Abspannleiste

Discussions on the equipment used by the Axis forces, apart from the things covered in the other sections. Hosted by Juha Tompuri
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Rotwang M
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Joined: 22 Jul 2021 20:10
Location: USA

Abspannleiste

Post by Rotwang M » 26 Mar 2022 14:09

During WW2, each German switchboard exchange had at least one wire termination frame (Abspannbock). These frames were used to collect and connect each field telephone wire before they were fed into the switchboard.

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A 20-Line (40 insulator) Abspannbock

The wire termination frame typically consisted of two vertical wooden poles, at least one horizontal wooden pole, at least one 10-line wire connection box, and a wire termination block (Abspannleiste).

Termination blocks were made from wooden boards with steel clamps at each end. The clamps secured the blocks to the vertical poles of the Abspannbock. Most blocks were long enough to have 40 insulators… Enough to land 20 double field telephone wires. The insulators, which were staggered in two rows along the block, were made from porcelain or Bakelite. There were four hooks on each long block to hang two 10-line wire connection boxes.

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10-Line Wire Connection Box

If you take a look at vintage photos, you will see that, in many cases, only 10-lines or less were landed on the Abspannbock. Therefore, most of the 40 insulators on the wire termination blocks were unused. This led to production of the 10-line wire termination block.

The 10-line block was shorter and only had 20 insulators. There were only two hooks on the block to hang one 10-line wire connection box. The 10-line block is less common than the 20-line block, and it was rarely photographed, so its existence is doubted. But they did exist! Interestingly, the short Abspannbock continued to be used by the Bundeswehr until recent times.

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A 10-Line Abspannbock

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Closeup of a 10-Line Abspannbock

Since the termination blocks are rare outside of the EU, I decided to make my own. The porcelain insulators are identical to those used on cattle farms for electric fences. I drew scale drawings of the clamps and had a couple made at a local metal fabrication shop. I chose to replicate a shorter 10-line block for my 10-line switchboard setup at reenactor events. The 10-line block fits in the car and is easier to carry.

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Porcelain Electric Fence Insulators

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Porcelain Electric Fence Insulators

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Completed 10-Line Termination Block

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The Finished Abspannbock at a Reenactor Event

Check out my new book on WW2 German field telephone equipment… https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/rotwang ... ageSize=4

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