Czech WWII 9mm Tracer for Germans


#1

I was just doing some research in a Czech book on Brno (Zabudnuta Municka Na Povazi by Karol Smatana) and ran across a drawing but was shocked when I checked the date. The drawing is a 6.42g (~99.5gr) tracer bullet and the drawing is dated March 1941!!! This ammo would have likely shown up in a brass (or perhaps steel) case with a dou headstamp. It should weigh about 165gr for the loaded round. that is just a bit less than the mE but the mE in '41 and '42 would have a black bullet and this one would likely not have had a black bullet. It is worth weighing all your '41 and '42 headstamped rounds without black bullets to see if any are around 165gr. Who knows, there could be a batch of these floating around and nobody has noticed!!! I’m sure going to weigh all my early dou cartridges.

Does anyone know of one of these cartridges???


#2

If it was an issue round, there would be a known label, wouldn’t there? I’ve never seen a reference to a German WWII 9mm tracer.


#3

Jon - I don’t think it necessarily follows that there would be a known label if this was an issue round. I small issue might have eluded us all these many years. I agree with your thought behind it though - with all the digging be done by our European friends, it is LIKELY that a label and specimens would have been found if it was more than experimental or a very small issue.

Regarding the first part of my answer here, I will recall a personal incident. A customer of mine, learning I liked cartridges and 9mm very much, told me he had a couple of boxes of German 9mm with primers “painted all yellow” and a case mouth painted a transparent yellow. We all have seen cartridges where right at the mouth of the cartridge, the case lacquer is thicker and takes on a yellowish, transluscent appearance, and many of the rounds had yellow-brass primer cups… I told him, basically, that no such German type existed, but I would like to see them. He brought them in. The first thing I noticed was the 16-round box labels were buff with gree print, not the normal two shades of blue. Then I read the label and saw that it said “fur Stahlhelmabhanme.” I opened a box and was staring at 16 primers lacquered yellow. the case mouth was yellow also.

Well, not exactly general issue ammunition, but still issued in a quantity, probably for German Helmet trials that actually had no real result for the Wermacht but did design the helmet that would be later adopted by the NVA in the DDR, that they had a printed label for it. Until that time, I had never heard of these rounds, and no one I knew then in the US or Europe had either. They are still the only two box labels I know of, and every round of this ammo in collections I have traced back to those I gave my trading buddies at that time.

Long story made short - there are probably WWII labels from many countries that even today, we have never seen.

In reality, though, I agree that this ammo was not likely ever issued in quantity. Just a gut feeling that someday may be proved wrong.


#4

We know that Germany messed about with Tracers from before WWI. I have copies of the Imperial Navy trials of the Luger with the Baltic Fleet. In there there were comments (in German of course) that sounded from the translation I was given that the Navy wanted various color tracers for the Naval Lugers and that some were planned or tried—been a long time since i dug that material out.

There are Polte drawings of a 9mmP tracer load. There were also 9mm Para tracer bullets recovered from the firing areas at DWM Lubeck so DWM apparently tired tracers or tested someone elses before 1945. I have one of these rounds and there are others in collections. There is a red tip tracer with a Geco headstamp that has turned up in Spain and was probably made for them by Germany. I saw the first one in the Woodin lab almost 40 years ago so there is no doubt they are legit. There is also a story of a German tracer provided Aircrew early in WWII for signaling if they were shot down, but I have seen no confirmation of this.

Bottom line is that there is no doubt that Germany made 9mmP tracers, probably in small quantities between the wars, and perhaps in moderate quantities (or at least production quantities) for Spain.

Now there is documentation that Brno designed a tracer in 1941, after roughly 2 years of occupation. Who was it for??? Were there only test quantities or were more than just a few produced?? I don’t know and perhaps nobody does. Mr Smatana’s book is no hlep to me. The writeup associated with this drawing mentions the date 27.3.1941 and then says storno vykresu 30.3.1943 which means I think that the drawing was cancelled in March 1943. The rest of the Czech material in the book just seems to be a description of what is on the drawing.

How many were made??? Who knows, but since German experimental or test ammunition in 9mmP was seldom marked, one or more of us may have one laying around.


#5

Well, you’re both right, odd and unknown items do turn up now and again. I have that book, but it is tough slogging through it. I hope some do turn up.


#6

Far away friends,

a bit about geography and history: CzechoSlovakia was home for two nations, the ever present Czech and the unjustly often forgotten Slovak.

Karol Smatana covers in his book the production history in Pova


#7

Thanks for the corrections/insights!!!


#8

Lew,
in return please correct me and give me insights too!