I inherited this device from the estate of my father. I wish I knew more about how and why he acquired it, but that will now remain a mystery. It does serve as a reminder, however, that once upon a time
The Barr & Stroud designed coincidence artillery rangefinder (Model C No.2 MKVI 1075-C, manufacture date 1945) was produced in
Canada by REL (Research Enterprises Ltd. 1940-1946)
in Leaside, Toronto.
REL produced optical equipment and other goods for Canadian and allied forces
during World War II.
The Chinese language use on this unit indicates that it was produced under the direction of the Mutual Aid Board, a wartime committee that was formed to ensure that Canada played an important role in equipping its allies with armaments and other military supplies where needed. In 1943,
Canada committed to producing 60,000 tons of
materials for allied Chinese armed forces fighting against Japanese
occupational forces in China.
Under pressure from the US,
who had primary control over the transportation of materials to the Pacific
reduced its commitment to 12,500 tons. Ultimately, these war materials did not
arrive in time to be of use against Japanese occupying forces in China. Insofar
as they did get put to use, it would most likely have been in fighting against
the forces of the People’s Republic of China during the Chinese Civil War
(1946-1949). This artillery rangefinder has an operational distance of 500m to
20,000m as per the listed minimum and maximum values of the scale.
Not surprisingly, this well-designed and Canadian built piece of equipment still works. I try to remember not to use it near airports, military bases, police stations, or any where else that it might be mistaken for a shoulder fired rocket launcher!