During the second half of WW2 the British Army began to upgrade its hand held torches for a more modern design. The old LE1 (Light, Electric, No1) resembled an old fashioned bicycle lamp, as we saw here. It’s replacement was the LE4 (Lamp Electric No 4) and it was almost a direct copy of the German ‘artas’ lamp:The torch consists of a metal box, with a lens, reflector and bulb at the top centre of the front panel, two different coloured filters are included that can be slid over this by using the two metal knobs on the front of the torch. One is for a red lens:And one for a green lens:
These were designed to allow the torch to be used at night for map reading without affecting the user’s night vision. The top of the torch is hinged, with a small metal spring clip to hold it closed:Opening it up reveals a space for a battery and a spare bulb:On the back of the torch is a leather belt loop:And a tab with a button hole to allow it to be fastened to the button of the user’s uniform:The torch itself is marked as having been made by DB Ltd:Sadly I have yet to identify a specific manufacturer to go with these initials. This torch is a much more sophisticated design than the older No1 version and no doubt would have been welcomed by those troops issued with it. Similar designs of torches were manufactured and used by armies across europe during the post war era on both sides of the iron curtain. Clearly then the design was recognised as being a successful one! Sadly the original batteries are no longer easily available for these torches, but modern batteries can be adapted to fit.