Aeronautical Instruments & Tools
Price = n/a
An extremely scarce Luftwaffe emergency signalling mirror, complete with its even scarcer fabric case that was more often discarded or lost. These heliographs were Luftwaffe aircrew issue against FL 415 610 and were constructed of plated steel, which was highly polished on one side and with decal instructions for use fixed to the reverse. The instructions in German are : Achtung! Blendlicht von unten nach oben in Richtung Flugzeug werfen. Jn kurzen abstanden diesen vorgang solange wiederholen bis Erkennug sicher. Planloses Herumblinken zwecklos. FL 415610. Loosely translated we understand this means : Caution! Throw glare from bottom to top towards the aircraft. In a short time repeat this process until recognition is certain. Flashing around aimlessly serves no purpose. These instruments were usually carried stored in a pocket of the Channel Trousers or for convenience the case was generally discarded and instead directly tied to the schwimmweste, often using a gravity knife lanyard (as the example we are also listing today!
On offer is a particularly fine example that beats the odds in that the yellow cotton issue case remains with it, unlike most. This is clearly stamped Blendspiegel Fl. 414610 and other than some wear to one edge the cover remains in remarkably good condition. The instrument itself is very fine with no rust or other damage and virtually all the transfer instructions remaining in place whilst the 'business side' mirror is crisp and un marked. This item also came with interesting provenance, coming from the family of a British soldier who served with 11th Air Formation Signals within the Royal Corps of Signals. This was an army unit which provided line communications for 83 Group 2 Tactical Air Force. They landed in Normandy on 7th June'44 and the unit moved through France, Belgium and Holland as the war progressed finally reaching the Luneberg area in N Germany in mid-1945. By August 1945 they was billeted at the former Luftwaffe airfield of Fliegerhorst Celle-Wietzenbruch in Celle, Lower Saxony, that was captured by the allies on 11th April 1945. On return home the serviceman brought this Blendspiegel, along with souvenirs found at the abandoned Luftwaffe base and it remained untouched in safe storage with his family until recently purchased by us.
In 20+ years of trading and in a lifetime as a collector this is the first example that we have owned. Like so much these days the Blendspiegel is being replicated so it is very much a case of 'Caveat Emptor' when considering a purchase. We are however, as with all our stock, happy to guarantee both the item and the stated provenance. It would be hard to find such a crisp example and for once we don't need to ask the open ended question 'if it could only talk! easures approximately6.5" x 3.25" (16.5 cm x 8.0 cm)