Type D, Mk V Field Telephone

During the Second World War, Divisional HQ level units and above used the F type field telephone (see here). Units lower down the food chain tended to be issued the D Type MK V field telephone, which we are looking at tonight:

The following excellent description comes from Joseph Barrett on the Warrelics forum:

The Telephone Set D Mk V was a portable instrument for field use in Army formations forward of divisional headquarters. It provided the following facilities:

1) Calls by buzzer

2) Responds by bell to magneto generator calling and by aural indication to buzzer calling

3) Speech communication

4) Morse communication by buzzer and key

The instrument, having a magneto bell, could only be rung by another telephone, or telephone exchange, which has a magneto generator. It could only call by buzzer, which gives visual indication to Switchboards UC (Universal Call), and aural indication to another telephone when not working through an exchange. Maximum range was 14-16 miles (speech) and 25 miles (Morse) using D8 twisted cable or 8-10 miles (speech) and 15 miles (Morse) using D3 cable. Like the F Set, it was powered by two 1.5V ‘X’ or ‘S’ Cells. In addition to the normal handset, the set also incorporated a single headphone, which could be used on a listening watch. The Telephone Set D Mk V* was similar but without the headphone. In army slang, the set was commonly known as a “Don Five”.

The D type telephone was housed in a sturdy metal tin:

The lid of this tin was hinged so it could be opened as in the photograph above and a small hook acted as a latch to prevent it opening unexpectedly:

A pair of metal loops are fitted on either side to allow a carrying strap to be attached:

Finally the telephone seems to be able to be carried on the waist belt as a pair of webbing loops are riveted on the back of the case:

Inside the telephone lacks a magneto to allow it to alert another telephone that the operator is calling (hence no winding handle), but it does have a bell to indicate incoming calls:

The two terminals in front of the bell allow the telephone wires to be attached. Next to this is a battery box (missing it’s top cover) and a key to allow Morse messages to be tapped out:

The extreme right of the telephone has the buzzer unit:

This can be pulled out for maintenance (and is consequently frequently missing):

The handset of the telephone is stored underneath and consists of a large black receiver and microphone made of Bakelite in the usual manner:

A button is fitted to the handset and needs to be depressed in order to speak:

A metal tab is fitted to the telephone that can be pulled out to place the handset on when the telephone is in use:

This slides back into the telephone body when not needed:

Finally the underside of the lid has a couple of etched brass instruction plates with details of the telephone’s wiring and instructions on its use:

These telephones saw extensive use throughout the war and can be seen in use here with a Canadian artillery battery:

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