Rbl. F. 16 panoramic artillery sight

Place Europe: France
Accession Number REL24624
Collection type Technology
Object type Artillery accessory
Maker Hensoldt & Sohn, Wetzler
Place made Germany
Date made 1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

The Rbl.F. 16 was a panorama sight (Rundblickfernrohr ) which consisted of a short telescope bent at right angles and surmounted by a moveable head. The head was fixed on a horizontal graduated table and was capable of being turned in any direction by a knurled thumb screw. The object-glass was in the vertical tube and the light was reflected to the eye by two prisms or mirrors inclined in the moveable head and in the angle of the telescope.

An inscription on top of the upper prism reads:
Hensoldt & Sohn,
Rundblick Fernrohr Nr. 2829.
D.R.P. Nr. 156039

The latter number appears to be common across manufacturers. On the side of the housing of the upper prism element is inscribed: Gesichtsfeld 10 (field of view 10 degrees) Vergr 4' (abbreviation of 'Vergrosserung' - magnification x 4).

Roughly inscribed onto the side of the upper prism housing is the number '3527' and 1916 which is probably the gun number to which it was attached. A 'B' possibly denotes that this was the secondary sight issued to the gun. The sight has a largely black finish, with adjustment screws in uncoated brass.

Above the goniometer the sight is painted in bright red. This appears to have been done to make the sight more visible from a distance, when used in combination with an aiming circle.

History / Summary

Artillery sight issued to the German Army during the First World War for employment with light field guns and howitzers. In firing, the panorama sight was firmly fixed into a tubular sight clamp. It could be easily adjusted to every kind of artillery piece, irrespective of the kind of sighting device that it had. It served both as an ordinary telescopic sight and as a dial sight for laying at an reference point.

It allowed the gun layer to see over the top of the gun-shield without exposing himself, and gave a high line of sight, enabling the gun to be kept under cover.

This sight was souvenired by Bombardier Alfred James Prisk (2233) who left Australia for Egypt in March 1916, completed training in England and went to France in July 1916. He was in France for a year before suffering a nervous breakdown, returning to service in January 1918. He served with the 10th Howitzer Battery. He died as a result of war service in 1922.

Related information