Bagnold Sun Compass

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Kuno, Jan 2, 2011.

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  1. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    I was never really happy with the information available on the net in regard of the famous Bagnold Sun Compass (as it was widely used by the LRDG). There was only one hardly readable drawing but nothing else. I tried to make it from new now and the result looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    (The image is reduced here as well; if somebody would like to have it in hi-res, he shall kindly drop me a message)
     
  2. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    ...there are some inaccuracies / mistakes in above drawing which are partially already shown in te original picture. I will correct it soon.
     
  3. Takrouna1943

    Takrouna1943 Member

    I have a friend who was in the British Army based in Libya in the 1960s and he used them, I'll ask what he thinks.
     
  4. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

  5. Willywombat

    Willywombat Junior Member

    My father (22nd Armoured Brigade) remembers them. He used to tell a story about a young officer, instructed by the CO to plot the regiment's movements for the following day, being found atop his tank the evening before, striking matches in an effort to read the sun compass!
     
  6. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    ...striking matches in an effort to read the sun compass!

    Nowadays we use the electrical torch to get a shadow from the Gnomon at night :D
     
  7. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    So; this is now the corrected version:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Colleagues; I was looking for information on how to use such Bagnold-compass. Unfortunately there is not much around - if anybody could help...
     
  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  10. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    "The Sun Compass seems to have been used mainly in the North African desert by the American Army. B24 Liberator bombers were equipped with this instrument so that, in case of a crash, the survivors could orientate themselves in the desert."

    The man is talking about the Abrams Universal Sun Compass. This instrument was definitely never thought to be used by stranded aircrews in the desert! It is too big and too heavy - and even worse for those walking through the sand: You cannot operate it as a "hand held device".

    This type of compass was used on vehicles!
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Following on from that Jstor article on the LDF, interesting reference on this one to the Bagnold:
    JSTOR: The Geographical Journal © 1943
    The Bagnold sun-compass has been fully described in earlier issues of this
    Must be worth further investigation.
    There's a few more Jstor things referencing it:
    Eg: JSTOR: The Geographical Journal © 1931

    I wonder if it might be worth contacting the Royal Geographical society to see if they have anthing in their archives, maybe even a manual and tables...
    Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography

    Have you seen this?
    Celestial navigation - Page 2 - The HUBB
    Another possible email contact on there. (Though I note you seem to be generating a lot of the web stuff on the Bagnold, so all links I'm assuming you've seen already ;))

    Nice view of one fitted, presumably with Tables beneath here:
    “FLIVVER” Expedition Crosses Dreaded Desert

    And I know you and the chap that made it must have seen this, but worth including as a general Bagnold illustration:
    Uncat Record - IWM - Bagnold Sun Compass

    Assume you have Jstor source Kuno?
    If not, there's someone on the forum that may be able to help.
     
  12. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Adam,

    You have provided some excellent reading. Many thanks.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  13. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

  14. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

  15. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

  16. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Thanks for these links, colleagues. Most of them I already had ;-). I am working on it... the target is to prepare a nice little publication, som sort of an 'expandet manual' which is illustrated naturally...not more than 40 pages.

    If somebody would be interested in such thing, please drop me a message. I guess that there will be only very little interest and therefore a regular publication would probably be too expensive. I will do a limited print run for those who want to have a copy...

    ...and use my one one day to do a desert trip with navigaton by a Bagnold sun compass :)
     
  17. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    I got a lot of assistance from the "LRDG family" (if I am allowed to say so) and we have definitley decided to go for a publication; it is planned to complete it in te first half of this year and these would be the (preliminary) "technical data":

    Binding: Softcover
    Format: 17 x 22 cm
    Pages: Approx. 44
    Thereof approx 20 with color photographs / drawings
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    We still find "new" information...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  20. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Sooo; manuscript completed and compass was just tested again in Tunisia two weeks back. Works fine...

    ...under the condition that the sun is shining ;-)
     

    Attached Files:

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