Rangefinder San Giorgio
The San Giorgio rangefinder was used during the Continuation War with the Gala-Borletti m/37 calculator, which the Finnish air defence branch had acquired from Italy. With a telephone connection, these devices formed an electrically connected pair, which could indicate targets to the ItK 16/35 Breda anti-aircraft cannons purchased from Italy. The devices were used, alongside AA cannons, for the air defence of Tampere and Helsinki. The optical quality of the San Giorgio rangefinder, as well as that of the gun sights, was excellent but, unfortunately, the rangefinder could only be used in conjunction with the Gala-Borletti calculator, which significantly reduced its usefulness.
The calculators and rangefinders arrived in Finland at the end of the Winter War. During the so-called interim peace and the early stages of the Continuation War, they were used extensively with the Breda artillery batteries obtained from Italy. At the end of 1944, the Italian calculators and rangefinders, which had rapidly become obsolete, were replaced by the German Malsi 43 equipment. Our air defence had at its disposal a total of three Gala-Borletti calculators and San Giorgio rangefinders.
The Gala-Boretti m/37 calculator used in conjunction with the San Giorgio rangefinder is exhibited on the upper level of the Tuusula Hall, and the ItK 16/35 Breda cannon can be found in the museum’s outdoor area along the footpath, next to the BUK missile system and the Campfire Site.
References: Vehviläinen Raimo et al., Itsenäisen Suomen Ilmatorjuntatykit 1917–2000, Sotamuseo, Helsinki 2005; Palmu Pentti, Yön yli päivään – Suomen ilmatorjunnan vaiheita 1925–1990, Ilmatorjuntaupseeriyhdistys Ry, Helsinki 1989; Ilmatorjuntajoukot 1925–1960, Ilmatorjuntaupseeriyhdistys Ry, Helsinki 1963