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1912 ERFURT, SERIAL NUMBER 1515a, 20.A.F.E.24., DETAILS AND BATTLE HISTORY
Erfurt Lugers were manufactured from 1911 to 1918 by the Prussian Government owned Erfurt Arms Factory for the Imperial German Army. During 1912 Erfurt manufactured 21,000 Lugers in the 62 to 866b serial range. These were manufactured without hold open or stock lug.


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Figure 1. The 1912 Erfurt shown above bears serial number 1515a. All Erfurt’s bear military style serial number placement (exposed) and Crown/gothic letter acceptance stamps on all parts (except springs). Note: double click to see largest photograph.


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Figure 2. Top of 1912 Erfurt, serial number 1515a.


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Figure 3. 1912 Erfurt, serial number 1515a, right side. 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 that this hold open has been retrofitted. The end of the pin placed to retain the hold open is properly in the white.


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Figure 4. Right receiver and barrel of 1912 Erfurt, serial number 1515a. The barrel proof is well formed and delicate compared to the receiver proof.


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Figure 5. Front of frame and bottom of barrel, of 1912 Erfurt, serial number 1515a. This Erfurt displays a well formed halo around the 8,82 digits of the barrel gauge.


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Figure 6. The grips bear the crown/gothic letter stamp and last two digits of the Lugers serial number, 15. Erfurt’s left the factory with matching grips.


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Figure 7. Proper early Erfurt magazine with two acceptance stamps. In about 1914 the magazine base with two acceptance was replaced with a magazine base with one acceptance stamp.


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Figure 8. Front of 1912 Erfurt, serial number 1515a. It is unit stamped 20.A.F.E.24. and was issued to the 20TH Ersatz Foot Artillery Regiment. The foot (heavy) artillery fired the biggest guns.


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Figure 9. 1912 Erfurt, serial number 1515a., with its 1912 dated holster marked to the 20th Foot Artillery Regiment.


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Figure 10. Open holster showing the magazine and tool compartments. The tool is in the white and C/scriptic letter stamped, proper for an Erfurt.


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Figure 11. Manufacturers hallmark on front of holster: Rudolf Wiemer and Co./Mulheim-Ruhr.


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Figure 12. Holster unit stamp: BA.IX / Fs.A.R.20. / II.B. / 7.L(script). Which signifies: Bekleidungsamt des IX Armeekorps, Fuss-Artillerie-Regiment 20, II Bataillon, 7 Landsturm ?


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Figure 13. Details of front strap. 20A.F.E.24.: which signifies 20th Fuss-Artillerie-Regiment, Ersatz-Bataillon, Horse Team Detachment.: These were the horse team handlers, often seen in World War I photographs riding the horse teams hauling the heavy artillery. Very rare stamp.(See page 30, German Small Arms Markings)

The Horse Team Detachment of the Ersatz-Bataillon of the 20th Fuss-Artillerie-Regiment, was part of the 8th Landwehr Division. It was formed in February 1915 and battled on the Western Front during World War I. It battled in Alsace, the Cotes De Meuse, and the Woevre. Some rough notes covering its history are below.

8TH LW DIV. FORMED FEB.1915
1915- JAN I917 ALSAC. HELD SAME SECTOR BETWEEN ALTKIRCH &AND THE SWISS FRONTIER
1916 ATTACKED SCOONHOLZ ,EXICUTED MANY RAIDS
1916 COITES DE MEUSE
1917 ONE SHOCK TROOP PER PLATOON
1918 WOEVRE


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Figure 14. Horse teams pulling artillery to the front.


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Figure 15. Western front 1918, artillery crews and horse teams move heavy artillery into place.


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Figure 16. Western Front 1918, a battery of heavy artillery ready for action.


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Figure 17. Western Front, heavy artillery firing.
 

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Jan

Beautifull presentation and photo's of your 1912 Erfurt rig, it must have been a hell of a job moving those heavy cannon's by horse team and man power across the battlefield.Once again an excellent presentation.
 
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