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Mystery #9 Saladin Doovy
Here is a mystery that has so far stumped everyone other than a Saladin owner in England called John Tucker. The problem being he thinks he has identified the object concerned, but nobody, including him can prove it. Can you help either way?
This first picture is of the mystery mount that is attached to the Commander's periscope guard on a Saladin armoured car. John thinks it is the mount for a binocular rest or holder to suit the No5 Mk 5 binoculars. However, it would seem that nobody has ever sighted one of these elusive binocular mounts/rests.
What it would appear to be is a flat plate possibly with some sort of strap or clips to hold the binoculars which is attached to a tube of about 1/2" ID. The tube would go over the split rod that you can see in the pic. The split rod has a wing nut like device at it's base that when screwed in forces the split rod to increase in diameter.
John also thinks that the rest was stowed in the location shown in the picture below. This picture comes straight out of a Saladin crew pamphlet and is a stowage diagram. However, you will note that there is no reference line to the item. There is no mention of a binocular rest in the CES (Complete Equipment Schedule) or for that matter anything that sounds like it fits into the stowage tube.
The sketch shows the object mounted into the stowage tube, ie., inserted into the tube from the rear of the turret towards the front. The actual tube in every Saladin I have seen is closed at the rear and open at the front. Then about 1" further forward is an inverted saddle shaped block with a swingover bar that is secured by a thumb screw. So the sketch has everything 180° wrong.
So is that flat plate mounted on a rod in the sketch actually a flat plate mounted on a tube that slips over the mount shown in the first pic?
Or is it something totally unrelated? If it is unrelated to the binocular mount, then we have 2 mysteries and what is it?
It has been suggested to me that the correct device for this mount is a ruptured cartridge extractor for the 76mm cannon, but again, no-one appears to have one of these or a picture.
I have contacted the successors to Alvis and they cannot find any reference to any of the above items other than what I already possess. It is now too long ago and too many changes of ownership for them to be able to trace back through their records. They do however seem to think that the periscope guard mount is for a binocular mount and the internal turret mount is for the ruptured case extractor.
Circled in red is the possible binocular mount?
Circled in blue is the stowage tube facing the wrong way.
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