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Unread 06-02-2016, 10:26 PM   #1
DonVoigt
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Arrow No Fine tune sights and Unit Marked 1917 L P08 "Artillery"

New to me is this non-fine tune sight variety of the L P08, also with markings to the 254th Reserve Infantry Regiment.

There are four combinations of sight configuration found in the Artillery lugers, all four can be found in/on 1917 dated pistols.

Of the 1917 Artillery Lugers reported in Still's Central Powers Pistols,
the sight combinations are lettered for identity and % of each is shown:

A-Both fine tune: 46%
B-Fine tune rear, fixed front: 38%
C-Neither fine tune: 10%
D-Non fine tune rear, fine tune front: 6%

In 1918, most pistols are found with both non fine tune sights-C type, with some 17% reported with fine tune rear and fixed front sight B type.

I would like to find a 1917 in configuration D and a 1918 in B!
If you have or spot one please let me know.

The 254th Reserve Infantry Regiment was part of the 76th Reserve Division, which was raised in the area of Hesse. The "Hessians" of the US revolution were from this same area.

In 1917 each company of an infantry regiment was supposed to be issued 10 Artillery lugers to form a Storm-troop detachment.
It is thought most of the 1917 production of L P 08 pistols were needed to arm these troops.

This pistol is marked to the 4th company and is weapon #1.

The 76th Division fought on the Eastern Front until early 1918, when it was transferred to the Western Front. The regiment was involved in fighting in Verdun, the Argonne, and "by the end the division was completely used up".

According to the reference book on German Divisions in WWI,
the 2nd Batallion of the 254th Regiment was down to 3 officiers and 75 riflemen on Oct. 28, 1918. I've tried to find the total of men that would have comprised the Batallion, which had 3 or 4 companies, but it would have been a minimum of 400 to 600 men in my estimation. If anyone knows, please add any information. Note from Keoki: " the 1914 TO&E indicates that each Infantry Battalion had twenty-six officers and 1053 enlisted men."

This pistol is in fine condition, matching except replacement beech grips and mis-matched beech base magazine.

Also shown is a card I found from the 254th, being both German language and script challenged, I can't read it!
But I believe it is a commorative post card with Regimental insignia and battles enumerated.

Any help on the translation appreciated!
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03man(Don Voigt); Luger student and collector.
Looking for DWM side plate: 69 ; Dreyse 1907 pistol K.S. Gendarmerie

Last edited by DonVoigt; 06-03-2016 at 01:23 PM.
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Unread 06-02-2016, 10:54 PM   #2
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Hi Don,
Good looking gun and that unit mark is a nice bonus. What makes you think the grips are replacements?
Best regards, Norm
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Unread 06-02-2016, 11:13 PM   #3
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Thanks Norm.
The grips are not numbered with the last two digits of the serial number; the left has a "1" and the right a "3".

They could be original, but I called them replacements since they are not matching.
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Unread 06-03-2016, 07:35 AM   #4
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Hi Don,
Those grips look original to me. DWM was much less anal than Erfurt about grip numbering and late war grips were usually unnumbered, besides which their condition looks consistent with the rest of the gun. You have to ask yourself, why would a high condition gun need to have it's gips replaced?
Best regards, Norm
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Unread 06-03-2016, 08:45 AM   #5
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Norm,
you are corrrect, and I hope/think/wish them to be "original"; your observations are spot on and I thank you for them.

However if I were buying and I was/did- I considered them to be mis-matched at least, replacements maybe; and negotiated a better price on that basis.

All my other 1917 Artilleries and my 1918 have 2 digit (numbered to the pistol grips).
If I were selling this one, I could not in good conscience call them original- only that the "could be".

But you can be sure I'll print out your post and evaluation and put it in the file for this pistol!
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Looking for DWM side plate: 69 ; Dreyse 1907 pistol K.S. Gendarmerie
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Unread 06-03-2016, 08:54 AM   #6
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Nice one Don. What's the serial number?
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Unread 06-03-2016, 09:22 AM   #7
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Don, well, it looks nice to me. Thanks for the info on the sight configurations. I didn't know that.

I need to get one of those artillery jobs some day.
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Last edited by Eugen; 06-03-2016 at 09:36 AM. Reason: additonal thought
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Unread 06-03-2016, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonVoigt View Post
This pistol is in fine condition, matching except replacement beech grips and mis-matched beech base magazine.
I've read here that some original artillery Lugers can be found with mismatched rear sights. (Numbers that don't match). Can you add anything to this? Do all your rear sight numbers match the serial last-two?
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Unread 06-03-2016, 10:35 AM   #9
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I've tried to find the total of men that would have comprised the Batallion, which had 3 or 4 companies, but it would have been a minimum of 400 to 600 men in my estimation. If anyone knows, please add any information.[/QUOTE]

Don the 1914 TO&E indicates that each Infantry Battalion had twenty-six officers and 1053 enlisted man.

Although it was part of a Hessian Division, the 254th Reserve Regiment was from Wuerttemberg. The Wuerttemberg Army's motto, "Furchtlos und Treu"(Fearless and Loyal) appears at the bottom of the card.
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Unread 06-03-2016, 01:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by george anderson View Post
nice one don. What's the serial number?
7271 l
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Looking for DWM side plate: 69 ; Dreyse 1907 pistol K.S. Gendarmerie
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Unread 06-03-2016, 01:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepherder View Post
I've read here that some original artillery Lugers can be found with mismatched rear sights. (Numbers that don't match). Can you add anything to this? Do all your rear sight numbers match the serial last-two?
Rear sights have a couple assembly numbers and pistol numbers(last 2 digits) in at least 3 places.

IIRC, the ones you can see must/should match the pistol serial to be matching.

Of course sight parts are pretty fragile, I expect many were lost or replaced along the way, so yes there are lugers with mismatched rear sights. But they didn't start out that way at DWM.
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Looking for DWM side plate: 69 ; Dreyse 1907 pistol K.S. Gendarmerie
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Unread 06-03-2016, 01:21 PM   #12
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George, thanks much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
I've tried to find the total of men that would have comprised the Batallion, which had 3 or 4 companies, but it would have been a minimum of 400 to 600 men in my estimation. If anyone knows, please add any information.
Don the 1914 TO&E indicates that each Infantry Battalion had twenty-six officers and 1053 enlisted man.

Although it was part of a Hessian Division, the 254th Reserve Regiment was from Wuerttemberg. The Wuerttemberg Army's motto, "Furchtlos und Treu"(Fearless and Loyal) appears at the bottom of the card.[/QUOTE]
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Unread 06-03-2016, 02:14 PM   #13
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Don, as to the rest of the card...across the top are the first two lines of the traditional German military burial/death hymn "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden, einen bessern findst du nicht" (I had a comarde, a better one can't be found).

On either side of the center piece, "Zum Gedaechtnis - treuer Kameraden" (In memory of loyal comrades). The tablets left and right appear to list names and dates of death of indivdual soldiers. I'm not able to read clearly due to the size.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyBiQaVyLMM
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Unread 06-03-2016, 03:28 PM   #14
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Thanks George,
the image I found was quite small, I appreciate the additional info and your trying to read it!

I put a magnifying glass up to the screen and it helps a bit; I believe it is locations of the Regiment from 1914 to 1918, one I can read on the right side is "south of Soissions" which would put them in France as expected at the time. Have a try!

The locations up to 1918 would be in the East, in Germany , what is now Poland or other Eastern front locations. I think I see one reference to Bulgaria, but I'm pretty sure they are not soldiers names.
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