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    Re: Long Range Desert Group navigation
    From: Brian Whatcott
    Date: 2002 Feb 2, 21:42 -0600

    At 11:35 AM 2/2/02, Geoffrey Kolbe wrote:
    >I was watching a program on the TV a few days ago about the Long Range
    >Desert Group, a British special force that functioned deep behind enemy
    >lines in the desert campaign of WW2.
    >
    >It was mentioned that they found their position using a theodolite to
    >obtain the altitude of the stars.
    >I have a surveying theodolite, but there is no way of illuminating the
    >cross hairs.
    >Does anyone know what sort of theodolite would have been used?
    >Too, what navigation tables and method was used?
    >
    >Thank you,
    >Geoffrey Kolbe
    
    
    The LRDG - Long Range Desert Group Preservation Society has a picture
    of a theodolite of the type used by the LRDG in WWII.
    
    
    
    It seems to have external scales and eyepieces. The enthusiasts there
      might have useful insights into taking fixes at night.
    There is an email address.
    
    An example of the vehicles they used lives in the Imperial War Museum.
    Chevy trucks and Jeeps figured there, but they famously scrounged
    whatever could be liberated on that sea of sand. One of these vehicles
    has been recreated by these enthusiasts.
    Their later vehicles were LandRovers painted pink allowing the
      inevitable tag, "pink panthers".
    The British Army used a theodolite as an artillery director,
    one of WWII vintage was the Mk 7 Artillery Director but I cannot
    identify the LRDG theodolite at the URL above.
    
    On solid (even sandy?) ground, the theodolite dispenses with the
    folded optical path of the sextant, so its scale reads as many degrees
      as the telescope moves. The sextant shines in unsteady footing, where
    mild rocking angles do not destroy its pointing accuracy.
    
    
    Brian Whatcott
       Altus OK                      Eureka!
    
    
    

       
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