Luftwaffe Bubble Octant Manufacturer by C.Plath
These instruments were carried by Luftwaffe bombers for astronomical navigation purposes, and were operated by measuring the height of a star. An artificial horizon is provided by a bubble, similar to a spirit level, and multiple readings good be taken to compensate for the speed of the aircraft in flight. The data plate is marked Libellen-Oktant mit Mittlungseinrichtung Bauart: Gerat-Nr. 127-134 B-2 Werk-Nr. 68117 Anforderz. FI 23750 Hersteller and the maker is C.Plath. The instrument comes in its issue metal box with the hinged and folding lid set with a white metal plate printed with instructions. Interestingly on the outside if the case lid is a period paper label which reads : German Instrument from Bomber Crashed at Eaton Socton (sic) Cambridgeshire October 1940. I went on line and found details as below so that seems to confirm the crash site and date as correct and apparently many local people helped themselves to souvenirs. ‘Do215B (0060) L2+KS was on a photo-reconnaissance sortie to Coventry when it was shot-down on Thursday 24th October 1940. The aircraft came down in a shallow dive ‘behind the Crown Inn at Eaton Socon.’ The crew baled-out at very low and only one of them, Gefreiter M Dorr, survived. We have had these instruments before but always in a folding wooden case whilst this example is metal. It shows a little corrosion on base. You can see feint writing on side Look like 3/ Aufklaerungs Gruppe and below OB.d. l. although not entirely clear. On other side OC25 and could be 0060, so looks like from this information relates to the same aircraft. The instrument is in much better than relic condition and whilst it does have some spare parts fitted in the box it is not a complete example but still is a great display item and a super piece of WW11 aviation history.