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1915 DWM, SN 3220c, ERSATZ MACHINE GUN COMPANY, 21 ARMY CORPS
1915 DWM Lugers are reported in the 220 to 84981 serial range and were manufactured with a stock lug, hold open and unrelieved sear bar. About 105,000 1915 dated P08s were manufactured. Less than 2 percent were unit marked.


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Figure 1. Left slant view of 1915 DWM, serial number 3220c. The serial number placement is exposed (military style). The sear bar is not relieved.(note: double click for full size photograph)


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Figure 2. Top of 1915 DWM, serial number 3220c.


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Figure 3. Right side 1915 DWM, serial number 3220c. 1915 dated Lugers have a stock lug and were manufactured with a hold open.


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Figure 4. Right receiver proofs and acceptance stamps of 1915 DWM, serial number 3220c.


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Figure 5. Details of the front of frame and bottom of barrel of 1915 DWM, serial number 3220c. Note: the halo around the digits of the barrel serial number. There is not a halo around the frame serial numbers. The barrel serial number is through the blue the frame serial number was applied before blueing.


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Figure 6. 1915 DWM, serial number 3220c, details of matched grips numbered 20.


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Figure 7. Front of 1915 DWM, serial number 3220c. Its unit stamp 1.M.G.K.A.21.A.and JR.60.MGK. signifies: 1. Ersatz Machine Gun Company, 21 Army Corps, and 60 Infantry Regiment, Machine Gun Company.


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Figure 8. 1915 DWM, serial number 3220c, complete with matched 1915 dated holster, unmarked tool, and extra magazine.


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Figure 9. Open holster showing details of the loading tool and magazine pouches.


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Figure 10. Back of holster.


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Figure 11. Matching holster marked 1.M.G.K.A.21.A. which signifies: 1. Ersatz Machine Gun Company, 21 Army Corps. Manufacturing hallmark: C??CRUSE BERLIN / 1915. (Jeff Noll discovered this holster and obtained it for me)


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Figure 12. Hand written note left by the doughboy who brought this holster back from the battlefields of France: "Brought back WWI, Sgt. Paul Mattice, Footville Wis." And to the right: No. 3151c. Likely there exists a 1915 dated Luger, serial number 3151c, with a Ersatz-Machine Gun Company, 21 Army Corps, unit stamp.


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Figure 13. Details of front grip strap. Its unit stamp 1.M.G.21.A.(Xed out), J.R.60.MGK. signifies: 1. Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 21 Army Corps and JR.60.MGK. signifies: Infanterie-Regiment 60, Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie. The Luger was first issued to the Ersatz Machine Gun Company of the 21 Army Corps, which includes the 60 Infantry Regiment. This Ersatz Machine Gun Company was reformed into the First Machine Gun Company of the 60 Infantry Regiment and the 1.M.G.21.A.(Xed out) and replaced with J.R.60.MGK.

Previously this unit stamp was designated as 1st Company, Machine Gun Sharpshooter Abteilung 21. The basis for this new designation is discussed in detail at the end of this article.


This Ersatz Machine Gun Company was part of the 21 Army Corps and the 60th Infantry Regiment was part of the 121 Division during World War I. (The 60th Infantry Regiment was part of the121st Division from April 1915 to the Wars end in November 1918.)

The 121 Division fought in the titanic battles of Verdun and the Somme during 1916. During late 1916 and 1917 it battled on the Eastern Front in Russia, Kiovel and Narotch Lake. It transferred to the Western Front in 1917 and Battled at Cambrai, Flanders, and the Cotes De Meuse. In 1918 the 121 Division Battled at the Locre and at the Second Battle of the Somme.


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Figure 14. Machine Gun crew in action.


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Figure 15. Sketch, Machine Crew and close range fighting repulse an English attack in Flanders during 1917.

The proper designation for 1.M.G.21.A.

The Machine Gun Sharpshooter units were not introduced until April 1916, well after handbooks for unit marking designations were published. A proper unit designation for the Machine Gun Sharpshooter Abteilung was never formally established. Therefore, a collector trying to determine if a particular stamp is a Machine Gun Sharpshooter Abteilung stamp is forced to make this determination based on the information at his disposal. A source of confusion are the Ersatz Machine Gun Companies attached to Army Corps.

In the established cases where the Army Corps District is designated in an Ersatz Machine Gun Company unit stamp, there is always an “E” to indicate Ersatz and “A.K.” (not “A”) to indicate Army Corps(see table 1 below). “A” is the designation for Abteilung which is consistent with the designation Machine Gun Sharpshooter Abteilung 21. This lead previous collectors to designate 1.M.G.21.A. as 1st Company, Machine Gun Sharpshooter Abteilung 21.

There is an alternate designation for the 1.M.G.21.A. (Xed out), J.R.60.MGK. unit stamp. Ersatz Machine Companies were attached to an Army Corps District. Regiments within this Corps District sometimes reformed the Ersatz Machine Gun Companies into attached Regimental Machine Gun Companies (numbered 1, 2, or 3)during 1916/1917. The 60 th Infantry Regiment is part of the 21 Corps District. It would be consistent if the 1.M.G.21.A. signified: 1 Ersatz Machine Gun Company of the 21 Army Corps. If this Ersatz Machine Company were used to form the First Machine Company of the 60 Infantry Regiment in 1916; the 1.M.G.21.A. would be crossed out and replaced with J.R.60.MGK, exactly as the photograph (figure 13) shows above. (See “The Imperial German Regimental Marking” Noll, page 162 for a detailed presentation of World War I machine gun units) (see table 2 below)


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Figure 16. Broomhandle, serial number 230192, unit stamped 1.E.M.G.21.A. The use of an “E” clearly establishes that this is an Ersatz Machine Company of the 21 Army Corps. The “A” is used to designate the Army Corps. This indicates that the “21 A’s” in the other unit stamps shown in table 2 also designate the 21 Army Corps. Jeff Noll collection and photograph.

A broomhandle, serial number 230192, bears the unit stamp 1.E.M.G.21.A. which signifies: 1st Ersatz Machine Gun Company, 21st Army Corps(figure 16 above). The “E” clearly establishes that this is an Ersatz Machine Gun Company attached to an Army Corps signified by an “A”. It is suggested that the Luger above and this Broomhandle were both issued to the Ersatz Machine Gun Company of the 21 Army Corps. If the same armorer stamped both unit markings it is unclear why he used slightly different identifiers: 1.E.M.G.21.A. and 1.M.G.21.A.

There is sufficient data and information to determine that 1.M.G.21.A. most probably signifies: 1. Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 21 Army Corps.


Table 1. Ersatz Machine Gun marked Pistols, with E to indicate Ersatz and if present A.K. to indicate Army Corps.
* 07 Dreyse, 98379 : I.E.M.G.K.XV.A.73. (1.Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, XV. Armeekorps Waffe Nr. 73)
* 07 Dreyse,136518 : 4.E.M.G.K.18.A.K. (4.Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 18. Armeekorps)
* M4 Walther, sn 66794: I.E.M.G.K.XV.A.K.494. (1.Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie,
XV. Armeekorps Waffe Nr. 494)
* Frommer Stop, 79752: 2.E.M.G.18.A.K. (2.Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 18. Armeekorps)
* 1912 ERFURT, s/n 1645 : M.G.X.30. - (Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie,X Armeekorps Waffe Nr. 30)
* 1908 DWM, s/n 1353a: 1.E.M.G.K.19. - (1Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, Waffe Nr. 19)
* 1908 DWM, 72xxa: 1.E.M.G.72. - (1Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, Waffe Nr. 72)
* 1908 DWM, 454b : 1.E.M.G.1.21R. - (1 Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, Infanterie-Regiment 21, Waffe Nr. 1)
* 1908 DWM, s/n 456b: 1.E.M.G.K.187 - (1 Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, Waffe Nr. 187)
* 1908 DWM, s/n 5752: 2.E.M.G. 34. - (2 Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, Waffe Nr. 34)
* 1916 ERFURT, 3974a : 4.E.M.G.K.18.A.K. - (4 Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 18 Armeekorps)
* 1916 ERFURT, 3797a : 4.E.M.G.K.18.A.K. - (4 Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 18 Armeekorps)
* 1915 DWM, s/n 3854d : 4 E M G K 67 - (4 Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, Waffe Nr. 67)
* 1915 DWM, s/n 8291g : 4.E.M.G.K. - (4 Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie)


Table 2. Ersatz Machine Gun pistols marked to the 21st Army Corps. Generally, these markings are in accord with the 1909 Regulations.[/b]

* 1915 DWM, s/n 5303c: 1.M.G.21.A. - (1. Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 21 Army Corps )
* 1915 DWM, s/n 5622c: 1.M.G.21.A. - (1. Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 21 Army Corps )
* 1915 DWM, s/n 3220c: 1.M.G.21.A. (Xed out) - (1. Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 21 Army Corps ) and JR.60.MGK. - (Infanterie-Regiment 60, Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie)
*Broomhandle, sn 230192: 1.E.M.G.21.A. (1 Ersatz Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 21 Army Corps)
* Frommer Stop,192662 :1.M.G.21.A.22. - (1. Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 21 Army Corps , Waffe Nr. 22)

Note: the caption on page 141, Figure 51, “Imperial Lugers” should be modified to indicate that 1.M.G.21.A. (Xed out) signifies 1. Ersatz-Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, 21 Army Corps and JR.60.MGK. signifies: Infanterie-Regiment 60, Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie.
 

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Jan

Excellent write up and presentation of your 1915 DWM in classic Jan C Still style. These are the type of write ups that are the most entertaining and interesting of the early Imperial Lugers. You have outdone yourself again.

Thankyou
 

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Jan,
the following peacetime MG formation of the Imperial German Army were available at mobilization or established shortly after :

1.
a. Garde MGA 1+2
b. MGA 1-8
c. Bav. MGA
d. MGA 9, formed end of 1914
e. MGA 10 " 1915
f. RMGA 1-5

2.
a. 219 MGK's of active I.R.
b. 16 " " " Jaeg.+ Schuetzen Btl.
c. 88 " " R.I.R.

3.
43 EMG-platoons at 43 Brigade Ersatz Btl. formed by the EMGK's

4.
15 Fortress MGA's

By 1914 approx. 340 MGK's were available and by 1918 approx. 2400 MGK's were established for about 700 I.R., incl. Res.+ Ldw., 39 Ldst.I.R., 15 Jaeg.R., 3 Marine- and 5 Matrosen R. and several individual Jaeg.-Sturm- and Ldst.-Btl's.
This tremendous increase of MG-formation during WWI stipulated also an increase of the training facilities. Up to 7 EMGK's with training camps and schools were created at the Sub.HQ's of each Army Corps. The instruction schools were called : "Infanterie-MG-Ausbildungs-Kommando".
As you know, wartime formation are not listed in the stamping manuals and are sometimes quite difficult to ID. Based on the article by Kling and v.Stein I have Id'd the unit mark "1.M.G.21.A." as :
"1.MGK of 21.Ausbildungskommando" which would explain the deletion of the designation "E" to indicate Ersatz.
Please note that the Ausbildungskommando and the EMGK's belonged to the same Army Corps. The Infanterie-MG-Ausbildungs-Kommando of the 21.Army Corps was disbanded on 4.24.1918.

Source : Maschinengewehr-Formationen 1914/18 by Oberst Kling and Major v.Stein in ZfH. 1967-69.

Klaus
 

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Jan,
the following peacetime MG formation of the Imperial German Army were available at mobilization or established shortly after :

1.
a. Garde MGA 1+2
b. MGA 1-8
c. Bav. MGA
d. MGA 9, formed end of 1914
e. MGA 10 " 1915
f. RMGA 1-5

2.
a. 219 MGK's of active I.R.
b. 16 " " " Jaeg.+ Schuetzen Btl.
c. 88 " " R.I.R.

3.
43 EMG-platoons at 43 Brigade Ersatz Btl. formed by the EMGK's

4.
15 Fortress MGA's

By 1914 approx. 340 MGK's were available and by 1918 approx. 2400 MGK's were established for about 700 I.R., incl. Res.+ Ldw., 39 Ldst.I.R., 15 Jaeg.R., 3 Marine- and 5 Matrosen R. and several individual Jaeg.-Sturm- and Ldst.-Btl's.
This tremendous increase of MG-formation during WWI stipulated also an increase of the training facilities. Up to 7 EMGK's with training camps and schools were created at the Sub.HQ's of each Army Corps. The instruction schools were called : "Infanterie-MG-Ausbildungs-Kommando".
As you know, wartime formation are not listed in the stamping manuals and are sometimes quite difficult to ID. Based on the article by Kling and v.Stein I have Id'd the unit mark "1.M.G.21.A." as :
"1.MGK of 21.Ausbildungskommando" which would explain the deletion of the designation "E" to indicate Ersatz.
Please note that the Ausbildungskommando and the EMGK's belonged to the same Army Corps. The Infanterie-MG-Ausbildungs-Kommando of the 21.Army Corps was disbanded on 4.24.1918.

Source : Maschinengewehr-Formationen 1914/18 by Oberst Kling and Major v.Stein in ZfH. 1967-69.

Klaus
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Klaus
Thanks for your insight into the meaning of the Imperial Army unit marking 1.M.G.21.A. as : 1.MGK of 21.Ausbildungskommando with the A also signifing the 21 Army Corps. (Note: Ausbildungskommando signifies training command or training camps and instruction schools)
Jan
 
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