German Infrared Equipment Assesment


The following text is a transcript of the British Appendix M to War Office Technical Intelligence Summary No. 179 from 1945-06-13 on captured German infrared equipment.


Infra-red Night Fighting and Driving Equipments

Further information is available on various German infra-red night fighting and driving equipments. Some of these have been described in previous Summaries.

1. Infra-Red Telescope for M.P.44 (German code name: Vampir)

There are two models of this equipment, the earlier one being apparently identical with the equipment described as an infra-red rifle telescope in Summary 178. In the later model, the telescope and lamp, weighing about 5 lb., are mounted on an M.P.44 machine carbine. The telescope gives unit magnification. The power unit is carried in a pack, weighing about 30 lb. The batteries have a life of 3 to 5 hours for one charge. The transmitter lamp is of 35 watts.


The image given is of great brilliance and good contrast. Men standing can be discerned up to a distance of 80 yards, especially when moving about.

2. Infra-Red Telescope for M.G.42, mounted on Medium Armoured Semi-tracked Vehicle Sd.Kfz.251. (German designation: F.G.12/50).

This is a scaled-up version of the foregoing, and is fitted to an M.G.42 on a medium armoured semi-tracked vehicle Sd.Kfz.251. The transmitter is a 200 watt lamp of diameter 8 inches, and apparantly corresponds to the infra-red headlamp described in Summary 178. The receiver is an infra-red telescope 20 inches long, giving unit magnification. The power pack is operated from the vehicle battery.


Men standing were clearly discernable at 400 yards distance.

3. Night Driving Equipment (German designation: F.G. 12/52)

This consists of the transmitter of the previous equipment, but fitted with a 100 watt bulb and a diffusing screen, and used as a headlamp, the same receiver being used.

This decive may be fitted to a car, e.g. a Volkswagen, or to an A.F.V. A medium armoured semi-tracked vehicle carrying both this night driving equipment and the M.G. 42 aming equipment described in para. 2, is termed "Falke".

4. A.F.V. mounting KwK 42 and Infra-Red Telescope (German code name: Puma)

It is reported that an A.F.V. mounting the KwK 42 fitted with an infra-red telescope (presumably that described in Summary 178) is termed "Puma". This telescope may be practically identical with the one described in para. 2. It is not clear at present whether the vehicle is a Panther tank or a Stu.K.42.

5. Medium Armoured Semi-tracked Vehicle fitted with 60 cm. Infra-Red Searchlight and Infra-Red Telescope (German code name :Uhu)

This is reported to be the largest land service equipment. It consists of an unarmed medium armoured semi-tracked vehicle mounting a 60 cm. screened searchlight as transmitter and an infra-red telescope about 24 in. long and 10 in. diameter, giving a magnification of 10 times. The vehicle also carries an 8 kW generator for supplying the searchlight. The vehicle is said to be used for reconnaissance purposes, and for operating in confunction with PUMA.


A vehicle could be clearly seen at 800 yards, and with difficulty a 1200 yards. Men illuminated by the UHU equipment could be seen from a FALKE vehicle at 600 yards distance, if moving.

6. 36 cm. Infra.Red Searchlight (German designation: Z.G. 1221)

Specimens of a 36 cm. screen searchlight have been recovered. These are believed to be experimental models.

7. Combiantion Binoculars

Binoculars have been recovered, in which one half was an infra-red receiver and the other half being normal. This is apparently an experimental model.


The performance figures given are based on a field team report on a demonstration of the equipment recently carried out at FALLINGBOSTEL. Visibility was good but the night was dark with very little moon.

The Kampfgruppe Uhu was apparently a training unit and had not been in action. Vehicles fitted with I.R. equipment comprised secteen 'FALKE', four 'UHU', 3 private cars including one Volkswagen - the Falke and the Uhu being mudium armoured semi-tracked vehicles Sd. Kfz. 251 carrying the special equipment.


  1. War Office Infra-Red Night Fighting and Driving Equipments. 1945. Appendix M, War Office Technical Intelligence Summary 179. 2 p.