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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've just edited this long ago thread to replace the photos that were lost long ago.

This is a 1911 DWM that I had posted on this forum some months ago but it was lost when the system crashed. Jan suggested that I repost and so here it is.

I paid dearly for it but it is in near mint condition all matching. Had been brought to the States by an ex-patriot Englishman who had been a professional hunter in Africa between the wars.

It included the original holster, marked on the back to the pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Here are some shots of the holster. The belt and buckle posted are both correct. Either Marine, colonial Landespolizei or Schutztruppen. The holster is stamped with an ink maker's mark. I believe that the holster may have been made in SW Africa.
 

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George
This is one of the rarest and the most desirable unit marked matched Imperial Luger rigs that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing photographs of. These like the Bavarian Lugers were never fit with a hold open. It’s a long trip from German SW Africa back to Germany just to have the hold open added. Yours fits neatly by serial number with the others. I was fortunate enough to obtain one many years ago. The last I had heard all the others are still in Africa or in Europe. There are also an equal number of 1911 Erfurts so marked.
Thanks for the post.
Jan

AFRICA
* 1911 DWM, s/n 677e : L.P.95 - (Landespolizei Deutsch-Südwest Afrika, Waffe Nr. 95)
*#1911 DWM, s/n 9656e: L.P. 157 <two lines>- (Landespolizei Deutsch-Südwest Afrika, Waffe Nr. 157)
* 1911 DWM, s/n 9772e : L.P.370 - (Landespolizei Deutsch-Südwest Afrika, Waffe Nr. 370)
* 1911 DWM, s/n 9844e : L.P.343 - (Landespolizei Deutsch-Südwest Afrika, Waffe Nr. 343)
* 1911 DWM, s/n 139f : Sch.D.O.A.101 - (Schutztruppe für Deutsch-Ostafrika, Waffe Nr. 101)
* 1911 DWM, s/n 166f : L.P.335 - (Landespolizei Deutsch-Südwest Afrika, Waffe Nr. 343)


Here is a very rough draft of a short history that I prepared many years ago.
GERMAN SUDWEST AFRICA WAS AN UNEXPLORED, INHOSPITABLE LANDSCAPE FLANKED ON THE WEST BY THE COASTAL NAMIB DESERT AND ON THE EAST BY THE KALAHARI DESERT AND THE MARSHES OF THE OKOVANGO. ITS 371,725 SQUARE MILES WAS ALMOST AS LARGE AS ALASKA (much larger than Texas) AND IT CONTAINED ONLY DRY RIVER BEDS THAT FLOWED ONLY DURING THE RARE OCCASION OF RAINS. IT WAS INHABITED BY HOTTENTOTS, HEREROES, DAMARAS, OVAMBOS AND 15,000 EUROPEANS. THE GERMANS CRUSHED AND DESTROYED THE HEREROES INA BLOODY CAMPAIGN 1904 - 1908. THERE WERE NO BLACK AFRICANS IN THE SCHUTZTRUPPE, WHICH CONSISTED OF 140 OFFICERS AND 3000 OTHER RANKS. THIS TINY ARMY WAS NO MATCH FOR THE 50,000 SOUTH AFRICAN TROOPS (BACKED UP BY 33,000 BLACK AFRICANS) ARRAYED AGAINST IT. AT THE ONSET OF WAR THE LANDSPOLIZEI CAME UNDER THE COMMAND OF THE SCHUTZTRUPPE. THIS LAND WAS CHARACTERIZED BY ENDLESS SPACES WITH TEMPERATURES UP TO 132 DEGREES F, DEADLY SWARMS OF FLIES, SCORPIONS, POISON SNAKES AND POISONED WELLS, AND BRACKISH WATETR. IT WAS A STRANGE WAR IN A STRANGE INHOSPITABLE LAND. UNLIKE THE CONSTRICTED FIGHTING ON THE WESTERN FRONT IN EUROPE, THIS WAS A WAR OF GUILE AND MOBILITY ACROSS VAST SPACES. THE SOUTH AFRICANS ATTACKED SEPT. 8, 1914 ACROSS THE ORANGE RIVER AT SANDFONTIEN. THE MOUNTED GERMANS SURROUNDED THE SOUTH AFRICANS AND USED ARTILLARY TO BRING DOWN VAST ROCK SLIDES, FORCING THEM INTO A DEBACLE ENDING IN SURRENDER. THIS WAS THE ONLY VICTORY FOR THE SMALL GERMAN FORCE. FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WAR THE GERMANR WERE RESTRICTED TO STUBBORN RESISTANCE AND SKILLFUL COUNTERATTACK AGAINST THE MASSIVE ARMY AGAINST THEM. THE GERMANS SURRENDERED 9 JULY 1915 HAVING LOST 1,331 KILLED.
 

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George, Having had this holster for a couple of weeks I was able to examine it closely. (George sent it to me along with several other holsters to be repaired, it did not need any repairs! ) Thanks george! I do not think it was made in SW Africa. It's pattern , materials and stitching are identical to holsters made in German shops during the WW1 era. I have no documentation that any holsters of this type were made in Africa so I am speaking off the cuff so to speak but it would be relatively difficult to transport this manufacturing process and personnel to Africa for what would be a small run of holsters. Almost any other country that is known to have made Luger holsters made them with a quality that could not match the German manufacture. It does not have a stamped manufacturer mark but does have a circular ink stamp which I have never seen before. I was unable to read or decipher this but it is fascinating!

Another reason is the way German Lugers were procured and issued. They were, generally speaking, issued hand in hand with each other and holsters were provided with pistols. One could not easily carry a pistol without a holster and so one was provided along with other necessary accoutrements such as extra magazines. It is inconceivable that holsters would not be provided with an issue of pistols. I just think as a gut instinct that the quality of this holster was not produced in SW Africa.It is a stunning piece and extremely interesting.

The date of 1913 also leads me to believe the manufacture was in Germany.

Some fine information Jan on the history of this small German force. Thanks!

Jerry Burney
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jerry, the reason I believe that the circular ink stamping is a makers mark is that the date is below it and the word "fabrik" appears clearly in the center of the stamp. geo
 

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George, Sorry I wasn't clear...By stamped I meant impressed into the leather, not ink stamped. I have never before this holster observed an ink stamped maker mark. Anyone else have one in their collection? This certainly makes it unusual.

Why do you believe it might have been made in SW Africa? I have no proof that it was made in Germany but that is my instinct.

It's incredible that we have no more information than we have to try and sort these mysteries out! It would be great to go back in time and get some of these questions answered....Jerry Burney
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks to a good friend who gave me the "heads-up" I was able to snag this from a stamp dealer in NSW Australia recently. Yes, it came through Ebay. It is a great addition to the collection of junk that is building around my DSWA 1911 P08.

It is a weapon permit issued by the local police authority of the town of Usakos in German Southwest Africa in 1911. The permit is good for five years and must be carried when the weapon is to hand. I make out the issuee to be named Bawder or Bowder but hell, it could be Zowder or Zawder. Any help here would be appreciated.

The permit states that it is for a "Revolver 9M/M ????? Nr 2000"
It might say "revolver" but I have questions about the use of the word revolver in 1911. Also, how many 9mm revolvers were floating around at that time with four digit serial numbers?

The town of Usakos was a railroad town sitting at the northward junction of the lines from Swakopmund and Windhoek. Usakos was taken in April of 1915 in a northward sweep by Botha's South African forces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here's a small photo probably post WWI. It certainly appears to be in Africa. Whether he is victor or vanquished, he's certainly cool! In German Southwest Africa, the Brits and South Africans (Afrikaaners) were a hell of a lot easier on the German civilian population than the British were to the Afrikaaners fifteen years earlier. Second photo is either a Schutztruupe or Landespolizei in DSWA.
 

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Geo and Jerry, Being of Dutch heretage and a Paratrooper, respectively.
Thought you might enjoy this. A friend of mine is married to an Afrikaner. Her brother was a Kommando in the SA Army. He once discribed his first HALO ( High Altitude Low Opening) jump as not being too bad, because his pants had dried before he landed.
Once while telling them about a series of shark attacks off of the SA coast. Where three people were literally bitten in half. Lee asked what kind of shark it was? His brother-in-law responded,"A Bigk Von!" OT, but thought you may get a chuckle.
I'll shut up now, Ron
 

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George,

an beautiful rig in deed! Regarding the stamp marking inside the holster, it seems to me, as the lower word could be "Spandau", but I am not sure.

Congratulations also for the gun permit! I was hot for this item too to display it with my L.P. marked Roth-Sauer, but it is good to know, that it is in good hands and displayed with an even better pistol.

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Martin, may we see photos of the Sauer?
 

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George,

go to

http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2757

Excuse the bad quality of the scan I made some month ago with my old scanner. The condition of the pistol is much better as it seems.

I examined very closely and long the ink stamp marking of your holster. Not sure for all letters, but the inscription should read

Carl Biller (or Biber??)
Fabrik
f. Militärische Ausrüstung
(Factory for military equipment)
Spandau

No guarantee !

;)

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A few more items related to DSWA. An award certificate for colonial veterans and two of those awards.
 

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George,

an beautiful rig in deed! Regarding the stamp marking inside the holster, it seems to me, as the lower word could be "Spandau", but I am not sure.

Congratulations also for the gun permit! I was hot for this item too to display it with my L.P. marked Roth-Sauer, but it is good to know, that it is in good hands and displayed with an even better pistol.

Martin
The Holsters for the DSWA Lugers were all made by C. Billep Spandau
 
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