Ss marked ammunition - where used?



7.9s from a trash pit at Buchenwald concentration camp. Some of these were live ammo when they were in a fire and exploded.


Interesting picture. It appears that most, if not all, are headstamped "DWM 1938 SS (the most common of the three reported headstamps). Depsite the absence of the letters “TV” the fact that these are found at a KZL would reinforce the believe that those marked “TV” were for the “Totenkopf Verbaende” and that it is the meaning of the letters “TV.”


Here are the 3 known head stamps.

Kind regards


I do not like the screaming description under the pictures like 7.9 from a trash pit at Buchenwald concentration camp. This is a national Monument, and nobody is digging there for some artefacts. Perhaps the person is trying to get a better price for a ordinary case by this story.

I hope some collectors are not disappointed, but these cases/cartridges with the so called SS runes are civilian made rounds.
In 1938, the SS had nothing to do with the normal German armed forces. They buy there guns and ammo on the free marked. Because it was a private order, they designed, and get there own head stamp.


I am amiss on the ending of your story. Were you saying that after SS took over the amminition plants in Sudetenland, they manufactured blanks? Did not they need bullets to shoot in Danzig and Poland?


No contention about the SS not being part of the German military until Nov. 1938 when the Totenkopf Division was official and put under Wehrmacht command. The interest in this ammunition is that it was made for the SS and so marked not because they were part of the military or not. The question as before and now is why the contracts were let and what the TV means on some. No document has even been seen to support any opinion in the matter. These items reported as coming from the Buchenwald site are made by the person in Germany who claims to have recovered them.HOW RECOVERED AND WHEN NOT DESCRIBED. However they were described as having come from a trash pit filled after the Aug. 1944 bombing of the Gustloff Werke. The exploded ones might imply some truth to that. I had not previously seen an exploded one. THESE WERE NOT OFFERED FOR SALE. The theory about the TV 39 blanks is interesting as well as the Czech arsenal connection. It is my understanding that only the Gustloff Werk at Buchenwald was owned and operated by the SS. What evenidence is there that others were ? The captured Czech military weapons were given to the SS certainly and there is much photographic evidence. Many of these SS marked cases show the distinctive firing pin strike of the Czech machine gun What evidence is there that the SS was given and operated the Czech arsenals?


PLEASE NOTE WELL: These cartridges came from a trash pit which at the time of WW2 and after was on the grounds of the Buchenwald camp proper. The current Buchenwald museum and state proerty do NOT include all of the original gounds.


I am amiss on the ending of your story. Were you saying that after SS took over the amminition plants in Sudatenland, they manufactured blanks? Did not they need bullets to shoot in Danzig and Poland?[/quote]

After the occupation of Czechoslovakia, a lot of equipment was captured.
The ammo plants


Some of the 7.9 x 57 Mauser ammunition that used the German-style headstamp but with Czech pre-war factory designators “SB” and “Z” were made for foreign commercial orders. Sweden used a quantity of this ammunition, and the headstamps, although improperly drawn, appear on a Swedish Military Wall Chart for all types of 8mm Ammunition which I have. Further, Swedish box labels are known for both factories. The wartime-dated rounds with Czech-Style headstamps may be a different story. There were certainly Armed Czech police during the war, although a lot of the ammunition in question was armor piercing, with white primer seal, and one would wonder if that would be issued to the police? [/i]


The German idea of police was certainly much differant from ours. I would suppose that would include occupation police as well. I have copies of the pre and war time police hand books which include antitank weapons , light artillery as well as small arms and machineguns.


How’s that different? Sounds like our own beloved BATF&E.







Last year, there were posted (from the Ukraine or Russia proper) many photographs of shell cases retrieved from battle sites where there was documented presences of Waffen SS units in 1941-43 (Northern Sector). The majority of shell cases and complete rounds found bore DWM 1938, SS-TV and other “non Wehrmacht” headstamps, including “export” "Z’ and other markings typical of the 1930s 7,9 made in Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Poland.

It is known from other documentation that the SS and similar organisations had to utilise NON-Wehrmacht Supply chains to acquire weapons and ammunition right into the Russian Campaign. That is why they had Gew98M rifles well after the werhmacht was fully equipped with Kar98k, and the SS used a higher proportion of Non-German made ammunition (captured or conquered). Only with the worsening supply situation after 1942, that the entire German war effort made common cause (under the newly appointed Albert Speer), and the large Waffen SS units got general access to Wehrmacht chain of ammo supplies.

As to the “Buchenwald trash pit”…unsavoury wishful thinking or maybe even true. What does it really matter…it’s all part of the history of a tragic period.

On the battlefield, it does confirm the presence of units in a particular corner of the fighting, and maybe even the intensity of it, from the quantity found.

Just look at the recently published photos of Verdun national memorial in france…there are still piles of 7,9 and 8mm Lebel on the field, in clips, belts, and strips, just slowly corroding away, a testament to the heavy loss of life there in 1916-17.

And as to who were what, the “SS” were Hitler’s personal Security Guards ( SchutzStaffeln), the SD (Sicherheits Deinst) was the Security Service, the GESTAPO ( Geheime StaatsPolizei) were the Secret State Police(ie, the Political police) and the KRIPO (KriminalPolizei) were the Criminal Police.

All were under the command of one man, Heinrich Himmler.

At a lower level were the true “police” forces, or LandesPolizei, of the various German states, which handled the day to day normal policing activities, and add to this the ZollDienst (Customs service), the BahnPolizei ( Railway Police) the GrenzeSchutze (Border Police) and several other specialised Police units. The ONLY Police forces not under direct or indirect Himmler control was the Feld-Polizei ( the true “Military Police”) which were always part and parcel of the Wehrmacht.

A person used to the AngloSaxon nature of the “Police” as a non-military organisation, basically a public service, have difficulty with the Napoleonic concept of “policing” or “Gendarmerie” ( literally “Armed persons”") run of Military lines, as common in most European countries…in fact the term derives from the French, and the style of paramilitary “police” forces all date from the 1810-1816 period. EG, The French Gendarmerie dates from Napoleon, the Italian Carabinieri were formed in 1814, the various German forces were formed in 1814-1816, the Belgian force was formed in 1830.

Anyway, this has got a bit off topic, we were looking at “SS-TV” marked cartridge cases. History has a way of interfering with the simpler things in cartridge collecting, doesn’t it???

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics Forensic Services.
Brisbane Australia


Where were these ammo photos posted ? There has been contention for decades about the meaning of the TV in the SS-TV 1939 DWM headstamp. Totenkopf makes the most immediate sense . years ago the Germans had other ideas but are now coming around. This lot from Buchenwald is the first direct link which I have seen between the TV and this kind of ammo. I have since this first post obtained some of these and they are damaged in a manner consistent with having been burned and/or bombed. The identification of this lot being found has nothing to do with marketing at this point. Buchenwald was the core of 170+ subcamps ( factories) which used slave labor from the main camp. The Gustloffwerke weapons plant was hard up against the camp and was bombed in August 1944. This lot of shells came from a trash pit filled with the bombing litter. It is not on the current site of the Buchenwald memorial which is far smaller than the orignal location size. The original camp with factory and SS barracks covered hundreds of acres. The current Memorial does not. Some say that the SS units were part of the Wehrmacht supply system after the units were put under Wehrmacht command in Nov 1939. I am still looking for information about the supply and procurement for SS units.


Have any of these been found in Finland or Norway ?


SS-TV are often met and found in northern Poland, even now, on the most popular Polish online-marketplace allegro (Polish ebay is one big misunderstading and not very popular) are offered one shell (1939) and one round (1938). The price says how it’s popular here: the shell - c.a. 2 euro, the cartridge - c.a. 4 euro.




SS marked dummy from the estate of a former SS honor guard man. According to sources none of the SS men who were the honor guards had live ammunition but rather their white ammo pouches were filled with these chrome dummies. Only 1 officer was allowed to have live ammo.

SS marked clip from collection of Dr. Regenstreif

SS Honor guard at Hitler’s mountain retreat.


[quote=“CSAEOD”]SS marked dummy from the estate of a former SS honor guard man. According to sources none of the SS men who were the honor guards had live ammunition but rather their white ammo pouches were filled with these chrome dummies. Only 1 officer was allowed to have live ammo.

I don