Friday 10 June 2022

German Night Vision

 "To Acting Chief of the 4th Department of the SPG Directorate, GBTU, Engineer-Major comrade Konev

September 21st, 1945

As per your instructions, I familiarized myself with the night vision sight installed on the German reconnaissance tank.

This device is build on the already known principle of illuminating objects with infrared beams.

The device consists of a 200 W infrared spotlight, 12V DC to 222V AC transformer, 220V AC to 16 kV DC transformer, and the night vision device itself. 

Preliminary examination of the device shows that it is considerably superior to the device produced by the NKV GOI and NKEP VEI and tested in 1943, as it has:

  1. Considerably greater sensitivity (resolution) allowing observation at a range of up to 400 meters or an even greater range at dusk.
  2. A large exit pupil diameter, allowing observation with both eyes.
  3. Variable magnification (presumably 1x and 3x). Greater magnification improves visibility in the center of the field of vision, which is especially important for precise aiming during firing.
Based on the materials taken from German factories in 1945, we can establish that the Germans began to introduce a special kind of reconnaissance tank equipped with night vision sights. Considering that the Ministry of War was planning to raise production to 175 tanks per month by January of 1946, one can ascertain that use of these tanks in battle gave good results.

Taking this into account, I consider it to be reasonable to perform full trials of the German night vision sight to resolve the question of further development of this type of device on domestic tanks.

I ask you to forward this note to the Directorate chief.

Assistant Chief Chief of the 4th Department of the SPG Directorate, GBTU, Guards Engineer-Major Utkin"


  1. What light reconnaissance tank was this night vision sight installed? The article doesn't say.

    1. Not mentioned in the document. It's possible that it was actually a halftrack since I've never seen photos of these devices on light tanks.