\
24-Kilowatt Generator and 150 cm Searchlight

slideshow image
slideshow image
slideshow image

Each battery of four 88 mm anti-aircraft guns was highly mobile and traveled with a caravan of support equipment.  To help the guns target and engage aircraft, day or night, the cannons were grouped with sound locators, a fire control system, and searchlights.  This operational equipment was supported by defensive guns with their own small searchlights, generators, and a large collection of trucks, trailers, motorcycles, and men.

Able to deploy anywhere on the battlefield, the anti-aircraft battery used generators to produce its own power.  The generator was driven by an 8-cylinder internal-combustion engine rated at 51 horsepower.   The 24-kilowatt generator gave a direct current of 200 amperes at 110 volts when running at 1,500 revolutions per minute.  A generator was commonly linked to a searchlight with a 220-yard cable.

The component of the anti-aircraft battery which consumed the most power was its searchlight system.  Each four-gun battery commonly worked with a support unit equipped with 9 large 150 cm searchlights.  Producing 990 million candlepower, the lights had a glass parabolic reflector 150 centimeters diameter.  The high-current-density arc lamps had a range in favorable weather of 8,800 yards at a height of 13,000 to 16,500 feet.  The current consumption was 200 amperes at 77 volts.

At night, the searchlights worked in concert with a sound locator and an optical director to locate and track moving targets in the sky.  Each “searchlight section,” consisting of a generator, sound locator, and light, traveled with three trucks and 13 men.