MARCHING COMPASSES

ALPHABETICAL LIST OF IDENTIFIED MANUFACTURERS

NOTE: The following list comprises the manufacturers' names of the compasses exhibited here who could be identified.
Other exhibits still lack identification. We also added some technical terms.


A
Abercrombie & Fitch
Anglo-Swiss Ass.
AFID
Argentina's Army
ASKANIA
AURICOSTE
AZIMUT (A3ИMYT in cyrillic letters)
B
BAILLE LEMAIRE
BARIGO
BARKER, F. ~  & Son (FBS)
BÉZARD
B-L
BODAN (see Askania)
Boussole Directrice (French WWI Marching comp.)
BREITHAUPT
BROWNE (Henry)
BRUNSON
BÜCHI
Bundeswehr
BURNAT
BUSCH (cxn)

C
CAMMENGA
C.E.V.
CHETWYND
CHINA
cjy (s. NEAG)
clk (s. Breithaupt)
COMPASS Instrument & Optical Co. Inc. N.Y.
CONAT
CRC
CREAGH OSBORNE
cro (s. FUESS)
fxn (see ...?)
CRUCHON & EMONS
cxn (s. BUSCH)
D
DELCROIX
DEMARIA-LAPIERRE
DICI
DLM
DOIGNON
DOLLOND
DOMATIC
DOMINION
DUROPLAST
E
ELOP
ENBEECO
Escape Compasses
ESCHENBACH
F
FALKE / FAUCON
F-L (French Ltd)
FPM - Freiberger
     Präzisionsmechanik
French WWI Marching Comp.:
     (s. Boussole Directrice)
FUESS (cro)
G
G150
GAMMA
GERLACH
GKS
GLAUSER
Glavkulttorg
GURLEY

H
hap (s. KOHL)
H. B. & S.
HELIOS
HUGHES
I
Indian-made compasses
I.O.R.
ISRAEL (Mk III)
Italian compasses
J
JEZNACKI
K
KERN
K.M.32
KOEHN Ed.
KOHL Max (MK, hap)
Kommit (C. Stockert)
K&R (Kasper & Richter)
KRÖPLIN
KÜHRT
KULVIEC

L
L1A1 (STANLEY)
LAWRENCE & MAYO
LEGH (Major)
LEMAIRE
LENDVAY
Lensatic compass
LEUPOLD
LIONEL Corp.
LUFFT
LYTH
M
M-1938
M-1950 (s. Lensatic comp.)
M-49, M-53 (YU)
M-73, M-88 (GB)
MAGNAPOLE
MAG. TRNG
MANUFRANCE
MEISER & MERTIG
MEOPTA
MERIDIAN
MILLER
M.I.O.
Mirror Compass

(M - cont'd)

MK (s. KOHL)
Mk 1
Mk III
Mk 4 / IV (s. Glauser and SISTECO)
M.K.32
Modèle 1922
MOM
MORDAN
MORIN
турист (s. Stockert "S")


N
NEAG (cjy)
NEUFA (s. GKS)
NIEDERMANN
NIFE
NEWTON

O
OBSERVATOR
OMI
OPTOS
ORION (s. Kröplin)
P - Q
PO-52 (Teleoptik, YU)
PASTO
PLAN
PÖFERLEIN
Poland
Prismatic Compass
R
Radio Militaire
RECORD
RECTA
REFLECTOR
Russia (model AK)
S
S (see STOCKERT)
SCHLACHT
SECRETAN
SHORT & MASON
SILVA
SINCLAIR
SIRS
SISTECO
ŠP
SPERRY

(S - cont'd)

STANLEY
STEIN (von)
STEWARD
STOCKER & YALE
STOCKERT ("S")
SUPERIOR MAGNETO
SÜSS NÁNDOR
T
TELEOPTIK
T.G. Co Ltd London
Thumb Compasses
Training
TRIUMPH
TYCOS
U
V
VAUCHER
VEB Plastverarbeitung
VERNER "Vern.bus"
VERNER'S Pattern
W
WARDALE
WATTS
Wehrmacht
Wehrsport
WILKIE
WINTERER
X
Unidentified
(Germany or Austria)

Y
YEATES & SON

Z
ZEISS IKON
Z.I.E.L.
ZIKO

- A -

ABERCROMBIE & FITCH

PROFILE - (For the company's history see WIKIPEDIA). A & F retailed probably in the years following WW1 a mirror compass resembling the famous PLAN Ltd and Cruchon & Emons items but mostly aimed at outdoor sportsmen. Unlike the military items, it contains no radium paint and has no additional needle oscillation brake. The loop is not hinged with screws and the transit lock is a simple push-down lever located on the loop's fitting and actuated when closing the lid. The sighting aid in the lid above the polished brass mirror is a round hole where it is arrow-head-shaped on the other models.
Markings on reverse: Abercrombie & Fitch Co. New York - Made in Switzerland.
Click on the picture above for an enlarged view.
A & F also retailed the wrist compass made by Superior Magneto after WWII (link to ad). Address: Madison Ave. 25th St. New-York 17. N.Y.

ADRIANOFF / АДРИАНОВА (Adrianoff's Kompass)

(See description in WRIST compasses).

AFID

PROFILE - AFID was maybe the name of a German manufacturer in the 1930s/1940s.
(No information available up to now. Thank you for helping us)
Standard compass of the WWII German soldiers (Wehrmacht, IIIrd Reich). Version with aluminum lid.
For technical description go to Breithaupt further down.


Anglo-Swiss Association

PROFILE - The Anglo-Swiss Association was a company created in (?) located in (?). The only known product was a marching compass (Verner's pattern).
Picture Jaypee - priv. coll.
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Argentina's Army

PROFILE - Argentina's Army used for many years a specific version of the famous WW1 compass made by Cruchon & Emons and PLAN Ltd (Neuchâtel).  There have been at least two different designs: one was painted in black and the coat-of-arms was engraved on the lid above the words "EJERCITO ARGENTINO" (Argentina's Army). On the other one, the coat-of-arms was embossed. 

The two lid versions
(Pict. at left courtesy zonamilitar.com.ar)

Click on the images for enlarged views
Technical Data
See detailled description in PLAN Ltd.

- Dia.: 54 mm ; thickness : 18 mm
- Divisions: 360°
- Markings: B. N° 10816 (Brújula Número = compass number)
- Luminous markings: no Radium contrary to C. & E. and PLAN Ltd.
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ASKANIA

PROFILE - ASKANIA is a German company (Askaniawerke AG). For more information click HERE (see also in the section AERONAUTICAL COMPASSES, BAMBERG / Friedenau and also ASKANIA in WRIST and in SURVEY compasses).

This compass features a NATO Stock Number (NSN): the figure 6605 stands for Marching Compass and the figure 12 for Germany. The other figures are a code for the manufacturer and the specification. It was issued the German Army (Bundeswehr) created 1956 but may be already before to the German Border Protection troops (Bundesgrenzschutz) created 1951, , renamed Bundespolizei after the reunification. Compare to Breithaupt's model CONAT further down.
Picture at right: Askania also produced a compass designed by KRÖPLIN.

(Click on the pictures for enlarged views)


This compass bears the logo made of three  triangles representing the three upper-case letters "A" of the company's name "AskAniA" (right). The shape of each of the three "A"s reminds of masonic symbols. In the lid is the plant's name BODENSEEWERK (Lake Constance facilities) engraved.



The NSN (6605-12-120-1506 at left) is also impressed on the leather pouch


Description in the soldier's handbook (Soldatenhandbuch) of the Bundeswehr
The company's name with three upper-case "A" (AskAniA) on a Dutch Army compass. Placed above an elongated oval, it looks like a crown.



(Click on picture for enlarged view)
Picture Ted Brink / LINKS, Military compasses


Technical Data
- Dimensions (folded): 70 x 70 x 18 mm
- Weight: 140 gr
- Ruler: 100 mm
- Divisions (Germany): 6400 mils
- East-West stripe like on the Bézard compasses. On Warsaw Pact compasses (see FPM), this stripe is always oriented along the North-South axis.
Belgium's Army (ABL = Armée Belge / Belgisch Leger) also used compasses made after Askania's name was changed to BODAN. On one face, there is a logo with the letters W and V inside a circle above the German city name of BIELEFELD where there probably was a plant.

 
A very similar model was already in use during the late 1940's/early 50's in Belgium's and The Netherlands' armies. Their version featured a double graduation: degrees plus mils. 



Export models like this item issued to Peru's Army troops featured cardinals matching all Roman languages (O = Oeste / E = Este). The case was sand-colour painted and not NATO green. There were no rubber pads on the external faces. The mirror's rear face was painted grey.
Inscriptions:
- In the lid, only the word GERMANY
- Outer face: Logo and serial /no.

The leather pouch was black and rectangular.
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AURICOSTE

PROFILE - French clock and watch maker. The Maison J. AURICOSTE which still manufactures mainly clocks for the navy but also luxurious and pilots' watches has been existing since 1854.

This clock maker built (or at least sold) at the beginning of the 20th century a compass consistent with a patent (1902) filed by Johann von Bézard, the inventor of the famous compass.
This French version appears in an advertisement in a newspaper dated 1915 (in the midst of WW I). Two different boxes are known: one without any picture and one showing the flags of the main countries at war with Germany (without the USA). One was produced before and the other during WW I.

The main features of the Bézard patent are reproduced. The only visible difference with the Original Bézard compass as manufactured in Germany by LUFFT is in the shape of the arrow's rear part in the lid and in the rose (compare with the pictures in The Bézard Compass)


The value of the magnetic deviation at this time (9 degrees West) was taken into account by glueing the paper pointer onto the magnetised metal plate askew by this angle. The paper arrow and the frame under the crystal were covered with a luminescent paint
Technical Data
- Diameter: 46 mm
- Weight: 35 g
Materials:
- case: wood
- lid: aluminium
- bezel: nickel (?)
Advertisement (1915) found in the VONIN papers

(Click on picture for enlarged view)

The box' lid with the flags of the allied countries (before the U.S. declared the war to Germany): France, Great-Britain, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg and Russia

User's Instructions
(copies can be ordered)



(Click to view page 2)
(...)
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AZIMUT (A3ИMYT or a3uMym in cyrillic letters)

PROFILE - Russian manufacturer. Item probably made in the 50's or 60's (no other information momentarily available).



(Click on the pictures for enlarged views)

This item features cardinal points in German language (N-O-S-W). It was probably exported to the former communist East-Germany (GDR). The black magnetic needle is almost not visible but a large orange plastic arrow is glued on top of it.


The logo (three bars in a circle) is located above the zero marker of the ruler.



The mfr's name on the box is written "a3uMym" (m = t!) in lower-case letters
Technical Data
- Dimensions: 85 x 60 x 19mm
- Divisions: 360 deg.
- Luminous markings: 2 dots for North, 1 dot each for E, S, W on the chapter ring and a triangle on the arrow head.
- Ruler: 60 mm (white paint)

The manufacturer's name on the compass base written in upper-case letters:

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BAILLE LEMAIRE

PROFILE -  The French company LEMAIRE was part of the BAILLE LEMAIRE Fils & Cie group which had built cars at the turn of the 19th/20th century (1898-1905). This company filed under this name a patent (no. 1.041.917, issued on June 3, 1953) for an improved version called Modèle 49 of the well-known compass called Modèle 1922 and a prismatic, fluid dampened Model 1922 (examples: see Lemaire compasses).

Patent Drawing - Three-sight-view
(Lemaire Modèle 49)



Patent addition - Level function




(Click on the drawings for enlarged views)

This compass was based on the Modèle 1922 with transparent capsule but it featured in addition a hanging mirror that automatically came to rest at an angle of 45° like those made by the Swiss companies RECTA and BÜCHI. This patent was completed (no. 62.195 issued on Decembre 29, 1954) by a system that allowed the measurement of slope angles (level). This project was tested in the 1st Vietnam war. At about the same time, the French Army commissioned the German Bézard compass. Its special version called UBK (Universal-Bézard-Kompass) had already been offering these functionalities since the 1930's. This decision may have been one of the reasons for the decline of the French compass industry. It is possible that the German industry offered this product at very low price after WWII.
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BARIGO

PROFILE - BARIGO is an anagramme for Barometerfabrik Richard GOES. German company founded 1929 with facilities in Schwenningen which produces mainly barometers.



(Click on the picture for an enlarged view)
Technical Data
- Dimensions (w/o pouch): 74 x 50 x 18 mm
- Weight: 65 gr
- Material:
. Case: Acrylic
. Pouch and lanyard: leather
- Sighting: through a square-shaped opening and a metallic mirror inside the lid
- Highly luminescent film inside the pouch below the compass.

NOTE: Handling the acrylic compass body outside the pouch is risky when wearing woollen clothes because it gets very quickly a strong static charge and the needle sticks thus on the capsule ground, placing the instrument out of function for a long time...
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BARKER

PROFILE - Francis Barker & Son was a British manufacturer (more information HERE and in our LINKS).
See also Nautical, Pocket, Escape, Survey and Wrist compasses.

Chronology of F. Barker's main marching compass models:
(Click on the links to access the
generic chapters dedicated to a certain type of compass)

1868-75 (?) - Singer's pattern dry card in a new case design later called Verner's pattern.
1903 - R.G.S. (Royal Geographical Society) pattern: see Barker wrist compass and also Steward
1910 - Service Pattern Liquid Prismatic Compass (see picture at right - court. TML - Compare with The Reflector)
1916 - Lensatic Compass
1930 - Mk II Liquid Prismatic Compass
1932 - Mk III Liquid Prismatic Compass
1939 - Mk IX Dry Card Prismatic compass (a normal Verner's pattern)
1942 - 42 Pattern Liquid Prismatic Compass
1966 - Mk 1 Liquid Prismatic Compass (Mk III converted to Mils) *
1971 - M-71 Transition from Radium to Tritium markers, new protection grid
1972 - M-72  Reinforced lid hinge
1973 - M-73 Still in current production (see PYSER's website)
1980 - Aerolight
1988 - M-88 Still in current production (see PYSER's website and picture at right)

Concerning the chronology of the different Mark numbers (all manufacturers) please go to Mark 1, 2 / I, II etc.

Pictures in table below:
- Row "zero":
this item is seems to be the missing link between the Schmalcalder-type survey compasses and the smaller compasses with hinged lid.
- 1st row: This is the transitional stage between the larger Schmalcalder style prismatic compasses, and the early Verner’s pattern prismatic compasses (late 1800's). It was designed to be more pocketable than the older, larger models, and the sighting vane became an etched vertical line on the window glass of a hinged lid. This instrument is not listed in any of the Barker catalogues known up to now.
- 2nd row: Verners' Pattern Mk V
- 3rd row: Lensatic compasses
- 4rd and 5th rows: MK 1, MILS and DICI, Pattern 42 and Mk III (see also T.G. Co. Ltd)
- 6th row: M-73
Current models of hand-held prismatic compass are the M-73 and M-88. These are available in combinations of 360 degrees, 6400 Mils, or even 6000 Mils like the DICI model used by Eastern Block and some Arab countries.

(Unless otherwise specified: all pictures by courtesy of TRADEMARKLONDON.com - Click on the images for enlarged views)
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0 -  The ancestors...?



Large marching compass of the same size as the Schmalcalder survey compass but with an hinged lid.



The riveted thumb ring seems to have been added as a further development step.
Technical Data
- Case dia.: ... mm
- Compass card dia.: mm
- Thickness: mm
- Divisions: 360°
- Engraving on obverse: D  /|\  D (broad arrow, Dept. of Defence) A.860 (S/N?)
- Transit lock: sliding side button
- Brake push-button under the hinge (like on next item below)
- No protection tab above the prism's lens

Although unsigned, the case is identical to the item below. It can have been built in the 1840's. Compare with the large marching compass models made by Stanley and Steward.
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0 - ...? Late 1800s


Pictures Jaypee/Compassipedia




F.BARKER & SON - LONDON E.C.
Manufacturer's name and address on dial below the West/East line
Technical Data
Dimensions (standard Verner's pattern):
- Case dia.: 52mm
- Compass card dia.: 44mm, aluminum
- Thickness: 20mm
- Divisions: 360°
- No engraving on obverse
- Transit lock: sliding side button (Verner's pattern VII)
- Brake push-button on the right side (only item know with this feature).
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1 -   Model name (?)


The case design is a mix of the classical hunter-type featuring a loop fitting and a Schmalcalder-type sighting prism.

Technical Data
- Dia. case: 2" (50mm)
- Dia. sighting window: 3/4" (19mm)
- Transit lock: Push-pull button in the loop
The retailer's name on the Singer's pattern dial reads: E. Lennie - 46 Princes St., Edinburgh



Below: A plain card version. It is unsigned except for the words Trade Mark London (pic. at right):


(Pictures above and at right courtesy Jaypee)


Note the tiny push-button card brake below the hinge.



F. Barker & Son's old logo on the prism's fitting.
Note the S engraved the normal way, meaning that this item was made before Francis Barker's death in 1875.
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2 -   Verner's Pattern Mark V


Pictures courtesy of Mark Thompson



F. Barker & Son's signature on reverse, 1907.


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3 - Lensatic Compass

Barker developed and patented in 1916 (no. 103,019) the principle of the lensatic compass. This solution was implemented in several instruments but abandoned by Barker who favoured the more precise prismatic system.

The card's rim is upturned in the patent's description (Fig. 1, letter "g" - to view an example, click HERE).


Picture courtesy of Nick Godridge
Click on image for a view of the dial

The window in the lid was large and centered on this model but smaller and nearer to the hinge on the definitive version (right).
On this instrument, the card's rim is flat.



(For description click HERE)

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4.1 - Models '42 Pattern' and Mark III

42 Pattern descr.: It has a different shaped prism guard, dia. is only 2", the clamp screw is located at the 2 o'clock position and the thumb loop can be flat. It also existed with a Mk III card (for pic. click here).

Mark III descr.: (s. T.G. Co. Ltd)

The 42 Pattern and the Mark III still featured cardinals and divisions all around the case (click on link for side view comparison).
4.2 - Model Mk 1
Modernized Mk III with MILS card. It was used in the French Army from the early 1970s until the late 1990's (Honest John nuclear head rockets unit).



Technical Data
- Dia.: 58,5 mm
- Gradation: 6400 MILS (every 20)
- Precision: ca. 5 Mils.
- Weight: +300 gr
- Illumination: Tritium vials


(Click on image for view of manual MAT 1935).
MK1 French Army - Documentation (in French):
• Notice MAT 1884, Version 1970 (12 p, A5 format, issue. 1970, see pic. below.)
Manuel Technique MAT 1935 (Descr., User Instr., Illustr. Parts Cat. and Repair manual, 96 p. A4 format, issue 1986).



(Photocopies available)
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4.2 - Model Mk III (signed OMI) with Arabic letters and figures

(See also ISRAEL's version)

 

Pictures courtesy Ion Argyriadis
Click for enlarged views
The dial, the card and the external markings are only in Arabic language
(see Miscellaneous/Cardinals points).

 

Signature on reverse: NISTRI OMI* ROMA.
*Ottica Meccanica Italiana
This company which was probably acting as a retailor was closed in the 1980s.
Technical data
Divisions: 360 deg. clockwise, radium paint on card, Tritium phials in index ring
Reverse: The words below the crossed swords read:
Saudi Army - S/ No. 1472
 
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5 -  Model M-71 (left) / M-72 (r.)

Pic. at r.: Mixed version with MILS divisions on a M-71 card (with a triangle for North)


Protection grid
Compare with the M-73's reinforced version below

Detail view of dials: click on pictures at left in rows 5 & 6


M-71/M-72 - Technical data

Material: brass body and lid
Weight: 315 gr

The M-71 featured a triangular mark with a tritium tube on the card's and on the chapter's background North reference. This system superseded the Mk III's lozenge and broad radium markings
(example: see T.G. Co. Ltd).

Divisions: M-71: 360° / M-72 : MILS
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6.1 - Model M-73 (here with 360° dial)
The best military compass in the world
   

Technical data
See the resp. websites of the manufacturer PYSER and of its sole certified representative abroad Trademarklondon.



(Pictures Jaypee)

Compared hinges attachment
Left: Mk III (brazed) /Right: M-73 (screws)

Compare with the models G150 (Stanley), Mk. 4 (Glauser), Israel and Sisteco.

User instructions: free download from the website trademarklondon.com
A new feature on the M-72 and M-73 was a reinforced hinge in which the pin was a predetermined breaking part. A former head of Barker (Mr. Leach, who also designed the L1A1) explained that the Australian soldiers used to test their strength by holding the lid in one hand and the case in the other and break the connection with a single twisting movement*. For this reason Barker developed a new hinge fixed by screws instead of a brazed tab (see at left the pic. of a partly unpainted instr. marked only M-73 PAT. APPL. (click for pic.). The protection grid of the sighting window was also reinforced and attached by screws and threaded bushes.
* Source: courtesy TML

Below: Tritium lights glowing in the dark


6.2 - Variants of Model M-73 - DICI
(Soviet system: 6000 Mils gradation)
These instruments feature the Arabic letter jim within a triangle, the Iraqi Army's emblem during the 1970's. 


 

Several other manufacturers or retailers signed this version like ENBEECO and DOMINION.


Manufacturer: ENBEECO
Enbeeco (Newbold & Bulford Co. Ltd.) was part of the same group as Francis Barker & Son Ltd for a short while, and they shared common ownership of the technology and tooling, so there are Enbeeco compasses that are very similar to M-73.

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Manufacturer: DOMINION
Dominion was an arms supplier which had bases in Canada and other Commonwealth countries. They later changed their name to Imperial. They were probably taken over by another company. They  produced definitely no compasses but bought them from a wholesaler and then branded them as their own. This instr. can in fact be a STANLEY G150. (Source: Trademarklondon.com)

 
Picture courtesy M. Jamison
6.3 - AEROLIGHT

This instrument was produced during the 1980s but replaced by the improved model M-88 due to sealing problems. This design was used as the basis for the Israeli IDF (Israel Defense Forces) standard compass.



Pictures courtesy Gail & Phil Ralph
(Click on images for enlarged views)


The Aerolight never had a NATO Stock Number but only a sticker bearing the manufacturer's name
Technical data

Divisions: only MILS



The information that the MILS numbers are to be multiplied by 100 is repeated FIVE times on the compass card!

See also other Barker products made for various manufacturers or retailers:
- Negretti & Zambra (pocket compass)
- Brown, Lawes Rabjohns (survey compasses)
- Dollond, Glauser, T.G. Co. (marching compasses)
NOTE: Compasses signed by T.G. Co. Ltd London but with the letter 'B' in the serial number were in fact also made by Barker.
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BÉZARD

The (original) Bézard compasses were built by the German company LUFFT. They are described in a specific chapter (see THE BÉZARD COMPASS)



Picture at right: a typical Bézard compass with its leather pouch

BOUSSOLE DIRECTRICE (French WWI Marching Compass)

This French designation is a generic word used for some instruments designed in the late 19th and early 20th C. It can best be translated with marching compass although this expression is no longer in use today. Apparently, the first occurrence can be traced back to the famous général Février who is considered by the officer and inventor Desombre as the spiritual father of this type of instrument (quoted in La boussole-guide pantométrique published in Jan. 1896 in Revue du Cercle Militaire):
   "Le gén. Février fit appliquer les propriétés de la boussole à la tactique ; sur ses indications, une boussole, connue sous le nom de boussole directrice, fut construite et mise en usage dans les régiments."
(Transl.: Gen. Fevrier had the characterisctics of the compass applied to tactics: according to his directions, a compass called boussole directrice was designed and introduced in the units.)


It was a down-sized survey compass (Peigné's system was excellent but too large and complicated for simple tasks) that should be stowed in a small pocket of the uniform jacket called "dolman" (see techn. descr. in table below).
Compare with the system invented by ROSSIGNOL.

Several designs were produced simultaneously by two French army officers to comply with a circulaire ministérielle (circular letter issued by the War Dpt.) dated March 29, 1894 (original document not yet discovered). This document is quoted as an introduction to the instrument's description in reviews and booklets like LA BOUSSOLE DIRECTRICE (unsigned article published in Revue du Cercle Militaire, May 1894) and La BOUSSOLE DIRECTRICE de marche (augmented issue, signed by the inventor cptn. Delcroix, printed in 1896 - photocopies available).

It was later further simplified (1900-1914?) and became the famous flat cylinder-shaped compass used by the French WWI soldiers (see examples in MORIN). We lack information concerning this part of the story. Read also the interesting story of VONIN who tried to take a share of the compass market immediately before WWI.
It should be noted that the Austrian Empire's officer Johann Bézard invented his famous system in 1902.
(Literature: see Miscell. / History& Bibliography and also in our shop the booklet 100 ans de boussoles de l'Armée Française.)





(Click on images for enlarged views)
(Click on the image above for a partial view of the techn. description)

First drawing published in the Revue du Cercle militaire, Description, fig. 1. (Compare to the drawing in cptn. Delcroix' booklet published in 1896).



Technical Data
- Case: aluminium, 58 x 58 x 15mm
- Dia. of rotatable chapter ring: 50 mm
- Decimal division: 400 grades, counter-clockwise
- Sights: Four, two of which gunsight-shaped. A thread could be attached to the foresight, and held in front of the observer's eye, passing in the rear sight's groove (pic.: see Delcroix' augmented version).
- View dismantled (the transit lock doesn't appear on these pics)
- Manufacturer: M. Desmichel, 24, rue Pavée-au-Marais (today "rue Pavée")

   The stowage and transport casing
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BREITHAUPT (clk)

PROFILE - German compass manufacturer (for more information click HERE)
All model names begin with the abbreviation CO (for COmpass) but the meaning is not always obvious. During WW II, the company's code was clk.
NOTE: This company unfortunately rejected all forms of cooperation with COMPASSIPEDIA.
See also category GEOLOGICAL COMPASSES





Military marching compass
Brass model
Official user's manual
(1940, unchanged reprint of the 1928 issue)


This was the typical marching compass of the Wehrmacht soldiers until 1945. There were several models: most probably, they were first entirely made of brass (case and lid) and the folding ruler measured only 50 mm. Because of lack of material during WW II the products were changed to aluminium. On the other side, the ruler became longer: 60 mm. All compasses featured 6400 mils divisions, counterclockwise. Numerous other details differ (see technical data).
Compared lid shapes
(see also Zeiss Ikon):

Technical Data
- Diameter: 54 mm
- Depth: 17 mm
- Weight: 130 g
- Case: brass
- Lid: brass (narrow nose), hinge with 3 rivets
- Ring: nickel
- Folding ruler: 50 mm

Military marching compass
Aluminium model
Technical Data
- Diameter: 54 mm
- Depth: 17 mm
- Weight: 60 g
- Case: nickel
- Lid: aluminium (broad nose), hinge with 4 rivets
- Ring: brass
- Folding ruler: 60 mm

This model features the same case and lid shapes as the BUSCH "Jungendienst-Kompass" which was also manufactured by several other companies.

Stamp of the official material control on obverse: the letters "M P" stand for Material- Prüfungsamt, whereas the letters S and OW stand for bakelite and the supplier's code. For more information click HERE.
Technical Data
- Divisions : counter clockwise
- Dimensions: 75 x 55 x 20 mm
- Weight: 110 g
- Case: bakelite
- Lid: brass (?), black rough paint
The company's name appears in the left corner near the mirror hinge and reads BREITHAUPT or clk depending on the manufacture date.
 

The lid with a big upper case A appears from 1944 on. The case bears no marking at all.
Official user instruction (January 10, 1945)



The notice to infantry-men (Heeresmitteilung, June 5, 1944) indicates how to use the new A-marked compass with clockwise divisions
Technical Data
- Divisions: 6400 Mils, clockwise

On this model, the needle's main part is concealed behind a black patch with a white bar. This design is also to be found on the F52 and F58 compasses later manufactured by the former Eastern German company Freiberger Präzisionsmechanik (now Holding FPM).  The central white bar is located on the W-E axis whereas it is located on the N-S axis on the instruments used later by the Warsaw Pact armies (GDR/Eastern Germany, Poland and Russia - links to examples of items).
Model COKIL (COmpass KILometer)





Comment: This compass is now called COKIL (KIL for "kilometers") when equipped with a map reader and COMAR (MARching) when without map-reader.
It was and still is being manufactured in China. Different versions were issued to the Vietcong troops during the US vs. Vietnam war and to the People's Republic of China's Army.
(See below in chap. CHINA, models 5-1 and 6-2).
 

Technical Data
- Serial-No. (hidden): 65142
- Diameter: 60 mm
- Depth: 20 mm
- Weight: 150 g
- Case: Aluminium
- Ruler (open): 10 cm
- Clinometer in degrees
- Map reader: 4 scales
- Paint: Wehrmacht verdigris


On the dial is the registered trade mark abbreviation for the IIIrd Reich (DRGM) but the cardinal point for EAST is indicated with two letters: OE, the O being for the German OST and the E for EAST which would have been unthinkable before 1945.
On the exterior faces is a scale for slopes which is also to be seen on the French PEIGNÉ survey and artillery compasses (s. this category).



(Pictures by courtesy of Peter Spielberg).
Marching compass (late 1940's)
This type had a transparent capsule and a bubble level.

Technical Data
(same as above)
It has at both ends of the 10 cm ruler a red and a black sighting device for elevation angle measures. The magnetic needle locking system was a dedicated lever near the compass rose.
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After WWII, Breithaupt built from the late 1950s on a fluid-dampened compass called CONAT (COmpass NATO) for the newly re-created Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundeswehr). As one can see on the patent's figs. (see table below) and on the pic at r., the divisions were first printed under the capsule's upper surface. The serial no. (900 on pic. at r.) was engraved on the base, left of the thumb loop and the pale surface (designed for hand notes) was located on the left-hand side of the rear sight. The front sight was a flat triangle and received a groove on the version produced later. The rear sight was Y-shaped. The screw for the automatic setting of the mirror at 45° when opening the lid didn't exist first. The photograph at r. was published in a description in French language dated 1958*.
It describes an instrument containing a self-luminescent radioactive compound (link to an image for a view together with a radiameter showing a value of 0.94 µSv/h equal to ten times the natural background radiation). This is confirmed by a Warning in the official German Army documentation TDv 6605.
Pict. at left: The model CONAT 2 featuring the supply number (Versorgungsnummer / VSGN) 12-123-9866. On some models, the no. was masked with a sticker 6605-12-341-8467. The Radium paint compound of the cardinals points letters and markings has turned grey. The pivot is generally rusty and blocks the needle.

* NOTE: The translator obviously didn't know the symbol, a long dash '—', used in German for the unit Mils and standing for the German word
Strich which primarily means line or dash, and thus leaved it behind the unit figures instead of using the French word millièmes. The error was still not rectified on this company's website in May 2013 - and in the Spanish version neither by the way...

(Link to more compass models used by the Bundeswehr).

Model CONAT (COmpass NATO)
 


The patent (no. 1,730,856 - 1956) described a system with a lid/mirror that automatically locked at 45 deg. when deployed and was raised via a double hinge. See pic. below Fig. 1-4.



The mirror must not be folded by hand since this action would deteriorate the automatic erecting mechanism (pic. of warning sticker).



A Bundeswehr recruiting advertisement dated 1967 featured a soldier's face in the mirror. Click on the image for a full view of the ad (full-size photocopy available):


"On the right path..."

Technical Data
- Dim.: 65 x 58 x 20 mm
- Weight: 4 ozs. / 120 g
- Side rule: 110 mm
- Divisions: 64oo Mils, clockwise
Markings in the lid:
- the manufacturer's logo,
- the NATO Stock Number and
- the client's designation: BUND or  BUNDESWEHR, sometimes with a white dot beneath or only a stamp representing an eagle. The abbr. BWB stands for Bundesamt für Wehrbereich und Beschaffung (weapons design and supply agency).
One version featured Tritium illumination* (³H Symbol).
The oldest items featured a tiny stop below the hinge.
The capsule's production date ist engraved in the bottom (here: 4/90).

Three different NSN are known:
• 12-123-9866
• 6605-12-341-8467
• 6605-12-135-2210

* Decommissioned in the early 90's.

Manufacturer's and official military documentation (user instr. and maintenance manual, see pic. below) available.

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BRUNSON

PROFILE -  U.S. manufacturer. Read the company's story on its own website (www.brunsonkc.com).



(Click on image for enlarged view)
Standard M-1950 lensatic compass used by the U.S. Army. Almost identical with the instruments made by Cammenga, Stocker & Yale (SandY) etc.
These compasses contain self-luminescent Tritium paint (³H) and are weakly radioactive.
For more pictures of M-1950 go to CAMMENGA 
Technical Data
- Dimensions: 75 x 57 x 23 mm
- Weight: 140 g
- Date: 12/62

User instr. available

BÜCHI

PROFILE - Swiss company (Berne). Büchi Optik was created in 1871 by Friedrich Büchi. Büchi's name was at that time "E. F. BÜCHI, Sons, Optische Werkstätte, Spitalgasse 18 - Berne".
On this compass a reference is made to a NIEDERMANN patent. Albert Niedermann patented his system (no. 152,634) first on Feb. 15, 1932 in Switzerland (French version for France : no. 728,940, July 13, 1932). Read more details in the Niedermann entry.

This patent is interesting since it shows a hinged mirror tilted by 45 deg. downwards so as to look at the compass rose from below through the transparent capsule. This system was also used ten years later by RECTA on its matchbox-style compass and after WW II by the German WILKIE.
See also category Survey and Artillery compasses.

BÜCHI, small Model I






Click on the pictures for enlarged views.
Technical Data
- Dimensions: 92 x 65 x 18mm
- Weight: 130 g
- Double distance side scale:
1:50.000 / 1:100.000

User instr. in German available.



NIEDERMANN's Patent: Fig. 1 on page 3
Large model BÜCHI II 



A discrete device (two pins) allowed to measure slopes with the scales engraved on each side of the brown bakelite compass capsule casing (see techn. data)
Here: 58% positive
   

View of the side ruler

On these compasses a reference is made to a NIEDERMANN patent. Albert Niedermann was issued the patent no. 199,512 for this system on August 31, 1938 in Switzerland (see at right).


View opened for placing on a map
 


Drawing: NIEDERMANN's patent  (Fig. 1 on page 3)

Technical Data
- Dimensions : 94 x 65 x 20mm
- Weight: 190 g
- Double inclination scale: 0-110% (positive and negative).
- Side ruler: distance scale 1:50.000 = 8 km
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BUNDESWEHR

Marching compass types used by (or developed for) the Bundeswehr since her creation in 1956 until today:
- ASKANIA
- BÉZARD
- BREITHAUPT
- BUSCH
- WILKIE
(See also Survey and Artillery compasses and the pin-on compass made by SILVA used by the Luftwaffe)
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BURNAT, Henri

PROFILE - Former French manufacturer of instruments for hikers (full name Baudet-Burnat see HERE - altimeters, podometers, etc.). He filed several patents. One about a new system to attach capsule in compass casings.
His logo represented a map reader together with his initials H(enri), B(urnat) and PARIS. It was printed on the SOUTH side of the compass rose.
He produced at least two different compass types: the one described below and a pocket compass called 40 XT. 
See also Pocket compasses (Burnat and Baudet).
The marching compass ressembled (in size and shape) the famous French Modèle 1922 but it featured many additional functionalities.
(No other data momentarily available - your help is needed).


(Click on picture above for an enlarged view)

Below: The compass card and the 3 luminous points on the capsule:




Top left: The clinometer dial graduated in degres and percent, each scale being printed normal and mirrored.

Top right: Measuring a vertical angle by means of the groove and the pin. The angle can be read in the mirror (the red line is only a drawing).

Below: descr. in the catalogue of the French camping materiel retailer Au Vieux Campeur (issue 1964).



(Click on pictures for detailed views)
Technical Data
- Dimensions: 85 x 68 x 20 mm
- Weight: 90 g
- Double face mirror for compass and clinometer readings
- Ruler: 50 mm on hinge
- Clinometer graduated in degrees and percent.
- Liquid dampened compass card with two luminous points at North. The capsule could be refilled via a special opening (screw on left side).
- Three luminous paint points on the capsule: one in the sighting axis, two at 60 deg. on each side.



(Pictures courtesy B. Gairaut - priv. coll.)
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BUSCH (cxn)

PROFILE - Former German company located in Rathenow (north-west of Berlin). For more information click HERE. Look also at the Pocket and the Survey compasses.

The complete official logo of the late models was a full circle. On the compasses, it represented a section of the divided circle and a triangle (i.e. the point of the magnetic needle) with the initial letter B in it. (Compare with the other logo in white paint on bakelite cover below).

The probably oldest model we know of is quite rare and not well-known. The setting of a marching bearing could be done by placing the instrument on a map without orientating it towards north, using the rotating base plate's flat rifle-type sight to point at the map's north and turning the case so that its sighting paint markings would point at the target (table below, lower row). The loop is attached by means of a long thin conical screw, which means it was made in the late 19th C.






(Picture above courtesy of A. Brenner)

The item above also existed with a black face (link to picture).



(Click on the images for enlarged views)
Technical Data
- Dimensions:
• Overall length (closed): 85mm
• Thickness (closed): 20mm
• Dia. (case): 55mm
- Divisions: 360 deg., clockwise, cardinal points in German
- The magnetic needle consists of an lozenge-shaped Aluminum needle with luminous paint at its North end, attached to a short  magnetic needle. This arrangement was intended to take the deviation into account. Transit lock: automatic when closing the lid.

There were two versions: the probably late one didn't feature the base plate with the sighting aids but only a serrated ring. The face was either bright with a mirror in the lid or entirely black.

The illumination system consisted of tiny patches or stripes* of luminous Balmain paper located behind mica protection covers in the lid and the loop fitting, or glued on the needle's north pointing end and on the base plate at the cardinal points.
* sometines blackened by varnish, almost invisible.

The compass below was invented and patented by the Russian cartographer Vladimir N. Adrianoff whose famous Red Army wrist compass bears his name in East European countries. It is thoroughly described in a Red Army Training manual (we need your help for translating it - many thanks in advance)

Model no. 3350 (BUSCH catalogue 1930s?) called Militär-Kompass
This model was probably not manufactured but only imported by BUSCH. We only know of versions in Nowegian language.

Click on image for view of description in the catalogue.
Norwegian version (with V for Vest = West).
The museum possesses a version with the following engravings on the lid: the actual manufacturer's name (?) HAKON LUNDE, located STORGAT. 24 and a date (creation of the company?) : 1874.

Picture of protection cover and cylindric box.


Picture courtesy Totto EIDE
(Click on the images for enlarged views)
Technical Data
- Diameter crystal: 50.5mm / 2 in.
- Diameter base: 54.5mm / 2 1/6 in.
- Height (case): 14.4mm; sights erected: 33.5mm
- Weight: 83grs
- Marching line: luminous paint (radium compound on some items)
- Cardinals: either black or lum. paint.
- Division on the capsule bottom: 360 deg, not visible because masked by the upper ring
- Division of the upper ring: 0-60, numbered every 5, each being subdivided in 15 units (3 x 5) i.e. 180 in the whole, each unit equalling 2 deg.
- This item also features two lugs. They were however not suited for a wrist strap but to attach the instrument to a small gun (?).
- The rotating bush supporting the crystal and sighting aids is maintained by means of a copper wire inserted in opposite grooves (link to pic.

Later came three common different basic designs. They are shown in a 1935 catalogue (see pict. below).
All WWII compasses featured a counter clockwise 6400 mils scale. From 1936 on, they were also produced with liquid dampened needle.
Price: The book Kartenlesen ("Map reading", printed in 1934) indicated the various prices for the BUSCH compass models I and II (30 and 14,5 Reichsmark).



Model X - without mirror (see catalogue below)

Compass designed for the paramilitary youth organisation Jungendienst (see MISCELL. / Terminology)


Booklets for paramilitary and for civilian users (only the cover picture differs, the issue at right is priobably the older one)

Jungendienst compass model XI
(with mirror)

This case's basic design was used for many compasses also made by PASTO, WILKIE and FPM after WWII.

The compass pouch was made of brown fabric (like the famous shirts).
Technical data
- Dimensions: 70 x 55 x 18 mm
- Weight: 67 g
- Case: bakelite
- Pouch: fabric
- User instr. in various documents like Wehrsporttafel 8 (red, see SHOP)
  
BUSCH was deeply involved in equipping the youth organisation JUNGENDIENST, that replaced the boy scouts (Pfadfinder) organisation and provided a paramilitary training although politically differing from the Hitler-Jugend. In this organisation's manual ("DEUTSCHER JUNGENDIENST", 1933) it is said that the Jungendienst compass was especially developed for the organisation.
(Compare with the official Boy and Girl Scouts compasses made by Taylor and U.S. Gauge)
Logo in white paint on bakelite cover.


BUSCH catalogue and user's guide, c. 1935



(Click to view teh document open)
This case design was also common: the BREITHAUPT with map reader and clinometer used it and many China made products also. The first FPM compass used by the East-German police had the same form.

Marschkompass II (marching compass)
(Click on the picture above for an enlarged view of logo and leather pouch)

At right:
An Oberscharführer and a Waffen-SS Sturmmann with a Mod. II compass 
The same case but with a fluid capsule and inverted colours:

 

Technical data
- Dimensions: 65 x 57 x 16 mm
- Weight: 70 g
- Case: bakelite
- Lubberline : East-West
- Pouch: leather


Marschkompass I
(military marching compass)

Export version for PERSIA:

This is BUSCH's most famous WWII compass. Two different versions existed: a dry one (below) and one with a fluid capsule (at right).

Technical data
- Dimensions: 68 x 55 x 18 mm
- Weight: 130 g
- Case: brass
- Ring: nickel
- Folding ruler: 50 mm

(Click on the picture for view of compass open)

Technical data
- Dimensions: 68 x 55 x 18 mm
- Weight: 75 g
- Case: aluminium
with fluid capsule
- Folding ruler: 60 mm
- Lubber's line: North-South
(Click on the picture for view of compass open and dismantled)
This compass was found in the foot locker in the estate of an American soldier from World War II. This soldier was a member of the First Special Service Force, also known as “The Devils Brigade”. These soldiers were a combined group of American and Canadian Commandos and saw extensive fighting in Italy including much time at Anzio. Export version of the standard model evolved from the basic design of the Jungendienst for Fascist Italy's troops. 

 

(Click on the picture at right for detail view of the dial - Courtesy T. Schifani)

Technical Data
- Dimensions: 75 x 55 x 20 mm
- Weight: 110 g
- Case: bakelite
- Divisions : 360 deg. clockwise, cardinals in a latin language (NESO - see Miscellaneous / Cardinals - France)
- Radium markings: 2 at North, one at each other cardinal point
- Marker for magnetic North at ca. 6 deg. West

(Detailed view: click on the picture at right)

Note the West- East bar similar to Bézard's.
Bundeswehr model 
 

The pouch was rectangular like Bézard's.
Busch-Göttingen developed for the Bundeswehr (Bw) a marching compass made of plexiglas with a transparent capsule and height symbols (building, truck, man standing) for distance assessment on its casing right side. In addition it had an adjustable declination mark, rubber feet for better stability on the map and a slot in the mirror for easier sighting at high elevation angles.
It was probably produced is small quantities at the moment of the Bw creation (1956).
Its NATO Stock No. was 6605-12-120-1507.

COMMENT: most probably this instrument would have been very sensitive to static charge like the BARIGO (see above).

Note the East-West bar on the dial




Pictures courtesy D. Engstfeld
(Click on images for enlarged views)
The Police of Nordrhein-Westfalen (North-Rhine/ Westphalia) used this black compass type until the late 80's. They possibly have all been discarded but this one!
The plastic pouch had a sharp shape.
 
Compasses were utilized by the Police to search large areas with their dogs and possibly riding horses before they had radio and helicopters.
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