Lamp, Electric No4

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:c1The 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:c3And one for a green lens:

c2These 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:c4Opening it up reveals a space for a battery and a spare bulb:c8On the back of the torch is a leather belt loop:c5And a tab with a button hole to allow it to be fastened to the button of the user’s uniform:c6The torch itself is marked as having been made by DB Ltd:c7Sadly 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.

One comment

  1. […] “As far as I am aware the design was a good one and well-liked by all who used it, as evidenced by the fact similar torches remained in service in Eastern European militaries through until the end of the Cold War,” said Ed Hallett of University of Huddersfield, who also runs the website Tales from the Supply Depot: Collecting British Empire Militaria. […]

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