Military Exakta 66

Pre-war Exakta 66 with military engravings: extremely rare!

It is well known that during the second world war, Kine-Exakta's have been build for the German Kriegsmarine (Navy). They differ from normal Kine-Exakta's by the special engravings: the Reichsadler (the Eagle of the Third Reich), a Swastika and an M. Besides that, they have a code, consisting of the letters MF and three digits. The M is supposed to stand for Marine (Navy) and the MF for Marine Flugdienst (Navy Air Corps).

Various lenses were available for these camera's, e.g. from Meyer and Schneider. They have the same engravings. The lens may have the same serial code as the matching camera.

Only recently it came to my attention that the German Navy also used Exakta 66 camera's. The normal pre-war Exakta 66 is a rare bird now, the military version is extremely rare! I know of the existence of only two of them. They have the serial numbers 554634 and 554638 and codes beginning with an M only. 
If you ever encounter other ones or if you know more about the background of this type of camera, please let me know.

Originally it was suggested that the M and MF codes were contract numbers. Here however we see two cameras with codes so close that they must have belonged to the same purchase contract. Mark Jarrold, a Kriegsmarine specialist, told us that the M codes are inventory numbers. He pointed out that the M's of the codes are quite different from the M's under the Swastika; this suggests that they have been engraved at a different (and later) point in time. This all means that maybe in the future we will know to what unit or boat the military Exakta's have been assigned.

Here you will see three photos of one of the two and one of the second.

21 The camera looks the same as any other Exakta 66, except for the engravings (on the front, left in this picture).

22 The swastika has a double circle around it. On the military Kine-Exakta I have, the swastika is surrounded by a single circle.

23 This lens is a wide-angle one, a Zeiss Tessar 6.3-65mm and rare a such. Of course this one is even more rare because of the M-number. Is has no Eagle or Swastika. The number does not match the number on the camera.

11 This the front of camera (I call it number one) is (probably) identical to number two. Only the M number is different.

12 The backside of the everready case of number one. It shows the same number.

13 The standard lens on this camera has the same number as the camera itself.