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WW2 German Windscreen Defroster / Demister Units


Steve 82
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Hi,

I am trying to assemble some more knowledge about the defrosting / demisting units fitted to many German Forces soft-skin vehicles during WW2. Information collected so far is limited to photographic evidence and images of surviving examples.

Wartime images

Here are a few images randomly taken from various wartime winter pics (pardon the Kubel – bias). Unfortunately, none are particularly clear, and it would be great if someone could contribute better quality images to help more positively identify the types of unit used at the time.

ss_officer12.jpg

kdf82Ostfront1.jpg

6-12.jpg

WL-295909.jpg

Types

The above images seem to suggest more than a single type of unit – although as noted, clearer images would help confirm this. From surviving examples it has been possible to identify the principal components:

 

  • A glass panel (hardened) set in an unpainted metal frame.
  • Strung along the length of the frame are up to 5No electrically powered heating elements (wires) – suspended from small metal arms - which are capable of being used with 12v and 6v electrical systems.
  • The glass sheet is separated from the windshield with a rubber surround – which also serves to hold the heated air – hopefully improving the unit`s effectiveness.
  • Units are mounted to the windscreen by 2 adjustable arms – extending up and downwards at each end of the unit. The tips of the arms are very thin and sit in between the windscreen glass and the rubber surround
  • Units comprised an on/off switch and employed a standard KAKO plug for conveying power. Cable is woven cloth covered.

Notwithstanding the above, the following differences appear to exist:

Type 1 – German Forces WW2 Production – the glass panel and metal surround is in turn embedded in a square, dunkelgelb – painted fame. A small on-off toggle switch is mounted on the left of the frame. The unit appears to provide a very `narrow` viewing window.

Eikeren08050-11.jpg

Bilde_1479011.jpg

Type 1 mounted of restored Schwimmwagen

IMG_00012.jpg

Type 1 frame, without mounting arms

Type 2 – German WW2 production – Military / civilian ?

Identical in principle to the German Forces units but, minus the dunkelgelb – painted outer frame. Also, the on/off switch is a much larger toggle device mounted at the base of the unit. The unit appears to provide a `larger` window area.

1.jpg

Type 2 - minus the KAKO plug.

American Forces production – WW2

As a comparison, the following images illustrate the US forces equivalent of this unit – as produced by Durkee-Atwood. The basic unit is more similar to the Type 2 unit, with the exception that the US units are mounted to the windscreen using suction-cups and, the on/off switch is mounted away from the unit. The unit was also produced after the war and presumably modified for operation with 24v electrical systems.

DEF_31.jpg

DEF_71.jpg

As noted previously, further information / images of these little units, would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Steve 82

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