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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once again, I have relearned a lesson about jumping to conclusions! In the course of researching Weimar Prussian police school unit marks, I ran across a number of pistols and holsters with H.P. marks and very quickly interpreted them as belonging to the Höhere Polizeischule (Senior Police School). I reached this conclusion despite several “red flags” indicating these were not typical Prussian police pistols:
•The stock lugs were ground off several of the Lugers.
•Although the unit marks on the front grip straps were in accordance with Prussian orders, these marks were repeated on the right side of the receivers and on the spines of matching magazines of several of the Lugers.
•Indications from other collectors that there were some doubts about the Prussian provenance of these pistols.

When I assembled a table of all of the items with presumed Prussian police school marks, these H.P. marks really stood out. Of a total of only 21 pistols (out of nearly 500 in my database of police marks) tentatively identified as having police school marks, six of these (30%) had H.P. marks. I’m not certain what the Senior Police School’s function was but speculate that it provided advanced training for police officers who had graduated from regular Polizeischulen and had served in the Schutzpolizei or other operational units. If so, these officers would have their own assigned weapons and would almost certainly bring them with them. The Senior School would therefore not need a large inventory of weapons, even in comparison with other schools. The preponderance of H.P. marked weapons in this table was inconsistent with this.

The database information I was using is listed in the following table which includes five Lugers, one Model 1914 Mauser and three Luger holsters, all with H.P. marks:

Download Attachment: HPmarks.jpg
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The light finally came on when I was made aware of a contribution by Garland Barnes to the June 1989 AUTOMAG regarding Luger HP07 and holster HP04 listed in the table which included: “Capture papers indicate it was taken from a police officer in Bingen (italics mine), Germany on March 27, ’45.” Bingen was in the state of Hesse, not Prussia. It seems reasonable to believe that police officers who were not conscripted into the army would have stayed in the districts to which they were assigned. That this man was identified as a police officer by his captor may mean he was in a police uniform rather than an army uniform. This would suggest that the officer, his weapon and his holster were Hessian, not Prussian.

I believe the above is strong evidence that H.P. does not stand for Höhere Polizeischule and is not Prussian. If this is true, what does it mean? I'm wondering if it might stand for “Hessische Polizei.” This is admittedly highly speculative but there are two bases for this:
1. It fits the abbreviation “H.P.”
2. There is a tenuous analogy with police unit marks (S.L.Pol.) of another independent Weimar state, Sachsen (Saxony), which have been authoritatively identified as “Sächsische Landes Polizei.”

While on the subject, note that all the H.P. marked Lugers in the table are u-block 29 DWM pistols produced in 1929 or early 1930. This of course means that they could not have gone into police service until 1929, at the earliest. These examples also begin with a low weapon number, 148, indicating this number series probably started for Lugers in about 1929. This suggests that Lugers were not used by the Hessian police prior to this. If true, what weapons did they use? The one M1914 Mauser may be a clue. Its Imperial-era serial number makes it old enough to have been placed in police service as early as 1919 - 1920. Its weapon number of 774 either means it was from an earlier series of numbers or it did not enter police service until after the Lugers. I prefer the former explanation.

I understand this topic was debated by collectors in the past and that similar conclusions were drawn. If anyone has any information on these discussions, data on additional H.P. marked items (Lugers, Mausers, holsters, mags) or comments on the above discussion, please reply to this post or email me at [email protected].
 

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Don

Very interesting read and from a logistical perspective your obsevations make sense, personally this is not my field so nothing to add.

It is clear however that you are gifted with an eye towards assembling the data and reaching a conclusion based on your observations and this is a true gift to the luger collecting fraternity. I congratulate you on this, well done.
 

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Don , remember that the German Nation had 11 States and four city states if memory serves me correctly. We [ collectors] have discovered only two written directives on markings from only Prussia and Bavaria and can surmise Saxony marks. The balance is completely unknown or they were never mark in the first place. Do your homework and let the facts speak for themselves. Don't follow the herd, lead it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So far, I have three candidates for H.P.:

1. “Hessische Polizei” – In addition to the speculations in my original post, a visit to the Hessian Police website (www.polizei.hessen.de) confirms the legitimacy of the term, at least in present-day Germany.

2. “Hessische Polizeischule” – Also found on above website. My sole reason for preferring 1. above to this is simple numbers. I doubt that the police school would have a large inventory of weapons in comparison with the operational police forces. My database includes 5 Lugers and accessories of 4 others with H.P. marks. The largest number of weapons in the database from any one of the Prussian police schools is 3. The city of Berlin and 12 of the 14 Prussian provinces all had populations equal to or greater than Hessen. I think the number of surviving marks is much more in line with operating police units than a school.

3. “Hilfspolizei” – These SA-based units that were formed in 1933 are a possibility and I haven’t done much research on them. However, if my guess is correct that the M1914 Mauser with H.P.774 is a weapon used prior to obtaining Lugers, the H.P. mark very probably predates 1933.

Overall, I lean toward #1 but the jury is clearly still out. I would be particularly interested in learning if there are other non-Lugers out there with this mark.
 

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Don

originally quoted by don Maus.

3. “Hilfspolizei” – These SA-based units that were formed in 1933 are a possibility and I haven’t done much research on them. However, if my guess is correct that the M1914 Mauser with H.P.774 is a weapon used prior to obtaining Lugers, the H.P. mark very probably predates 1933.

Don, you are probably right about this one but do not rule out the fact that firearms can be marked after ownership.The small caliber handguns were at times private purchases while the P08 was military/police supplied and issued.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
James, I'm really hoping information on more H.P. marked guns, Lugers and others, will come out of hiding and help determine if this mark was in use prior to arming of this unit with Lugers. Of particular interest would be a non-Luger with a canceled H.P. mark and a datable replacement mark. How's this for being picky in my request?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have a theory that may explain the ground-off stock lugs on these Lugers.

The organization represented by H.P. was apparently very meticulous, almost paranoid, about marking its property. Every major piece of a Luger rig was stamped with a property mark: frame, receiver, both mags and holster. Perhaps removal of the stock lug was yet another means of identification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
CORRECTION!

I have just determined that the DWM listed as HP10 in the table in my original post has the serial number 33v -- not 33u. This adds an interesting twist. It appears that these Lugers may have been assembled in 1933-34 by Mauser from parts transferred from BKIW in early 1930. I'm no expert on Luger production history and would appreciate comments from those who are.
 

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Just to add fuel to the fire. I came up with this the other day. Not sure of it's origins, but there could be a connection. I sent these photos to Don earlier this morning to get his heart started.

As I told Don, I have been a closet Pirate Nut all of my life. In HS I had a class called "Modern Problems", it was designed to help you cope with life in the job world, how to best interview for a job, etc. Our final was to write a paper on what type of career we wanted to pursue. Everybody wrote their's on becoming a Professional,a Police Officer,a Nurse,a Doctor, etc. I wrote mine on becoming a Pirate. I was the only one to get an A+ on my paper.

Anyway, I always have wanted an original Cutlass. It appears to be of possible German origin,and just happened to be unit marked H.P. over 5.

Download Attachment: Full view.jpg
124.44 KB



Download Attachment: Unit Mark1.jpg
58.94 KB



Download Attachment: unit mark2.jpg
56.63KB
 

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Ed,

Not exactly. Police were often issued Cutlass' too. The first British Bobbies were issued and were trained with Cutlass'. Although of a different design. Discovered this though trying to research this one after I got it. So, I thought possibly it could be a German Police Cutlass, considering the marking.

Ron
 

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Gentlemen,

Actually, the Polizei did carry several kinds of distinctive short swords. I am not certain what the one that Ron shows is but I would certainly not rule out police service. From its construction I would guess that the sword is from the Imperial time period. It would help to know what the scabbard looked like.

This is the short sword (cutlass if you will) carried as the regulation Hessischer Schutzmanns-Säbel during the time of the Weimar Republic.

Download Attachment: Hesse Polizei short sword.JPG
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This particular Hessian Police Short Sword is illustrated as item #250 in the period WKC catalog and is identified as the regulation sword for the police of Hesse during this time period. My sword is a serial numbered item of issue but does not have "H.P." markings. This information does seem to establish that Ron's sword is not a Hessian Police sword, at least from the latter time of the Weimar Republic as these Luger pistols seem to be. It is always possible that the sword could be from the Imperial time period and might match up with the M1914 Mauser pistol with HP markings. I don't think we are there yet.

George
 

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George, not to argue, but a cutlass and a short sword are different. A cutlass, as Ron shows is curved, and used for certain purposes. That said, I am no expert, but do keep things like this in mind when I see items...
 

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Dwight,

While the later nationalized Hafen Polizei (after say 1936) did use "HP" as a property marking for some things I would expect the Hafen Polizei of the Weimar Republic period might indicate a specific harbor since they were still state or port authority forces. For instance, here is a postwar DDR Hafen Polizei launch with "HP" painted on the life preserver. Of course the DDR did not mark their pistols in this manner. Let me look through some of my sources for the various pre-1936 Hafen Polizei forces.

Download Attachment: Hafenpolizei.jpg
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As for Ron's sword, it may not be German at all but may be from some other police or military force. It does not appear to me to be from the Hessian Police from the time of the Weimar Republic from first blush. The "HP" marking may simply be coincidental and the "P" may well indicate a "pirate" ship since Ron stated he is a closet pirate at heart. (my attempt at a joke here Ron)

Seriously, this is an example of a slab bladed curved short sword marked to the Imperial Braunschweig Polizei that is at least superficially similar to Ron's "cutlass."

Download Attachment: Braunschweig Pol Sword.JPG
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I just don't think Ron's short sword is related to the "H.P." markings found on Luger pistols. I just don't think we are where we can positively identify these police pistol markings yet.

George
 
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