1914 Serbian small-arms ammunition

Whilst waiting for my car to be repaired I sheltered in the local public library as hanging around the garage was very chilly indeed. I picked up Max Hasting’s Catastrophe: Europe goes to War 1914 and found the following paragraph, it relates to a battlefield immediately after the repulse of Austro-Hungarian forces by the Serbs after their initial invasion of Serb territory.

"Cpl. Kisch dropped a prize cake of soap into the village pond, where it vanished for ever. “I looked wistfully after it,’ he wrote, ‘a last fragment of civilisation.’ He was irked by the growing belief that everyone in Europe save himself was making money out of the war. On a captured position, he studied a miscellany of ammunition used by the Serbs. Many bullets, he observed crossly, were of Austrian and German manufacture: Hirtenberger Patronen-, Zündhütchen- und Metallwarenfabrik vorm. Keller & Co., Manfred Weiß Budapest; he picked up Turkish cartridges made by Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik of Karlruhe; Russian ammunition overprinted Niemiezkaja fabrike orushchia I munizii. Berlin. 'Other boxes come from Paris or from Liege, or prudently bear no imprint.”

Plus ça change.


Setting aside the question of whether civilization has evolved, devolved, or perhaps remained static over the last century, it can be admitted the Balkans are better equipped to manufacture their own small arms ammunition now than in 1914. The Slavic firm name quoted is that of DWM, rendered into Serbian (I think). Jack