German Ammunition Plants/Munitionsanstalts (Heer & Luft)


#1

In two recent threads regarding German 9x19mm ammunition boxes, the markings were related to two service ammuntion plants:

Heeres Munitionsanstalt Jüterbog, about 40 miles south of Berlin
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13630

and

Luft Munitionsanstallt Höfer, approximately 20 KM north-east of Celle or 50 KM north-east of Hannover .
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13508

I began wondering what other ammunition plants existed so I began looking through my German boxes and box photos. I found three boxes with “Ammunition Plant/Munitionsanstalt” markings.

Two boxes are marked “H. Ma. Jg.” which perhaps is Jüterbog, but perhaps there was a Munitionsanstalt at Jngolftadt or somewhere else using this “Jg”. I think Jngolftadt is unlikely. The 1938 dates seem pretty late for Jngolftadt and on their 1910 ball cartridges, the box used only “J” and not “Jg” to identify the arsenal.

The other box identified another Luft Munitionsanstalt.

Any information on either of these two Munitionsanstalt would be welcome.

Are there other Munitionsanstalt identified on German boxes or otherwise identified in documentation?

I assume that the Munitionsanstalt markings occur on other calibers of ammunition. True or False???

There must have also been one or more Munitionsanstalt supporting the Navy. Is there a record of these plants?

Appreciate your assistance…

An interesting area (at least to me) that I have not heard discussed before.

Cheers,
Lew


#2

Lew, what do you think about Ingolstadt. -:)

There were no Munitionsanstallten of the navy

I know of tree Arsenals.

Marine Artilleriearsenal Aurich.Tannenhausen
Marine Artilleriearsenal Segeberg
Marine Sperwaffenarsenal Trappenberg

Rgds
Dutch


#3

Dutch! I tried it with a “J” in place of the “I” and an “f” (kind of) in place of the “s” just so you would understand what I was talking about!!!

Thanks for the smile and happy Thanksgiving!

Kathleen has just finished the preparations for tomorrow and I’m heading up to join her for a glass of wine!

Cheers my friend!

Lew


#4

The List of Munitionsanstalten/Zeugämter runs to ten pages (more than 400 entries) in the book:

Johannes Preuss: Zahlencodesystem des Heeres von 1925 bis 1940. Schwäbisch Hall 2002.
ISBN 3-935210-19-1


#5

Many thanks for the reference. I have the book. Pages 32-42 answer most of my questions above.

I’m still interested in learning what other Munitionsanstalt show up on 9x19mm boxes and if they show up on box labels for other German small arms ammunition.

Dr Preuss’ book is focused on 1925-1940. Is there information on when these small arms related Munitionsanstalts were establisblished? Were some of them in existance during and prior to WWI?

Cheers,

lew


#6

These establishments were called “Artilleriedepot” before the name Munitionsanstalt was introduced.

The Versailles Treaty allowed only 7 of them: Königsberg, Stettin, Jüterbog, Zeithain, Kassel (or Cassel), Hannover and Ingolstadt.
Let me point out that these were designed to handle all kinds of ammunition. Small arms ammunition was just a tiny part of the work done there.

Originally the following Artilleriedepots had the machines and equipment to manufacture Patronen 88:
a) Berlin, Posen, Breslau, Königsberg, Danzig, Stettin, Hannover, Erfurt, Köln (Cöln), Koblenz (Coblenz), Mainz, Metz, Strassburg
b) Magdeburg, Küstrin (Cüstrin), Wesel and Ulm
This was intended to be done in case of mobilization only. The plan was that the depots a) should produce 2 million cartridges every 2 to three years to keep the know-how. The depots b) were to manufacture 25000 cartridges each year. So far the plans according to field manual DVE 260 of 1901. I do not have the slightest idea if this was ever done in reality.
Definitely, after WW1 the Artilleriedepots no longer had the machines to manufacture small arms cartridges.
Let me reiterate that there were no Munitionsanstalten exclusively for small arms ammunition. They handled all ammunition types.


#7

I have seen a number of boxes of 7.9 m/m ammunition for the 1888 series of rifles and carbines loaded in the early years of the 20th century that were labeled as having been produced by various artillery depots, but in each case the components were produced elsewhere and the depot’s role seemed to be that of loading and packing ammunition.


#8

J Peelen, Great insights! Many thanks. I’m pretty familiar with the way the US military use to handle these functions by individual service, and was involved on the edge of some of the VERY UNFRIENDLY discussions that went on when the US Army was designated the Single Manager for Conventional Munitions, and was given reciept, storage, inventory and distributions for all DOD munitions for all the services. Botht he AF and Navy made huge arguements that “We are different” and “You don’t understand how we need to operate”. Bottom line as I remember was that the Army eventually took over all the inventory, except that part that was airmobile for rapid deployment. My people at Kelly AFB (SA-ALC) use to handle the airmobile part of that USAF Air-to-Air weapons inventory, and my opposite number at Hill AFB (OO-ALC) had people who managed the airmobile USAF Air-to-Ground inventory. Non-conventional weapons were always handled by service and in a different process. In the US, as far as I know, the US equilivant of theor Artilleriedepots have not had the capability since at least 1900.

I understand that Munitionsanstalts/Artilleriedepots handled a lot more than small arms ammunition. Given the number of these activities and the few that apparently show up on ammo boxes, I wonder if only a few in each service handled a particular caliber. For example, perhaps the Army had only two or three that handled 9mm P08, or perhaps Jüterbog was the only one. Or perhaps a number of them acted as reciept, storage and distribution depots, but only Jüterbog received Army P08 for repacking. Perhaps the 7.92 ammo was treated the same way by the services. Until you understand the Logistics of a service, you can’t truly understand how the service works.

Jack, Interesting!!! Can you post one of the M88 labels showing production by the various artillery depots? Perhaps others have similar labels. Any info appreciated.

Cheers,

Lew


#9

Lew here is one of Stettin.

The artillery depots were also responsible for so called battlefield ammunition.

This ammo was inspected and returned.

Some were in battlefield aria.

Rgds,
Dutch


#10

Dutch & JPeelen, You have me looking hard at my boxes. I have had questions on some of these boxes for years, and finally, you and the rest of the IAA Forum seem to have some answers.

The first deals with two boxes, One Spandau 1918 and another by MW in 1917. Both have markings as indicated below that seem to me to imply that they were in storage, perhaps reinspected by the German Navy’s Marineartilleriearsenal Wilhelmshaven in the 1930s. Am I reading these boxes correctly. If so might this imply that during WWI the German Navy was actually receiving P08 ammunition from the Army? Note I said “might” because there are obviously other explainations.

There is a WWI label that has made me wonder. The headstamp on the case and bullet shown as “H”, the primer as “UN”, but the loader in 1917 is shown as “Pi” I believe. Am I misreading this label? What is the meaning of “Pi”. Could this be the WWI equilivant of a Munitionsanstalt that was loading P08 like the ones Dutch posted who were loading 7,92?

The other two boxes appear, to me, to be probably be Munitionsanstalt repacks. The first has the typical label for repacks over a kam 1944 label indicating the repacking was going on late in the war. The cartridges in the box are headstamped "asb St 20 41 and have a normal lead core bullet, not mE, so may have gotten switched into this box at some point-perhaps reused again without re-labeling.

The next was filled with with mostly P 8 24 & 9 24 rounds but also with DWA 11 20 & 1 21, S 10 18 & 11 18 and a P28 * 2 35. The inside of the top flap is stamped with the box makers logo and “1936”. I can’t make out the stamp on the top of the label, but think it is “Lfg Versch”. It is obviously a 7.65mm Browning label restamped “08” and used on a P08 box. this box is not in my collection but I wish it was. I took the photo many years ago and have forgotten who had it. Edit: I just found a different photo of this style box. This one was from Alessio Grimaldi in the 1970s and his note says that it was filled with WWI German rounds, mostly RM S. His is a much clearer photo st the markings are easily read.

I have some more questions but they do not necessarly deal Munitionsanstalts and I will post them seperately.

Many thanks to all who provided their thougths!

Cheers,

Lew


#11

Regarding the box label that is probably from Rheinisch Metallwaarenfabrik Düsseldorf, with “H” headstamped cases, there are very similar boxes for 9 x 17 mm Kurz (.380 Auto), and 9 x 20 SR mm. (9 mm Browning Long).
The 9 mm Kurz box shows the manufacturer of the ammunition as “Pi” just as on the 9 x 19 mm Para box, and shows all components other than the primer by “H” which represents the Düsseldorf factory. The primers were by “U.N.” Utendorffer, Nurnberg. The 9 mm Browning Long box shows the same manufacture, “Pi.” and the same primer maker, “U.N.”, but unlike the others, shows the case maker and bullet maker as “Pi” although the cases are headstamped “H.”

There is a related box of repacked “H” headstamp 9 mm Browning Long, that simply says “16 Pistolenpartronen 9 mm Browning Lang, Fetigungsjahr 1918, Lieferung unbekannt.”

All of these boxes mentioned above are 16 round and about the same size and shape as the 9 mm Para box.

I guess to make a long story short, the anomoly here is the Browning Long box, in showing the case and bullet maker as “Pi” when the other boxes show them as “H.”


#12

Found another one that I’d like help on if possible. The basic label is another used for “floor sweepings” that are being repacked. What is new to me are the numbers in the lower left corner of the label, “934-200 000”. Does anyone have an idea what they mean???

Thanks,
Lew


#13

I see that on a 1926 German document marked "Geheime Kommandosache “Z”, the code “Pi” is ascribed to Hirtenberger Patronenfabrik, of Austria. I know that “Geheime” is “Secret,” but who or what is “Kommandosache Z?” Does the use of Pi on the labels of the boxes from RM Düsseldorf signify that Hirtenberger had something to do with these rounds? Was the “Pi” code used for the same identification as early as late-WWI?


#14

I assume you refer to Heereswaffenamt letter Nr. 579/26 of 18. 11. 1926 (November 18th, 1926)

The codes came from trying to hide the fact that illegal (under the Versailles treaty, which had become law in Germany) production took place. The letter P was used because Polte was the only authorized small arms ammunition manufacturer. The intention was to be able to explain away the codes as Polte subcodes [this is the usual interpretation; no official source known]. So a use before 1919 is out of the question in my view.

The approach was basically to use the second letter of the real name in the code:
Pi - Hirtenberger (production by Hirtenberger in Austria being itself illegal due to Trianon Treaty, of course)
Pu - Burgsmüller, Kreiensen in the Harz mountains. (A small but well known hunting outfitter.)
Pö - Metallwarenfabrik Treuenbrietzen (The ö coming from the original name Böhme, it seems. Owners were the Kopp brothers of Berlin.) The document, which has a number of typing errors, says Po, but real cases show Pö as you will know better than I do.
Ps - Bofors, Sweden (Svenska Metallverken, Västeras) [I never saw this headstamp)] Regarding the -presumably- one time delivery from Sweden it is remarked that a small part of the cases had a “SM 2.5.M” headstamp. (According to a related document these were S-Patronen made from 04 Feb to 31 Jul 1926 and stored at Neuhammer training area.)

These early P-codes were later replaced by the well known number system; Pö became P 25 etc.

“Geheime Kommandosache” (secret command matter) was a military classification higher than plain Geheim (secret). Later, a sort of equivalent to top secret was introdued: Geheime Reichssache (secret matter of the Reich).

The additional “Z” is in my view a hint that this document contained illegal rearmament matters and had to be kept especially secret, even within Heereswaffenamt. An early form of compartmeted classification. I conclude this from the context of documents I have seen at Freiburg and have no hard evidence to prove it.


#15

The bottom left marking 934 - 200000 is typical of those used by German printers to internally identify the printing contract. I am quite certain 200000 is the number of labels printed for this order (Auflage).


#16

JPeelen - Thank you. Yes, you and I are speaking of the same letter. The primary question remains, though, whether or not the “Pi” found on the Rheinisch Metallwaaren Düsseldorf labels shown by Lew with others described by me is, in truth, something used as early as 1918 (which would not square with its use due to the requirements of the Treaty of Versaille, which did not come until later), represents the Hirtenberger factory, or if in truth, the ammunition boxes in question actually date from later and are all repacks of earlier ammunition, which in the case of three different calibers, and with the existence of a box label that clearly indicates repacking, just doesn’t seem likely to me. Of course, clearly I am not expert in these labels by any means, and so what “seems likely to me” or not is no definitive answer by any stretch of the imagination.

Any opinions on this use of “Pi?”


#17

Lew, I am not sure but the Heeres Munitionsanstalt Thorn used numbers on the labels.

Think the image of the showed 7,9 label looks the same.

Perhaps the first is the label number. The second the amount of labels printed.
Sounds good by the 50 000 on the 7,9 label.
Did they print 200 000 para labels?

Rgds
Dutch


#18

Hi JPeelen,

For you.

Rgds


#19

Dutch,
many thanks for the picture. Its the first time I see an actual sample of this headstamp.


#20

Can anyone among our German friends correctly identify the use of “Pi” on the Rheinische Metallwaarenfabrik Düsseldorf box labels, especially its use to identify the maker of bullets and cases of 9 mm Browning Long caliber. It is an important point Lew brought up. Neither he nor I believe it can be Hirtenberg for reasons we need not yet go into here. However, if anyone has documentation that it IS Hirtenberg, or anyone else, we would surely like to have it published here. Thank you.