* ERFURT ARSENAL, GERMANY
A 9mm (PARA) SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOL, MODEL 'P08 LUGER', serial no. 5312, WITH HOLSTER,
dated for 1918 with 4in. blued barrel, date at breech, 'ERFURT' and crown mark to toggle, blued frame and receiver, chequered walnut grips, period wood based magazine un-numbered and together with a '1918' dated brown leather holster with period spare magazine numbered '9572' and a loading or stripping tool, much blue and straw finish remaining
Provenance: The vendor has kindly supplied the following information as given in 1979 by Sub-Lieutenant G.H. Ferguson ( a photocopy of the letter provided with the Lot):
The Story of a Luger Pistol
The Luger pistol no. 5312 was a useful friend to Sub-Lieutenant G.R. Ferguson, Drake Battalion, 63rd Royal Naval Division, in the first week of September, 1918, in an area in the western approaches to Cambrai, in the north-east of France.
I was in temporary command of a Company of the Battalion, which was attacking a line of German machine-gun posts. We were advancing by party rushes, and when it came to the final assault on the post that was my objective I found to my dismay that I had lost my Webley revolver and was left armed only with my walking cane. The revolver had fallen from its holster as I had thrown myself down in a shell-hole.
As we reached the machine gun post my men proceeded to disarm its crew who threw their hands up in surrender. My first act was to approach the senior German non-commissioned officer and take delivery of his Luger pistol. He was only too willing to hand it over and take his place in the party that was formed up to be marched away as prisoners of war.
Among the German equipment we found some thin rope, and a piece of this I used as a belt with which I fixed the Luger holster at my waist in place of my empty Webley holster which I transferred on my proper belt to my left side.
For the rest of that week we formed a line of armed shell-holes and I had good opportunity to test the Luger pistol, which I greatly admired because of its lovely balance and the comfort of its grip. I had taken the precaution of collecting some Luger ammunition from the prisoners before they were marched away.
We were relieved in a few days' time and moved into billets in a ruined village for about a couple of weeks. There a man of another company searched me out and restored my Webley revolver to me. He had found it in the shell-hole where I had dropped it! He told me he had carried it, barrel down, inside the band of his trousers!
While we were in those billets our valises were restored to us, and I decided not to use the Luger any more but pack it in my valise. It was pointed out to me that the consequences could be really very serious for me if I were taken prisoner in action by the enemy while carrying, obviously for use, a German firearm.
I was wounded in action at the end of September and when in hospital in London had my Luger pistol restored to me in my valise
December 15, 1979
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S5 - Sold as a Section 5 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act, Section 7.3 Eligible.
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