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FIELDGEAR #37639 Busch Marschkompass I

This Marching Compass was manufactured by the Busch firm, a German company once located in Rathenow, which is north-west of Berlin. Busch was a large company that many produced optical instruments. These compasses were manufactured only during a limited period.

The compass measures 68 x 55 x 18 mm. It is constructed of fine brass, with a black finish which remains in remarkable condition; this example looks practically new. This extremely good condition was no doubt aided by the original carrying pouch, which amazingly is still with this piece. These were routinely lost or discarded, so this is an exciting accessory. The lid of the compass is marked "BUSCH / D.R.G.M / 88273" beneath the logo of the Busch firm, which looks very much like a stylized sunrise marked with a "B" in a diamond.

The original nickel thumb ring is present, as is the mirror. Both are flawless, or very nearly so. This was not a signal mirror, although that's what I thought it was when I first examined the piece. Apparently you would stick your thumb in the ring, extend your arm, aim the little visors on the target and read the angle in the mirror! Mechanically the compass works well and the original luminous paint is intact in the needle and the dial. The original folding 50mm hinged ruler is intact and also works well.

This is a extremely fine period compass that works just as well today as it did the day it was made, a real testament to German design. If you only add one compass toy your German collection, these is the one you want!

Near Mint. $250.00

FIELDGEAR #30645C Small Compass for Young Boys

This small compass has a hinged cover that flips open to reveal the compass inside. The compass still works and is in good, readable condition. The hinged lid is shined to a mirror state for easy viewing of the compass while walking. One side of the compass has a numerical scale in white on a black background.

The bottom of the compass is a square shape and has the name of the producer and other details as part of the mold. It is marked “Marsh-Kompass/Jugend”. Below this is an “S” letter within a diamond shape, and below that is the abbreviation for a patent having been secured on this device, “DRGM”. Apparently this compass would have been used by the Hitler Youth.

A nice item here.

Excellent. $125.00

FIELDGEAR #30646C Quality Compass

This compass is made of bakelite material and it has a hinged lid, which when lifted reveals a mirror- like device beneath, and after this is lifted, the working compass is exposed below. All the numerals are nice and crisp and the glass cover is in perfect condition. There is also a large brass ring attached to this compass for affixing to a belt loop.

On the bottom of the compass there is a hinged ruler device for making measurements and calculations. This device is made of brass. On the top lid of the bakelite is stamped the name of the producer, “hap”, and beneath, the number “149685”.

A high quality device here which appears to work as well today as it did 70 years ago.

Excellent Plus. $195.00

FIELDGEAR #30647C Quality Compass with Neck String

This Quality Compass is made up of black bakelite with a round metal folding lid. When the lid is lifted, there is a mirror on the inside of it. The compass instrument lies below and it works as well today as it did some 70-some years ago. The black bakelite base is in perfect condition throughout.

One side edge has a set of numbers and metric measurements for calculating navigational routes. Attached to the device is a black string which is long enough for the compass to be worn over the neck.

A high quality device here.

Near Mint. $200.00

FIELDGEAR #40789C Canteen with Felt Cover

This canteen is in fairly nice condition, with no dents and covered in the original green felt. There is some mothing but nothing too bad.

Stretching vertically around the canteen is a leather strap with a button hole and an aluminum boss holding it in place. At the top of the strap is a lid retainer strap and a nickel plated steel snap clip.

A pretty nice period canteen here.

Excellent. $110.00

FIELDGEAR #38752C SS Marked Black Leather Map Cased

This Map Case remains in nice condition throughout, with good, supple leather. It measures about 10 inches by 7 inches and is about 2 inches thick, although it is designed to expand when filled with documents. The two belt loops on the reverse are in good shape and complete with aluminum roller buckles.

On the outside there are compartments for pencils and the like. The top has a flap retained by a buckle and hasp. Lifting up the flap reveals the clear marking “RZM SS 1942”.

A nice artifact here, which could easily be attached to a Waffen-SS uniform.

Excellent Plus, Plus. $695.00

FIELDGEAR #38402C German Army Canteen

This German Army is in nice condition throughout, being complete with the olive drab felt cover, carrying strap and belt clip, as well as the black Bakelite cup that sits on top.

The leather strapping on the canteen shows some age but it is still generaly sound. The attached snap clip is marked “Ritter DRGM”.

A good, complete example here.

Excellent Plus. $165.00

FIELDGEAR #37573C Cased War-Time Civilian Binoculars

The case for this set of binoculars remains in nearly full Mint condition. It is constructed out of some sort of Bakelite style substance and has a hinged lid. Connected to the front of the lid is an elaborate steel latching mechanism equipped with a spring. The reverse of the case is equipped with a set of leather belt loop straps that are in great shape. On the sides of the case are two “D” rings which most likely retained a leather neck strap. The interior of the upper lid is padded. On the lower interior we see “GMG” within an oval.

The binoculars themselves have very fine optics. These binoculars show some traces of usage. They are equipped with a leather neck strap and are marked “Bimax” and “Wetzlar”. They have a serial number “129627”.

An excellent set of binoculars here that still could be used.

Excellent Plus. $150.00

FIELDGEAR #37138 SS-marked Tornister

This SS Tornister measures 12 inches by 14 inches and is constructed of cowskin with leather supports and straps throughout. The tornister opens at the top, and has all of the leather accouterments inside.

The cow hair exterior of this pack shows some wear here and there, but overall it is in good condition. All of the assorted supporting outside belts, buckles and hasps are intact.

This tornister is stamped on the black leather reverse trim with a double circle with a “SA” inside of it, and then the number “401/37”. A double circle with SS runes can also be seen. Presumably this tornister was worn by both SA and SS personnel.

A great opportunity here to acquire an authentic piece of period marked field gear that is still in good condition.

Excellent. $650.00

FIELDGEAR #36994C German Scherenfernroh Scissor Periscope, S.F. 14 Z Gi

This Scissor Periscope is a most interesting piece of German gear. Given that it was actually used in battle, and, in the case of this piece, on a tank, it's remarkable that it has survived at all!

The periscope measures about 22 inches from end to end, and is very heavy, being constructed largely out of steel. It is painted with the tan color that we normally associate with desert units; perhaps this piece saw service in North Africa?

In terms of design it is quite simple: Two tubes, with a pair of shielded optical ports at the top, and a set of eyepieces, not unlike those found on a garden variety binocular, at the bottom. The tubes are connected by a hinge mechanism. The whole array is set atop a clever mounting bracket, which could swivel along the vertical and horizontal axes. There is a ridged knob at the front of the scope that, presumably, could be turned to allow for these adjustments. The steel surface is quite rusty throughout (but not pitted) particularly on the tubes. However, given the age and rough-and-tumble lifestyle this piece I'd say it is in decent shape despite these issues, which I'm sure could be corrected by someone in the know.

The ports at the top of the blades are curved, almost boxlike affairs, and are equipped with what I assume are glare shields. The optical glass in these ports is intact and quite clear. With a bit of cleaning I suspect they would be almost like new. They are firmly bolted to the tops of the tubes.

The tube "blades" can, with a little effort, be spread apart along a central hinge. It is this characteristic spreading action that earned them the name of scherenfernroh, or Scissor Periscope. When in use in the field they would need to be opened and closed to allow for different depths of field, again like a common binocular. At the very top of each tube, just below the optical port, is a rubber bumper. From the look of them they appears to keep the blades from banging into each other when closed. The bottom of the left "blade is marked "bmj / + / B91670 / S. F. 14.Z.GI. / M6400".

Firmly bolted to the left tube, near the bottom, is a steel ring. Attached to this ring is a bracket (complete with wing nut) that is equipped with what I've discovered, after a bit of research, is a padded forehead rest. The forehead rest itself appears to be made of leather affixed to something like Bakelite, and is in surprisingly good shape for something that would routinely be drenched with sweat! This is an interesting feature, and I'm sure it proved an enormous help when peer through the eyepieces below. It is interesting to note that these forehead rests were apparently only attached to scopes that were used in armored vehicles. I'd like to think that this scope once peered across the shimmering sands of the North African desert from the back of a dusty Panzer.

Now to the eyepieces. Unlike the rest of the piece they are black. There is a fair amount of surface rust scattered about them. They have knurled rims, presumably to facilitate adjustment. The lip of the right eyepiece is cracked around the rim, but the damage seems relatively minor. The glass in each eyepiece is intact and quite clear. The two eyepieces are joined at the top by what appears, to me, to be some sort of telescoping stabilizing bar. Affixed to this "stabilizer" is a small rail mount, very much like those used to attach a scope to a rifle. I'd think that some sort of instrument wat attached to this rail mount; perhaps a level? Peering through the eyepieces (which wasn't easy, given the weight of the damned thing) we are treated to a surprisingly clear image! The optics are in remarkably good shape, given their fragility, not to mention the age and pedigree of the scope. The view through the right eyepiece is especially interesting; a numbered grid pattern, or gitterplatte, hovers in your field of vision! Apparently the presence of this grid is noted in the marking found at the bottom of the left tube, "S. F. 14. Z. Gi". The "Gi" does in fact stand for for Gitterplatte. I can only assume this grid was used to accurately direct fire.

The mounting bracket is at the bottom of the scope. It is shaped somewhat like a tennis racket, and, as mentioned above, appears to allow the whole scope to be traversed along different axes. It also appears to be stuck, pointing stubbornly to the left. Perhaps the next owner can free it with a bit of work; I choose to leave it alone.

A very interesting set of German optics here. Yes, there are some condition problems, but I feel the potentially interesting pedigree far outweighs any issues it may have.

Excellent. $895.00

FIELDGEAR #36989C German Saddle Bag Pommel Strap

This German Saddle Bag Pommel Strap is an interesting piece, although I must admit, at least initially, that I had had nary a clue what it was! It took a bit of research (not to mention some timely help from an expert on German cavalry accoutrements) to figure out the function this little mystery.

The holder is essentially a stout leather strap, fifteen inches across, and constructed of thick, quality leather. It is roughly in the shape of a crescent, with a narrow waist and wider ends. The leather is a pleasing orange brown color, quite smooth and really in quite remarkable condition; it is still very supple, other than some very mild cracking at the point of flex (and only then on the bottom side) I can't see anything in the way of damage. Heavy stitching runs around the edges and across the face of the leather. The "top" edge of the piece is straight across while the bottom edge curves inward. This shape allows for it to rest comfortably across the pommel area of the saddle.

Two looped leather tongues, complete with steel hardware, are stitched at either end of the strap. I think these loops are just to secure the strap to a saddle rig. Securely bolted next to these loops a a pair of heavy steel anchors. Each is an inverted "U" shaped piece of metal with a wide base, held fast to the strap by means of rivets. They look to have been painted grey at one time, but much of the paint has been worn away. Scratches on the base plates bear witness to another metal clad piece of hardware was routinely fastened and unfastened from these anchors, which makes perfect sense as they are certainly heavy-duty enough to be load-bearing.

Below the anchors are a pair of thin metal plates, also riveted securely to the face of the strap. Each is marked "L & F" in the upper corner. These metal rhomboids are pierced with three horizontal slits, and holding the piece up one can see that these plates are actually to reinforce three cuts that go completely through the strap. I think these slits are where the saddle bags were attached to the strap. Presumably the bags had loops that were fed through these slits and then secured. Flanking the left plate are a pair of stamped markings. The first, on the left, reads "hfs 1944". The second consists of a detailed Wehrmacht eagle, complete with wreathed mobile swastika. Below the bird can be seen "WaA 286".

Turning the strap over we see more evidence of the quality of this piece. The reverse of the piece of crisscrossed with heavy stitching and no less than twenty-four smooth rivet heads! Some of the leather has turned black from friction, but overall the piece remains in new-like condition.

A remarkably well preserved piece of German saddlery here, one that I'm sure that would be of interest to cavalry enthusiasts.

Near Mint. $1,795.00