A Brief History of the Luger P.08 Pistol

 

The Pistole Parabellum 1908 ia a toggle-locked, recoil-operated, semi-automatic pistol. The design was patented by Georg J. Luger in 1898. The word “Parabellum” stems from the Latin and translates to “If you want peace, prepare for war”.

 

The first Parabellum pistol was adopted by the Swiss Army as it’s standard sidearm in May, 1900. This model had a 4.7” barrel.

 

The Luger is well known from it’s use by the Germans in World War I and World War II. Because of it’s association with Nazi Germany, the pistol has been used in fictional works by many villainous characters over the past several decades.

 

The Luger pistol was accepted by the Imperial German Navy in 1904. This version is known as the Pistole 1904 and had a 5.9” barrel.

 

In 1908, the German Army adopted the Luger as the standard sidearm in front line service for German Army personnel. This version is known as the P.08 and had a 3.9” barrel.

 

Captured Lugers were much prized by Allied soldiers in both world wars as war trophies. However, during World War II, German soldiers were aware of this and would use Lugers as “bait”,  rigging them to detonate land mines or hidden booby traps when disturbed. This tactic

was common enough to make experienced Allied soldiers deeply suspicious of an apparently discarded Luger that they discovered.

 

Although outdated, the Luger is still sought after by collectors both for it’s sleek design and accuracy, and for it’s connection to Imperial and Nazi Germany.

 

Thousands were taken home by returning Allied soldiers during both wars and are still in circulation today.

 

The Luger was still a sought-after sidearm by some combatants during the Vietnam War.

 

In 1945,, Mauser set up again the Luger production under the control of the French occupation Forces. In 1969, Mauser Werke in Oberndorf, Germany restarted the production until 1986 when the last commemorative model was produced.

 

An expanded history of this handgun can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luger_pistol

 

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