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On the Bridge

Catalogue number 108020

U.S.S. Georgia

USS Georgia was commissioned in 1906 and this photograph shows the simple layout of the open bridge, with canvas side screen atop of the conning tower. We can see the wheel with a voicepipe to starboard and the binnacle and chart table forward. Several telegraphs are visible - helm and engine room telegraphs.

13.3cm x 8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 85b

French destroyer Le Malin in 1949

The French Le Fantasque class destroyer Le Malin was launched in 1933 and the class as a whole was renowned for the high speed that could be maintained - 37kts at full load. This series of photographs was taken in 1949 when Le Malin was in reserve at Sidi-Abdallah. Although the ship had been refitted and modernised in the U.S.A. in 1943, the bridge installation appears to have changed little. Each photograph is accompanied by an annotated line drawing showing the bridge layout.

Forward of the commander's seat in the lower centre of the photograph, we can see several voicepipes for communicating with the different parts of the ship, the covers are in place on those to port and are open on those to starboard. Note the different diameter of the voicepipes, the larger the diameter, the less is the attenuation of the voice - useful when the post concerned is far from the bridge. In the centre of the photograph is the gyro repeater and in front of it is the helm position indicator. To the lower left of the gyro repeater is the field of fire indicator. Right forward is a 1,500m optical rangefinder.

17cm x 22.8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 85b

Line drawing of the bridge layout

17cm x 22.8cm "Roneograph" paper copy


Catalogue number 85a

Port view of the bridge

Here we can see the starboard lookout binoculars in a shield and there are several switches for target designation - behind as well as in front (left and right) of the commander's seat and to the far right of the photograph. The box with switches on the back of the Commander's seat controls the anti-aircraft fire and the three controls on the left of the seat are, from top to bottom, the searchlight warning light, the on/off switch and the control switch for the searchlight shutters.

17cm x 22.8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 85a

Line drawing of the bridge layout, port view

17cm x 22.8cm "Roneograph" paper copy


Catalogue number 85c

Starboard view of the bridge

The voicepipes are, left, to the artillery control and, right, to the navigation bridge, Asdic post and the operations room. The large oval cover behind the voicepipes is an instrument to give the bearing of the gun-aiming S.F. radar. During the 1943 refit, two radar systems were added, one for detecting surface targets and another to detect aircraft.

17cm x 22.8cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 85c

Line drawing of the bridge layout, starboard view

17cm x 22.8cm "Roneograph" paper copy


Catalogue number 97071

The bridge of a World War 2 French destroyer

During the First and at the beginning of the Second World War, the only effective means of detecting a potential enemy at sea or in the air was the naked eye and binoculars hence the profusion of binocular mountings of the bridge of warships large and small. This photograph shows the French destroyer Guépard from the 1930s. The high power binoculars are shaded and there are also binoculars on bearing mountings. Forward of the open bridge and in front of the navigation bridge is the circular high frequency direction finder aerial. B turret has a guard rail with trays for ready use ammunition - charges to port, shells to starboard and note twin Hotchkiss machine guns to port.

Source: ECPAD, référence Marine 3639
16.9cm x 22.9cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 107065

The bridge of a German warship

This photograph shows two German sailors on the bridge of a small warship at the time of the Second World War. The bridge arrangement is simple, one sailor is at the helm, his badges show him to be a seaman 1st class specialist with non-substantive badges of a range taker and mines specialist. His colleague at the engine room telegraph is a 1st class seaman with 6 years service. In the background are the various voicepipes with what may be whistles for calling the attention of the person at the other end of the voicepipe. One of the pipes has a grid over the opening, is it to stop things falling in or to keep mice off the bridge?

Recto: "Auf der Kommandobrücke", On the bridge

Verso: "Einen Jenfs (?) an seine Grungs (?) von ihren immer an sie denkenden Pagg (unable to translate)" in blue pencil and "Freigegeben O.K.W. Übungsaufnahme", Released by the O.K.W.

8.2cm x 12.6cm Gelatin silver print


Catalogue number 44268

The bridge of a major German warship

On the bridge of this German warship we can see the helm and engine room repeaters just left of a target bearing sight on gimbals. A Königsberg class cruiser is tied up bow on at the quay side and there is an old battleship in the background.

Verso: "Maniobres de tardor a la flota alemanya: vista de la flota de Guerra alemanya al port de Pillau de Prussia", Autumn manœuvres of the German fleet: view of the German war fleet at the port of Pillau, Prussia,. Also " °Die deutschen Herbst-Flotten-manöver. Der besuch der deutschen kriegsflotte im ostpreussischen hafen pillau. text ohne gewähr", The German autumn fleet manœuvres. The visit of the German war fleet in the port of Pillau in the East of Prussia. Text without guarantee.

16.3cm x 10.9cm Gelatin silver printi>


Catalogue number 80378

The French destroyer Tartu, 1934

From a series of 12 photographs of the French destroyer Tartu, its officers and men, taken in the summer of 1934. We are on the navigation bridge with the helm centre and many voicepipes about. The handle for ship's horn is above the wheel, note the numbers marked off above bridge windows.

Recto: "407. C.T. "TARTU". L'abri de navigation. Août 1934" in black ink on the negative

5.4cm x 8.2cm Negative

Catalogue number 36154

Control centre on a submarine, 1976

When there isn't much room, the bridge can become very crowded. This is a photograph of the control centre on board the French submarine Requin. In the centre of the photograph is the all-important gyro for fixing a bearing when submerged.

Verso: "Poste central Requin, gyro au premier plan"

17.6cm x 12.5cm Gelatin silver print

Source: E.C.P. Armées