Military Protractor Mk III

The importance of maps to the military can scarcely be underestimated. Whether it is to navigate to an enemy position, design a bridge or bring down artillery fire; maps are used every day by the armed forces. To accurately plot a position on a map or to draw a map from scratch, the ability to transfer bearings onto the page is essential and for this a protractor designed to be used with military maps is very helpful. This example, although not /|\ marked, is one issued to British Army Officers:imageThis example is marked ‘Protractor Rectangular ‘A’ Mk III’ (6”x2” Exactly). This mark of protractor seems to date from the 1920s- the Mk IV was introduced in about 1930. It is made of celluloid by Reeves & Sons Ltd of London and in addition to the angles around the edge has multiple lines for different scales of maps on both sides:imageThe 1929 copy of ‘Notes on Map Reading’ explains about the scales:

The Service Protractor Mark IV shows scales of ¼ inch and 1 inch to the mile; also scales for R/Fs of 1/25,000, 1/50,000 and 1/250,000. Thus the normal scales of British maps can be drawn from the protractor.

The protractor is designed to fit snuggly into a pocket on the underside of the lid of the map case (here):imageThese protractors were also made of ivory, brass and wood, for more details of the many different types of military protractor please look at this excellent webpage here.Sir-Alan-Brooke

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.