Monday, April 2, 2018

MilSurp: German Military Handguns of World War II – An Armorer’s Nightmare


My wife’s grandfather was a hero of mine. He passed away recently with very little fanfare at age 96, but this extraordinary man was one of the first paratroopers in the Army. After breaking his leg on a training jump he was assigned to a conventional Infantry unit after he healed. He served in North Africa, fought with Patton across Sicily, and slogged up the Italian peninsula through places like Rome and Monte Cassino. Also, he enlisted in 1940 as a Private and left the Army in 1945 as a Sergeant Major.

The Germans issued a bewildering array of combat handguns during World War 2. Drawn from sources both domestic and occupied, these guns served in all branches of the German armed forces.
Ever resourceful and a product of the Great Depression, there was very little this man could not do. On the troop ship coming back from the war, he took a stock German P38, stripped it down, and silver-plated it using a silver dollar and a jeep battery. He sold the shiny pistol to an Army doctor on board who had never been anywhere close to combat for $400. That’s more than $5,000 today. The hapless physician assumed that Goering himself must have been the only one to wield a silver-plated P38.

Military Mishmash

More@ Guns America


  1. I had 2 uncles in WW2. One in the Pacific working a machinist mate on a re-supply frigate. He never saw anything but broken equipment that he had to fix.

    My other uncle was 3rd Army with Patton. He got a purple heart at Bastone. Due to his injury he could no longer march and got re-assigned to drive a supply truck. He had a nice collection of small arms that he mailed home, along with a lot of other stuff.

    Back in early 80's he gave me a Walther PP 7.65 with a Luftwaffe cartouche on it. I carried it for a couple of years but it is the safe queen now.

    1. I accept donations...:) I'd love a picture of it to post if you like.