Box original sealed german WW2 by dou 1941 mE Bullet

Box of 9x19 with the special marking of (t) behind the mE, indicating czech manufacture
The ammunition lot is dou lot 131 from 41
The case lot is 19 from 41 Bullet Lot dou 8. L 41 (t)
The powderlot is rdf 1940 Lot 6
Primer: Zh 08 dou 70 Lot 41



Nice Peter! You seldom see labels with the tear-off labels perforated like a postage stamp. Also unusual is the “stamped on” date and lot information.



PS: Here is a similar one, slightly earlier


Why was it necessary to identify the manufacture as Czech? What did it matter to to the soldier or the ones issuing the ammunition?

I understand this practice was more widespread than with just ammunition. Just a German habit of fine detail and precision in everything?

This question applies to all markings then. There was absolutely no benefit to the soldier and in my eyes only had value to the enemy who was exploiting the info.

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The purpose of the detailed labels (by the way taken over from French practice) is not at all addressed at the soldier firing the ammunition.
If some ammunition lot shows problems, the purpose is to isolate the probable cause by the ammunition specialists (Wa Prüf 1). For example, if reported defective lots all have primers from the same maker and lot, the primer could be the culprit. Time to recall all other ammunition lots using the suspect primer lot.
That is the peacetime idea behind the detailed labels. Whether it worked under chaotic wartime conditions is another matter.

EOD is of course correct that the combination of the supposedly super-secret Fertigungskennzeichen dou with the open letter (t) immediately compromises dou as a factory in Czechoslovakia.

Looking at the label, the (t) postfix seems to come from the bullet. Could it be they used Czechoslovak prewar curponickel (or cupronickel clad steel, I am not an expert here) jackets under the black color? Instead of German type GMCS jackets? That could in my view explain the (t), because a prewar Czechoslovak iron core design did not exist, as far as I know.

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Jochem, the data exploitation can be spun much further.
As it is also telling primer designations, propellant designations manufacturing dates etc.
All this can be connected to a larger image and cross referenced liek in a mosaic. And the more data the larger the image.
And identifying one manufacturer can already have serious consequences dragging others into the abbyss (by sabotage, bombing etc.). And as we know it all happened and probably is and will in future.

You are right about identification of different lots of components in one cartridge lot in case of problems. This is the purpose of keeping records I think.
But having the data on cartridge boxes is also useless in peacetime as the central organization Wa Prüf back then or any other organiozation today can go by the records of the cartridge lot number which they have and which contains all info (including components) - deep inside their bunkers and not blowing the info into trenches around the half world.
As we see today it all works with just one simple lot number…

Late in the war, the Germans did some odd things regarding markings. While it is a gun and not a cartridge, it relates to what has been said. In our store pistol collection, when I worked at the SF Gun Exchange, we had a Walther PP Pistol from late in the war. I did not have the usual factory markings on the left side of the slide, which was totally blank. On the right side was the “ac” code for Walther. The fact that this pistol, which was well know throughout the world as a product of Waffenfabrik Walther, and not, at that time, made by any other company, immediately compromised the “ac” code to anyone even close to expert in firearms, at the time. The truly ridiculous part was that the pistol has crudely hand-checkered wood grips on it, where they had taken care to include the Walther Banner Trademark, including the word “Walther” on those grips. So, why bother eliminating the company markings in favor of a “secret code.” Ridiculous to the point of being funny.

John Moss

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Jochem, I think you are correct regarding the bullet being the reason the (t) is added to the top line on this box. My opinion is that these source letters were added to the label when one or more of the components was not produced to German Army specifications. This is only an opinion since I have not done a detail look at the boxes in my collection and records.

Given the period, the German box labels make sense to me. Remember, this was a period when there were no computers and record keeping was much more difficult. Relying on a set of records stored somewhere would have been cumbersome and risk a single accident or bomb destroying important information. The fact is that a single production lot sometimes used a variety of components so the production lot would not provide the detail information on the actual load. Finally, in the event a problem was encountered in the field, sending the box label back to the organization that would take corrective action is probably the most accurate reporting, particularly in wartime. It also eliminate the step of looking up the correct records before action can be taken.

It is interesting that the Germans adopted this approach from the French. This makes it difficult to attribute it to a “German habit”.

Finally, from my experience, military bureaucrats love data! Having spent a career as one of these bureaucrats, I can sympathize with being charged with solving a problem when little or no relevant data is available.

Just the ramblings of an old bureaucrat!



EOD, going by the lot number doesn’t work anymore if you mix components. It was not unusual info wartime Germany that within a cartridge lot different component lots or even different suppliers of components are detailed on the label.

Hans, yes, but that would just require a suffix of like 2 more digits to the lot number and all would be identifieable.