Early post-WWI German 9mmP08 boxes


Recently a friend sent me the DWM box pictured below. The style and date are very interesting. The style is basically WWI German Army, but the 1921 date is very interesting. The cartridges found in the box are pictured, but it is very likely that only the headstamp with serifs is original to the box. The DWM B 480C B probably date from 1938 or later.

Below are photos of the boxes that contained the DWA headstamped ammunition dated 1920 and 1921 that was reportedly produced under Allied supervision, or at least with Allied approval for the German Army. Note that the cases were made by Spandau. The top box is interesting since DWA cases are only known dated 1. 21 (January 1921) but the loading of these cases continued through at least March of 1921.

Does anyone have other 9mm P08 box photos that are post WWI but no later than 1925? If so please post them.





The delivery of P08 pistols in 9x19 to the German Reichswehr and Police has been documented in several original publications, so it makes sense that ammunition was produced to go with these.

DWM made some 20,000 pistols for the German army and Police in 1920 and 1921, these are also 1920 and 1921 dated. This was done with permission of the IACC.

Later, to avoid Interallied Control Commission issues, DWM would deliver the pistols to the police in .30 Luger, and sold the 9mm barrels separately. The barrels would be replaced in the police arsenal in berlin, and the .30 luger barrels shipped back to DWM for use in the next batch. Here again, if the pistols were available, the ammunition had to be available as well.

Spandau lasted much longer than most assume. They were also converting LP08 pistols to short barreled P08 versions in 1918-1922.



Is it not correct that DWA was operating within the buildings of the Spandau arsenal when it produced this 9 m/m ammunition? It was my impression DWA was an attempt to de-governmentize Spandau, hoping, unsuccessfully, to placate the IMKK. Jack


That would have been Deutsche Werke / Ortgies.


Vlim: It was my understanding that the Deutsche Werke actually operated the former arsenal at Erfurt, which produced the Ortgies pistol and smallbore rifles, as well as the Spandau facility where the ammunition was produced. I think I have some sort of documentation which I’ll attempt to put my hands on. Jack


The pickings on material connecting the Deutsche Werke AG with the former German arsenal at Spandau are scattered and sometimes frustratingly vague, but I found one that seemed helpful in the present context. Under the web entry “Deutsche Werke Aktiengesellschaft Kiel Friedrichsort” is a thumbnail history of this particular fragment of the DWA system. The facility at Kiel Friedrichsort started out, as I perceive the German text, as a torpedo factory of (or for) the German navy. Contained here is the statement on the arsenal at Spandau which reads “Auch die ehemalige ‘Koeniglich-Preussische Gewehrfabrik Spandau’ gehoerte zu den Deutschen Werken.’” [Thus the former royal prussian rifle factory at Spandau belonged to the Deutsche Werke.] The text mentions the connection of various motor vehicle ventures of the 1920s to Spandau arsenal, including a motorcycle known as D-Rad. The text points out that the trademark of the cycle was the same “resting lion” figure representing the letter D that is seen on the grips of many Ortgies pistols made by the Deutsche Werke at Erfurt. In fact the first letter in Deutsche Werke in the text above is that same curious D. There seems to be no systematic history of the Deutsche Werke in all its phases in Germany in the first half of the 1920s, but some googling around in the web can bring up fragments like this one. Jack


[quote]gehoerte zu den Deutschen Werken[/quote]Would translated straight from the german be “belonged/was among the german factories/works”.
For german readers this is a fairly comprehensible story of DWK:
They also made railway vehicles, which after 1945 became their main product (still is btw)


Mausernut: Thanks for the citation. The problem from our own viewpoint is that this story is multifarious in the extreme and small arms ammunition seems to get left out of the story in the sources I’ve been able to turn up. I was unreasonably cheered to see that the D-Rad motorcycle carried the same trademark as the Ortgies pistol. Thanks again for your interest. Jack


Oh, that was actually me being pedantic, which I suffer from on and off… :-) Deutsche Werke made G7a torpedoes according to the article and of course was a big builder of U-boats. That they dabbled in ammunition is no surprise really, since german industry after 1932-33 went into a merger/acquisition frenzy, driven by the rearmament and the removal of unwanted industry leaders, mostly jewish, but also others not sympathizing with the new regime.


Soren: I didn’t notice any pedantry in your post, at least any exceeding my own. It’s very hard to care a great deal about really mundane topics while trying to retain a sense of proportion. Often I fall short in trying for a balance. Thanks for the additional information on the Deutsche Werke. Jack