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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On 2 July 1915, the SMS Albatross was part of a German naval force steaming towards Danzig in the southern Baltic after having completed a mine laying operation in the Gulf of Finland. Just south of the Gotland island, the German force encountered a strong Russian Naval force.

During the ensuing combat, the SMS Albatross was severely damaged and ran aground near Ostergarn on the east coast of Gotland. Some 29 of the crew were killed and another 49 wounded in this action.

The German crew was interned by the neutral Swedes for the rest of the war. The dead were buried in a mass grave south of Ostergarn Church.

The German crew were moved several times during their internment, first to Roma in centeral Gotland, then to Tofta, south of the island's capital, Visby. All of the arrangements for the interned crew were made by a Swedish Army officer, Alfred Olsson.

One of the prisoners, Leutenant zur See Johann Conrad Dunklenberg was very appreciative of the care that Olsson had arranged for the crew and, in an expression of gratitude, presented him with his service pistol, SN 2540, property number W.W. 2620.

Olsson eventually passed the gun down in his family to Kjell Olsson.

The story of the battle and internment of the crew is written in the book, S.M.S. Albatross by Erich Thiery.

I am now the owner of this piece complete with its matching magazine, holster, tool and cleaning rod. Along with the pistol, I acquired an oil of the battle scene and a period map depicting the ebb and flow of the combat at sea, along with a copy of Thiery's book. I have additionally obtained photostats of the Imperial German Naval Rank list that provides a complete history of Lt Z S Dunklenberg from his officer candidate days aboard the Oldenberg in 1909 , listing his service on the Albatross, through his service in the Weimar Navy in 1928.

The gun is a delight. Although it has had some restoration, I believe that this piece's historical significance as an artifact far surpasses its significance as a collector pistol, and it will be displayed in a place of distinction in my Imperial Navy collection.

As time permits, photographs will be forthcoming.

Tom A.
 

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One can tell Amstrong is still a true Navy luger guy, first and foremost...saw him trade in a very nice P-code HK luger for this Navy...wonder if John D. knows Tom's HK addiction is only a secondary infection...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pics will be forthcoming as time permits; I will apologize in advance for lack of time and skills in that area.

As Pete detected, Navy guns are my true love, and one with history is hard to beat.

Tom A.
 

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Tom, I look forward to see this beauty. Same as Pete, you are welcome to send them to me and I'll resize and post for you. But Pete has first dibs, :)

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All,

I consider myself *blessed*to have come across this wonderful group at a time when I could afford to make the deal work. No small amount of appreciation is due to my very good friend, Bob Simpson, who made it happen.

As someone who was educated as a historian (Mercer University, AB), the historical significance of the piece really touches me. I have been collecting Lugers since the early '60's and have never come across one that had such a history: tracable not only to the man who brought it back, but also to the man whose service weapon it was. And the story is one of humanitarianism in the midst of brutal combat.

This piece will leave my collection when I am: a. Toe tagged; b. Destitute and in need of a drool ward; c. When the court declares me incompetant to manage my affairs.

Humbled to have acquired such a treasure.

Tom A.
 
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