This is a Czech military unit mark. P stands for infantry; I’m not aware of a capital letter I meaning anything, so that might be Roman numeral 1. I’ve seen numbers higher than 1 before the P and those were Arabic, so that’s puzzling, but still the most likely reading is first infantry regiment, weapon number 231.
I’m not sure battalion works. The pre-1937 Czechoslovak army had 17 infantry divisions with three infantry regiments each, so since a battalion is a sub-regimental unit, there would have been potentially 51 1st Battalions. Without a regimental identifier, the marking wouldn’t have been very useful. But I’m just applying logic, which doesn’t always work historically; do you have an actual source?
Interesting to say the least......They were known to have used Arabic numbers even on the VZ22's. I suspect this is for a special unit I am unfamiliar with and represents IP and then the weapon number. rather than a 1 P for 1st infantry. Such as PZ would be for a Medical company.
I have a reference that shows IP as Instructor's School. My reference came from a Czech rifle and bayonet collectors' site. I got it several years ago and can't remember specifically where it came from. I have it in PDF form and can attach it here or email it to anyone that is interested. It matches up with Berger's book but goes beyond what he has listed for unit markings.
I can scan the docs and make jpg files out of them. I really didn't want to print them and scan them again as someone had scanned a document that had been copied 50 times so the overall quality has diminished but is useable. There are marks that match with Berger's book and there are many more Berger doesn't have listed. There are two more pages in the PDF which contain proof marking info like Berger has in his book. As you can see, this information was taken from a reference book written in the Czech language. The translation for IP was Instructor's School but the word prapor means batallion in my translator. Maybe it should be Instructor's Batallion? Maybe not.
Thanks! Very good, that’s clear enough. I think in view of the fact that the Czech are not generally known to have used Roman numerals, reading this as IP and going with the interpretation in your list makes sense. So does having guns assigned to a school. We all know the P on Lugers for Polizeischule from that period.
I don't know why weapons couldn't be assigned to a school. I wish the quality of the document was better. I have run a lot of words through a translator and the results are mostly the same as whoever translated the pages. Some of the words I get no results at all. Back to IP, the original translator said Instructor's School, but Prapor translates to batallion and there are other examples where prapor was called batallion by the original translator of these documents. Also, the idea of an Instructor's School or Batallion. Instructors of what? I have no idea.
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