Optimus 88A military stove "Enmanskök jägare"

Discussion in 'Optimus No:88 (alcohol)' started by Staffan Rönn, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Staffan Rönn

    Staffan Rönn Subscriber

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    For decades this type of alcohol stove was issued in the Swedish armed forces. Originally I believe only to the special forces ("jägare"), but later also to wider troops. I did a tour of duty in Lebanon with the United Nations forces in 1987 and we used these stoves to heat tinned sausages in whisky (a bottle of 12 year old Chivas Regal costed hardly anything there so we found all sorts of good uses of it...).

    The stoves were procured through public tender purchases. Optimus did not always make these stoves, sometimes other manufacturers won the bid. The design was defined by the armed forces.

    The bidding process was awkward in the sense that on winning the contract, reference samples from the production had to be submitted to the Defense Material Administration for approval before serial production could begin. This was a catch 22 for the relatively small volumes and small companies that were usually bidding. At Optimus, the solution was to bend the rules by submitting an old sample that had been approved in previous contracts. I hope this way to con the Administration is statute-barred by now...O:)

    This unit of the 88A is the very eternal reference sample that was used by Optimus for repeated approvals probably for at least a decade. The approval tags are from 1996 (except for the strap) and I think this was the last time complete stoves were made (spare pots and pans were made for another 10 years or so).

    881.jpg

    From another angle with approval tags.
    882.jpg
    Approval protocol. In this batch, the strap did not meet the approval because of a raw material issue. All other parts were approved, and thus for those clearance for production was given.
    883.jpg

    The whole set with approval tags.
    884.jpg
    886.jpg

    The difference to most other Optimus alcohol stoves, and to Trangia too is the larger burner for the military version that accommodated twice as much fuel or so.
    887.jpg

    The strap that finally met the specifications.
    888.jpg

    One interesting side note is that the No. 91 "Purple flame" stove was made in conjunction with a late run of these 88A stoves. Optimus had since long an excess inventory of lower wind shields for the smaller alcohol burner. To make use of them, an over-run of the other components were made but given a lower grade surface treatment than the parts for the Army in an effort to keep cost and price down. These were then assembled to the No. 91 as featured here: Optimus 91 - Purple Flame
     
  2. Staffan Rönn

    Staffan Rönn Subscriber

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    The way to distinguish military issue stoves is the Swedish Armed Forces ownership mark, the three crowns. Here stamped on the bottom of the burner.

    IMAG8695.jpg
     
  3. Tantra

    Tantra Subscriber

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    Oh yeah
    Great collection