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RFV binoculars and case.
Old 06-17-2017, 02:58 PM   #1
overthetop
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Default RFV binoculars and case.

Only the 2nd set of original RFV ZOLL marked binoculars I have had. With Wehrmacht contracts taking most regular production, Police and Customs usually bought commercial binoculars and property marked them before issue, like this set.
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RFV binoculars and case.
Old 06-17-2017, 03:00 PM   #2
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Default RFV binoculars and case.

Likely used by a Customs checkpoint at a border since the case has a short strap that looks original for easy carrying, not for over -the-neck.
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RFV binoculars and case.
Old 06-17-2017, 03:02 PM   #3
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Default RFV binoculars and case.

Zeiss Silvermar 6x30
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RFV binoculars and case.
Old 06-17-2017, 03:04 PM   #4
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Default RFV binoculars and case.

marked like the Walther PP pistols issued to the Reichs Finance Verwantungs border guards and Customs officers.
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RFV binoculars and case.
Old 06-17-2017, 03:06 PM   #5
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Default RFV binoculars and case.

marked with R.F.V and property number.
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:25 PM   #6
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Very nice - although I have 2 Zeiss and one Busch RFV, I've not found a cased set like you.
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wow
Old 06-17-2017, 06:59 PM   #7
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Default wow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Bilko View Post
Very nice - although I have 2 Zeiss and one Busch RFV, I've not found a cased set like you.
Nice Sgt. Bilko! You own 1 more than I have ever seen, my other one was a Busch also. I like that the "shoulder strap" looks like it came from the factory with a short foot long carrying handle, looks made that way, not cut down with correct slit fittings.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:44 AM   #8
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I've been able to find two of mine so far. The earliest - a brass plated Silvamar with Alum. eyecups dates from 1937 and is numbered RFV 2558 and is typically "Dienstglas" (like your's) ie 3 screws per plate and hinge washer retaining screws.

The other is an Alum plated Busch Millux with single screws per plate and no hinge washer retaining screws, numbered RFV 4400 - more like a civilian binocular.

I'm fairly sure that my "missing" one is an Alum one like your's - but I can't recall the RFV number.

By the way I doubt the RFV remained as mere border guards etc throughout the war. Weren't they incorporated into the SS in 1944 and involved in anti partisan operations?
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:34 AM   #9
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I just checked the history of the RFV. Reichfinansverwaltung gave the shortest google reply in many years: 6 hits. 5 of which were about binoculars.
Playing around with the words gave more.
Basically, RFV was the german tax and customs agency. More than 4/5 of them were working with tax, only 7000 were custom officials.

My fast swipe did not get anything about cooperation with the SS. In fact the Allied Control Council continued to keep the agency operative after may 8th 1945, without interruption. (Setting a still unsurpassed record for german taxation in the immediate postwar years. )
They worked in a society, where cash was the norm. Workers had their wages in a brown envelope every friday, and all this cash, including the tax money, needed to be moved around. That called for armed tax officials.
Previously, they had Grenzaufsehers. Border guards. Usually armed with short carbines and pistols. Before they were federalised, and turned into a Reich agency.
For that duty, I believe binoculars would make sense.

That said, if any RFV man was in Yugoslavia in 1944-45, it is very likely he participated in Partisanenkrieg, or Bandenbekämpfung. Not to participate would very likely have a very bad personal outcome.
You can´t leave, and if you don´t shoot back, they will kill you. Fast, if you are lucky. The stories from Yugo are not for kids, by far.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:37 AM   #10
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I read (somewhere on this forum) that they became part of Himmler's empire after the July bombplot but were discounted from being a criminal organisation at Nuremburg.

As to anti partisan - this may be what I'm thinking of;

From what I read about german customs fighting polish smugglers, I would say the equipment was used in a very military manner.

http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...RFV+BINOCULARS

Apologies if I've muddied the waters
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zoll and Grenzschutz
Old 06-18-2017, 01:47 PM   #11
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Default zoll and Grenzschutz

Doing some research on the ZOLL I found they (Customs) had two different components, one the regular Customs members and the other the Border Guards.

Himmler placed all members of the Zollgrenzschutz (Border Guards) under Gestapo control in July 1944, like he had already done with the Border Police force.

Both wore same uniforms and insignia, difference was the customs officials had bright aluminum insignia and collar tabs while working checkpoints, transportation, and border stations while the border guards wore duller gray insignia for better security roaming borders and mountain passes.

All were stationed in occupied countries and later an attempt was made to form them into combat regiments towards the wars end but with no military training, they didn't last long.

Last edited by overthetop; 06-18-2017 at 01:54 PM.
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both right
Old 06-18-2017, 01:53 PM   #12
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Default both right

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Bilko View Post
I read (somewhere on this forum) that they became part of Himmler's empire after the July bombplot but were discounted from being a criminal organisation at Nuremburg.

As to anti partisan - this may be what I'm thinking of;

From what I read about german customs fighting polish smugglers, I would say the equipment was used in a very military manner.

http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...RFV+BINOCULARS

Apologies if I've muddied the waters
Hey Sgt, you and Mikedenmark are both right. Interesting subject and not well known. I once owned a compass with R.F.V. on it, BUSCH made and foolishly traded it off, have never seen another. I do have some photos in a book that shows Zoll Border Guards with a compass and mountain patches patrolling the high alps with binoculars.

With the short carrying strap, am sure my set sat in a border station and never traveled much.
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:22 PM   #13
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You are right... they did do active service, without much success:
This is a german page, with a lot of info.
http://www.zollgrenzschutz.de/index....d=78&Itemid=86
Use google translate if you want to read it.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:29 PM   #14
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Thanks to you both for clearing that up - to Michael who first pointed me in the right direction and to overthetop for the additional info (and the fine Bourbon produced in your neck of the woods)
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welcome
Old 06-19-2017, 07:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sgt Bilko View Post
Thanks to you both for clearing that up - to Michael who first pointed me in the right direction and to overthetop for the additional info (and the fine Bourbon produced in your neck of the woods)
Most welcome, and I do well know the lane that leads to Bourbon County, it's right next door
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