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"Canal Defense Light" Topic

9 Posts

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Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2023 8:12 p.m. PST

Click for more photos of the 1/87 scale canal defense light.
Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

William Warner09 Sep 2023 8:08 a.m. PST

Never heard of the canal defense light before. How and where were they used?

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2023 8:23 a.m. PST

The CDL was used primarily in an offensive role (IIRC) to light up the oposite shore for river crossings. Although it was also used in defensive roles along river lines.



nickinsomerset09 Sep 2023 8:44 a.m. PST

Also mounted on the Matilda,

Tally Ho!

jgawne09 Sep 2023 3:28 p.m. PST

My brother is a neuroscientist specializing in optical stuff. He looked into them at one point, and there is somethgin truly weird about them. How effective they are at disabling the enemy is not certain, but there is something there to the science.

They were not just "searchlights mounted on a tank" but specially timed flickering lights that had an effect on anyone looking at them- I have yet to find a definitive study of the technology, or the units.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2023 4:37 p.m. PST

Never heard of them before.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2023 5:39 p.m. PST

They were so secret that they were hardly used even though they had hundreds of them. But at the Rhine crossings they were used with good effect and at the Remagan bridge to look for frogmen and such.

Used by the UK on Matilda, and several other tanks, US made a Sherman version too, but too late to see combat. A few made it to the Pacific but no combat.

The lights flicker and there is a little metal panel that opens and closes twice per second to keep shrapnel and bullets from hitting inside the turret.

The Lee tanks retained an operational 75mm gun which also seems odd to me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2023 6:31 a.m. PST

Never heard of them before, either. Fascinating to learn about them.

Insert a mini LED "flicker" bulb in the turret and you'll have working tabletop model!

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2023 2:40 p.m. PST

Heard about them but did not realize they were actually used in NW Europe – as I recall they were the brainchild of JFC Fuller but were designed by an engineer whose name I can't remember

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