1912 ERFURT, SERIAL NUMBER 5257a, 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 below bears serial number 5257a. All Erfurt’s bear military style serial number placement (exposed) and Crown/gothic letter acceptance stamps on all parts (except springs).
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Figure 2. Top of 1912 Erfurt, serial number 5257a.
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Figure 3. 1912 Erfurt, serial number 5257a. 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/scriptic letter 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.
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Figure 4. Right receiver and barrel of 1912 Erfurt, serial number 5257a The receiver proofs and acceptance stamps are under the blue. The barrel proof is comparatively delicate and through the blue.
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Figure 5. Front of frame and bottom of barrel of 1912 Erfurt, serial number 5257a. Note: the halo around the digits of the barrel gauge. Erfurt’s most often display a halo around the barrel gauge and not around the barrel serial number.
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Figure 6. The grips bear the crown/scriptic letter stamp and last two digits of the Lugers serial number, 57.
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Figure 7. Front of 1912 Erfurt, serial number 5257a.
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Figure 8. Details of unit marking. 165.R.1.4. signifies165 Infanterie-Regiment, Kompagnie 1, Waffe Nr. 4. During World war I the 165th Infanterie-Regiment was part of the 7th Infanterie Division that battled at Liege, Artos, Somme, Lys, Rheims, Ailette, and the Argonne.
Notes on the 7th Division’s World War I battle history follows:
7TH DIV., 4 ARMY CORPS
1914 MARNE, LIEGE, 1ST ARMY,
1914 BRUSSELS AUGUST1914 BELGIUM SEPT.
1915 ARTOS HEAVY LOSSES MAY 12-13
LENS GRENAY- RAILROAD,UNTIL JULY
1916 SOMME JULY, TERRIBLE LOSSES
SOMME SEPT., FOUGHT BRAVLEY SUFFERED HEAVILY
1917 ARTOS AUGUST, LOST HEAVILY
1918 BATTLE OF LYS ATTACK ON YPRES -COMINES CANAL APRIL-MAY
1918 BATTLE OF RHEIMS , HEAVY LOSSES ATTACK OF JULY 15
1918 AILETTE , AUGUST, 165 R. DESTROYED 20 TANKS IN ONE ATTACK
1918 BATTLE OF ARGONNE, SEPT -OCT. VERY HEAVY LOSSES
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Figure 9. The 165 R. was part of the 14th Brigade that attacked the formidable complex of forts at Liege. Battle scene, showing the August 7, 1914 attack on the forts at Liege.
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Figure 10. Landwehr troops in Liege. Some of the officers and troops are P08 armed. The town itself fell before the forts.
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Figure 11. When the commanding officers of the 14th Brigade were cut down in a burst of Belgium artillery and machine gun fire Ludendorff (shown here) took charge and lead this Brigade back into battle. The City of Liege had its imposing Citadel (Fort). On the 7th of August, Ludendorff boldly crossed the Meuse in his staff car (with one adjutant). He drove up the old Citadel’s steep winding road and reaching it’s courtyard, banged on the gates and demanded its surrender. The frightened Belgums quickly complied.
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Figure 12. Ludendorff became the hero of Liege and won Germany’s highest military medal the Pour le Merite (shown below).
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Figure 13. Ludendorff was transferred to the Eastern Front to become chief of staff of the Eight Army under Von Hindenberg. The German 8th Army used its superior tactical skills to destroy the Russian Second Army and badly maul the Russian First Army and send it in desperate retreat.