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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 04-09-2012, 03:11 PM
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Default Hermann Goering's S&W revolver

I find it interesting that Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, World War I fighter ace, the leader of the Luftwaffe, and the number 2 Nazi under Adolf Hitler, carried a Smith & Wesson M&P revolver by preference during WWII and turned it over to Allied forces when he surrendered. Records show that the gun was produced in 1934; it had a 4-inch barrel. Goering evidently purchased it at a Hamburg gun shop before WWII. While other high-ranking Germans at the time carried Walthers, Lugers, and P.38s (notably Irwin Rommel favored a stock P.38), Goering preferred an American revolver. It's interesting that Hitler himself often carried a S&W Ladysmith .22 revolver - the same gun with which his cousin/former mistress Geli Raubal committed suicide in 1931.

I happen to have a S&W produced in 1934, the same year as Goering's gun. It's a Model of 1905 fourth variation with a 5" barrel. Apparently its only distinction from the Goering gun is the length of the barrel. The finish and grips look identical.

Here is Goering's gun, now on display at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY:



Here's a better view of my almost identical revolver:



So there have been historical Smith & Wessons on both sides during WWII - quality guns were recognized on both sides of the Atlantic!

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Old 04-09-2012, 03:21 PM
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Thanks, John. Good to see that revolver. For some reason, I thought Goring's S&W was a 5-inch.

You mention Rommel. Unlike Goring, I gather he was a VERY spartan sort of fellow. It would not have been like him to acquire anything other than ordinary issue weapons. It is said there were two handguns and various army-issue rifles in his home the day he was picked up. It is a shame he did not make an effort to use them, no matter how futile it would have been. I would like to think that an American would never have been led off to his certain death like that, but no one can seriously doubt Rommel's bravery, so it makes the incident all the more curious.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:22 PM
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Goering's "Photo Op." surrender of his S&W to Allied Officers required him to turn over the revolver to a succession of different Allied Officers, with a photo of each event. One of the officers there was General Fred Barnes, CO of the 9th Armored Div, the unit that took the first bridge over the Rhine River. I met Gen. Barnes in later years and he related the event to me and the irony of it was that Gen. Barnes sold me his German Walther .380 PPK , which was the handgun he carried in WW2, as he felt it was a superior weapon to the .380 Colt Model 1908 that was issued by the US Army to General Officers. Ed.

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Old 04-09-2012, 03:26 PM
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M29since14, From what I've read, the choice given Rommel by the Gestapo was to commit suicide by your own hand or you and you entire family will be hung on meat hooks in Hitler's cellar, as was done with the other conspirator's involved in the assassination attempt on Hitler. Ed.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:33 PM
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John-


Thanks for the photos.I knew this, but will post a link on another board, not about guns, in hopes of informing the members there, most female, some European.

In fact, I write fan fiction about a TV show they like, and armed three characters with guns precisely like that five-inch M&P, except that they insisted on the older grips with gold medallions. Only one originally came that way.

Of course, the Browning M-35 9mm and the Norwegian M-1914 .45 served both sides. Add the Beretta M-34.

Where did you read that about Rommel's gun? I read somewhere that he carried a Walther .32, like many senior officers. I've never been able to find a photo of him armed. I have seen Goering wearing that .38. Can't find photos of Montgomery wearing a gun, either. Field Marshal Alexander wore probably a Webley MK VI or an Enfield .38, as the gun has the round lanyard ring, not the flatter style seen on Colts or S&W's. The butt shows under the flap holster in some photos. He wore a leather holster, not the webbing Pattern 37.


Thanks again for the good photos.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:35 PM
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Ed, Rommel's wife was present. His son and aide implored him to resist, weapons were available, and they would have assisted him, but he declined because of his concern for her - which was, of course, understandable.

He knew he would not survive in either case, but what a monstrous decision - to basically die depending on the "honor" of those involved in the "offer" for the safety of his wife and son. Given the "honor" issue (there was none among the officers involved) I believe I would have taken another course, but that is easy for me to say.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
M29since14, From what I've read, the choice given Rommel by the Gestapo was to commit suicide by your own hand or you and you entire family will be hung on meat hooks in Hitler's cellar, as was done with the other conspirator's involved in the assassination attempt on Hitler. Ed.
Ed, Rommel's son was mayor of Stuttgart when we were stationed there in the early 90s and quite popular too. Bet he was always glad his father took the first choice you mentioned.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:42 PM
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T-Star, when you read a little about Rommel, you will find he took a considerable interest in various small arms. I believe you are correct in mentioning a 7.65mm PP. At the time of his death there likely were two handguns in his residence, described as "8- and 9-mm pistols," by one author. I have always assumed the "8-" mm pistol was probably his PP, which I believe was a gift from Hitler, but you know how assumptions can be. In any case, there is literature that indicates he not only took the pain to be armed, but sometimes used his pistols - though not against enemy combatants.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
T-Star, when you read a little about Rommel, you will find he took a considerable interest in various small arms. I believe you are correct in mentioning a 7.65mm PP. At the time of his death there likely were two handguns in his residence, described as "8- and 9-mm pistols," by one author. I have always assumed the "8-" mm pistol was probably his PP, which I believe was a gift from Hitler, but you know how assumptions can be. In any case, there is literature that indicates he not only took the pain to be armed, but sometimes used his pistols - though not against enemy combatants.

You mean he practiced on the range?
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
T-Star, when you read a little about Rommel, you will find he took a considerable interest in various small arms. I believe you are correct in mentioning a 7.65mm PP. At the time of his death there likely were two handguns in his residence, described as "8- and 9-mm pistols," by one author. I have always assumed the "8-" mm pistol was probably his PP, which I believe was a gift from Hitler, but you know how assumptions can be. In any case, there is literature that indicates he not only took the pain to be armed, but sometimes used his pistols - though not against enemy combatants.
Wasn't the c-96 made in some 8mm chambering? I thought I read that somewhere....A broomhandle would certainly be something he might keep around given his appreciation for all things mechinical......
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:55 PM
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Yes, he was something of a "shooter" in a very utilitarian sense, if you know what I mean. For instance, there are stories indicating that he used his pistols to kill animals for food, when he was in North Africa. The enterprise was what might be considered unsporting. (He shot from his moving vehicle.) The stories can sound somewhat implausible, but who knows what really happened? He was such a revered figure that it's possible some outlandish things were attributed to him.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:11 PM
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John-


Thanks for the photos.I knew this, but will post a link on another board, not about guns, in hopes of informing the members there, most female, some European.

Where did you read that about Rommel's gun?


Thanks again for the good photos.
I read that from an item found on the internet about the guns carried by WWII leaders. It may not be entirely accurate, because it tells of Ike having a Colt Detective Special, and then pictures a later one having an ejector rod shroud. In actuality, Ike was issued a Colt Commando revolver during WWII.

The German Wehrmacht used some Spanish pistols, the Astra 600/43 in 9mm, and the Condor Legion used .380 Astras. The Germans also used Belgian FN High Powers and Polish P.35(p) Radom/VIS pistols in 9mm. The latter gun was issued widely to the German Navy, police units, and the Waffen SS.

It seems Goering was an avid gun collector and had quite a few, including a number of very expensive embellished examples. Hitler's personal possessions included very few guns - "...most of his personal possessions could be stuffed in a valise." The German higher ups usually had bodyguards, and most relied on them rather than personal firearms for protection. Hitler was paranoid (for good reason), and often you will see pictures of him with his right hand stuffed into an overcoat pocket - probably holding that little Ladysmith .22 (serial #709) with its history as being a suicide gun used by his cousin/mistress. It's reported that he fired it in the air to garner attention from time to time. That gun was retrieved from one of his former residences by a U.S. GI who helped to inspect the premises. It was found in a desk drawer in a small case. That turned out to be a really valuable souvenir! You can read about that one here:

The Gun of Destiny

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Old 04-09-2012, 06:24 PM
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I find it interesting that Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, World War I fighter ace, the leader of the Luftwaffe, and the number 2 Nazi under Adolf Hitler, carried a Smith & Wesson M&P revolver by preference during WWII and turned it over to Allied forces when he surrendered. Records show that the gun was produced in 1934; it had a 4-inch barrel. Goering evidently purchased it at a Hamburg gun shop before WWII.
I of course have found this interesting for some time now

Here is a photo of some Goring's (English spelling "Goering") personal items at surrender. Included is the S&W. The baton in the photo was made of ivory with gold and platinum inlays. Talk about blingin'

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:40 PM
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Default Smith and Wesson 10-6 Versus 10-14 and others?

Why is it the 10-6 is always cheaper in porice used than say a 10-8. 10-14 or the other one's?? Pardon my ignornace but I am totally new to Smith's (But not new to guns) so if there is no 10-14, sorry.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:50 PM
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I of course have found this interesting for some time now

Here is a photo of some Goring's (English spelling "Goering") personal items at surrender. Included is the S&W. The baton in the photo was made of ivory with gold and platinum inlays. Talk about blingin'

Any idea what the little gold semiauto is?
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:16 PM
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I saw Goring’s S&W in a glass case next to his uniform in the museum at West Point in the ‘70’s.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:29 PM
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Thanks for this thread. I like to hear stories about firearms with military histories.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:33 PM
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I had heard about Hitler's Ladysmith, but I did not know that we knew that much about it. Fascinating.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:44 PM
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Good thread indeed John. It is interesting to
hear that even our worst of enemies still had the
"good taste" enough to buy a S&W when they could
have chosen any firearm manufacturer in the world.
Also like A-10, i'm curious as to what the small Gold
plated semi-auto in the Hitler possessions is.

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Old 09-01-2012, 11:12 PM
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The small gold pistol looks like a FN pocket model in 6.35mm or as we know it in the states a Baby Browning in .25 acp.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Why is it the 10-6 is always cheaper in porice used than say a 10-8. 10-14 or the other one's?? Pardon my ignornace but I am totally new to Smith's (But not new to guns) so if there is no 10-14, sorry.
There are many factors that go into the value of a gun. The 10-X could be more common than 10-Y, it could be connected with what is thought to be a higher quality period, it could have different features such as 4 screw, 5 screw, pinned barrel, pre lock / post lock, etc. Its not as simple as to say, one is older or younger in a series, so why is it priced this way? Many factors will affect the price.

Quote:
Good thread indeed John. It is interesting to
hear that even our worst of enemies still had the
"good taste" enough to buy a S&W when they could
have chosen any firearm manufacturer in the world.
This is my thought about it exactly. He could have carried anything, and he chose a S&W.

Quote:
Any idea what the little gold semiauto is?
Quote:
Also like A-10, i'm curious as to what the small Gold
plated semi-auto in the Hitler possessions is.
Quote:
The small gold pistol looks like a FN pocket model in 6.35mm or as we know it in the states a Baby Browning in .25 acp.
It is a FN Baby Browning 6.35mm / 25acp. I never heard of a "FN pocket model" it was called the "baby" model even in Europe. Some people get this model confused with the FN 1905/1906 aka vest pocket (1905 first sold, 1906 first sold in US) which is a little bigger, grip safety, different slide, etc. The FN 1905 vest pocket model was the basis for the Colt 1908 vest pocket. FN agreed for many decades not to export guns to US while Colt agreed not to sell in Europe. Here is a photo of the two FN 25s:



I have to assume that the gold FN baby in the photo I provided was Goering's, not Hitlers. Goering was known to be a flashy guy, and he collected art, and other items that the Nazis looted in Europe. Hitler was known to have few possessions compared to the German brass. The Baby model was developed by Dieudonne Saive who also finished the world famous FN Hi Power after John Browning died in 1926.

Quote:
The German Wehrmacht used some Spanish pistols, the Astra 600/43 in 9mm, and the Condor Legion used .380 Astras. The Germans also used Belgian FN High Powers and Polish P.35(p) Radom/VIS pistols in 9mm. The latter gun was issued widely to the German Navy, police units, and the Waffen SS.
The Radoms to my knowledge were not issued to the Navy and they would be very rare as police guns. At times however, each arm of the Wehrmacht that needed pistols took what they could get. My grandfather brought one home that my uncle currently has. I hope to get that gun someday.

When I'm not collecting S&Ws, I enjoy collecting WWI and WWII European autos. Here is an Astra 600/43 that you mention (bottom), with a FN Hi power (right) with WaA140 acceptance (German army). Also in the pic (top) is a WWII P38, (center) a Japanese T-14 nambu, and (left) a DWM Dutch contract luger that was captured by the Japanese during WWII and subsequently captured from the Jap by an American GI. All of these guns are all matching non import WWII original.

The Astra 600/43 model has an interestring story. The Germans ordered approx 50k from Astra early in the war. Spain was neutral throughout WWII. The Astra 400 which was already made for the Spanish army fired the 9mm largo round. The Germans ordered their Astra to have a shorter barrel and be in 9mm luger. Astra designated this model the 600/43 and delivered approx 10k to the Germans, which were marked by German inspectors with WaAD20, known as a "WaffenAmt". The Germans then requested the rest of their original order of some 50k. Astra finished the pistols, and were ready to deliver them, however the allies were able to capture the finished pistols on a train bound for Germany. I don't think they captured it while the train was en-route, but I am not sure of that. My pistol is one of the captured ones that did not make it to the Germans BUT it falls in the SN range for guns intended for the German army.



These WWII firearms are pretty fascinating. All different variations to collect of even the same basic model, each with a unique history.

All 3 of the WWII P38 makers, Top - Walther, middle - Mauser, bottom - Spreewerk:



My lugers, from top to bottom: DWM Dutch contract, DWM 1917 Navy with 6 in barrel, Mauser (S/42) G date police gun (1 of approx 900) and finally a (Mauser) BYF 42 "black widow". The top one is a Luger model of 1906, the navy is known as a P.04 and the last two are P.08s.

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Old 09-02-2012, 12:21 PM
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The Radoms to my knowledge were not issued to the Navy and they would be very rare as police guns. At times however, each arm of the Wehrmacht that needed pistols took what they could get. My grandfather brought one home that my uncle currently has. I hope to get that gun someday.
Actually, some Radoms were indeed issued to the German Kriegsmarine. This information is in William York's excellent and detailed book "VIS Radom." I did an article on the the Radoms which appeared in the September, 2012 issue of Dillon's Blue Press. You can get it by calling Dillon at (602) 223-4570 and asking for that back issue. I also did an article on the Astra 600/43 and its history which will be in a future issue.

Nice collection!

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Old 09-02-2012, 12:55 PM
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Actually, some Radoms were indeed issued to the German Kriegsmarine. This information is in William York's excellent and detailed book "VIS Radom." I did an article on the the Radoms which appeared in the September, 2012 issue of Dillon's Blue Press. You can get it by calling Dillon at (602) 223-4570 and asking for that back issue. I also did an article on the Astra 600/43 and its history which will be in a future issue.
You're right, my bad. They're so rare I forgot they existed. I did a quick flip through Axis Pistols second edition by Still, and they're not even mentioned, which is probably because little is known / they're so scarce.

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Nice collection!
Thank you. I enjoy collecting different types of guns rather than all S&W, or all WWII or all Colts. My gun collection is like a potpourri of guns.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:56 PM
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Here are the photos that I took at the USMA Museum when my son was at West Point.






I have posted these in an older post.

Lynn
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:39 PM
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Do you know for sure that the gold plated .25acp is a baby Browning?
The picture is very small, so I can't tell and I've never seen this exhibit in person, but it also looks like a Walther Model 9 pistol.
They are very similar looking in profile.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Malysh View Post
Do you know for sure that the gold plated .25acp is a baby Browning?
The picture is very small, so I can't tell and I've never seen this exhibit in person, but it also looks like a Walther Model 9 pistol.
They are very similar looking in profile.
It's hard to tell, but the grip screw does appear more centered in the grip than one would find on the FN. So the Walther would be the most likely choice based on that photo.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Do you know for sure that the gold plated .25acp is a baby Browning? The picture is very small, so I can't tell and I've never seen this exhibit in person, but it also looks like a Walther Model 9 pistol.
They are very similar looking in profile.
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It's hard to tell, but the grip screw does appear more centered in the grip than one would find on the FN. So the Walther would be the most likely choice based on that photo.
Good eye Malysh. However, while it doesn't look to be a FN baby browning, it is also not a Walther model 9. Its apparently a Liliput 32 acp auto pistol which was presented to Hitler.

And in case anyone was wondering, that dagger was Goering's as well. I'm surprised that a Hitler pistol was placed right with Goering's stuff, I didn't expect that. I figure there would be another exhibit for Hitler?!?




24 Adolph Hitler's Lilliput Model 1 Pistol

The story about how the pistol was found:

Edit International - Hitler's Treasure
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Goring's S&W View Post
Good eye Malysh. However, while it doesn't look to be a FN baby browning, it is also not a Walther model 9. Its apparently a Liliput 32 acp auto pistol which was presented to Hitler.

And in case anyone was wondering, that dagger was Goering's as well. I'm surprised that a Hitler pistol was placed right with Goering's stuff, I didn't expect that. I figure there would be another exhibit for Hitler?!?




24 Adolph Hitler's Lilliput Model 1 Pistol

The story about how the pistol was found:

Edit International - Hitler's Treasure
Yup, that's a Liliput, no doubt with the detail picture, even without the linked text.
I was pretty sure we weren't looking at a baby Browning.
Ever look in the back of an old edition of Smith's Pistols and Revolvers? Gosh, there were so many Euro 6.35mm pistols made in so many countries it could make one dizzy.

It is curious a Hitler gun was displayed with Goring accoutrements.

Thanks for the enhanced picture and the additional info about the gold pistol
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:05 AM
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Great thread!

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I was given this information by a well-known German collector....maybe others here can reinforce what he told me. He said the German foot soldier was just given a rifle (Mauser) and no sidearm. The officers carried, or, were issued, .32's. NCO's carried the 9mm. He said that is why it was so difficult to find a Luger, etc. Unless you found a soldier who had picked a 9mm up or acquired one from other means, the only way to find a Luger/Walther was from a deceased/captured NCO.

Here is an AC41 P-38:



A rare 1939 Mauser Luger. Matching holster, tool, all matching SN gun including two matching magazines. I was also told that less than 3% of the Lugers today have 2 matching magazines....another side note.



A bit of extras....

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Old 09-04-2012, 01:05 PM
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4-Screws,
Actually, handguns had wide spread issue in the German army of World War 2. Just for instance every member of a tank crew (5 men) were issued a side arm. Also machine gunners were also iussed handguns and the Germany army had lots of machine gunners. Why do you think the Germans were trying to get their hands on ever handgun they could?
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:18 PM
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4-Screws,
Actually, handguns had wide spread issue in the German army of World War 2. Just for instance every member of a tank crew (5 men) were issued a side arm. Also machine gunners were also iussed handguns and the Germany army had lots of machine gunners. Why do you think the Germans were trying to get their hands on ever handgun they could?
I think you misunderstood me...The Germans were not trying to find handguns but the US GI was trying to find German handguns. The German Luger was the ultimate bring back trophy for the GIs in Europe. I have read the book "Veteran Bring Backs" which states that in many of the first-hand accounts, and it has been supported in multiple movies and vets I have spoken with. Sorry for the misunderstanding...
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
I think you misunderstood me...The Germans were not trying to find handguns but the US GI was trying to find German handguns. The German Luger was the ultimate bring back trophy for the GIs in Europe. I have read the book "Veteran Bring Backs" which states that in many of the first-hand accounts, and it has been supported in multiple movies and vets I have spoken with. Sorry for the misunderstanding...
Agreed. I think he was implying that the pistol was more widely issued in the Wehrmacht than perhaps you thought. One of the reasons that the luger was so hard to get during WWII is because the Wehrmacht was attempting to phase it out. They wanted the P38 to be the standard issue, and if they had our production means, perhaps there would not have been so many different Nazi inspected and issued handguns. The last lugers made that were intended for the army were made by Mauser in 1942 hence byf 42. Krieghoff did however make some lugers later than 42, but they were in very small numbers, and went to the Luftwaffe. Mauser began making the P38 with Walther in 1942.

The luger was one of the more dated designs that the Wehrmacht fielded. The P38, Hi Power, radom, and even the Astra 600/43 were better designs for their intended use. Of course I'm also not knocking the luger. It was adopted by the Swiss in 1900, and the Imperial German army in 1908, which is some food for thought. The P38 came out nearly 40 years later, so it should have been much better when you really think about it.

Very nice AC41 and 42 or S/42? code 1939 luger. Does the BYF 41 have a matching magazine? They were numbered in those years. Also, is it import marked? I notice that the "F" is blacked out on the safety. Regarding "42" code (Mauser lugers - "S/42", then "42", then "byf") 1939 luger, they're not really rare with 119k made between the S/42 and 42 variations. The "42" variant is the rare of the two. IMO a rare Mauser luger would be more of a K date, and even then, some would say thats more scarce than rare.

You were right in what you said about how hard it is to find a luger with 2 matching magazines. Be careful, it is well known by the dishonest that this boosts value so you will find some that are force matched, re-stamped, total fake, etc but not to say yours is one of those. 3% is just a guess as to how many have their original mag set, but they're hard to find regardless.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:02 AM
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I believe Rommel was trying to save his family. His last act as a Military Officer was to give his life in a deal to keep his wife and son alive. The Germans kept their word and honored the deal. Rommel was offered poison and he took it. He was tangentially involved with the assassination attempt on Hitler at his bunker complex in Prussia. He was given a state funeral as a Hero of the Reich. The Nazis reported that he died of wounds sustained when his staff car was strafed by what I believe was a British pilot. The gun camera on the plane recorded the attack.

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Old 02-09-2014, 11:50 AM
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I believe Rommel was trying to save his family. His last act as a Military Officer was to give his life in a deal to keep his wife and son alive. The Germans kept their word and honored the deal. Rommel was offered poison and he took it. He was tangentially involved with the assassination attempt on Hitler at his bunker complex in Prussia. He was given a state funeral as a Hero of the Reich. The Nazis reported that he died of wounds sustained when his staff car was strafed by what I believe was a British pilot. The gun camera on the plane recorded the attack.
That is correct. His son wrote that they gave him two options: kill yourself and die a hero's death or get arrested, be subjected to a kangaroo court a then get executed as a traitor, along with his staff and family.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:00 PM
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In addition to the FN P.35 High Powers made under German occupation, the Germans also used large quantities of the Belgian FN Model 1922 - in actuality many more than the P.35. Here's a couple of pictures of one I own, complete with German WaA stamps. The current (July 2015) issue of Dillon's Blue Press catalog/magazine contains an article I did on this gun.

John



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Old 06-16-2015, 08:43 PM
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Hermann Goering surrendered to the 36th Division outside of Salzburg. MG John Dahlquist was the division commander at that time.

Back in the early '50's I was a new enlistee in the 36th Div. and several of my NCO's were veterans of the Italian campaign and later, the push to Berlin. They were well versed in the surrender of Goering's weapons, and in fact, took possession of his Smith & Wesson. Those were not just "war stories" but well documented in the "T Patch" Division history then. Too many years have passed through my memory and all of those fine men are passed now so I have no details of where it ended up.

Bob
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