Probably the cheapest actual tank part, you could ever buy. These prisms are the top part of the MK-4 periscope, most famously known from the Russian T-34 Medium Tank. Very similar in design devices also saw service in the British Crusader, Churchill, Valentine, and Cromwell and the American M4 Sherman tanks of the WWll period.
MK-4 periscopes saw service in almost every theatre of World War 2. From Poland in September 1939, through France in 1940, Barbarossa and everything, which came onwards to the hot and humid jungles of the Pacific. If there was one item, which could have been seen on every corner of the Earth during WW2, it would be the MK-4 periscope.
What could be a better tank related item, which you could get, if you’re a true tank fan?
The top prism of a MK-4 periscope
This top prism has a few advantages for each fan of military vehicles:
- it’s cheap;
- it’s lightweight, which means, that you can take it anywhere;
- it’ll look great on your shelf;
- with help of some paper and a small mirror you can use it as originally intended, it’s a great fun, especially to kids;
- MK-4 top prism right away identifies you as a fan of armoured vehicles and tanks;
These periscopes have a very interesting history. Invented by Polish engineer Rudolf Gundlach in the mid-1930s for the 7TP tank, they were the first periscopes, which allowed the crewman to look behind their tank without turning around inside the turret. They achieved that, by having an additional prism, sliding down, which allowed to look behind. A revolutionary feature for the cramped turrets of early tanks.
MK-4 periscopes are still seen around the world in older vehicles like T-55 tanks and BRDM-2 APC’s. The patent was sold to the British just before the beginning of the War, and the Soviets simply copied it, when they had the chance, hence popularizing the invention.
Two last photos show a complete MK-4 periscope with an armoured housing and the sliding prism. In this position, the tank commander can see what’s behind him. You can also see, why there’s a cushion on the front side of this periscope.
A unique opportunity to own a piece of a real tank on a bargain.
You can see our other periscopes and tank accessories here: [click].
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