Vickers Tank Periscope MK.IV


Vickers Tank Periscope MK.IV

The Vickers Tank Periscope MK.IV, invented by Polish engineer Rudolf Gundlach, was first patented in 1936 as "Gundlach Peryskop obrotowy". It was the first device to allow the tank commander to have a 360-degree view from his turret. The main advantage of this was that the tank commander no longer had to turn his head in order to look backwards.

The design was first used in the Polish 7-TP light tank. Shortly before the war it was given to the British and was used in most tanks of WWII, including the British "Crusader", "Churchill", "Valentine", and "Cromwell" and the American "Sherman". The design was later copied and used extensively in tanks of the USSR (including the T-34 and T-70) and Germany.

It was first implemented in TKS and 7TP Polish tanks. As a part of Polish-British pre-war military cooperation, patent was sold to Vickers-Armstrong. It was produced as Vickers Tank Periscope MK.IV (pictured), and build into all British tanks (Crusader, Churchill, Valentine, Cromwell). After fall of Poland, Germany, USSR and Romania captured some equipment, allowing them to copy the invention. In USSR Gundlach periscope was known as MK-4 and implemented in all tanks (including the T-34 and T-70). All Axis tanks and APC (including tanks of Italy, Romania, Hungary, Finnland and Japan) were equipped or retro-fitted with this periscope till 1941. Later technology was transferred to USA and as a periscope M6 implemented in all US tanks (M3/M5 Stuart, M4 Sherman and others). In the end of WWII technology was adopted thorough whole world.

See also

* periscope


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