German sidearms in WWII- Who got what?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by .455_Hunter, Sep 25, 2019.

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  1. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I am not sure which German got what handgun... I know I would darned sure want a P38 out of the WWII handguns available to the Germans that I have shot!

    [​IMG]

    The P08 is a beautiful pistol... the P38 is a much more reliable pistol in my experience!
     
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  2. 1 Cor 2:9

    1 Cor 2:9 Member

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    My father in law brought a Luger and this Walther mod7 .25cal back. P1020674.JPG P1020675.JPG P1020676.JPG
     
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  3. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Old style pocket revolver?
     
  4. Terry G

    Terry G Member

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    I always wondered about the Band of Brothers Trooper that had a captured pistol in his pocket that went off and shot him through the Femoral artery and he bled to death. In the series it was a Luger, but in the book it was said, I believe, a small pocket pistol. The unfortunate Trooper was shaking snow off of over head cover on a foxhole and the shaken pistol fired. The book's also stated that they captured a lot of pistols along the way not just from prisoner's but from supply dumps and other places. Somewhere I read the pistol was a hammerless FN in either 6.35 MM or 7.65 MM.
     
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  5. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    IMG_0071(1).jpg Pictured is a "Femaru" by FEG of Hungary. Originally chambered in 9mm kurz (.380) , this later version was modified in accordance with orders from the Wehrmacht ; a manual safety was added along with rechambering to 7.65 , aka .32 acp. My understanding is that the German military felt that this compact pistol would be suitable to the cramped cockpits of the Luftwaffe.

    I have speculated that the designer , Rudolf Frommer , had an affinity for the 1911. There is a distinct resemblance.
     
  6. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    When I was nine years old and recovering from a temporary blinding, I was trying to move the furniture in our "stately Edwardian (and very haunted) home".
    We'd wondered why the rent was so cheap... .
    Anyway, I tried to brace myself against the stairs that led up to the walk-in closet - and they moved.
    Under the stairs were packets of letters sent home by the four brothers that had lived there and all went to war after the Pearl Harbor attack.
    The letters included things like medals and insignia "taken from German generals."
    The letters also mentioned that they had captured pistols and intended to send them or bring them home, but there were no guns found with the letters.
    Darn it.
    Anyway, I put the letters back where I found them.
    It seemed appropriate.
    After all, none of those four brothers ever returned home.
    They all died in the war.
     
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  7. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    Did I read that right? How old are you?
     
  8. Monac

    Monac Member

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    As I suppose you already know, Trunk Monkey, MikeInOr means "German pistols I have fired", and not "German people I have put bullets into". :)
     
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  9. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    No, I don't know that. That's why I asked
     
  10. Monac

    Monac Member

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    Well, you are right, there is no way to be certain what MikeInOr meant. My interpretation is just the way I would bet. WWII combat vets are getting pretty thin on the ground now. :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  11. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    This is really important to you isn't it?
     
  12. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

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    Slightly OT but since there was at least one of the all too typical mentions above of "junk" Spanish pistols, I am required to say: I think from my research that's rather more a rumor than the truth.

    http://star-firearms.com/firearms/guns/izarra/index.shtml

    The French WW1 Ruby pistols were made by a very, very large number of contractors and subcontractors due to the large order and, at the time, very distributed workshop manufacturing base in Spain (especially Eibar). Issued pistols were, as far as I can tell with actual records, extant examples, etc. all good to excellent.

    But, that's because the French actually inspected them before acceptance. And it seems that those rejected were mostly not reworked or junked, but sold off by the makers at fire sale prices, in other regions and/or after the war. This — I think but it's complex and about percception and rumor, so there's no good way to prove it — that this led to private gun owners, then shops and distributors, to generally believe Spain was a hotbed of cheap, junky, even dangerous pistol production.

    Which is too bad as there's NO other evidence I can find of a long period, maker, or model of Spanish pistols from then to the death of the domestic firearms industry in the 1990s with any quality issues. Unlike, say, the cheap post-war pistols and revolvers (think RG) from Germany, that somehow didn't destroy the reputation of Germans as quality makers generally.
     
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  13. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    That's funny. I have an acquaintance who wanted to show me the "German officer's pistol" his father-in-law came back from France with. It was an S&W Model 1917 that had been bumper-chromed at some point...
     
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  14. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    I have a WWII Hi-Power, with Waffen Stamps, that somebody apparently got chromed, before they brought it back. AFAIK, when Germany took over France and Belgium, FN started producing Hi-Powers for Wehrmacht paratroopers, and officers. Walther type P-38s were made in three different factories, Mauser made a nice P-38. It seems sidearm production couldn't keep pace
    with demand, so you had two choices, the pistol which was "right", or the pistol which was "right now". I imagine most officers and soldiers took what they could get quicker, bearing in
    mind, as others have mentioned, that 32 caliber was very acceptable, back then.
     
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  15. Trashyshoots

    Trashyshoots Member

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    You always hear about pistols that came home with our GIs but I wonder if there are a few us 1911s that stayed in german families hands. And Japanese for that matter. Granted our gun laws are much more relaxed than theirs (especially japan) but there has to be at least a few in germany, and japan.
     
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  16. drk1

    drk1 Member

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    There are a couple of good books out there that cover the history of FN, including during World War II. These include: Auguste Francotte and Claude Gaier, FN 100 Years : The Story of a Great Liege Company, 1889-1989, R. Blake Stevens, The Browning High Power Automatic Pistol, Anthony Vanderlinden, The Belgian Browning Pistols 1889-1949, and then the one by Vanderlinden that Firestone edited, FN Browning Pistols. Side Arms that Shaped World History, which is probably the most informative if you're going to rely on one alone. And yes, they cover the fact that the Germans took over the factory and forced the workers to produce pistols, but there is no mention in any of them that "FN started producing Hi-Powers for Wehrmacht paratroopers and officers." None of the Fallschirmjägertruppe I have had the opportunity to speak with over the years carried a Herstal pistol. Although I did speak to a GI who said he captured one from a member of SP gun crew in the Hermann Göring Division in Italy. I bought the pistol, but I'm not certain that I "buy" the story in part because the pistol was in a post-war holster and he did not have a "capture paper" with it.

    For the Inglis alone, there is Clive M. Law, Inglis Diamond: The Canadian High Powere Pistol.

    And of course, for the story of the P. 38 see, Warren H. Buxton, The P. 38 Pistol (all 3 vols. are great) and the more recent book by Alexander Krutzek, Dietrich Jonke & Orvel L. Reichert, The P. 38 Pistol: Germany's Famous Service Pistol in Detail, which has become the most affordable standard. The new book by Jon Speed, The Mauser Archive is also helpful in understanding production.

    For the French pistols, see Eugene Medlin & Colin Doane, The French 1935 Pistols: A Concise History, which has a particularly important section on the fakes, and Eugene Medlin & Jean Huon, French Service Handguns 1858-2004: 11mm Pinfire to 9mm Parabellum. On the Spanish side, the books by Dr. Antaris are the gold standard.

    For the rest of the European countries from which the German military drew weapons, there aren't a great number of good books. For the Polish contribution see; William J. York: VIZ: Radom: A Study and Photographic Album of Poland's Finest Pistol. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  17. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    I've personally seen a FN model 1922 with Waffen Amt. Other pistols German forces used were CZ 24, 27 and 39, Kongsberg 1911, Lahti/Husqvarna L35, Astra 400 and probably captured Beretta 1915, 34, 35 and Glisenti 1910.
     
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  18. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    I've read a couple of books about what it was like to be a civilian in Germany at the end of the war and they all recounted stories of civilians looting weapons. The book Band Of Brothers mentions it as well.
     
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  19. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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  20. Browning

    Browning Member

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    They look like 27’s to me.

    Unfortunately there’s not going to be a definite answer though.
     
  21. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Zooming the first pic I have the impression it has the oblique slide serrations but I can be wrong.
     
  22. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    From the May 1959 issue of "Guns" magazine, in the "Gun of the Month" column by Richard Kuehne, was an article about the gun Reichmarshal Herman Goering was carrying at the time of his surrender to the U.S. Army at Radolstadt, Austria. You would think it would have been some ornate, lavishly engraved Luger (to go along with his jewel encrusted Feldmarschall baton and dagger), or else a Walther PP, or maybe a Mauser HSc, but it was as far from those guns as you could have possibly imagined!

    What he turned in was a standard S&W .38 Special M&P revolver with a 4" barrel and a blued finish. It was sold to Goering by the Peters Arms Co. of Hamburg, Germany in May of 1934. It was also mentioned that while Goering had a financial interest in the Krieghoff firm in the manufacture of the Luger pistol he liked S&W revolvers and kept a pair of S&W Triple Lock revolvers in .44 Special at his hunting lodge in Bavaria.
     
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  23. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    I remember reading in an issue of The American Rifleman that when Goering surrendered he didn't actually expect to be taken into custody and incarcerated. He considered his surrender to be a mere formality after which he would be released and allowed to take part in the rebuilding of Germany. Supposedly he chose the S&W because wasn't a treasured item.
     
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  24. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    Interesting about that ! In the First WW France was short pistols and began to buy the "Ruby Type " pistols. I Have one made by Astra , it has the small "F" on the frame near right side of trigger guard that was French acceptance. The ones from the various Spanish manufacturers to get french acceptance had to take the "standard " magazine the French inspector had and function with it. Many didn't and they don't (normally) have the French acceptance F stamp. I found this out as I wanted to get another mag for mine and was warned to look for the F on the magazine to make sure it fit . It did !
     
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  25. DocRock

    DocRock member

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    Ak, so. Und vitch sidearm is issued to ze grammar Nazi?
    :rofl:
     
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