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German trench binoculars (Scherenfernrohr)


The German word "Scherenfernrohr" means something like "shears-binocular". The name was given because of the two turnable tubulars which can be adjusted either for periscopic or for stereoscopic use. It was an improved model of its predecessor, the "Hypoplast ®" which did not allow stereoscopic mode.
This has been achieved by a new constellation of central joint which allowed to bring the eyepieces in interpupillary distance in both modes.
Development reaches back to the end of 19th. century and is associated with Ernst Abbe. Scherenfernrohre are the predecessors of the stereoscopical rangefinders.
During WW-I when the war became a "trench-war" the Scherenfernrohr became famous as a light and effective tool for observers.
Scherenfernrohre vanished in 1945, but they did not in the former German Democratic Republic where they were in stock at the NVA (Nationale Volksarmee) until 1990 when the NVA stopped to exist.
There were different types in use: SF 14; SF 54; and some russian-made devices. The German-made devices were made by Carl Zeiss in Jena. Since the early 60's, there were no name-plates at these devices any more.



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