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PART 1/2, DISTRIBUTION OF UNIT MARKED IMPERIAL LUGERS BY YEAR


INTRODUCTION
Tables 1-3, contain the distribution of unit marked Imperial Lugers by manufacturing date. Also presented are the estimated percent of Lugers unit marked for each production year, and the number of Lugers produced that year. Table 1 covers P08 DWM manufactured Lugers; Table 2 covers P08 Erfurt manufactured Lugers; and Table 3 covers LP08's both Erfurt and DWM.

Note: these tables are intended to give a general (ball park) estimate of the distribution of the more commonly encountered unit marked Imperial Lugers. They are presented on this forum without review and have not been checked for mistakes. Any corrections would be greatly appreciated.



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Table 1. Note: click table twice for legible size.
The exact relationship between unit marked DWM Lugers and issued(produced) DWM Lugers for each year is not known in detail. To complicate the discussion it is apparently that some regiments/units did not unit mark their Lugers. Also, Lugers were not necessarily unit marked the year that they were manufactured.

The estimated number of unit marked DWM Lugers ranges from 25 percent of production to 1 percent for the years 1908-1918(Imperial Lugers, 1991). Complications aside, it is apparent that the distribution of the unmarked Lugers (75-99 percent) to the various units is likely (to some extent) indicated by the distribution of unit marked Lugers.

The ratio of marked Lugers divided by that years production (Mk/Pd. column in above table) indicates what part of the Lugers produced in a given year were unit marked. During 1908-1912 the ratios for DWM range from1/136 to 1/400. During 1913 the ratio substantially decreases to 1/1,129. During1914-1918 the ratios are all above 1/ 2000. These ratios approximately correlate with the observations published in Imperial Lugers(1991, page 20-26) estimating percent of Lugers that were unit stamped for each production year. From 1908-1912, 15-25 percent of the Lugers produced were unit stamped; during 1913, 5 percent were unit stamped; and from 1-2 percent were unit stamped during the War years, 1914-1918.

Following is a list of annual DWM production dates verses the distribution of marked and issued Lugers for that year.

1908 DWM(1908-1909): predominantly infantry regiment (38 percent of the total)and infantry regiment machine gun (30 percent of the total) Lugers were marked and issued. Some cavalry Lugers were also marked and issued.
1910 DWM: predominantly cavalry (58 percent) lugers were marked and issued. Some infantry regiment machine gun, infantry regiment, and command staff, and support Lugers were also marked and issued.


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Figure 1. Painting depicting Lancers of the First Garde Dragoon Regiment piercing and slashing through a British line, Northern France, September 1914. Such cavalry units were predominately armed with 1910 dated DWM Lugers.


1911 DWM: predominantly support (47 percent) Lugers were marked and issued. Some artillery, cavalry, infantry regiment machine gun, and infantry regiment Lugers were also marked and issued..
1912 DWM: predominantly infantry regiment machine gun (36 percent) Lugers were marked and issued. Some support, artillery, command staff, and infantry regiment Lugers were also marked and issued.
1913 DWM: predominantly infantry regiment machine gun (32 percent) and infantry regiment (26 percent) Lugers were marked and issued. Some support, and artillery Lugers were also marked and issued.

Note: Machine gun and artillery units expanded more rapidly than most other units during the War Years. Application of unit markings greatly slowed after the War started. It is likely that more machine gun and artillery Lugers were issued than indicated by unit markings. Also, the cavalry was one of the few units that did not expand during the War.

1914 DWM: predominantly infantry regiment (42 percent) and infantry regiment machine gun(25 percent) Lugers were marked and issued. Cavalry Lugers were also marked and issued.


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Figure 2. It was established that the machine gun crew would defend the machine gun with their pistols in close range fighting, and the P08 was issued to machine gun crews during World War I. P08 armed machine gun crew battling on the Western Front early in the war. Likely more Lugers were issued to machine gun crews than indicated by unit marked Lugers.

1915 DWM: predominantly infantry regiment (44 percent) and infantry regiment machine gun (33 percent)Lugers were marked and issued. Some command staff Lugers were also marked and issued.
1916 DWM: predominantly infantry regiment (50 percent) and [/b]infantry regiment machine gun[/b] (33 percent) Lugers were marked and issued. Some command staff Lugers were also marked and issued.

Note: A directive dated 2 November 1916, advises that arms issued for field services need not be unit stamped and a directive dated 26 December 1916 eliminates unit stamping on clothing and equipment (Gortz, page 48). Some Lugers continued to be unit stamped during 1917 and 1918 in spite of these directives.

1917 DWM: predominantly infantry regiment (60 percent.) and infantry regiment machine gun(24 percent) Lugers were marked and issued.
1918 DWM: predominantly infantry regiment (50 percent) Lugers were marked and issued. Some command staff and cavalry regiment Lugers were also marked and issued.

Based on unit markings, DWM Lugers manufactured from 1908-1918 were primarily issued to infantry regiment and infantry regiment machine gun units. An exception is 1910 and 1911. In 1910, 58 percent of the unit marked DWM Lugers were issued to Cavalry Regiments; and in 1911, 47 percent of the unit marked DWM Lugers were issued to Support units.

Cavalry includes: Dragoon, Ulanen, Hussar, Kurassier, Jäger Zu Pferde, Chevauleger, Schwere Reiter Regiment, and Karabiner Reg.

Go to the link below for more information on unit marked Imperial Lugers.
2/2, DISTRIBUTION OF UNIT MARKED LUGERS BY YEAR Jan C Still http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3703




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[Table 2. Note: click table twice for legible size.
The number of unit marked Erfurt Lugers ranges from 20 percent to 0.2 percent for the years 1911-1918 (Imperial Lugers, 1991). The distribution of the unmarked Lugers (80-99.8 percent) to the various units is likely (to some extent) indicated by the various unit marked Lugers.

The ratio of reported marked Lugers divided by that years production (Mk/Pd. column in above table) indicates what part of the Lugers produced in a given year were unit marked. 1911-1913 the ratios for Erfurt range from1/217 to 1/657. During 1914 the ratio substantially decreases to 1/1,400. 1916-1918 the ratios are from 1/6,153 to 1/14,583. These ratios approximately correlate with the observations published in Imperial Lugers(1919, page 60-63) estimating the percent of Lugers that were unit stamped for each production year. From 1911-1913, 5-20 percent of the Lugers produced were unit stamped; during 1914, 1 percent were unit stamped; and during 1916-1918 less than 0.5 percent to less than 0.2 percent were unit stamped.

Following is a list of annual production dates verses the distribution of marked and issued Erfurt Lugers for that year.

1911 ERFURT predominantly infantry regiment (26 percent of the total), infantry regiment machine gun (17 percent of the total) and support (20 percent of the total) Lugers were marked and issued. Some Lugers were issued and marked to the artillery.
1912 ERFURT: predominantly infantry regiment (41 percent), infantry regiment machine gun (29 percent) and support (18 percent)Lugers were marked and issued. Some command/staff, artillery, and cavalry Lugers were also marked and issued .
1913 ERFURT: predominantly infantry regiment machine gun (28 percent of the total)Lugers were marked and issued. Some infantry regiment, cavalry, and support Lugers were also marked and issued.

Note: Machine gun and artillery units expanded more rapidly than most other units during the War Years. Application of unit markings greatly slowed after the War started. It is likely that more machine gun and artillery Lugers were issued than indicated by unit markings.

1914 ERFURT: Some command staff(40percent), cavalry(40 percent), artillery and infantry regiment.
1916 ERFURT: predominantly infantry regiment machine gun (54 percent of total)Lugers were marked and issued. Some infantry regiment and support Lugers were also marked and issued.

Note: A directive dated 2 November 1916, advises that arms issued for field services need not be unit stamped and a directive dated 26 December 1916 eliminates unit stamping on clothing and equipment (Gortz, page 48). Some Lugers continued to be unit stamped during 1917 and 1918 in spite of these directives.

1917 ERFURT: predominantly infantry regiment (50 percent of the total)and infantry regiment machine gun (50 percent of total) Lugers were marked and issued.
1918 ERFURT: predominantly infantry regiment (83 percent of the total) Lugers were marked and issued. Some infantry regiment machine gun(19 percent) Lugers were marked and issued.

Based on unit marking data, Erfurt Lugers manufactured from 1911 to 1918 were primarily issued to infantry regiment and infantry regiment machine gun units. In 1911 and 1912 a significant number of Erfurt Lugers were also issued to support units.

Click on the link below for more information on unit marked Imperial Lugers.
2/2, DISTRIBUTION OF UNIT MARKED LUGERS BY YEAR Jan C Still http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3703
 

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Thank you Jan. Once again you are doing our work for us.
 

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Hi Fred,

Welcome to the forum. Unfortunately with the advent of upgrades in the system over the last few years. A lot of the photos were deleted. Hopefully Jan can replace them, but this is a 5 yr. old posting.

Ron
 

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Gregory, welcome to the forum.

A new thread would be best; then information on each unit marked guns, i.e. type, date, serial number...


Ed
 
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