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I have recently purchased in my country(France)A DWM 1917 artillery luger,the grips are stamped with a big red 9,what does it mean?I know it was made on C96 mauser because of different ammos that broomhandle can chamber,but why do it on LP 08?.People who have sell it to me tell that this LP 08 was taked on a german submarine at the end of first world war,I doesn't knowed that artillery lugers were used in imperial navy...Or is it just a nice tale?...Excuse my poor english

Franck
 

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Franck, your English is quite a bit better than my French. You are correct in suspecting that your LP08 never got close to a U boat.

It is not uncommon to run across a Red Nine marked LP08, especially dated 1917. It seems that when the new 9mm C96 Mausers were sent to the troops in 1917 the German army instructed units to mark their new C96 9mm pistols with Red Nines on the grips in order to avoid accidents with the ammunition. As is often the case, when an Army gives orders, some will try very hard to follow those orders and sometimes get carried away with the task. As I recall, the actual wording on the directive was such that it could easily be misinterpreted at the company or battalion level. This would be especially true if it were a unit that just recieved their first LP08s.
 
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