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eMedals-A 1944 Canadian MK III Prismatic Compass

Item: C3406

A 1944 Canadian MK III Prismatic Compass

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A 1944 Canadian MK III Prismatic Compass

A 1944 Canadian MK III Prismatic Compass - Brass body and cover, sides of the compass has sixty-four gradations with large markings for E, N and W and additional small markings for SSE, SE, ESE, ENE, NE, NNE, NNW, NW, WNW, WSW, SW, SSW, the South position obscured by the prism support. Immediately above these marks is a ring etched in single degrees around the circumference. The interior silvered turntable ring is gradated in black numerals from 1 to 36, with additional markings in between and is held in place via eight brass screws and covered by a circular glass plate, the plate marked with a luminescent scribe in front of the 36 position. The interior of the compass has a mother of pearl dial card suspended within a liquid, marked E, S, W, with a directional pointer in the North position. It is "fluid damped" and after sixty plus years, some of the fluid appears to have evaporated with an air bubble forming. The manufacturer used radium to make certain parts of the compass luminescent by mixing glowing radium powder with an aluminium oxide paste to make a thick paint which was applied to the north markers, the lubber line, a marker under the card, and a couple of smaller markers on the inside of the lid in line with the hairline. Even after it lost its glow, this stuff remains somewhat radioactive. The hinged lid is cast into and forms part of the body and lid, centrally set with a glass viewing lens with a vertically scribed aiming line in the centre. The lens is protected by two brass bars, mounted with the use of a common frame, held in place via two screws at the prism end and a single screw at the hinged end. The height adjustable pivoting brass and prismatic glass viewer folds over the lens, allowing the user to see the aiming point and the compass dial simultaneously. The underneath of the prism guard has a sighting groove cut down the centre and is painted white. The prism allows the user to read the bearing/shoot the azimuth while looking at the target. The base of the prism hardware has a pivoting brass lanyard ring, held in place via two screws. Attached to the one o'clock position of the compass is a dial tensioning mechanism, the head of the bezel locking screw measuring 10 mm in diameter and is solid and slightly domed. The bottom of the compass is maker marked "TG. Co Ltd LONDON No B307305" (Thomas Glauser Company Limited London), dated "1944" over "MK III", with the British Broad Arrow insignia. The casing measures 28 mm in height, with the compass measuring 60 mm x 86.5 mm x 33.5 mm overall. A terrific Second World War collectible. Very fine. Footnote: The MKIII is a military compass known for its extreme accuracy in the hands of a competent navigator. It was used by those who needed a super-high degree of accuracy such as surveyors and soldiers calling in artillery strikes, the 1/4 of a degree resolution of the British pattern prismatic compasses made it several magnitudes better than the American lensatic compass with its 5 degree resolution. Besides its military career, the MKIII has, since its appearance in 1932, been an instrument of choice for surveyors, explorers, archaeologists, Scouts and even Australian stockmen and farmers.(C:4)
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