RAF Binoculars for Night Use

During the Second World War the RAF made limited use of specialist binoculars for use at night time. These binoculars were rather short and stumpy with gallilean lenses and very wide apertures to capture as much light as possible to enhance vision in the dark:

These binoculars are military marked with a /|\ mark and a stores code picked out in white:

Apart from their shape, these are fairly standard binoculars with a central wheel that screws the eyepieces forward and back to change the focal length to suit different user’s eye relief. The eye pieces themselves were originally angled, although this pair have lost one of these over the years and a plain type has been fitted in its place:

A small set of loops are fitted to either side to alow a sling to be attached, usually of leather:

The binoculars are provided with a small leather case with a shoulder strap to allow them to be slung easily for transport:

The lid of this case is clearly marked with the letters AM for the Air Ministry, a stores code and a description of exactly what they are:

These binoculars are generally known as the Husan pattern and had a low magnification of just 2.5x, but combined with a 10 degree field of view and a 2″ objective lens, they worked exceptionally well in low light and were issued to RAF crew for use at night. A pair was also famously used by ‘Boy’ Browning at Arnhem, as seen in this photograph:

With this airborne association, prices for this style of binocular can become eyewatering, with some finished sales seeing them go for as much as $450! The 70-90 pound mark seems to be a more common ballpark figure for them though and they make an attractive and different pair of binoculars to add to a collection.

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