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Lancashire Fusilier

Von Richthofen's twin Spandau MGs - where are they ?

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RobL

The engine is on display at the IWM (well, was - I believe the WW1 galleries are now shut for the horrendous looking remodelling of the museum)

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MikB

Are these MGs yer *actual* Spandaus?

When I were a lad, building Airfix kits and reading War Picture Library comix, every German MG from 08 to 43 was a Spandau.

Only in the early '60s did another WW1 aircraft gun, the sinister Parabellum, begin to be mentioned, and the ground guns began to be known by their official nomenclature - it was years later before we knew that the Luger owned this name too. Even in the mid '80s I can remember D-Day veterans talking of the Spandau when they probably meant MG42.

So, what were these guns on German WW1 fighters that are still stubbornly called Spandaus to this day? Is the name correct? Are they MG08s modded for air cooling?

Regards,

MikB

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Khaki

Hi MikB,

The name Spandau is synonymous with the MG08, just as Mauser is with G98, regardless of manufacturer, Similar name association occurs in civilian life as well.

Probably the name most seen on receivers by soldiers was Spandau and the name stuck, other manufacturers were DWM and Erfurt.

It would be interesting to know by what name it was known to the average German soldier.

regards

khaki

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MikB

Hi MikB,

The name Spandau is synonymous with the MG08, just as Mauser is with G98, regardless of manufacturer, Similar name association occurs in civilian life as well.

Probably the name most seen on receivers by soldiers was Spandau and the name stuck, other manufacturers were DWM and Erfurt.

It would be interesting to know by what name it was known to the average German soldier.

regards

khaki

I thought it was 'null-acht-funfzehn' for 08/15 for the ground gun, and I heard somewhere that the same expression came to be used to mean something like the English 'bog-standard' in other everyday contexts too.

Regards,

MikB

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Stoppage Drill

"Spandau" simply relates to the Royal Armament Factory (Koniglich Gewehrfabrik) which moved from Potsdam to the Berlin suburb of that name in the mid-19th century. I suppose there will be many Pals who, like me, were stationed in Spandau at one time, in the large infantry barracks there. I never saw the factory though, but I wasn't looking. Perhaps Bomber Command had redeveloped it, or there was some agreement with the Russkies not to make arms in the city.

"Parabellum" comes - I hesitate to insult anybody's intelligence - from the Latin quotation "si visem pacem, parabellum." (If you seek {would see} peace, prepare for war" and the single word was adopted by DWM as their telegraphic address, viz:. "Parabellum Berlin." This stuck with their products, and today it is still in wide use as a synonym for the most widely used pistol cartridge in the world, the 9x19.

The Heinemann modification of the MG'08 was made at DWM and along with other products (notably the Pistol and the cartridge) got lumbered with the "Parabellum" name. It was considered suitable for aircraft as it was lighter and more compact, copying some of the Vickers ideas. In it's Model 1914 guise it was water cooled for safe use in the lighter than air aircraft. The MG14/17 version was aircooled and had those characteristic cooling slots, and was very widely used as an aeroplane gun.

As Khaki says, there is similar name association in civilian life. About the most popular practical .22 rimfire rifle you will find in UK is one of the models made by CZ at Brno. Everybody refers to them as a "Brno", usually pronounced "Bruno" in this country. Grrr. Many more examples, come to think of it.

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Lancashire Fusilier

"Parabellum" comes - I hesitate to insult anybody's intelligence - from the Latin quotation "si visem pacem, parabellum." (If you seek {would see} peace, prepare for war" and the single word was adopted by DWM as their telegraphic address, viz:. "Parabellum Berlin." This stuck with their products, and today it is still in wide use as a synonym for the most widely used pistol cartridge in the world, the 9x19.

Stoppage Drill,

The nice thing about this Forum, is you can learn something new every day.

I have owned several ' Lugers ' and still own a 1942 ' Black Widow ' and have loaded many rounds of ' 9 mm Parabellum ' but never knew until your post today, the origin of the word as it related to 9 mm ammunition.

Regards,

LF

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MikB

"Parabellum" comes - I hesitate to insult anybody's intelligence - from the Latin quotation "si visem pacem, parabellum." (If you seek {would see} peace, prepare for war" and the single word was adopted by DWM as their telegraphic address, viz:. "Parabellum Berlin." This stuck with their products, and today it is still in wide use as a synonym for the most widely used pistol cartridge in the world, the 9x19.

To be really sad and pedantic about this, it should be two words, "para bellum", simply "prepare war" - it was DWM who concatenated them to one; maybe telegraph addresses didn't allow spaces? The visem is a new variant I'd not seen before - subjunctive of vides? Most variants just use vis ("you want"), 2nd person singular of volo.

You can lose an hour or two of your life pursuing this via Google and Wikipedia... :D

Regards,

MikB

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TonyE

"Parabellum" comes - I hesitate to insult anybody's intelligence - from the Latin quotation "si visem pacem, parabellum." (If you seek {would see} peace, prepare for war" and the single word was adopted by DWM as their telegraphic address, viz:. "Parabellum Berlin." This stuck with their products, and today it is still in wide use as a synonym for the most widely used pistol cartridge in the world, the 9x19...

It was not the case that the name "stuck" or that it became a synonym because "Parabellum" was the correct title given by DWM to the commercial version of the pistol. See attached picture of the handbook.

Mik - The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations gives the same version as the one you quote, "Si vis pacem..." so I suspect it is the correct one.

At least those hours of hateful Latin grammar we endured were not all wasted!

Regards

Tonye

post-8515-0-90679800-1348414753_thumb.jp

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Stoppage Drill

At least those hours of hateful Latin grammar we endured were not all wasted!

Regards

Tonye

Obviously they were for me ! :blink:

Who said it anyway ? Catullus ?

Incidentally Tony, a propos an old discussion, the Small Arms Committee Minutes of 6 May 1938, Memo 85, set out the reasons for modifying the Enfield. DAO was what was wanted, and the hammer spur removal descended from that - nothing to do with Tankies getting tangled up.

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MikB

Mik - The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations gives the same version as the one you quote, "Si vis pacem..." so I suspect it is the correct one.

At least those hours of hateful Latin grammar we endured were not all wasted!

Regards

Tonye

Oh blimey, I wondered if I was gonna regret ever going down this track. Anyway, here goes some more of my life, along with what the Latin teachers stole from me... :D

Neither version is actually correct. The original Latin is : " Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum", from Epitoma Rei Militaris by (Publius Flavius) Vegetius (Renatus) in about 420 AD. This means literally: "Therefore who desires peace, would get ready for war". However, it does seem that the "si vis..." paraphrased version has gained far greater currency over time.

Since the bloke was writing amid the very last flickerings of a moribund Empire (as perhaps are we ?), you have to wonder whether his advice wasn't followed, or wasn't useful.

Regards,

MikB

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TonyE

Mik, Stoppage - ain't erudition wonderful!!

Cheers

Tony

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Lancashire Fusilier

My ' Parabellum '

LF

post-63666-0-25164100-1348424138_thumb.j

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Khaki

Hello LF,

Another handsome piece, very striking in the display case.

regards

khaki

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MikB

Hi LF,

A bit off-topic, but is that what's known as a 'Contract 42'? Should the trigger be 'light straw' in colour, or was that just the DWMs? I take it the fitted box is more recent - nice piece of work.

Regards,

MikB

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TonyE

I cannot agree. Forgive me for being blunt, but why would you put a German WW2 service pistol in a fake turn of the century British pistol case?

Regards

TonyE

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Stoppage Drill

but never knew until your post today, the origin of the word as it related to 9 mm ammunition.

Regards,

LF

And to 7.65 Parabellum too - what you would buy as "Thirty Luger" I fancy ?

However, we've strayed quite a long way from the question posed in the topic title.

If the guns had been cut up (as many other MvR crash artefacts were) then some of the bits would have turned up somewhere. Apart from one of the toggle locks (both of which, it is known, were removed at the crash site) and apart from one ring sight which was missing when the photographs were taken at Poulainville on 22 April, the guns disappeared overnight 22 April. One lock (gun #1795, not the #695 gun as I said in an earlier post) and the ring sight ended up in the Carisella collection.

Brown was still the favoured man, and the RAF were plugging his case very hard. Four MO's carried out the cursory post mortem, and whilst the two senior men gave no opinion on where the fatal bullet could have come from, the two junior RAMC men (attached to RAF) gave an opinion that the bullet "must" have been fired from an aircraft. A somewhat doctored opinion, if you'll pardon the pun, but my point is that at least one of the guns was probably grabbed as a trophy for Brown.

It's a dreadful pity that the bullet, recovered by the Medical Orderly McCarty, is also lost. It would definitely have shown whether it came from a Vickers or a Lewis, and as (I believe) aircraft Vickers had a different rifling pitch to the standard gun, to cope with the Buckinghams and AP rounds which were loaded in the belts. Are there grounds for a conspiracy theory here ?

Oh goody ! :ph34r: RAF secret agents get rid of the fatal bullet, because it would prove that Brown could not have fired it ?

I reckon that at least one of those guns will turn up one day in Ontario. :whistle:

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MikB

I cannot agree. Forgive me for being blunt, but why would you put a German WW2 service pistol in a fake turn of the century British pistol case?

Regards

TonyE

That's a bit harsh. There may be a confluence of different styles showing here, but if the box is out of keeping with that of the pistol's original owners, it certainly shows who's caring for it now. :D

Regards,

MikB

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Stoppage Drill

That's a bit harsh. There may be a confluence of different styles showing here, but if the box is out of keeping with that of the pistol's original owners, it certainly shows who's caring for it now. :D

Regards,

MikB

Nicely put, IIMSS

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Lancashire Fusilier

I cannot agree. Forgive me for being blunt, but why would you put a German WW2 service pistol in a fake turn of the century British pistol case?

Regards

TonyE

TonyE,

This case is definitely not for any British pistol, it is actually a replica of the Luger presentation case produced by Hans Tauscher in New York, who pre-WW1 was Deutsches Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) and Georg Luger's American Agent. Hans Tauscher produced his own Luger presentation cases, and this case is an exact copy of that case produced by Hans Tauscher, and it is perfect fit for my Luger. Although I have the original 42 leather holster for this P08, the storage case is a much better way of keeping it in mint condition.

For anyone interested, the case is produced by CMR International, here is the interesting link :-

http://cmrfirearms.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=206_207&products_id=73

Regards,

LF

post-63666-0-19602500-1348441083_thumb.j

post-63666-0-77719100-1348441096_thumb.j

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Lancashire Fusilier

That's a bit harsh. There may be a confluence of different styles showing here, but if the box is out of keeping with that of the pistol's original owners, it certainly shows who's caring for it now. :D

Regards,

MikB

MikB,

As I pointed out to TonyE, the case is actually a replica of the Luger presentation case produced by Hans Tauscher in New York, who pre-WW1 was Deutsches Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) and Georg Luger's American Agent. Hans Tauscher produced his own Luger presentation cases, and this case is an exact copy of that case produced by Hans Tauscher, and it is perfect fit for my Luger.

Regards,

LF

Hi LF,

A bit off-topic, but is that what's known as a 'Contract 42'? Should the trigger be 'light straw' in colour, or was that just the DWMs? I take it the fitted box is more recent - nice piece of work.

Regards,

MikB

MikB,

For this military model ' byf 42 ' made by Mauser Werke, Oberndorf am Neckar, all the parts are always blued, none are straw. This particular example is in mint, all original condition, with all parts having matching serial numbers, as you probably know the Germans numbered almost every part. This model is also known as ' The Black Widow ', in part due to it's distinctive black grips and black magazine finger grip.

The case question, I answered separately.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Hello LF,

Another handsome piece, very striking in the display case.

regards

khaki

Thanks khaki,

Pleased you liked it.

Regards,

LF

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Stoppage Drill

It is good.

There are several possibilities, of course, but for now I hold to the view that Popkins first burst missed. As MvR passed Popkin's position he had to climb to clear the ridge, and at this point was under Lewis fire from Buie and others. This may have persuaded MvR to break off the chase and allow May to live, but I am inclined to think that other evidence points to gun stoppages.He was at low level and deep behind enemy lines. Time to get away. He climbed and banked starboard, more or less flying in a semi circle around Popkin who was able to keep up his fire. Just as he completed 180 degrees he was hit by Popkin.

The DR1 was seen to stagger, MvR ripped off his goggles and threw them out of the cockpit (he had done the same when he was shot in the head some time earlier) and rapidly descended under some initial semblance of control. The nose of the plane only ploughed in after a short run on the ground, and MvR's face hit some structure, possibly the guns.

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Lancashire Fusilier

This may have persuaded MvR to break off the chase and allow May to live, but I am inclined to think that other evidence points to gun stoppages.

I think you are correct regarding the gun stoppages, I recently read an article which detailed that the rounds from MvR's machine guns were take away for inspection and some were found to be defective.

LF

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