WW II German Army OK38 Orterkompass – PANZER TURRET COMPASS – Tiger Panther


1 in stock


You are bidding on a FANTASTIC and VERY RARE example of a 100% ORIGINAL WW2 German Luftwaffe / Wehrmacht Orterkompass (Navigation Compass)!  Not only used in aircraft, but this was also used on the Panther, Tiger, King Tiger, Panzer IV, and Panzer II “Luchs”! 


The OK 38 and FK38 compass were already being used in aircraft as an emergency compass or as an additional compass for the radio operator/navigator. Askania and Ludolph were two of the most notable compass manufactures throughout the war, and as both manufacturers built extremely reliable and sturdy compasses and mounts, it was conceivable that they would then develop compasses for armored vehicles.

 This simple navigational compass (‘Orterkompass’) was designed into certain German mid and late-war tanks.  An official factory drawing dated June 1944 shows this compass on the Tiger E, however there are no known period photographs of the compass installed on the vehicle. 

As the OK38 compass featured a top display (the crewman was required to expose himself while using it), it suggests that this model was not for use in combat, but rather for cross-country movement off known roadways, and for recon-units to accurately note their own positions related to landmarks and enemy units.  The compass housing was installed onto a thin steel sheet that was welded to the turret roof (see listing photos).  The base was bent so as to hold the compass several centimeters clear of the steel roof plate, possibly to reduce magnetic interference. 

When mounted on vehicles, the FK38 and OK38 compasses (both being of the magnetic type) had to be installed into a “Kompasskessel”, which was completely filled with “Kompassflüssigkeit” to avoid strong vibrations of the compass rose and measuring inaccuracy. 

A special magnetic compensation is installed in the bottom of the compass housing and can be adjusted into a North-south and East-west directions; and two iron “ears” are located at each side.  These ears held iron blocks that would naturally acquire the same induced field as the tank. By loosening the screws located at the top, and rotating them 180 degrees, you could reverse their field and cancel the tank’s induced field.  A special screwdriver, called a “Schraubenzieher” is screwed to the housing for easy access, which allowed the crewman to adjust the compass accordingly.

Beginning at the late staged of 1944, Heavy Tanks and vehicles began to be equipped with infrared searchlights and other devices to establish night combat capability. 

IR-Panthers and UHU were coordinated by radio and the adjustment searchlight-tank gun should be synchronized using compasses. 

A manual titled “D 2013/2 – Orterkompaß 38 mit Orterkompaßstand für Panzer” existed within the army, from early 1945. 


  Made of bakelite, brass and aluminum, this Orterkompass is in EXCELLENT used condition!
  Some marks and wear, but still points magnetic north!  N
o breaks or damage, however, and it retains 95% of the original fluid (there is an air bubble at the top).  It is clearly marked OK38, FL. 23234, with some minor marks, scratches, and wear…but nothing that takes away.   Used in various aircraft, I have shown how it mounts on the PANZER turret mount in the last photo (note the mount is NOT included in this listing, you are bidding on the compass only).  Would make a PERFECT addition to any collection or display! 


Please email me if you need additional photos or information.


——————- PAYMENT —————–

 Payment should be made within 7 business days at the end of the auction unless buyer contacts me for other arrangements. I accept all forms of payment. 


 ——————- SHIPPING —————– 

My goal is to ship within 7 days from auction end. However, depending on circumstances, it may take up to an additional 1 week from receipt of confirmed payment. If you need it shipped sooner, please let me know and I will do our best to accommodate.


——————- TERMS OF SALE —————– 

Most of my items are vintage, and as such are AS-IS, so you must therefore expect a degree of wear due to age and/or usage. I will describe each auction to the best of my knowledge and take as many photos necessary to ensure you are pleased upon receiving your item. All sales are final, so please make sure your questions are answered to your satisfaction before you purchase. 


——————- ABOUT ME —————– 

Although my passion is the Me109, I do offer many other German Aircraft (Fw190, Me262, etc.), as well as USAF and Japanese items. Occasionally I do offer many non-vintage items such as prints and art relating to the time period. As a private collector myself, I am constantly on the lookout for historical memorabilia, authentic photographs, artwork or anything unique relating to military aircraft.  


——————- COPYRIGHT —————– 

All pictures and descriptions used in my auctions under COPYRIGHT and I forbid the use of these photos and information in any manner such as paper or electronic (internet) publications or otherwise. Use is solely based on my authorization only.

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