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Luger P 08

The famous Luger P 08 had been the official german army pistol since it's introduction in August 1908 and remained in service until the end of WW II, although production ceased in favor of it's successor model, the P 38, in November 1942 because Luger was a comparably expensive (at 32.- RM), complicated to produce and despite it's reputation actually a rather unreliable and impractical weapon.

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A wide variety of pistol holsters were issued, often with several versions being found for each model. Captured pistols were also widely used with their accompanying holsters. Enlisted men requiring pistols were issued them; these included machine gunners, mortar crewmen, tank and other armour crews, and others requiring unrestricted movement (though veterans often "acquired" Schmeissers or enemy weapons). Officers were required to purchase their own pistols; those in combat units used the 9mm (though some also "acquired" heavier weapons) while many senior officers and those in the rear support units and Replacement Army used 7.65mm models. Overall, the Germans used pistols on a wider scale than most other armies.

Holsters were manufactured to accept specified pistol models. Most were made of smooth or pebbled black leather, though brown ones will be encountered. However, the odd canvas and leather composite model can also be found. (Unlike other pieces of equipment used in North Africa, the pistol holster was often left black. ) The typical holster was closed by a large flap to retain and protect the pistol Most were secured by a strap and stud, either with the strap attached to the holster's body and the stud to the flap or vice versa. Most include and integral magazine pocket on the side or edge, covered by the pistol's protecting flap. A few versions included a small pocket for a cleaning rod or disassembly/reloading tool, the latter often fitted inside the flap. Very limited use was made of privately purchased separate two-pocket leather magazine pouches for the P08 and P38. Holsters were required to be worn on the left hip with the butt facing forward, though they were sometimes worn on the opposite side.

Walther P38

The successor and most numerous german pistol in WW II was the Selbstladepistole Walther P 38 ("self-loading pistol Walther"). It was the result of developments that lasted from 1935 until 1937. It is an automatic pistol with the caliber 9mm Parabellum with a length of 21.6cm, an empty weight of 800g and a magazine capacity of 8rounds. Fired from the P 38 the bullet reaches a Vo of 355m/s. Germany produced a total of 1.2 million P38 pistols during the war. A wide range of private-purchase, non-issue pistols was also used. Besides the ammo stored in the magazine in the pistol, very often a second loaded spare magazine was carried in a pouch attached to the holster

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Walther PP - PPK

First manufactured and introduced by Karl Walther of Zella Mehlis in 1929 as a police weapon (PP=Polizei Pistole), the Walther PP was adopted by many police forces during the 1930s. It was a light and handy weapon with a clean outline, albeit it was designed for holster carriage. Plain clothes officers used the Walther PPK (K=kriminal) introduced in 1931, which was a downscaled PP so that it could be hidden under a jacket or in a pocket

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Both the PP and PPK were chosen to be used by military police after 1939 even though they were civilian police weapons. Production continued for service use, and each model was often used by Luftwaffe personnel, many German police forces, and staff officers as a handy personal weapon. The two types had calibers including the 9mm short and 7.65mm, but versions in 5.56mm (0.22 LR) and 6.35mm were also commom. All the versions worked by a straightforward, simple blowback principle, and more than enough safety features were installed. One of these features involced inserting a block in the path of the firing pin when it moved forward. The block was only removed by a definite pull on the trigger. This safety design was copied widely later. Another feature was the installation of a signal pin above the hammer which stuck out to show a round was in the chamber. This innovation was done away with during wartime production, making the general standard of finish lower. Soon after 1945 many countries like France, Turkey and Hungary started producing the pistol, but it is now produced once again by the Walther firm in Ulm. The main consumers are still police forces but individual pistol shooters could also purchase the fine pistol.

Walther PP and PPK Technical Information

Walther PP

Cartridge: 9mm short (0.38 ACP), 7.65mm (0.32 ACP), 6.35mm (0.25 ACP), 0.22 LR
Length overall: 173mm
Length of barrel: 99mm
Weight: 0.682kg
Muzzle velocity: 290m per second
Magazine: 8-round box
Maximum effective (comber) range: 25m
Rate of fire: 24 rpm single-shot

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Luftwaffe holster

Walther PPK
Cartridge: 9mm short (0.38 ACP), 7.65mm (0.32 ACP), 6.35mm (0.25 ACP), 0.22 LR
Length overall: 155mm
Length of barrel: 86mm
Weight: 0.568kg
Muzzle velocity: 280m per second
Magazine: 7-round box
Maximum effective (comber) range: 25m
Rate of fire: 21 rpm single-shot


The Mauser 1896
"M712 SchnellFeuer "

The German Mauser C.96 semi-automatic pistol was one of the most popular weapons in the early 20th Century. Although not having been adopted by any major military power of that time, it enjoyed great commercial success.   A 7.63 mm caliber selective-fire model, the "Schnellfeuer" (Rapid Fire), was acquired in the 1930s and could carry a magazine for 10 or 20 rounds.

Origin: Germany 1932
Caliber: 7.63x25mm Mauser
Feed Device: 10 or 20 round detachable box magazine
Length: 30 cm (65 cm with detachable shoulder stock/holster)
Weight: 1.3 kg (1.8 kg with detachable shoulder stock/holster)
Rate of Fire: 900 rpm

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Karabiner Mauser 98 k

The origins of the Mauser rifle family date back to the late 19th century. The weapon was introduced by order of the german emperor in April 1898 as the Gewehr 98 after a decade-long debate. It was to become the standard military rifle in many countries for many years to come; in germany itself for over 50 years. They are still in use today with military units in africa and southern america. A modified, shortened version of the rifle was introduced into the Wehrmacht in 1935 as the standard rifle under the designation Karabiner Modell Mauser 98 k ("multiple-shot carbine model Mauser 98", "k" for "kurz" = "short"); it was also called Karabiner 98 k or simply Mauser 98 k. It was a bolt-action rifle with a fixed internal magazine for 5 rounds. The 98 k could fix a bayonet, the Schiessbecher for firing rifle grenades and different Zielfernrohre ("scopes") ranging from the Zielfernrohr 40 and Zf 41 with a zoom factor of 1.5 to the Zf 39 and Zf 4 (also called Zf 43) with a 4x zoom . Six percent of the 98k - production were to be fitted with a raail for scopes; this number of sniper rifles could not be met.

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The german sniper with the most kills was Gefreiter Hetzenauer with a total of 345 confirmed kills. The weapon at left shows a Mauser 98k with the early Zf 39. The sights of the regular rifles could be adjusted from 100m to 2000m in increments of 50m. Different modified versions of the Mauser rifle were produced, among others special versions for paratroopers and mountain troops. Production of the rifle was kept up all through the war. The german army entered WW II with a total number of 2,769,533 Kar 98k. Another 7.540,058 were delivered to the army until the end of the war (including 126,291 sniper modifications); 925,984 were delivered to the Luftwaffe, 191,250 to the navy and 62,600 to the SS (the SS received another 235,000 rifles, mainly Mauser-types, from their own production), the regular price for one Mauser 98k rifle was 70.- RM. Technical data: length: 111cm; barrel length 60cm; weight empty (beech stock) 3.9 - 4.1kg (walnut stock) 3.7 - 3.8kg; practical rate of fire 15 rounds per minute.

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Ammunition: Infanteriepatrone 7,92 X 57.

The ammo consisted of stripper clips holding 5 rounds; three such strips fit into a leather ammo pouch; ammo pouches were carried in connected sets of three which fit onto the belt of the field gear. A fully supplied regular german infantry soldier would carry either one or two triple ammo pouches for three strips per pouch, totaling for a default ammo loadout of 45 or 90 rounds excluding the ammo in the rifle.

Paratroopers were issued ammo bandoleers consisting of two rows of six pockets each connected by a canvas belt. Each pocket would hold one 5-round strip for the Mauser rifle, accounting for a total of 60 rounds.

reinigungsgerat.jpg (57287 bytes) K98 M34 CLEANING KIT. (Reinigungsgerät 34) The development and production of German army ordnance was under the supervision of the HwaA, Heereswaffenamt, (Army Ordnance Office), which was a subsection of the OKH, Oberkommando des Heeres, (High Command of the Army), and was responsible for testing, evaluation and eventual issue of all ordnance. The HwaA would issue all ordnance to a units Quartiermeister, (Supply HQ unit/Quartermaster), which contained the units Administration, Medical, Veterinarian, and Transport officer’s and its main responsibility was the control of all supplies to the forward troops including all vehicle fuel, and lubricant requirements as well as animal feed and rations and ammunition and accessories. When issued the K98 came accompanied with assorted accessory items including a sling, a cleaning rod, a protective muzzle cover and a M34 cleaning kit
CASED ZF41/1 SHARPSHOOTER'S SCOPE. (Gewehr -Zielfernrohr 41/1 mit Kasten) As early as 1928 personnel of the Reichswehr, (National {Defence} Force, Circa 1919-1933), High Command decided that the marksmanship efficiency of the individual German soldier had advanced to the level that the development and expense of producing sharp shooting scopes was unjustified. After Hitler’s rise to power the confidence in the marksmanship ability of the German soldier still held sway but due to discord and infighting within the OKH, Oberkommando des Heeres, (High Command of the Army), the development of sharpshooter’s scopes was officially approved in mid-1939. As a sign of the internal discord the HwaA, Heereswaffenamt, (Army Ordnance Office), a sub-section of the OKH, responsible for testing, evaluation and eventual issue of all army ordnance items, advised development of a four power magnification scope, but mysteriously this advice was overruled and the development of a one and one/half power magnification scope was approved. Of Note: Four power magnification scopes were also being developed and produced but in limited quantities. The one and one/half power magnification ZF41 sharpshooters scope was designed for use with the K98 carbine, and was first issued in quantities in 1941. In 1942 it was ordered that six percent of all K98 carbines manufactured be equipped with the ZF41 mounting base, and issued with the scope and carrying case. The first issues of the scope were designated "ZF41", while later issues were some what simplified and were designated "ZF41/1". Regulations of December 31ST 1943 stated that further production of the ZF41-ZF41/1 scopes be discontinued but it appears the order was not strictly adhered to as the scopes continued to be produced up until early 1945. Of Note: When issued the rifle, scope and scope carrying case would all have had matching serial numbers. ZF41.jpg (35173 bytes)

Gewehr 43

After the weapon's bureau of the army nullified their requirement that there be no holes drilled into the barrel itself for the gas-mechansim to work for the automatic rifle system, the company Walther went on to develop the Gewehr 43. This new semi-automatic rifle had the extraction nozzle drilled into the barrel and featured a removable 10-round magazine. The G 43 was a beautiful design which was much cheaper and faster to produce. The weapon's designation was later changed to Karabiner 43, abbreviated K 43, although the weapon really wasn't a carbine; it was envisioned to replace the Mauser Karabiner 98Kas the standard infantry rifle.

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Production started in October 1943; total production until the end of the war was 402,713 including at least 53,435 sniper rifles: the well-designed and well-machined K 43 was a preferred sniper weapon and was fitted with the Zielfernrohr 43, also called ZF 4, scope with a magnification of 4x. The weapon could use the Schiessbecher device for firing rifle grenades and could use a Schalldämpfer silencer; however, the G 43 could not fix a bayonet. Technical data: length 112cm; length barrel 55cm (versions with barrel lengths of 60cm, 65cm and even 70cm existed); weight empty (w/o magazine and w/o scope) 4.1kg; weight magazine (empty) 230g; weight Zielfernrohr 43 scope: 1.3kg; ammunition:Infanteriepatrone 7,92x57; Vo 745m/s; practical rate of fire 30 rounds per minute.

The two-pocket magazine pouches, each pocket holding one magazine, was issued along with three magazines (one in the weapon). Only one set of pouches was issued, and was worn on the left, while a standard three-pocket M1911 pouch was worn on the right to carry loose rounds. A small number of early black leather pouches were issued, but most were made of light tan or olive green, or tan or grey canvas with black leather edging and straps. Each pocket was secured by a stud-closed strap and retaining loop.

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