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152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a nice DWM 1915 P08 with the holster and matching spare mag from a German collector recently.The gun is a very nice one:95% bluing,90% straw,all matching,a strong rifling with light rust inside the bore,very nice grips.Sadly, the magazines are not as good as the gun: the one with the "+" was inside the gun and survived better, the other one, that which was issued originally inside the gun(with only the s.n.and the letter d ),was in the holster pouch,and has more rust. But both are worse than I would have expected just looking at the gun.

The German collector got the rig some years ago from the widowed daughter-in-law of the original owner.Here begins the most interesting part of the story: toghether with the rig he got a photo. The photo shows the owner of the gun, H.Fleischmann, posing in a photo studio and bears on the back a written message for the family. The date is the 6th of January 1916.
He served in the First Bavarian Landwehr Division,6th Bav. Landw. Infantry Regiment Field Machine Gun Train unit. The actual unit is not quite clear to me yet.The text and the translation(from the prewious owner)is below.
The shape of the flap of the holster is most unusual and also the maker mark is a not a common one: 149 B.D.III 1915. Over the years the leather has shrunken and, consequntly, the holster is slightly "smaller" that it was originally.Now it's impossible to close it with the gun inside in the same manner it was in the photo.But I am not worried about it as it is a once-in-a-life-time find....

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594 Posts
Paolo -

What a remarkable find ! Congratulations. This is the kind of experience every collector dreams about.
To actually know the identity of the WW-I soldier must be rare. Hope you are able to uncover additional information on his unit. I wonder if any German records exist on the eventual fate of individual WW-I soldiers. Please keep us informed as you attempt to unravel the history of this gun.

Best Regards,

6,194 Posts
Paolo, That is a fantastic find.

As far as the holster being too small. From the cropped enlargement of the holster. It appears to have been a tight fit even then. The top of the flap is distored from being drawn down so tightly. Also the marking on the holster is'nt a maker mark, but rather a Bavarian unit marking. Holsters were marked in a different manner than pistols, so it is a bit hard to translate.
A very interesting rig and documents.


2,748 Posts
Great find. I have a M98 Degan with the name Paul Junker on the blade. I was able to obtain much information about him, by contacting the Solingen archives. Here is a address.
GasstraBe 22b Tel. 0212/290-36-30
42657 Solingen (Hohscheid)

Platinum Bullet member
6,233 Posts
Paolo, I doubt that the Archives in Solingen will do much for you beyond sword makers and cutlery, but I may be wrong. The first place to go to find more about the fate of Fleischmann is the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraeberfuersorge e V. This organization has a website through which one can search for individual German soldier's graves and data regarding their deaths(date, unit, etc). The only requirements are that the target search must be dead and that the searcher be able to read German. I do not have the website handy right now.

Ron, at first I think you are correct about the mark being a unit depot mark, but I am not sure. It is an odd configuration. I will send it to a fellow who knows about such things.

152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The only thing the German collector knew about the original owner is that he survived the war and came back home with the rig we see.I guess that the organization you are telling gives news about war dead soldiers.Probably the only way for knowing something else is to search in Munich register archives...Or in the unit story book(if it still exists in some place).
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