binocular was pointing down to the control room to be fed to the fire control computer (old days, all gears). There were two models, one was 7x the other was a 6x. They are NOT what was refered to as "big eyes", which were 20x120mm.

but I've since found this;

Mk 37, 43, 90 were all for the target bearing transmitters on the bridge of the submarine. The Mk 91s were for the five inch 25 caliber gun introduced near the end of the war. There was an adapter that would make it possible to mount a Mk 91 in a TBT.

So -submarine bridge, gun and later torpedo boat mounted too! ;)
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard

Rodolfo Peirano

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Re: Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2019, 07:49:03 PM »
Tanks for info Niall, but I didn't explain myself well.

In the cannon two binoculars (right and left) were mounted (as can be seen from the image), and under the optics there were the pedals and flyers for pointing the cannon.

Then, there were two mans these could have aimed the cannon in two slightly different directions depending on their appreciation of the target.  :-\

Can you tell me how this maneuver works ?
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Niall McLaren

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Re: Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2019, 09:59:37 PM »
The navy usually relies on "belt and braces" ie everything is doubled up. If one gunner is injured, the other takes over I imagine. ;)
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Rodolfo Peirano

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Re: Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 10:09:00 PM »
OK credible theory  ;)
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Niall McLaren

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Re: Baush & Lomb submarine gun binoculars
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2019, 10:12:59 PM »

OK credible theory

It only works if you're awash with optics though... ;D
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard