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Thread: Deaths Head Luger 08

  1. #11
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    Good morning all,


    For me, in the 1930s, Lugers with skulls were assembled, with pieces dating from the imperial period but also with pieces of new manufacture.
    I had already shown, a long time ago, on Napca's monthly review, the Automag, a Luger with a skull, owned by a resistance fighter who had recovered it during the German occupation, in France .
    It consists of parts from the Erfurt arsenal and parts probably coming from Simson and housed in a holster.
    I totally believe in its authenticity ...
    Some pictures:
    Erfurt Tęte de mort n° 2867 i 01.jpgErfurt Tęte de mort n° 2867 i 02.JPGErfurt Tęte de mort n° 2867 i 03.JPGErfurt Tęte de mort n° 2867 i 04.JPGErfurt Tęte de mort n° 2867 i 06.JPGErfurt Tęte de mort n° 2867 i 08.JPGErfurt Tęte de mort n° 2867 i 10.jpgHolster tęte de mort 01.jpgHolster tęte de mort 02.JPGHolster tęte de mort 01.JPGErfurt Tęte de mort n° 2867 i 09 .jpg

  2. #12
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    I'd like to offer a little proof for my theory.
    1st) The "Organization Consul was created and had at it's core, men from the Freicorps unit, "Marinebrigade Ehrhardt.
    2nd) This unit's sleeve insignia was a Viking ship, sails billowing, in an oval.
    3rd) Here is a picture of an officer of that unit with the Viking sleeve insignia
    4th) Below that insignia, on the same sleeve is the Death's head insignia again looking left.
    I know that the "Lazy S" is not there. I don't believe this is a lazy S, but the symbol for infinity. The symbol infinity and the Death's Head representing, "Death forever to traitors".
    This is circumstantial evidence, to be sure, but men have been hanged on just such evidence.
    Pat
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    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
    San Francisco, CA, May 13, 1903
    By Theodore Roosevelt

    Pat McNeil

  3. #13
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    03man, thank you for your reply. I fully agree with you that the simple fact a Deaths Head is on a holster does not mean the same symbol to be found on the pistol inside. It however does proof that SS members have had Lugers at a very early stage, at a stage of time where they were not allowed access to Army Luger pistols of current production. This would in my point of view indicate they had to have Lugers from (scrapped) old military production or of commercial origin.
    I'm highly thankful for you clearly stating, now already two times in this thread, that for you there is no doubt on Deaths Head marked rifles from this period. From reading old threads of this forum I sometimes had the feeling that these rifles were largely neglected among Luger collectors. You however are fully correct in that the simple existance of these rifle are no justification for pistols with these markings. On the other hand I do not see any reason what would exclude the SS for having Luger pistols, especially since pictures indicate the usage of them already in very early stages:
    1st Option: One possibility is that they purchased commercial Luger pistols. This would had been expensive and maybe not enough supply for what they required.
    2nd Option: They got fully functional Luger pistols from the Army - what I consider impossible, because they were prohibited access to Army items.
    3rd Option: Rework pistols themselves from whatever was at hand, especially guns with damages (like they did with the Gew98 to K98k conversions).

    When considering the 3rd option as a possibility, wouldn't you agree that they would had done this in a similar fashion to the Gew98 to K98k conversions? IF they ever did this, I personally would expect them to be done exactly this way, because everything else would differ too much from what is documented and established for their rifles. This therefore not only includes the application of their Deaths Head stamp as a Depot marking, but especially the commercial re-proof of a gun at Suhl.

    prairiedogpat, regarding your point #4 or in particular the "Lazy S". Deaths Heads with this "Lazy S" are highly common on Gew98 to K98k reworks. They are to be found in a very certain time frame on rifles reworked by the SS. Not referring to my own pistol, but it would be tough for me to imagine that a particular stamp that is believed to have been used in a very particular time frame in WWI (not based on documentation, but simple by the fact that members of a certain unit had Deaths Heads as symbols on their uniforms) on only a very handful of pistols and not at all on rifles the same units have used, then all of a sudden appear in much larger numbers than on the handful WWI Lugers again on Gew98 to K98k converted rifles which were outcarried by the SS, with additional variations of the identical Deaths head (regarding the symbol above the DH) as well being used by the SS. Wouldn't it on the opposite make more sense that the SS applied these stamps during the timeframe where they reworked old guns, especially if even dimensions and shape of the stamps are identical?
    Since you also questioned the meaning of the "lazy S" and assumed it could mean infinity. One of the book authors of the K98k Vol. I to III using the nickname "mrfarb" on his own k98kforum.com mentioned one theory of which I'm quoting an excerpt, that of course should be taken only as a possibility at this point of time:
    About the "Lazy S" skull on Gew.98 rifles. I just started a thread today about those. Nobody has documentation to prove anything, but the two main SS depots prior to 1940 were at Dachau (Munich) and Sachsenhausen (Oranienburg). The 2 most common skull markings seen are "Lazy S" and "Gull wing". My theory is the "Lazy S" is Sachsenhausen, which makes sense as it was the main SS depot, right outside of Berlin. The other "Gull Wing" skull marking looks like a flattened "M" - Munich perhaps? It makes total sense that the 2 main depots closely match those markings, but I fully admit my thoughts on that are a work in progress.
    Source: http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread....l=1#post265783

    Edit: I thought I would also make a cross-reference that it was the same mrfarb who during his research came up with the Küpper-connection on the Kü-marked Luger pistols (see https://luger.gunboards.com/showthre...mystery-answer)

  4. #14
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    Dave,
    I don't know where you got the idea or impression that luger "guys" doubt or questioned the fact that the SS had or used luger pistols.
    That the SS had lugers has never been questioned to my knowledge in any thread or post.

    Where the lugers came from is of little consequence, as Germany was "awash" in lugers both in hidden civilian, various Freikorp, and black stocks of the Reichswehr.
    And the SS was quite few in numbers in the early days, and not so difficult to arm with pistols.IMO.
    After all the much larger(for a long time) SA seemed to have no problem with arms, from pistols to machineguns; all of which would have been available to the SS after the significant
    reduction in SA numbers in later years. Just another opinion.

    Option 3, as you state, is of course a possibility; but again extending the theory of DH on rifles to "why not on pistols" is no "proof" at all.
    If one assumes that the DH was applied in option 3 to the many lugers that were in SS hands; I would expect to find many more DH lugers(in Europe, and in US bring backs) not just the very few
    we see today. I would also not expect to find the chamber DH only on WWI vintage lugers, but all dates and mfgs.

    Further the size and chamber location is odd, for an acceptance or rework type marking-at least to me- I would expect to find a small DH, or lightning runes near the "normal" proof markings on a luger; which of course is not the case with the DH luger.

    Much food for thought and speculation, but I in no way, but with respect for his opinion, subscribe to Pat's explanation of a single unit or of the Lazy S meaning Infinity.
    If someone wanted to mean "infinity", they could just as easily use the commonly accepted "lazy 8" symbol. This same explanation of use applies equally to the mfarb theory as mentioned above,
    If one wants to represent the "S" and "M" locations why not just use the letter? What is gained by some oddball "stretched M" or "Lazy S"- which by the way is really not an "S" at all. JMHO.
    03man - Don Voigt
    Luger student and collector
    Looking for DWM mil.side plates- 69 and commercial # 32, Dreyse "K.S.Gendarmerie"

  5. #15
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    Thank you, Don.

    My reasoning behind identifying the symbol in question as infinity rather than a "lazy S" is, these people were heavy into the ancients, the mystic and the occult. This lazy S was one of the first symbols to represent infinity. The core of the Marinebrigade progressed from the Organization Consul to the S.A.and then to the SS. All of these organization loved ancient symbolism.
    Pat
    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
    San Francisco, CA, May 13, 1903
    By Theodore Roosevelt

    Pat McNeil

  6. #16
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    The Death Head Luger is a recurring topic, and that is understandable given its mystique and enigmatic origin. I find the connection with the SS very tenuous at best…why adapt a “lazy S” instead of the more logical double S (Schutzstaffel) that is captured perfectly by the double lightning bolt runes (please note that the holster shown by “Kri 1942” has a Death Head with the lightning bolt SS runes, not a “lazy S”!). The notion of an SS connection is further discouraged by the fact that the DH Lugers all bear WWI dates, the latest being 1918 a full 15 years before founding of the Waffen SS on 17 March 1933 (notably without any lazy S in the insignia!). But those who adhere to the SS connection are certainly entitled to their opinion.

    My opinion (for what it is worth) places the creation of these Lugers in the Weimar Republic era following WWI. This was a tumultuous time with considerable disorganization and the rise of paramilitary units for defense. In particular I would like to offer the Meinenwerfer Heuschkel Freikorps as the possible progenitor of the DH Luger. Some time ago Klaus Mersbach kindly sent me the following information:

    “Heuschkel, was a Lt. in the Posensches Pionier Bataillon Nr.29 and was promoted to Hauptmann by the end of WWI. After the armistice he formed the Minenwerfer-Detachment Heuschkel of the Freikorps. The detachment was composed of: Stab, 3 MW-Komps. (8 light M.W. and 4 heavy.M.G.), 1 M.G.K. and 1 Flamethrower platoon, 14 officers and 183 men.
    Employment: Berlin.
    Insignia: Death's Head on left upper sleeve.
    Hauptmann Heuschkel was reassigned into the Weimar Reichswehr.
    Source, Feldgrau (by Peter Wacker a dear friend of mine who just passed away recently) and Ehrenrangliste Vol.II.”

    The flamethrower was the brainchild of Richard Fiedler, a 1900 mechanical engineer in Berlin. The potential of this weapon was recognized by Hauptmann Bernard Reddemann, formerly from Posen but subsequently accepted the position of “Fire Chief Dr. Reddemann” in Leipzig. Reddemann, as an engineer, soldier, and professional firefighter determined that the firefighting “steam pumper” could be modified to discharge flammable liquids as a flame thrower and coordinated with Fiedler in its development. Subsequently, Hauptmann Reddemann became commander of the 2nd Company of the Pioneer Battalion No. 29 (the same battalion as Heusckel!). Flamethrowers were first used (unsuccessfully) in combat at Bagatelle-Pavillion in the Argonne on October 4, 1914. On October 10, 1914 Reddemann petitioned the High Command for the creation of a flamethrower unit. He was successful, and in WWI the men of the Garde Reserve Pioner Regiment, AKA the “Totenkopf Pionere” or “Deathshead Pioneers” included flamethrower units. (Source: German Flamethrower Pioneers of World War I, Thomas Wictor, 2007)

    After cessation of the hostilities of WWI and formation of the Freikorps, Heuschkel created the paramilitary detachment “Minenwerfer Heuschkel” and he obviously retained his affinity for the Death Head as evidenced by the “MWH” sleeve insignia of his detachment (noted in the quotation by Mersbach above and not to be confused with the embroidered DH insignia on the cuff of the dress tunic of the Pioneer units). This sleeve badge is very rare and I am fortunate to own one.

    The existence of flame thrower units during the Weimar era is documented in a well-known photo taken in Berlin during the Kapp Putsch of 13 March 1920.
    It is not a great leap of logic to suggest that the Death Head symbol of the MWH sleeve badge was extended to the chamber marking of Lugers carried by Heuschkel’s troops of the flammenwerfer platoon with the addition of surmounting the “lazy S” to represent the pattern of a flamethrower while advancing on enemy positions.

    I own a 1913 DWM Luger with the “Lazy S Death Head” chamber marking that I purchased in 1970 from a plumber in New Jersey. At that time Death Head Lugers were a little-known variant, and the chamber marking on my gun is identical to the marking illustrated by Fred Datig in his “The Luger Pistol”revised edition of 1958. This was long before the variant was common knowledge and subject to fakery. I also have an accompanying holster with the same marking. The holster is a Weimar era conversion of the original WWI army holster made by Otto Sindel in 1916 Berlin. The holster has been modified to add a provision for a cleaning rod and is marked with a Weimar type unit designation “5./A.R.2.15.”, which I think represents the “Fifth Artillery Battalion, Second Battery, weapon number 15”. Just as the original 1916 Army holster was “repurposed” for a Weimar unit use, I suspect it was also subsequently subsumed by the Death Head unit.

    So, while totally devoid of corroborating documentation (as are all other guesses concerning this Luger variant) it is my theory that it is a Weimar Freikorps Flammenwerfer issue…and I am sticking to it!
    Ron
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    If it is made after 1918...it is a reproduction.

  7. #17
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    Ron,

    If we didn't have this enormous enigma to ponder, what would we do with our lives? Here's another picture to ponder.
    Pat
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    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
    San Francisco, CA, May 13, 1903
    By Theodore Roosevelt

    Pat McNeil

  8. #18
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    Igitur si vis pacem, para bellum -
    - if you wish for peace, prepare for war.

  9. #19
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    Interesting that none of those "flaming bomb" stamps match the early DWM pattern. I suppose that after this post that will be "corrected".
    Ron
    If it is made after 1918...it is a reproduction.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Wood View Post
    Interesting that none of those "flaming bomb" stamps match the early DWM pattern. I suppose that after this post that will be "corrected".
    Ron
    Ron,
    Great write up on the possible Weimar connection; which I like since I agree with it.

    I suspect those flaming bombs are meant for US arms, not lugers; in addition to the "bomb" you mention not being a "bomb", the ones shown are much too large. JMHO.
    03man - Don Voigt
    Luger student and collector
    Looking for DWM mil.side plates- 69 and commercial # 32, Dreyse "K.S.Gendarmerie"

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