8 years ago #1
kdanforth
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In the course of the war, Germany used countless models of pistols, from all sorts of manufacturers. So, even though many models are known, production dates, etc...it seems very little is known about what pistols, served where.

I would be very interested in knowing, if certain pistols were used more, on certain fronts and different locations.

Is there any literature available, discussing what types of German pistols served where and in what numbers ? Specifically, in the North African campaign, I can only find references to the P-38.

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8 years ago #2
kdanforth
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While the P-38 replaced the P08 (Luger) as the 'standard' German service pistol, P08s were produced at least thru '44, and officers were allowed to purchase/carry 'personal' sidearms, most of which were in smaller 9mmKurz and 7.65mm, and included both double action Walther PP models and the Mauser HSC, as well as a variety of prewar single action European semi-autos from a variety of manufacturers. Apparently, even Mauser 'broomhandles' were in use, for I've seen a photo, of late 30s vintage showing a motorcyclist (courier?) so equipped. After the conquest of Poland and Belgium, both Radom and Fabrique National(Browning) produced Radom (P35?) and HiPower(another 'P35' ? also) service pistols for German use, and even Norwegian 'Colt .45s' were commandeered. Other than Kriegsmarine shipboard armories being likely limited to P08s, Germnan troops, auxilliaries, 'organs of the state', police, paramilitary forces, etc. could be carrying almost anything anywhere. Czech sidearms, like Czech vehicles were used in masse, with substantial continuation of production.

I would suspect that for officers of 'field grade' and above, personal 7.65mm sidearms would have been far more likely than Lugers or P-38s. With the advent and wide production of the MP38-40 series, the issuance of sidearms to enlisted personnel in combat units likely declined, but the large number of troops engared in 'occupation' duties in unfriendly environments meant that even 'office soldiers' may have routinely carried

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8 years ago #3
cihotefol
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[snip]

I do not have any information like that.

I think that I have some information on why you are not likely to find any.

In the period just after the war there were a number of attempts to 'debrief' those on the losing side, German and Japanese, and to obtain any information they might have that was useful.

There are a lot of stories about the investigation of the German rocket programs, nuclear program, jet airplane programs, etc.

But, there were people that also investigated more mundane subjects. Somewhere I read the results of an interview of an American Ordnance officer with one of his German counterparts.

Basicly, the American asked, with so many different types of pistols, and so many different types of ammunition, how in the heck was any support provided? How were repairs handled, spare parts gotten to the right places, ammunition resupplied?

The German seemed a bit puzzled and said something like: 'Nothing could be simpler. Someone comes in and wants a pistol. You give him one, and a box of cartridges for it. Thats it, they never come back, and never ask for repairs, more ammuniton, or any thing else.'

The bottom line is that pistols were not of any importance in the overall scheme of things. Some people wanted them, because they were symbols of their authority. But, for the most part, they carried them around for the course of the war and never used them.

It is going to be pretty tough, I think, to find out where they carried what sort of pistol, with out using them.

Henry Hillbrath

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8 years ago #4
kdanforth
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IIRC the production ended in 1942, at least in large scale.

There was a specific full automatic version of the Mauser called Schnellfeuer. It was manufactured in the thirties. ...

One should note that Germans never issued SMGs in a wide scale. Their total SMG production was about 1 million compared to over 2 in the US, almost 4 in UK and Canada (Stens) and 5-6 in Soviet Union.

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8 years ago #5
Scoundrel
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The 'Null-acht' is an icon in German pistol history as a Colt is in American. But German officers didn't like carrying around a big heavy gun. One reason is that they didn't wear a leather shoulder strap to keep the koppel in place. Instead they had these little metal u-hooks sewn into the over coat around the belt line which spread the weight of the koppel (belt) and gun over the entire coat. Consequently, many favored a lighter, smaller pistol like a PPK or something like it. Officers were not the only ones to carry pistols though. But I believe the major issues where P-38 and 08, and PPK(not standard issue) or whatever an officer favored.

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8 years ago #6
Ricimer
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8 years ago #7
swill321
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A listing of alther PP and PPK serial numbers of guns issued to Einsatzgruppen and other RSHA personnel has just been published, with all names. I am preparing a review. Booklet costs $ 23.00 including air mail postage.

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8 years ago #8
Jim Detrick
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The Germans issued quite a variety of pistols, their own, captures/ reissues, and foreign weapons manufactured in occupied, satellite and even neutral countries. They ranged in caliber from dinky .22 pocket pistol automatics to .45 caliber bruisers. As stated by someone, else, their primary use was as symbols of authority rather than combat weapons. Some examples, with origin and caliber:

GERMAN PRODUCED PISTOLS

P 08 Luger 9mm

Walter P-38 9mm PP 7.65mm PPK 7.65mm

Mauser M96 9mm M1934 7.65mm HSc 7.65mm

Sauser 38H 7.65mm Behorden Modell 7.65mm

Dreyse M1907 7.65mm

FOREIGN PRODUCED PISTOLS

Austrian Steyr M1912 9mm Steyr

Spanish Astra 200 6.35mm 300 7.65mm, 9mm (Kurtz) 600 9mm

Italian Beretta M1934 9mm (Kurtz) M1935 7.65mm

Czech Vz-24 9mm (Kurtz) Cz-27 7.65mm Cz 38 7.65mm

Belgian FN M35 9mm M1922 7.65mm and 9mm (Kurtz) - Also Dutch and Yugoslav examples

French MAB Model A .25 cal MAB Model D .32 Unique Model 16 7.65mm 17 7.65mm

Hungarian Fegyver 37 9mm (Kurtz)

Norwegian M1914 .45 cal

Polish Radom 9mm

Besides these, authorized Germans could purchase and carry their own weapons, and many did. Hermann Goering, for example, was captured carrying an American Smith & Wesson .38 revolver in a custom-made holster.

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8 years ago #9
questura
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There was a recent program on The History Channel from the Stories of the Gun series, which maintained that, unlike most armies, the German Army actually took the handgun seriously as a combat tool. This is obviously a topic for future study.

Regards, TSB

Bill Walker...Producer and Cohost of The Shooting Bench radio program....General Manager, WDIS-Radio, Norfolk, Massachusetts.

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