TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



1. General

The general trends in German small arms have been an increase in production of semiautomatic and fully automatic weapons and an increase in the rate of fire of machine guns. During 1944, additional close-quarter antitank weapons have been included among German small arms.  

2. Pistols

a. GENERAL. The two standard pistols now in use in the German Army are the Luger, which was used in the last war, and a more modern weapon, the Walther; neither German weapon has the shock effect of the U.S. M1911 or M1911 A1 Colt .45. The Mauser pistol is seldom encountered.

b. LUGER PISTOL. (Pistole 08). (1) General description. This is a semiautomatic, recoil-operated pistol with a toggle-joint breech action (Fig. 1). The safety is located on the left rear side of the body. The pistol is set on "safe" when "Gesichert" is showing. There is also a longer model of this pistol, provision being made on the rear side of the grip for a stock attachment. Construction is almost identical with the standard model except that the barrel is longer, and a leaf rear sight graduated up to 800 meters is attached.

(2) Characteristics.

Caliber   . . . . .   9 mm (actually 0.347 inch).
Length of barrel   . . . . .   4 1/4 inches.
Weight   . . . . .   2 pounds.
Feed   . . . . .   8-round grip magazine.

(3) Ammunition. The Luger pistol fires the standard German 9-mm Parabellum ammunition.

c. WALTHER PISTOL. (Pistole 38). (1) General description. The Walther weapon is a semiautomatic pistol with a grip magazine feed. It is recoil-operated, the breech mechanism sliding to the rear after each round has been fired. The pistol may be carried loaded with the hammer uncocked; the first shot may be fired by a double-action mechanism. The safety is a catch on the left-hand side of the body.

(2) Characteristics.

Caliber   . . . . .   9 mm (actually 0.347 inch).
Length of barrel   . . . . .   4 3/4 inches.
Weight, loaded   . . . . .   2 pounds 5 ounces.
Feed   . . . . .   8-round grip magazine.

(3) Ammunition. German or British 9-mm Parabellum ammunition may be used in this weapon.

d. MAUSER PISTOL. (1) General description. The Mauser can be used as a semiautomatic pistol or as a carbine when attached to its wooden holster, which is in the shape of a hollow stock. The safety is at the left rear above the trigger guard. The weapon fed ammunition from a 10-round fixed magazine inserted forward of the trigger guard. Twenty-round magazines are used when the weapon is employed as a carbine.

(2) Characteristics.

Caliber   . . . . .   9 mm (actually 0.347 inch).
Length without stock   . . . . .   12 inches.
Length with stock   . . . . .   25 1/2 inches.
Weight without stock   . . . . .   2 pounds 8 ounces.
Feed   . . . . .   10- or 20-round magazine.

(3) Ammunition. Standard 9-mm ammunition is used.


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