The German Kommandogerät (command control computer) 40, known as a Director, was an optical range finder used principally for large anti-aircraft guns, such as the 8.8cm Flak 36 or the 10.5cm Flak 40. By calculating the length of the tube and the angle at which the lenses were positioned, the crew could pinpoint aircraft target locations. Introduced by the German military in 1941, this Director was utilized by all three services and could be modified for use with almost any anti-aircraft gun. In the field, the Director required a 5 man crew; two men to input azimuth and elevation data, a third man to set the slant range by means of a 4 meter stereo range finder mounted on top of the Director, a fourth man to set the horizontal angle of approach, and a fifth man as general operator.
Using the Director, the time from acquiring a target to firing the first round could be achieved in less than 30 seconds. A slant range of up to 18,000 meters (11.1 miles) or an aircraft altitude of 39,000 feet could be targeted. A flak pattern fired according to the “predictor’s” data was deadly for Allied planes during their unswerving bombing runs. For transport, the Director is mounted on a special trailer, equipped with lifting devices and towed by a light truck. This Kommandogerät 40 was in service until 1969 in Finland and is believed to one of three that remain in existence and the only one in North America.