Last German 7.92X57 rds made in WW2


#1
  • On May 8th 1945 (VE day) the Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the German forces in Europe. What are the headstamp markings for the latest known to exist German made 7.92X57 rimless rounds manufactured just before May 8th 1945 ??? Which ammo plant(s) made these 7.92X57 rounds [the letter code ?], what are the lot numbers and in what month [between January -> May 1945] the ammo was manufactured ??? I assume those 7.92X57 rounds have steel cartridge cases. Thanks in advance for any help, Liviu 07/18/09

#2

Were there any left at that point? I would guess a lot of the ammo used at that time was what ever they could scrounge up.

Steve


#3
  • stevef: Do you want to say that in April -> May 1945, no older German made 7.92X57 ammo was left to be fired by Wehrmacht against the Allied troops and all they had to use was the newly manufactured 7.92X57 ammo ??? I cannot buy that. => I started this topic and asked my question knowing that there are many 7.92X57 serious collectors who have info about lot numbers, rare lots, etc. Liviu 07/19/09

#4

Based on the 9mmP headstamps and dates I have seen, I have no doubt that there were ammo plants that were operating right up to the end of the war, and I suspect that the inertia of the process kept them working after the war. There is evidence of this in WWI when there are German 9mmP ammunition dated through Nov and Dec 1918 in some factories and one factory loaded 9mmP dated Jan 1919.

Col Harold Burkett (and his driver) were the first Allied troops into the Walther plant in WWII. He visited the plant the day before it was liberated. He told me the story himself of liberating the weapons on display in the lobby (and later selling the lot to White and Munhall (the Lab) for practically nothing. Fifteen years ago one of the pistols sold for five times what he sold the entire group (three or four duffle bags of guns) for.

Anyway, he told me that after he and the driver put the bags of guns in the Jeep they returned to the plant and walked through the production floor and watched the workers assemble PPK pistols. Nobody ever challanged them or even acknowledged they were there. As they walked through the workers kept their heads down and continued working assembling pistols. The next day allied troops arrived and “liberated” the town and the Walther plant and the workers were still making PPK pistols.

I tell that story because there is no doubt that ammo plants survived the same way that the Walther factory survived. I also suspect that the day after the Allied troops arrived and the day after that the vast majority of the workers still came to work and continued assembling pistols. What else had they to do??

Note that the Czech factories (now Czech and Slovak) continued producing ammunition after their “liberation” by the Russians and the late lot numbers in ak and dou cases both show up with Czech labels.


#5

Would the workers still have been paid for assembling PPKs after the liberation? I suppose they must have been or they wouldn’t have come in and carried on doing it.


#6

Trying to determine when the WWII German 7.9mm ammo was loaded can give you a great big headache as usually (many exceptions!) only the 900 and 1500 round case labels were marked with the loading date. Not as many of these exist as compared to the 15 round box labels.

Here are some loading lots from the plants still operating in 1945. Also noted is the loading, date of loading and headstamp where known.

Bear in mind that these are only the ones I am aware of. There are probably (more than probably!) lots more.

Only the highest loading lot I know of is given unles a earlier lot has more infomation to go ith it.

1945 ak 9 SmE h/s ak


#7

Liviu,

No it was simply a question, see the question mark after the statement. I just know by that time in the war the Germans needed everything.

Steve


#8

Falcon, I have no idea whether the workers were paid or not. Maybe yes for a while but maybe not. Maybe they came because a noon meal was served.

I have seen photos of PPK pistols that were clearly assembled after the factory was “captured” perhaps after the war was over. These were brought home by GIs who bought them or traded them from somebody. There are even engraved presentation guns in this class so some level of productin/assembly went on.

After WWI a Government gun factory in Austria just continued on out of inertia and in fact designed and sold a little 25 Auto pocket pistol well into the 1920s. Apparently it just kind of evolved into a worker’s cooperative.

How economies evolve after this kind of defeat is interesting reading. People seem be be motivated by inertia and the demands of survival.


#9
  • @ Lew: Thanks for sharing with us that true story about Col. Harold Burkett [and his driver] visiting the Walther plant. => Since the Russians were after free high technology and good quality equipment, they had the habit of disassemling completely plants and factories after “liberating” them during WW2. Everything was loaded on trains which were going east to Russia. —> @ pbutler: Thanks for the list you posted. Do the German made 7.92X57 rimless rounds manufactured in 1945 [before May 8th] have a higher price compared with the 7.92X57 rounds made earlier during WW2 ??? Liviu 07/19/09

#10

Phil - some good information on your list, but I am a little confused. I assume that if you don’t show specifically a headstamp that the information, such as “1945 hlc 12 SmE” is information from a box label, and refers to the loading lot and not the case lot number?

With your great label collection, it is nice to have that information. I would note for people not in this field, but interested anyway, that the "cdo"code you show never appeared on a headstamp, but rather was a loading factory that loaded cases made elsewhere.

I think a note is necessary on “dnf” as well. You show dnf 1 Platpatrone 33, but you don’t show if that is a headstamp or simply a loading lot from a box label. In this code, there is some importance to mentioning the precise headstamp. “Dnf” (RWS A.-G.) was the only company I know of that used the same case-maker code on the products of two different factories. They assigned lot numbers 1 thru 49 to thier downtown N


#11

Phil - some good information on your list, but I am a little confused. I assume that if you don’t show specifically a headstamp that the information, such as “1945 hlc 12 SmE” is information from a box label, and refers to the loading lot and not the case lot number?

With your great label collection, it is nice to have that information. I would note for people not in this field, but interested anyway, that the "cdo"code you show never appeared on a headstamp, but rather was a loading factory that loaded cases made elsewhere.

I think a note is necessary on “dnf” as well. You show dnf 1 Platpatrone 33, but you don’t show if that is a headstamp or simply a loading lot from a box label. In this code, there is some importance to mentioning the precise headstamp. “Dnf” (RWS A.-G.) was the only company I know of that used the same case-maker code on the products of two different factories. They assigned lot numbers 1 thru 49 to thier downtown N


#12

John

I haven


#13

O.K. I had it basically correct. I agree - with Willem’s list, it is totally unnecessary to repeat the information here. I don’t have the website address because I printed out his entire list for my own library. Perhaps someone could post the link to it on this thread for those who might find it helpful.

Thanks for the information you posted Phil. It is the first time I have seen any production lot tied to a precise date, and in one case, even a loading line.


#14

Willem


#15

Phil, I’ve found these:

1945 am 5, SmE, 15 feb 45 (earlier than lot 8 mentioned in list, but with indication of date)
1945 dou 7, SmE, day? month? 1945

both labels on 900rd case.

greetz
Kurt


#16

Kurt
Do you have photos of those labels? I sure would like to get copies of them and any associated auxilary labels that might be with them for my book/catalog


#17

@Phil: email send


#18

Phil,

Show you this very rare label.
This must be one of the latests boxes made.
The rarity of this box is that even the powder was
made and loaded in 1945.

451kr.


#19

Phil - regarding that label typing a factory to a code, we had a very late Walther PP go thru our store. It had no markings on the left side of the slide, and the “ac” code for Walther on the right side. Of course, trying to hide the production location of such a famous pistol was silly to begin with, but on this pistol were wood factory grips - very late-war - checkered and with the Walther banner (“Walther” name in a banner) right on each grip.
Secret code on the gun, factory name on the grips - pretty silly.

I would make a guess that since the contents of the case was on empty cartridge cases, and therefore not going to the front lines where it might be captured, that they didn’t consider it so important. Even during most of the war, for example, pistol holsters for the military had a manufacturer’s code on them, but holsters for the police had the maker’s name and city on them. They didn’t figure Ordnung Politizei stuff would be captured. Like anyone embarking on aggressive war, they didn’t think they would ever have enemy troops within their own national borders and therefore able to observe these things. They were only concerned, it would seem, with materiel likely to be captured on the battlefield.

Just my take on it, from seeing a lot of German militaria and police stuff.


#20

451kr
Nice box!! Thanks for posting the picture. Krt just sent me a little bit ago some pictures of a couple 900 round case labels, One of which is the same am loading lot as your 15 round box (1945 am 5). Do you know what headstamps were/are in the box?