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Unread 02-25-2021, 10:06 PM   #1
spripple33
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Default Flea market find: U-boat ammo box!

Look what turned up in a flea market in Ostend, Belgium!

I AM SO EXCITED! I never thought I would ever be lucky enough to add one of these to my collection! It's in kind of rough shape and missing the label on the inside of the lid, but I just couldn't pass it up. The early 3-lobed crown/M mark on the top of lid is still fairly legible.
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Unread 02-25-2021, 10:32 PM   #2
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That is really cool. I went to many flea markets in the netherlands and Belgium, never found anything like that, not that I knew about them when I was there 93-00

Are you living or visiting there?

Ed
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Unread 02-25-2021, 10:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Edward Tinker View Post
That is really cool. I went to many flea markets in the netherlands and Belgium, never found anything like that, not that I knew about them when I was there 93-00

Are you living or visiting there?

Ed
Actually, I live on this side of the pond. I bought this from a collector in France that I have struck up a friendship with. He has found quite a few great items in flea markets and small out-of-the-way shops around Europe.
-Jason
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Unread 02-25-2021, 11:25 PM   #4
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Outstanding find! Jealous!

G2
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Unread 02-26-2021, 01:58 AM   #5
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Congratulations! There are only a few of us lucky enough to own one of these.

One minor point: Although they are often called "U-Boat" ammo boxes, there is no actual historic basis for that as far as I am able to ascertain.

From known labels we certainly know they were originally used for P.04 ammunition by the Imperial Navy, but it is most likely that they were used by Torpedo boats and Minesweepers as well as U-Boats. Those vessels all had the P.04 as the primary crew weapon, that is the weapon they trained on in basic training and they are all comparatively "wet" environments.
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Unread 02-26-2021, 03:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1903a3 View Post
Congratulations! There are only a few of us lucky enough to own one of these.

One minor point: Although they are often called "U-Boat" ammo boxes, there is no actual historic basis for that as far as I am able to ascertain.

From known labels we certainly know they were originally used for P.04 ammunition by the Imperial Navy, but it is most likely that they were used by Torpedo boats and Minesweepers as well as U-Boats. Those vessels all had the P.04 as the primary crew weapon, that is the weapon they trained on in basic training and they are all comparatively "wet" environments.
Mike, thank you for the correction. I debated on how I was going to label this post because I agree with you. After finding a couple other posts also referring to it as a 'U-boat ammo box' I thought this was the best way to go to preserve a commonality between the posts for future reference.

In support of the U-boat theory, I would think they would be a little more common if used aboard all these other smaller ships as well. Some boxes, including this one, have apparently been found near ports with known U-boat activity.

Lastly, this box is deceptively small for the claim of being able to hold 800 rounds of 9mm ammo. I have been aboard a modern U.S. nuclear submarine and space is VERY limited. Every nook and cranny is utilized for storage. Even a small surface ship would probably have a palatial amount of room compared to a U-boat... Jmho but I absolutely agree no official documentation exists. Thanks for weighing in.

-Jason
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Unread 02-26-2021, 04:24 PM   #7
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The box can certainly hold 800 rounds of 9mm ammo if you stack 50 standard cartons, containing 16 rounds, each on end, I've checked. Sturgess speculates that the Navy switched to different sized cartons containing 25 or 50 rounds which would limit the box to 700 rounds (I haven't checked).
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Unread 02-26-2021, 09:33 PM   #8
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Norm that is an outstanding label.
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Unread 02-28-2021, 06:49 PM   #9
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The collector gods have been kind to you with the flea market ammo box find.
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Unread 03-02-2021, 02:34 AM   #10
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Very nice find : one more saved !
Like "P-Kasten" and "P08m.Tasche" , those boxes begins to be more rare and rare
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Unread 03-02-2021, 05:32 AM   #11
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To me it would make more sense to equip u-boats with pocket pistols and .32 auto ammo.
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Unread 03-02-2021, 08:59 AM   #12
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Unread 03-02-2021, 09:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
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To me it would make more sense to equip u-boats with pocket pistols and .32 auto ammo.
The crews of U-boats needed pistols adequate to the task of boarding and capturing enemy freighters.
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Unread 03-02-2021, 12:09 PM   #14
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Reminds me of a documented case where a US crewmember 'liberated' the captains Mauser HSc from a u-boat in WW2.

I'm thinking about equipping them with Gew.98's just to see the mess it would make on board
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Unread 03-02-2021, 03:49 PM   #15
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The U-boat captain's pistol was simply a badge of office. He would have never been in a boarding party and needed a real combat pistol.
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