Gay Affair

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by benjiboy, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I don't know if any of you rangfinder enthusiasts know anything about this,but about twenty years ago an elderly man who was a customer in the camera store where I worked in those days told me he had been a photographer in the British Army in W.W11 and had been issued with a Leica and a couple of lenses, and since he had to sign for them he never forgot the serial numbers. After the war he was on holiday in Germany and visited the Leitz factory he asked them to check on their records the Leica equipment he had been issued with, they said it had been made in 1941 and supplied to a company in Sweden. On further investigation he found out the British Government had built three very fast PT boats Called Gay Divorce, Gay Affair and Gay ?????? that were unarmed to import Leicas and run the German blockade all through the war, because we couldn't make anything like them.
     
  2. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    Bentley. Interesting story. Where was this camera shop you worked in?. I'm in Huddersfield so I may know it.
     
  3. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    This is cool. The German economy was certainly dependent on foreign cash, and Leica and Zeiss manufactured 'consumer goods' to the last day of the war, which went straight to Sweden. In the early days of the war, the British government asked Contax and Leica owners to donate the cameras to the war effort.

    Here is a partially confirming URL:

    http://www.nelmes.fsnet.co.uk/paxman/blockade.htm

    I somehow envision Ole out there, beachcombing for old Leicas, washed ashore in the Skagerrak...
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    "I somehow envision Ole out there, beachcombing for old Leicas, washed ashore in the Skagerrak..."

    ... once the cargo of Gay Abandon?
     
  5. mark

    mark Member

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    A cool piece of trivia. Thanks.