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1910 DWM, SERIAL NUMBER 3601d, DETAILS, AND BRAUNSCHWEIGISCHES HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR.17 (DEATHS HEAD) BATTLE HISTORY

1910 DWM Lugers are reported in the 3580b to 5531e serial range and were manufactured without hold open, stock lug, and with commercial style (hidden)serial placement. There is considerable overlap in serial range with the 1911 DWM. About 17,000 were manufactured.


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Figure 1. Left slant view of 1910 DWM, serial number 3601d. The serial number placement is hidden (commercial style).


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Figure 2. Top view of 1910 DWM, serial number 3601d. Some in the white metal is visible where the top of the right frame rail has been repaired(see Figure 4 below for more details).


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Figure 3. Right side, 1910 DWM, serial number 3601d.


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Figure 4. Right receiver and barrel of 1910 DWM, serial number 3601d. According to a May 6,1913 directive all P08's in service without a hold open were to have the hold open retrofitted. This was accomplished by Erfurt. A small crown / P indicates a hold open was retrofitting to this Luger. The end of the pin placed to retain the hold open is properly in the white.

An object (spent or small caliber bullet?) has dented the right frame rail and caused discoloration of the blue on the receiver.


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Figure 5. Front of frame and bottom of barrel of 1910 DWM, serial number 3601d. 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.



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Figure 6. Backside of grips showing the last two digits of the serial number (01).


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Figure 7. Front of 1910 DWM, serial number 3601d, showing the unit stamp.
 

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Download Attachment: 1910DWM17H8.jpg
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Figure 8. 1910 DWM, serial number 3610d. Details of grip strap showing the Hussar unit markings: 17.H.14. This signifies: 17 Husaren-Regiment, Command/Stab, Waffe Nr. 14

The honor name of this regiment is: Braunschweigisches Husaren-Regiment Nr.17 (Brunswick Hussar Regiment 17). It was founded in1809. Its home base is Braunschweig (Brunswick).


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Figure 9. The M89 engraved sword, the holster, the Luger, and the busby front plate are all issued to or part of the uniform of the Brunswick Hussar Regiment 17.


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Figure 10. Holster flap, H.R.17. signifies Hussar Regiment 17.


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Figure 11. Markings under holster flap. Top, H.R.17 which signifies: Hussar Regiment 17, and the year1910. Bottom, 4.E. which signifies 4th Eskadron and 10 which signifies the year 1910, and 1911 is an additional date.


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Figure 12. Name and number written in ink between the belt loops.


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Figure 13. Top, M89 sword with a doubly folding guard, engraved to the Braunschweigisches Husaren-Regiment Nr.17. Bottom, the Deaths head is the insignia of this Regiment.


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Figure 14. Top, reverse side of sword showing a battle between Ulanen(left) and Hussar (right).
Bottom, details of the Hussar battle scene.


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Figure 15. Deaths head front plate for the busby of the Brunswick Hussar Regiment 17. It bears an 835 on the back to indicate the fineness of the contained silver.

The Death Head has long been a symbol of honor in German heraldry. It signified honor unto death, a commitment to lifelong knightly honor, not "death before dishonor" as many have attributed to it. In Imperial Germany, the privilege of wearing the Deaths Head was bestowed only to those units that displayed exemplary honor and valor in battle. The First and Second Leib (bodyguard) Hussars (Kaiser Wilhelm’s personal honor guard), the 17th Brunswick Hussars, and the Brunswick 3rd Battalion 92nd Infantry Regiment were the most notable. (Ron Wood, 2003)

Although small, Brunswick was in the center of Germany and thus the center of many of its conflicts. The Brunswick forces of the Imperial German Army traced their lineage to units formed in the Napoleonic Wars. The Death's Head (Totenkopf) skull and crossbones distinctive insignia of the Brunswick regiments dates to 1809, and was worn by the Brunswick contingent under Wellington at Waterloo. On the eve of the First World War, the Duchy's active forces were rather small - one infantry regiment (Braunschweigisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.92), one cavalry regiment (Braunschweigisches Husaren-Regiment Nr.17), and one artillery battery. The infantry and cavalry regiment were garrisoned in the city of Brunswick. Both were part of the German Armys X Corps.

At the outbreak of World War I, the 92nd Brunswick Infantry Regiment was part of the 20th Infantry Division, while the 6 squadrons of the 17th "Death's Head" Hussars were the X Corps' reconnaissance element, three squadrons to each of the corps' two divisions. After the start of war the Command/Staff and 3rd Eskadron became part of the 20th Infantry Division.


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Figure 16. Details of Deaths Head Hussars (Lieb) charging. Note: the death heads on the lance pennants and on the busby insignia (Helmet). (from Deutschland in Waffen)

Early in World War I the 17th Hussar Regiment scouted ahead of the German Second Army during their drive though Belgium, and into France. Their task was to determine the position of the enemy and secure critical positions. They rode until they made contact with the enemy. Everywhere there was hidden danger and often they rode into ambush.


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Figure 17. The illustration caption reads “French Field Artillery stopping a charge of the Deaths Head Hussars near Auberive”. An early War engagement in Northern France.



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Figure 18. The Hussar Regiment 17 was a lead element of the X Army Corps. The illustration shows Deaths Head Hussar lancers entering a French town during the battle of the Marne. German Cavalry instilled fear into the hearts of French towns and Cities. Mayors were arrested, a hint of civilian resistance could result in charges of terrorism and summary executions, houses were requisitioned, civilians were sometimes shot, and in a few cases villages burned (The Guns of August, Tuchman,1956).


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Figure 19. A mass cavalry charge early in the War. The machine gun and repeating rifle extracted a horrific toll.

During parts of 1915, 1916 and 1917 the 20th Division was transferred to the Eastern Front to battle in Galacia and Russia. In the same years it also battled on the Western Front at Champagne, Laon, Chemin des Dames, Artois. In 1918 the Division was on the Western Front and battled at Cambrai, Woevre, Soissons, Arras, and the Meuse. Allied Intelligence rated it as a first class Division.


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Figure 20. By the War’s end most of the German cavalry battled without horses as infantry. Shown is a Western Front battle scene showing infantry battling through rusty barbed wire to reach French trenches.
 

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Jan, a magnificent presentation. The holster is stunning! My references are still packed away so I may be a bit off on this subject, but wasn't Brunswick (Braunschweig) still one of the Hannover (Windsor) lands at the time of the Napoleonic Wars? Like the Germans, the Brits had a long tradition of the deaths head. I think it may have originated with the Hannovers, Saxe-Gotha-Coburgs, Braunschweigers, or Windsors as they like to call themselves today. Some british units also sported the deaths head in the 19th century.

I remember a long drinking bout with a captain in the British army in Germany in the early seventies. He allowed as how I shouln't call myself an American as only the "red indians" were Americans. I pointed out to him that my Dutch ancestors were farming in America a hundred years before Elizabeth's family arrived in England. Regardless, they are still the best allies any nation could ask for.
 

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A great presentation Jan. As you well know, I have had a long-standing interest in Imperial Death Head units, so I am unabashedly envious of your magnificent Luger and accessories. I hope one day to acquire a 17th Brunswick Hussar busby, but I can contribute images of the 1st Leib Garde Hussar and 3rd Battalion 92nd Brunswick Infantry headgear. When I took the picture, the infantry helmet had the chinscales removed for cleaning, but that makes it easier to see the full front plate. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your excellent and rare Luger.

DH2.jpg
 

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Jan,
When I pulled up this topic, the photo was missing because it was posted with the old upload format...so I edited the post and uploaded the photo again. These are two of my favorite "hats" in my small collection. I really do need to finish getting the helmets out of storage and take some new, better quality photos. I have about 15 pickelhauben, but only 5 or 6 are really nice like these.
 

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Excellent presentations gentlemen! Interesting reading. Fascinating historical artifacts. Thanks,One of the many reasons I come to enjoy this site, the knowledgable people who have so much to offer. Jerry Burney
 
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