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1908 COMMERCIAL ARMY, SERIAL NUMBER 69911, AND IT'S 1914 DATED UNIT STAMPED HOLSTER

I recently purchased a Luger from a man that inherited it from his father-in-law. The father (who cherished the gun) obtained this Luger while serving with the Second Armored Division during World War II. The Luger is a 1908 Commercial Army complete with matching magazine, an extra magazine(early Erfurt), and a 1914 dated holster. The holster has unit stamps and an interesting hand written inscription.
This Luger is in excellent+ condition in and out, except for some rust/patima on the raised part the side plate and spots on the right receiver and frame from long term storage in its holster.

1908 DWM, COMMERCIAL ARMY, SERIAL NUMBER 69911.
During late 1913 and 1914 some 1908 and 1914 Commercial Lugers were routed to military service. These do not bear commercial proofs and instead bear the Army Test Proof (DWM) and C/X C/X C/X Army acceptance stamps on the right receiver.
These C/X C/X C/X Army acceptance stamps are found almost exclusively on the 1908 and 1914 DWM Commercial Army (and a few 1914 dated DWM Army Lugers which lack a stock lug, in the 8000a-9400a serial range).

1908 DWM, COMMERCIAL ARMY :17 reported in the 69163-70840 serial range. Estimated production: 450.
1914 DWM, COMMERCIAL ARMY : 8 reported in the 70319-72059 serial range. Estimated production:100

(A more detailed discussion of the 1908 Commercial Army Luger is found below in the threads "A 1908 DWM, COMM. ARMY, R.I.R.72 M.G.11." and in "A real commercia 1908 triple C/X Army"


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA1.jpg
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Figure 1. 1908 Commercial Army Luger, serial number 69911. This Luger was manufactured with a long sear bar. The serial number placement is hidden (commercial style). The grips are not serial numbered.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA2.jpg
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Figure 2. Right slant view of 1908 Commercial Army, serial number 69911. It bears C/X C/X C/X Army acceptance stamps and an Army test proof on the right receiver. This Luger was manufactured with a hold open.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA3.jpg
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Figure 3. Right receiver and barrel of 1908 Commercial Army, serial number 69911, showing details of its C/X C/X C/X Army acceptance stamps and Army test proof.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA4.jpg
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Figure 4. Front of frame and bottom of barrel of 1908 Commercial Army, serial number 69911. The serial number of the take down lever and side plate are in the commercial style (hidden). Note: the halo around the digits of the barrel serial number and lack of halo on the frame serial number. The barrel serial number is through the blue.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA5.jpg
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Figure 5. 1908 Commercial Army Luger, serial number 69911, showing it's matching magazine with a + in the Army style to indicate the extra or reserve magazine.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA6.jpg
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Figure 6. 1908 Commercial Army Luger, serial number 69911, complete with holster, extra magazine (Erfurt) and tool.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA7.jpg
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Figure 7. Holster back.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA8a.jpg
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Figure 8. Details of open holster showing tool and magazine pouch.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA9a.jpg
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Figure 9. Manufacturing inscription inside of holster flap: A. WUNDERLICH NACHF. /BERLIN/1914.

The K R 6 signifies Kürassier-Regiment 6. Berlin, where the holster was made, is in the III Army Corps district; as is Brandenburg; which, is the home base of the Kürassier-Regiment 6.
The Kürassier-Regiment 6 battled on the Western and Eastern Fronts during World War I.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMARMY10.jpg
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Figure 10. Lance armed Kurassier's ambush a Russian supply column on the Eastern Front.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA11.jpg
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Figure 11. Ink inscription on inside of holster flap. Klaus Schad deciphered the words and unit:

Feldwebel Brunkow = Staff Sargent Brunkow
E K K 56 = Etappen Kraftfahrkolonne 56 = Base Motor Vehicle Column no. 56
Kaiserliche Deutsche Sudarmee (Umlaut over u) = Royal German Southern Army

The Sudarmee (South Army) battled on the southern part of the Eastern Front during World War I. During 1916 under Bothmer it was part of the force that stalled, stopped and finally threw back in disarray the Great Russian attack of 1916 (Brusilov Offensive). During 1917 the Sudarmee consisted of four German, three Austrian, and one Turkish Division. It participated in the final battlefield defeat of the Russian Army.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA12.jpg
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Figure 12. German Lances guard a heavy transport column on the Eastern Front.

This holster/Luger must have found its way into the possession of Feldwebel Brunkow, of the Base Motor Vehicle Column no. 56 (Sudarmee), when the 6th Kurassier Regiment was battling on the Eastern Front.


Download Attachment: 1908COMMA13.jpg
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Figure 13. German motor vehicle column transporting troops during World War I.
 

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Jan,
* Bingo! What a drop dead knockout!
* I can see this example did indeed go to a well qualified fellow Collector who would deeply appreciate the history of its service.
* Congratulations & enjoy, as I have your remarkable, enlightening post. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The following note was supplied by the above Lugers previous owner. He wanted it added to the Lugers history.

"Here is some more information on my dad.
Actually it is my wife's father. "Armand Gamber"
"Armand Gamber" Technician 4th Grade T/4 Supply Sargent with Combat Command A Headquarters Company"
His date of induction was Feb 13, 1941
His date of separation was June 28, 1945
He was from Arlington New Jersey...but born in Harrison, New Jersey...Feb. 3, 1917.......we was French-Italian.
His battles and campaigns were Alergia-French Morocco; Ardennes: Central Europe; Normandy;Northern France;Rhineland;Sicily Campaigns GO33 WD 45 as amended.
Decorations and citations: American Defense Service Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal; Good Conduct medal.
He had 8 battle stars on his American Defense ribbon.
He had no wounds received in action.
He often spoke of war....with much sadness. A lot of men lost their lives on all sides. He never did speak much about Normandy (D-Day)....absolutely horrible he would say and that would be the end. He spoke very highly about General Patton. He said he met him often and ate with him frequently. He didn't like the movie on Patton...said it didn't do him justice....just another Hollywood epic. My father was a very proud man...
When he returned to Civilian life...he worked for Federal Laboratories and Computer Sciences Corp.where he worked closely on the early warning detection system for the United States during the Cold War.
He was a good father and at the utmost.....he was proud to be an American....and serve his country.
I am so glad my fathers Luger is being appreciated. I know my father would be very pleased.
Rudy"
 

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Jan, that is a fine pistol but I must say I'm extremely impressed by the holster which is in magnificent condition. Indeed, the whole rig is beautiful. A wonderful find and the history only adds to the beauty.
 

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Jan, a super presentation of a very desireable P08. The holster is also just a knockdown killer. Great work.
 

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It's amazing how three little proof marks on the right side of the receiver can add $9K to the price of a 1908 commercial! If the folks in northern Minnesota get wind of this, expect these "test" lugers to suddenly pop up everywhere.
 

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It is also interesting that the "test luger" description is completely bogus. The correct history is given above in Jan's description. It is nice that the Minnesota group do not have to worry about checking Dwight's list for the serial numbers. That will also be convenient for our Pennsylvania specialists.
 

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Jan,
Thank you for a very instructive presentation of this 1908 Commercial Army Luger pistol. Together with a superb holster it is certainly a desirable collector's item.
I also appreciate the detailed history about the doings of the father of the last owner during WWII. These stories should be registered and kept close to the pistol they came with. I am sure I that you will do so; you are a historian.
 
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