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Voluzne ll Issue 122

Published by
Orbis Publishing Ltd
@ Aerospace Publishing Ltd 1985
Editorial Olfices
War Machrne
Aerospace Publishlng Ltd
179 Dalling Road
London WG OES

Managing Editor: Stan Morse

Editorial: Trisha Palmer
Chris Bishop
Chrrs Chant
an Drury
Design: Rod Teasdale
Colour Origination: lmago Publishing Ltd,
Thame. Oxon
Typesett;ng: SX Composing Ltd
Film work: Precise Litho Ltd
Consultant Editor: Maior General Sir
Artists: Jeremy Moore KCB OBE MC, Comman-
R chard Hook
Peter Sarson & Tony Bryan
der of British Land Forces during the
Pierre Turner Falklands campaign.

Pictrue acknowledgements
Distribution and marketing offices: Cover photographi Imperisl lrvat Msen 2521: Imperial War Museuntlmperial War Museum 2524:
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Pr nted in Great Britain London WC2N 4BT 2538: Imperial War Musern. 2539: T j 2540: Imperial War Museum (iii): MARS, Lrncs/MARS, Lincs (iv):
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Pisfds ol fhe
Grecff \[ftr
It was a pistolshot that le d t o the start of Wo rld W ar I, and
once the conllict had engulfed the woild,, pistol production An officer ofthe
accelerated,. Carried by offrcets, specialists and airmen, they Worcesters holds a
wete used on every ftont; some weapons stayed in sereice Webleyrevolver
wfiil after World War II, and a coaple are still in production. during the battte of
theAisne,May IglB

World War I was probably the last major conflict rn which the pistol was period that revolvers were frequently preferred to the automatic on
involved as a major weapon of war, Most of the pistol's drawbacks (such qrounds of reiiabilrty,
as lack of useful range, lack oi stopprng power at other than close Some 'classic' prstols wilt be found rn this study, some of them to be just
quarters and so forth) were all rendered void by the very nature of the as famous durrng World War IL The p ,O8 Luger is included atonq;th
conflict in the trenches, Most soldiers suffered from lonq-range weapons the Mauser c/96 and such stalwarts as the webley revolvers, oddrties
such as artrllery, but often had to fight withrn the close confines of such as the Webley Fosbery automatic revolver are also rncluded, along
trenches or in hand-to,hand fighting, Here the pistol retained its combat with more orthodox weapons such as the flrst Beretta automatic pistof
effectiveness to a greater extent than many other weapons, rncludinq the AII these weapons had their part to play in world war L on trre wriore
r1fle, and it was only when the sub-machine gun came on the scene in they were large and heavy weapons that frred heavy bulets often writr
l9l8 that the days of the combat pistol were numbered, considerable man-stopping power and the abrlrty to produce dreadful
The number of types of pistol in use during World War I was remark- wounds, Most of them have now passed from the scene, apart from those
able, With the introductton of the automatic pistol, small-arms inventors in the hands of collectors, but they were formidable weapons durrng the
used their considerable lngenutty to produce all manner of automatic 'Great War'.
self{oading mechanisms, Somettmes the rngenurty was used to qet
round existing patents while at other times sheer inventiveness won
through, The revolver was still around in many forms, some of them Royal Navy officers use a dangerous combination of weapons : Webley and
getting rather long rn the tooth, even by contemporary standards, but Scott automatics and Webteylevotvers. The mighty 0.4i6 biltei i;;ib; the
such was the state of development of many automatic prstols of the
automaticswas propelled by afast-burningZ-grain charge, and itfitteh
0.455 revolver.If loaded by mistakeitwouldblow thecylinder out.
ffi E@N

= ffi Savage Model 1907 and I9I5

The Savage Model 1907 pistol was pro-
duced by the Savage Arms Corpora-
tion of Chicopee Falls Massachussets,
and other than some commercial sales
it was acqulred by only one mrlitary
customer, ihe Portuguese armed I
forces, Thrs has leo to the Savage prs-
tols beinq virtually identified with the
Porrugr-;ese lhough rher orrgins were
definitely American,
The Savage Model 1907 was or-91-
nally desigrned to take part in the US
Army trials that ied to adoptron of the
Colt M1911 automatic. The Model 1907
showed up well in the trials, and
although the decision went elsewhere
the SavaEre Corporation attempted to
seli the design abroad. It was not suc-
cessful until L9 14 when the Portuqnlese
found themselves cut off from thetr
usual suppliers in Germany who were
selhnq them versions ofthe Pistole 08
(the Luger), The PortuQuese thus de-
cided to adopt the Savage prstol in tts
origrnal US Army competition form (as
the l/I/908) and in a shghtly modified
version (as the W9l5), both recham-
bered from their original 0.45 tn
(l1 43 mm) to 7,65 mm (0.315 in)
The Model 1907 used a retarded of flrrng1. when required and if no firing was car- This SavageAutomatic belongs to
bLowback mechanrsm. an operating The Portugmese found the Savaqte rted out the prstol had to be unloaded the Weapons Museum at the School
system rarely used in pistols. On the pistols effectrve enough, but the pistol again. This was obviously not a qiood of I nfantry, W arm ins ter. T he S avage
Model 1907 this involved the barrel had one unfofiunate safety problem. It feature for a combat pistol, so as soon design originated from the I 904
turning throuqh lugs before the slide was possible to rest the striker as they could the Portuguese reverted patentof E.H.Seaile andwas an
was allowed to move to the rear after attached to the cockinQr spur (the de- to procunng 9-mm Parabellum pistols entry to the US Army pistol tials of
flring, but the system adopted by Sav- siqn featured a concealed hammer) in of various types; they also r-sed the I 907, which were won by Colt.
age was only marginally more effec- such a way that the striker touched the British 0,455-in Webley revolvers.
tive than a sLmple blowback It was base of a round in the chamber. Any Lengrths:overall 165 mm (6.5 in); barrel
effectrve enougth with the 7,65-mm car- sudden jar could therefore fire the Specification 95 mm (3 75 in)
tridge employed but would probably weapon, often to the user's disadvan- IW9OB Mrzzlevelocity: 290 m (950 ft) per
have been less successfui with any- tage (at best) This ied to drills that Calibre:7,65 mm (0.315 in) second
thing heavier over a prolonqed period ensured the pistol was cocked only Weight:0.568 kq (1 252 lb) Magazine capacity: l0 rounds

g€= [i.+s-it M1917 revolvers

By 1916 the demands for all types of
war materials and weapons were out-
stripping the production capabilities of
British and Commonwealth rndustries,
so orders for various items were
placed in the USA. Among these items
'were revolvers, and to save trme rt was
decided to adopt American desrgns
rechambered to accept the British
1.455-in (actuaily 0.441 inl1 1,2-mm)
prstol cartridqre. Many thousands of
.hese plstols were accordingly placed
rto production by Smtth & Wesson
and the Colt Firearms Company, and
';,'ere duly delivered to the Brittsh and
Oommonwealth armed forces.
Then in 1917 the USA entered the
',';ar and found itself even shorter of
',';3apons to equip its expeditionary
-:l:e than the British had ever been. it
time for yet another hasty re-
:rlangement of production priorities
.:C ihe British 0 455-in revolvers were
;:-:kly altered to accommodate the
.:a::dard American 0,45-in (i 1.43-mm)
!-s:J1 cartridge. This caused some Both revolvers were provided with Once in US Army service both pis- The US Army adopted several
!::blems not in the pistoi designs the desiqnation M19I7, the maker's tols proved rugged and reliable, The revolvers in I 9 I 7 chambered for 0.45
;;:-:h remarned unchangTed (and vir- name being appended to denote the three-round clip system Qlave no trou- Auto, like the M I91 I Automatic. US
--=''',. identical to each other) but in the dilferent models. AJI nough rhe two pis- ble and proved so successful that it enthusiasm for 0.45 calibre stemmed
,-^::-:rg. The Brrtish cartridge case had tols were virtually identical to the us- was even adopted for service by other from the failureof 0.38s like thisColt
= i-srLlct rrm at its base while the ers, there were in fact slight differ nations such as Brazil, which made M1892 to stop chargingFilipino
-:::-::rcan case, intended for use in ences. The Colt revolver was based on large-scale purchases of the Smith & tribesmen.
:--:::-atrc pistols, did not. Therefore as the 'New Service' model dating from Wesson M1917 in i93B Both pistols
:= :ariridges were placed in the 1897, while the Smith & Wesson pistol were still in sewice during World War (Smith & Wesson M19 17) 1.02 kg
:,---:eer chambers they slipped was a 'new' design based on the com- II, although by then most were used by (2 25]b)
:-:: -.;r Thrs was avoided by loading panys existing range of models, Both the British armed forces. Lengths: overall274 mm (10,8 in);
,-: -l:rerrcan rounds in 'haii-moon used swing-out cylinders which, on the barrel 140 mm (5,5 in)
:r:-s:d steel clips, each holding three M1917 versions, had recesses tn their Specification Muzzle velocity: 253 m (830 ft) per
::-:-j,: The clips allowed the rounds rear lace to accommodate the half- MI9I7 second
, :: ioaded quickly and held the moon chps. Bothwere large and healry Calibre: i 1.43 mm (0.45 in) Cylinder capacity: 6 rounds in two 3
-..=: -: l:lace for firing and unloadinei. revolvers, Weight: (Colt M1917) 1,134 kq (2.5 lb); round clips
Pistola Automatica Beretta modello 1915
The Pistola Automatica Beretta mod- large safety catch with differing
ello l9l5 was the flrst of the Beretta shapes and locations was one, and
automatic pistols, but it lacked the de- there were also changres in butt grrip
gree of manufacturing finesse that be- materials and finish. One thing these
came the hallmark of later Beretta modello 1915s shared with all users
models. This was mainly because it was a general appreciation of the
was produced in a gEeat hurry, When weapon's reliability and good hand-
Italy entered World War I in 1914 rt did ling. The modello 19l5 lntroduced the
so at a time when the levels of all kinds basic pattern of what were later to be-
of weapons were very low, and pistols come some of the finest automatic pis-
were no exceptron to this farling, Italian tols ever produced, Even now the
industry was rushed rnto production to name Beretta stands for sound desrgn
churn out as many weapons as quickly and good finish, but examining a mod-
as possible, and the Beretta modello ello 1915 today few of these attdbutes
l9I5 was one result of this policy, are obvrous, due mainly to the rapidity
For all the rush wrth which it was with which they were placed in mass
plaeed into production, the modello productron, But the seeds were there.
1915 showed all the basic features of
the Beretla designs. The shde had the Specification
cut-away sectron over the barrel that Berettamodello 1915
was to become an instant recognition Calibre: 7.65 mm (0.301 in) or 9 mm
feature, but the overall appearance (0,354 in) Short
lacked the degree of balance and weisht: 0.57 kq (1 25 tb)
class that were to appear later. Mod- Lengrths:overall 149 mm (5,82 in);
ello 19l5s were initially issued in 7.65- barrell84 mm (3,31 in)
mm (0,30l-in) calibre, but some were Muzzle velocity: (9-mm Short) 266 m
later produced to fire the 9-mm (0,354- (873 ft) per second
in) special Ghsenti cartridge; these Magazine capacity: B rounds
versions had a more powerful retwn
spring, A relatively small number
were also produced to fire the 9-mm
Short round, a round much less power-
ful than the 9-mm Parabellum, The
mechanism was srmple blowback and
the firinq mechanism used a con-
cealed hammer. The 7.65-mm version
did not use an ejector to force the spent
cartridqe cases from the weapon after
finng: the cases were pushed out by An I talian'Deathshead' pioneer, in
coming into contact with the firing pin full trench raiding kit, has a medieval
that had been forced through the appearance. In the savage close-
breech block by the hammer at full quarter tighting in the trenches, the
recoil; the larger 9-mm cartridgre ver- entrenching tool and pistolwere
sions used a conventional ejector stop. moresensjb/e weapons than a bullcy
As was to be expected under war- rifle; the body armourwas heavy, but .' .Ell."-..'.
time conditions, there were several pr ovide d good protection. N ote the ,

detail vanations between models, A wirecutters carried on the belL

Pistola Automatica Glisenti modello I9I0

The Pistola Automatica Glisenti mod- types of cariridge could be easily
ello I9I0 was often known just as the mlxed up,
Glisenti, but an essentially simtlar pis- When firing the coffect cartridge
tol was also issued to the ltalian army the modello 10 proved to be reliable
and known as the Brixia. The initial enough, but suffered from one basic
pistol, the G[sentr, was desrgned in desrgn weakness, The designers had
Switzerland but initial production was ensured gtood maintenance access by
started in ltaly in i9O5 at the Societa allowing almost the entire left-hand
Siderurgnca Ghsenti at Turin. In 1910 side of the pistol frame to be remov-
the pistol was accepted for ltalian able. This certainly made for good
army use, TVro years later, a modello cleaning and repair, but the remov-
12 produced by the Brixia concern, able plate made the entire pistol weak
appeared. This modello 1912 was on that side, Under combat conditions
almost identical to the modello i910 the pistol frame could become dis-
but lacked the gmp safety. For simplic- torted to an unacceptable degree
ty's sake these hvo pistols will be tre- causinq jams and other more potential-
ated as one and the same, ly severe problems, or the access
The Glisenti modello 1910 used a plate could simply fall off. Thus the
mechanism that employed a locked- modello 1910 was increasingly re-
breech system, but for various design garded with suspicion, and whenever
reasons this system was not very effec- possible knowledgeable users
tive, Therefore it could not use full- plumped for other types of side-arm,
power cartridges such as the 9-mm This did not prevent the Glisenti pis-
(0.354-in) Parabellum, but instead had tols from being carried and used
to flre its own special cartridgre with a throughout World War I and even dur-
less powerful charge. The difficulty ing World War IL If looked after and
with this special cartridge was that it not subjected to too much hard use, the
was vrtually rdentical in shape and Glisenti/Bnxia pistols were sound
appearance to the Parabellum round, enough, but under severe combat con- Lengrths: overall 2 I 1,2 mm (8,3 15 in); TheGlisentiwas not as popular as
and that use ofthe Parabellum round rn ditions they often proved to be less barrel 95 mm (3,74 in) the Beretta: the left-hand side of the
the Glisenti pistol could, and often did, than satisfactory. Muzlevelocity:258 m (846 ft) per fr ame de tache s, reducing i s
cause trouble, Some of these troubles second strength, and the breech accepted
could be very hazardous to the firer, Specification Magazine capacity: 7 rounds 9-mm Parabellum -far more
Under normal circumstances this Glisentimodello 19I0 powedul than the 9-mm Glisenti
potential problem could be avoided Calibre:9 mm (0,354 in) cartridge, and able to shatter the
but under combat conditions the two Weight:0.8 kg (1.76 1b) weapan.
To gainintelligence, to deny the enemy
rest, to maintain the troops' fighting
spirit;these were the justifications given
for a night-timeforay across no-man's
Iand. Whatever the reason, trench
raiding was a desperatebusrness - a
brutal affair, fought out with pistols,
gtenades and sharpened entrenching
E-,- re winter of 19l6-7 the fighting on the West-
:l:l Front had become flrmly static, The two
:eich lines faced each other across a barren
-,'-ierness that was littered with barbed wire,
::ccrsh and corpses, Everything was covered
:- a rilm of dirt, mud and debris. A drizzle of
-::Jery and mortar fire constantly rearranged
re iandscape and the shell holes, this drizzle
not falhng for days bui at other times
::.riature spnngrng up to last for hours,
h ihe trenches the soldiers of both sides did
rer best to make their lot as comfortable as
p:ssible, What time was left after burying the
l.rstant supply of the dead, fatigues, cleaning
',';eapons, fetchrng ammunition and food, re-
oaring trench damage and keeprng warm was
jedicated to making the best possible use ol
,',-rat shelter there was and sometimes writing
:-:ne, This routine was followed day ln and day
::,. During the winter months there were few
.*-scale battles to expect, so life became a to discover the exact locatron of the enemy's Stand-to in aBritish trench,January l918.The
:-e-.'er-ending series of days when soldiers drd trench layouts or to drscover what units were capture of a sentry in a front-line firing bay often
::le more than exist, there and in what strength, matters which even formed the objective of a trench raid. Exchanges of
Ii 1t had been up to the so]diers themselves the increasing number of photographs taken raid and counter-raid usually preceded a major
-:ey -would have kept things at that levei, De- by ihe aircraft and balloon units could not al- offensive, although on quieter sectors unofficial
truces wefe common.
spi:e the general awfulness and boredom of ways show, The ones the soldiers dishked most
-:eir troglodyte existence in wet holes in the were the raids that were supposed to 'raise Trench raids were almost always carried out at
lround, the men knew it was infinitely better morale', 'instil fightrng spirit in the troops', and night, sometimes in up to company strength,
-:an havrng to go 'over the top' and face enemy similar reasons deemed fatuous by all who had but most of them were by small teams, The
::achrne-guns. to participate, By early 1917 most soldiers, make-up was generally much the same, The
But thelr leaders thought otherwise. From even the newest recruits, could see through rald was led by a young subaltern, fresh to the
-:ne to time they ordered that most dreaded that sort of talk, trenches and wlth an average life expectancy
tr':f/, the trench raid. Some soldiers welcomed The preparation for a raid was usually the of six weeks: by 1917 he was only too aware of
chance to 'have a crack at the other side', same, A team of about six men, sometrmes that fact and usually behaved accordingly, His
=e most men drd their
l::: more but rarely less, was drawn up and the
best to avoid attention second-in-command was an NCO, usually a
-,';hen personnel
were belng detailed, The pur- unfortunates started to get themselves ready sergeant, The rest were privates, volunteers
c:ses of these raids were several Often it was about lunch-time on the day before the raid, and conscripts alike,
The preparations started wrth a brieflng for
the officer and hrs NCO This was normaily
carried out in the company dugout, some way
back from the front-line trenches, The objec-
tive of the raid was spelled out (rf there was
one) and information was provided on wha:
was already known. If a diversion was to be
created to distract the enemy's attention tha:
too was explained, The company sergeant ma-
jor made arranqements for extra rations ani
any special equipment, The rest of the after-
noon was spent trying to get some rest, if possr-
ble, and preparing kit and equipment, Rtfles
were not often carried on raids by 1917. The
troops had learned they were too awkward l-
the close confines of trenches and they hai
learned the value of other weapons, Pistc's
were used whenever posslble, especially re-
volvers as they were considered more re'--
able. Even the ordinary soldiers carried suc:-
weapons if they were available, They also ca:-
ried short-handled trench spades with sh;--
Returning to the safety of their own lines could be a
problem for trench raiders; only a shott length of
friendly trenches could be expected to be warnei.
andmistakes did occur. Here aVickersmachine-
gun lays down suppressive fire on the German
communications trenches, J anuary I918.
Pistols of the Great War

pened edges, clubs with fearsome iron heads, with a rush around a trench traverse with an
trench knives or machetes; some men even equally small team of men armed, as the raid-
favoured heavy knuckle-dusters they had ers were, with grenades and ptstols, Trench
fashioned from scrap during periods of bore- warlare was then reduced to its lowest ievel as
dom, One weapon always carried was the gre- men scrambled at each other with the certain
nade, in eggr and stick form: each soldier had a knowledge that it was 'him or me', There was
canvas satchel filled with them, no time or opportunity for tidy combat as mud-
encrusted men grappled with each other to
Last-minute checks survrve in the darkness, Pistols flashed, spades
As the evening gloom deepened the final and knives were swrrng about and the club was
preparations took place, Faces and hands as effective as the bullet, If the raiders were
were liberally covered with mud to darken quick and ready enough they usualiy had a
them, and all loose equipment was secured, chance of getting out, If they could subdue or
Last-minute checks were made on pisiols and dominate the unfortunates in their immediate
watches, and the flnishrng touch was provided vrcinity they moved on to discover trench lay-
with every man getting a liberal tot of rum, outs, locate dugouts (and attend to them wlth
By this time every man had sunk into his own grenades) and find the hated machtne-gnrns
world of fear, expectancy and alertness, Few and trench mortars. Any such weapons were
words were exchanged between the mem- disabled wlth clubs or the ever-useful sre-
bers of the team while their mates stood back nades. All the time bodies were searched, any-
and watched them silent1y, At the chosen hour thing portable was taken and booty was
the diversion mrght start with a sudden burst ol pushed into uniforms or packs. H auptmann Ruter, 27 th I nfantryRegiment, poses
flring away to one flank, At this the team Then lt was time for the ofl the men dragging by his sniper post in December 1914 when the
slithered over the top and moved forward, The any of their own less seriously wounded with trench lines had just been established from
them. If possible, some terrified prisoner Switzerland to theChannelThe steel loophole
first men over carried heavy wirecutters that plates, bolted togethet, were eventually replaced
could also double as clubs, but rnittally they would be dragged off as well, On the way back by concrete pillboxes which provided better
were used carefully to create gaps in the wire. there was no time for fi.nesse, It was simply a protection against artillery and bomb-throwing
The team moved forward keeping low, some- rush across no-man's land before artillery or raiders.
times worming forward on their stomachs machine-gun fire could catch them in the open,
through shell holes and mud, lf flares arose, as As the raiders approached their own trenches after the tension sank in and sleep, evet- :- r
they often drd, the team froze and hoped that shouts and challenges were exchanged and wet ditch, was welcome. But the officer =i
they would not be spotted. then, hopefuliy, it was back to the safety of their NCO if strll ahve, had to report back,,m::l := -
As they approached the enemy wire the cut- own stinking but suddenly welcoming trench, findings and a few pathetic remnants oic-:-: ::
ting became slower and more careful, hopeful- Once back heads were counted, wounds brass, Prisoners, if any, were herded ct':: -l--=
1yto avoid disturbing the tin cans that the dressed and hopefully some rum or something rear under guard and the wounded .',-:l:
enemy hung on the wire to create an aural hot was passed around, Then the tiredness moved to the horrors of the lrontltne cire ss:-:
alarm of any movement. By 1917 this was such statron.
an old trick that many could easily avoid it and, After it was all over the survivors di :-::
wrth luck and some groping through the dark, best to clean up, but it was usuaily a hcp=-=.s
the enemy trench was just ahead. Sometimes task. After a few days in the trenches i: ''-;':
the glow of a sentry's cigarette or pipe could be impossible to determine if the soldters -,';=:=
detected. wearing khaki, horizon blue or field gre-" -:'.',-"
the same on both sides, and there wo;.i c:-:-
Overthe top pbly be another trench raid the nexi r-:3r:-:
When all were in some sort of jumprng-off
position the offrcer gave his signal. It was then
An ofticer of the Grenadier Guards
time to move fast, Hauting themselves up out of ieads hr's men ovet the top, service
the mire the mud-encrusted soldiers leapt into Webley revolver in hand. The hollo'r
the trench, often heralded by a few grenades pointed Mk 3 ammunition had been
and a flurry of prstol shots, Any unfortunate in outlawed by the Hagae Convention"
the way was simply struck down, and it was despite British claims that itwas on['
here those short-handled spades came in use- f or u s e against' uncivili zed'
ful, Any dugout nearby was neutraltzed by opponents. Nevertheless, standat d
Mk 2 0.455 bullets still had awesome
throwing in a few grenades, Fallen bodies stoppingpower.
,,,rere immediately looted for papers (and
iobacco) and unrform insignia were hacked off
-r'rth knives.
All this took but a few seconds, for the team
-<rew that retaliation was nigh. It often came


f af facks on a larger scale were occasionally

,a:nched by both sides on the Western Front.
)'!:ch of the power of defensive weapons was
:ega!.ed by nocturnal operations, which
:s;ertireiessp roved even harder to control than
::,;, flares lightup the sky over
t'Ea,r:'r'!ont Hamel during the British attack, 2 July
ffi WeUtey & Scott self-loading pistols
The Webley & Scott self-loading prs-
tols must rank as among the most awk-
ward-lookinqr pistols ever desrgned,
but in use they were reliable. The flrst
of them was accepted for government
service in 1912 mainly for police use,
and by 1914 the Webley Self-Loading
Pistol Mk I was in use by Royal Nalry
and Royal Marine landing or boardrng
parties. Later more were issued to the
newly-formed Royal Flyinq Corps and
to some Royal Horse Artillery battery
The basrc design used a very posi
lrve lockrng system that ran in a series
of angled grooves and lugs, This was
just as well for the pistol continued to
use the 0.455-in (actually 0 441-rn/11.2-
mm) cartridgte but in a much more
powerful form, so much so that for
many years it remained the worid's
most powerful prstol cartridge, This
cartridge had a charge so heavy that it
could cause serious damage to pistol
and user iffired from any ofthe 0,455-in
revolvers. Some pistols were pro-
duced to frre the 0,38-in (9,65-mm) Su-
per Auto and 9-mm (0,354-in) Brown-
ing long cartridges, but few of these
appear to have been used by the Brit-
ish military,
The pistol had a a few odd design
features all of its own, one being that it
was possible to partially withdraw and
lock the box magazrne to allow sinqle
rounds to be fed into the chamber
through the ejection slot, leaving the
fuII magazine topped up for emerqen-
cy use, There was provision on most
versions for a flat wooden shoulder
stock to be fitted to the butt for more
accurate shootinq at longrer rangtes.
These Webley & Scott self-loaders all else failed the pistols could be used Specification Adopted by the Royal Navy in I 9 I 4
(the term 'automatic'was disliked by as clubs as even when unloaded each Webley SelfJoading Pistol Mk I and later by the artillery andRFC, the
'he Brrtish at the rjme) were massrve weighed 1.13k9 (2.51b). They were Calibre: 11,2 mm (0,441 rn) ungainly Webley & S cott 0.45 5 was
pistols that took a lot ofcareful handling not greneraliy liked, The Royal Horse Weisht: I 13 ks (2,5 lb) notwildly popular.
even at short combat ranges They Artillery got rid of theirs as soon as Lengrths:overall(216 mm (B 5 in);
,"Vere well-built with a disttnctrve they could and the Royal Fiying Corps barrel 127 mm (5 in)
'strarghtJine' appearance that was not were no more enthusiastrc. As a result Muzzle velocity: 236 m (775 ft) per Naval auiation pioneer commander
helped by the almost square-set anqle the Webley & Scott self{oaders were second ,Samson andfirs Nieuport I0 prepare
of the butt, This butt angle made the never accep'ed for full mrlLrary service Magazine capacity: 7 rounds for another sortie over theTurkish
pstol raLher dtlficult to fire rnstrncrive- but the British armed forces continued lines at Gallipoli. Pistols were initialh'
ly, but deliberate shooting by a fully- to use the revolver for many years, carried by airmen {ot personal
rrained user could be quite accurate. If offlcially until well after World War IL detence in case of a forced landing.

ffi WeUtev 0.455-in revolvers Pistols of the Great War
The 0.455-in cartndgre fired by the
Webley revolvers had an actuai
calibre of 0.441 in (11.2mm), and its
design reflected expbrience gained tn
colonial wadare, The cartridge was
designed to be a certain 'man-stoppe/
for close-range use against chargtngt
natrve hordes, and the healry bullet
and powerful charge were certainly
adequate for the task. The pistol in-
tended for use with this powerful car-
trrdge was produced by Webley &
Scott Limited of Birmingham, which
produced its flrst 0,455-in pistol in late
The Webley & Scott Mk I was the
forerunner of a host of similar models,
many of which are still around, The Mk
I had a top-opening frame with an auto-
matic ejecting device that pushed out
spent cartridqe cases as the frame
opened, The butt had a distinctive
shape that was termed a 'bird's head',
and a lanyard ring was considered
essential. A 102-mm (4-in) barrel was
used, but later marks also used 152-
mm (6-in) barrels,
After the Mk I came a large nurnber
of other marks and submarks with de-
tall improvements and./or barrel Ienqth
changes. The overall mechantsm and
design did not change much, although
by the time the main World War I mod-
el appeared in 1915 the butt shape had
changed and there had been some al-
terations to the sights, The Mk VI may
be taken as typical of the World War I
Webley 0,455-in revolvers, but many
of the earlier marks remained in use.
The Mk VI was a very well made
and solid revolver. It was also large Still in service around the world,
and something of a handful to tote and Webley revolvers are arguably the
fire. The powerful cartridge produced toughest and most accurate
an equally powerful recotl and rt was handguns ever made. Their calibre
considered to have a useful combat is 0.441 (1 1.2 mm) but, curiously,
range ofonly a few metres, For trench they have always been referred to as
warfare this was tdeal, and the Web- -,+ -'-
0.455 ( 1 I .6 mm). Below is the Mk I , *-€*--* -: r=l
'- =
Ieys were a preferred weapon for introduced in 1887; above is the Mk 5 *,118**=..'
trench rards and close-quarter of 1913. .*+:::
fighting, Under such circumstances
the Webleys had one major advantage used as it was never approved offlcial-
and that was that they were very for- ly. A more useful device was a charger
giving of the dirty and muddy condi- that held srx cartddges ready for in-
tions under which they were often stant loadrng into the opened cylinder,
used Even if a Webley jammed or ran Right: C aptain Liltle, RNAS, was shot
out of ammunttion it could still be used Specification downbyAlbatros fighters of von
as an effective club, This attribute was WebleyMkVI Richthofen's'Flying Circus' on 21
developed by the introductron oi the Calibre: 11.2 mm (0.441 in) April I 9 I 8 . Not content with shooting
Pritchard-Greener revolver bayonet, Weisht: 1,09 kq (2 4 tb) him down, the G erm ans machine -
a spike{ype bayoneVtrench knife that Lengrths: overall 286 mm ( I I 25 in); gunned the wreck of his aircraft, but
fitted over the muzzle with the metal barrel 152 mm (6 in) Little had been tlung clear before the
hilt restinq against the revolver frame. Muzzle velocity: 189 m (620 ft) per Camel hit the ground.Nothing
Thrs fearsome pistoYbayonet com- second daunted, he returnedfirewith his
bination appears to have been httle Cylinder capacity: 6 rounds Webley.

Left: Webley revolvers fired

some powerful rounds,
including the infamous
stopper', but it needed a lot of
training to master the recoil.
After the wa r, the B ritish Army
reverted to 0.38 calibre and
since I I I I the trend in all
armies has been away from
large cartridges, despile tfte
recent popu larity of m agnu m
/oads rn the civilian market.
ffi Webley Fosbery revolver
The Webley Fosbery revolver was de-
signed by Colonel G.V. Fosbery VC,
and is in a class of its own as it is an
automatrc revolver, The onqinal patent
was taken out in 1896 and production
was taken up by Webley & Scott short-
ly after that, the resultant pistols berng
chambered for the standard 0.455-in
(actually 0.441 -tn/ II 2-mm) cartridge,
The action of the Webley Fosbery
was unique. On firing the recoil drove
back the barrel, cylinder and top
frame along a slide over the butt. This
cocked the hammer and a return
spring inside the butt then drove the
whole assembly back to its initral posi-
tion. As it did so a stud in the slide ran
through an anqled groove machined
into the cy[nder to turn it to the next
cartridge position. The system had its
attractions to those who thought that
they had only to keep pulling the trig-
ger to keep firrng rapidly, In practice rt
was not that simple One immediate
drawback was that the action required
a great deal ofhandling: the entire top
frame moving back and forth added to
the already considerable movement
caused by the hea\y recoil, and so
made the prstol somethinq of a brute to
fire. Another drawback was that the
firer had to hold the butt very firmly
indeed or the entire system would not flring movements made in-flight shoot- they soon became full of all manner of TheuniqueWebley Fosbery is an
function, for the user's qrip acted as the ing even more difficult than rt might trench debris and rt took constant automatic revolver. The barrel and
anchor lor lhe enlire mechanism. otherwise have been. attention to keep them clean. Many cylinder go back over the frame,
Nevertheless the Webley Fosbery For all this the Webley Fosbery was officers gave up the task and took up cocking the hammer andreturning
was sold rn consrderable numbers to never adopted officially, which was other less troublesome pistols, by spring power; the stud on the
British offlcers who had to supply their just as well for when used in the tren- frame engaged in the prominent
own side-arms. Many were sold to ches the type's major drawback be' grooves in the cylinder rotates it, so
Royal ilying Corps personnel who came all too obvious. Thts was that the Specification completingthe action.
thouqht that the automatic leature action relied upon smooth movement WebleyFosbery
would be of considerable advantage througrh carefully-machined grooves, Calibre: II 2 mm (0.441 in)
when engTaginq enemy aircraft from any clogging of those qrooves by dtrt Weisht: kq(2 755 lb)
1,25 Muzzle velocity: 183 m (600 ft) per
the conflnes of their cockpitsr they or mud resulted in a jam. As most of the Lengrths: overall 279 mm (l I in); barrel second
soon learned that the considerable grooves involved were fuliy exposed 152 mm (6 in) Cylinder capacity: 6 rounds

Browningr pistols
The Belgian Fabrique Nationale officer s side-arm, It was also accorded
d'Armes de Guerre (FN) was formed the accolade of being copied widely,
in association with John M. Browning often without any form of licence
after the latter left Colt, and the asso- agreement, Produced to frre either the
cration produced many excellent 7.65-mm or 9-mm Short (0.354-in also
weapon designs, The first pistol pro- known as the ,380 ACP) cartridge, the
duced by the Browning/FN combina- Moddle 1910 is still in limlted produc-
tron was the Browning Modele 1900, a tion. The mechanism of the Moddle
fairly straightforward pistol with few 1910 rs conventronal blow-back with
frilis and chambered in 7.65mm the return spring coiled around the
(O.30I m). The Modele 1900 was a pis- barrel The pistol is still a deliqht to
tol that was never officially adopted as handle and is easy to aim and fire
a standard service pistol, but it was having a grrip safety The Modele 1910
produced and used in thousands, is another plstol that has never been
usually by officers who had to supply officially adopted as a sewice weapon,
their own side-arms, It was also copied other than by the Belgran army but tt
in even larger numbers in Chrna and was used in large numbers throughout
Spain, usually unofficially. World War 1by many offlcers who had
The Moddle 1903 was the Belgian to purchase their own srde-arms. Many
version of a Browning-designed Colt Moddle 1910s were still around during
pistol produced to use an European World War IL After World War I a
cartridge known as the 9-mm (0.354-in) shghtly enlarged version, the Moddle
Browning Lonq, The Moddle 1903 em- 1922, was produced but it never re-
ployed a straiqhtforward blowback placed the Modele 1910,
mechanism that could be used be-
cause ofthe relatrvely low power ofthe Specification
cartridge, The Moddle 1903 was Modele 1900
adopted by the Belgian army and was Calibre: 7,65 mm (0.301 in) Weisht:O.91kq(2 lb) TheModdle 1900 hasthe distinction
also licence-produced in Sweden, Weiqht:0,625 kg (1.378 lb) Lenqths: overall 203 mm (B in); barrel ofbeing thefirstBrowning designto
Other user nations were T\-rrkey, Ser- Lenqths: overall 162,5 mm (6.4 in); 127 mm (5 in) be made by FN of Herstal, the
bia, Denmark and the Netherlands, barrel mm (4.02 in)
102 Muzzle velocity: 320 m ( 1,050 ft) per beginning of a long and successful
Some versions could use a shoulder Muzzle velocity: 290 m (951 ft) per second association.
stock that doubled as a holster. second Magazine capacity: 7 rounds
Perhaps the most important of the Magazine capacity: 7 rounds Lengrths:overall 154 mm (6.06 in);
World War I Browning pistols was the Specification barrelBB.S mm(3.48 tn)
attractive Moddle I9I0, It was placed Specification Moddle 19I0 Muzzle velocity: 299 m (98 I ft) per
on the market in 1912 and was im- Moddle 1903 Calibre: 7 65 or 9 mm (0.301 or 0.354 in) second
mediately recoqnized as an ideal Calibre:9 mm (0 354 in) Weight: 0.57 kq ( 1,26 lb) Maqazine capacity: 7 rounds

The shot thot slrook the world
Tfte assassin ation of a major political figure often has important repercussrbns, but Below:TheArchduke and hiswifewalk down to
the shooting of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in I I I 4 led to the GreatWar. their car, being greeted by assembled Bosnian
digmatories. Visiting Bosnia on StVitus' day
TheAustro-Hungarians retaliatedbyinvadingSerbia, and thenetworkof alliances enraged Nationalist feeling and has been
dragged theworldintoconflict.Four empiresweretobedestroyed, and theworld compared to a member of the British Royal family
today is still living with the consequence.s. visiting themostRepublican areas of.Belfast on St
Patrick's Day.
The young conspirators met again shortly after
dawn on Sunday, 28 June 1914, the warm sun-
shine already dispelling the morning mist and
promising a radiant summer day. The seven, all
young students lmbued with that spirrt of poh-
tical idealism which tells them that they must
do something, indeedanything, to change soci-
ety without pausing to consider what to change
it inio, were members of the 'Young Bospians'
group: MohameQ MehmedbaSii, Vaso Cubri-
1ovi6, Nedeljko Cabrinovl6, Cvi;etko Popovi6,
Gavrilo Princip, Trilko Grabel were the sol-
diers of the team, the 'hit men', and Danilo Ilii
was the organizer,
They had already been issued with their
weapons: pistols and bombs supphed to them
by Major Tankosic, one of the leaders of the
notorious 'Black Hand' organization under the
shadowy command of Colonel Dimitrijevlc-
Apis, and smuggled across the border from
Belgrade; they knew their tasks. Now they took
up their stations,
Five of them took posrtron along the bank of
the River Miljadka, now ln the early summer a
mere stream at lhe bottom of a lvide bed,
Mehmedba3ii, Cabrinovic and Cubrilovii
sJood at the junction of the
Appel Quay and the rent to the Habsburg empire of Austria-Hun- As Inspector-General of the Armed Forc=s
Cumuria Bridge, while opposrte and facing gary, had during his life been given so many of the Empire he was attending the grea: s'::::
them was Popovic, at flrst accompanred by llic; general warnings of the possrbilrty of assas- mer manoeuvres taking place across the pr:-
it was here, they thought, that their tasks would sinatron that by the age of 51 he listened to even vinces ol Bosnia and Herzegovina, and :-s
most likely be carried out, Farther along the the most specific with an air of tired fatahsm. proposed vrsit to Saraj evo had bee:-
river bank, at its junction wrth the Latrn Bridge, 'l am sure your warning is justified,' he announced as early as the previous Marcr -.
stood Princip, and farther along the bank to- sighed when it was suggested to him that he
wards the Town Ha11 waited GrabeZ, the 'last might meet his end at Sarajevo, 'but I do not let FranzJosef, the ageing King andEmperor, takes
the salute. Despite his manyyears hewas a
hope' if fortune farled hrs friends, myself be kept under a glass cover, Our life is powertul political force, and did much to maintain
They were all in position by 09 00, and had constantly in danger, One has to rely upon the stablity of his disparate country; Franz
nearly an hour to await their proposed victim's God,' He thus instructed that the programme Ferdinand was a much more divisive figare. and
arrival. for hrs vrsit to the Bosnian capital should not be his accessionwas awaitedwith anxiety by many
The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, herr appa- curtailed, political leaders.

d. F-,:" #.
"F-. -6" - "::-'.5'
d, *- s,_-q-'_s -'-* -d .i--
- . "F- i s- - @?
- :-.'-';ri.:. -;* *-*$;e:&
,. .I " *.-.ue4g-.
---; -rl*: *d --"
The shot that shook the world
TheRoyalparty at the town hall after the firstbomb
attack. The Archduke remarked,'We shall get a
few more bullets still' before setting off again.
Events were to prove him tragically correct.

would not now be altered because ofyet more

rumours of yet another attempted assassina-
tion, which would yet again doubtless prove to
be unfounded. In thrs opinron it would seem
that the Sarajevo police forces were in aqree-
ment, as the security measures they were tak-
ing were exlguous in the extreme. They seem
also totally to have ignored the fact that the vrsit
was taking place on the day of the greatest
Serbian festival, St Vitus' Day, a fact which Ser-
bian patriots, ever a fervent body, would
almost certainly regard as a qratuttous
aggravation of an unnecessary annoyance,
The archducai train arnved at Sarajevo sta-
tron promptly on time at 10,00, and I0 minutes
later the procession of four cars was on its way
to the official reception at the town hall, In the
leadrng car were the mayor and the chief of
Pistols of the Great War
Then, as now, terrorist bomb outrages attracted
ghoulish spectafors. fft e serr'es of gueftilla
activities perpetrated byThe Black Handwas the
first terrorist campaign on modern lines .

poiice; in the second were the archduke in full

uniform with his beloved wrfe, the Duchess
Sophie of Hohenberg, besrde him, sitting
opposite the governor of Bosnia, General
Potiorek, while in the front seat next to the
chauffeur was the owner of the car, Count Har-
rach, In the rear two cars travelled the officers
and attendants of the archducal suite,
The cars drove swiftly along the Appel Quay
between the houses on their left and low
embankment waii gn their right, and as they
approached the Cumuria Bridge General
I Potiorek turned and pointed out to hls marked-
1y uninterested gnrests the new barracks they
I were approachlng,
At the same moment, a tall young man in a
long black coat and a black hat was askinq a
nearby pohceman in whrch car the archduke

Death at Sarajevo
Archduke Franz Ferdinand visited the Bosnian town of Sarajevo while attendingthe summer manoerres ci
the Austro-Hungtarian Army. Bosnia and neighbouring Herzegovina had been liberated from Turkish rie
1878 but never achieved longred-for independence; instead, they were annexed by Austria-Hungary-. =-
Nationalist sentiment, stoked by elements within the Serbian government, supported an orchesf.rjd te-ons
,campaign of the sort we are wearily familiar with today. The Archduke was warned of a possible atternpr c:
his life but refused to have his movements dictated by terrorist threats; he only altered y11! plans at Sa-raja-rc
after a bgmb was thrown at his car, bounced off the hood at the back and blew up the folloiring vehicle.
After Cabrinovi6's failed attack, the Archduke's motorcadewas supposedtoiake adiffereitroute Lc=.::e
one planned; the cars would maintain a reasonable speed and hopefully avoid any firther attacks.
Uruonunately, no-one tolcttne
told the drivers
drrvels andthe
and the Archduke's carwent
car went the wrongway, stopped, andreve:sed
and reve:sed
past ayoung student called Gavriio Princip, who was newously fingreringaBrowningpftolinhis coa: pocke*
He shouldered his way past a policeman and shot the Duchess and then Fraru Ferdinand before berlo
overpowered, The royal coupie were both dead on arrival at hospital, and Europe was p[urged i:.",to diss
The shot that shook the world

was travelling, and upon recerving an answer,

he knocked off the cap of a hand-grenade The assassins'positions at 1oa.m.

against a lamp post and threw itwtth admtrable CROATIA & SLAVONIA
accuracy but abysmal luck at hrs objecttve, 1 Mehmedbasic 6 lli6

leapt over the embankment wall and fled along

the nver-bank.
As the bomb flew through the air the
archduke's chauffeur saw it and accelerated, -. \,i.;1 \ *\d1.,.,. SERB,A
so that the bomb landed not in the car but on ^:\
,, ^ "" \ ''\u^*:\.f' Rzecoi'rtn.-..'.':.''.
the folded roofat the back. The archduke also n, ^. 5a Princip'sfirstposition

\\.; e u' *l.=<irs\i.,

saw it and flung up an arm to protect his wife, ..t'''..,
and as the car shot forward the bomb dropped ( 515ft.. .,vorrr..1 5b Princip's position at 11.30a.m.

on to the road and exploded with sufficent L \ <. -\r.ilroto....:. '.,

force to wreck the vehlcle rmmediately behind .^ R.ML \' n :\+ i.- '1',.""
lf ro"r ,* nssassrnnnoru
that of the Archduke, and wound some 20
onlookers, some of them seriously, including
Colonel Merizzt, Potiorek's arde-de-camp,
Change of plan l..--.-srneer
Wlth a couraQre and sympathy which com- Fneuz
pels admiration, the archduke commanded his
car to stop while enquiries were made as to the
extent of the damage and casualties, after
which the cortege, reduced to three cars, con-
tinued to the town hall and the reception, Thrs
was somewhat curtailed by the event and the
effect they had had on the archduke's compo-
sure, increased by the discovery that a piece of
the bomb had grazed his wife's neck,
'l came here on a visrt and I get bombs
thrown at me. It is outrageousl' the archduke
said acidly, later commenting to Count Harrach
'Today we shall get a few more bullets still,'
It was in order to avoid this contingency that
General Potiorek now suggested that the day's In the event, rt did (from Princip's pornt of AtSarajevo one manwith aBrowning automatic
programme be moderated, Instead of visiting view) even better, changed the shape of world history ; but if the
the town museum as planned, which would The three cars duly approached the cross- drivers had been toid of the change ofroute, the
entail returnlng along the Appel Quay as far as roads and the chauffeurs, still ignorant of the Archduke's car would never have slowed down in
front of the assassin.
Latin Brrdge, then turning right by Schllle/s modifications of programme, swrrng around the
Store and along Franz Josef Street, he sug- corner, But as the first car turned, Potiorek
gested that the museum be abandoned and realized the error and shouted to correct it, The
ihat the party either proceed direct to the gov first car sped on but the archduke's slowed in sympathizers) and Princip then fired twice,
ernor's residence at Konak, or return instead to the turn, stopped, and the chauffeur began The flrst bullet penetrated the side of the car,
Ilidze, both alternatives requiring nothing but a backing so as to clear again for the passage the duchess's corsei and then her right side,
drive at full speed along the Appel Quay, To along Appel Quay, Qurte slowly, the car and its whrle the second went through the archduke's
this the archduke agreed with the proviso that occupants reversed past Princip at a distance coat collar, severed his jugular vein and
at some point on the journey a small drversion of some i5m(5ft). lodged in his spine. Both were dead by the
could be arranged to allow him to call at the His arm was grabbed by a pohceman who time they arrived at the hospital.
hospital where ColonelMerizzi was being tre- saw the younq man produce a pistol but the It was 11,30 on the morning of 28 June l9l4;
ated for his wounds, in order for both archduke policeman was then knocked down (probably and the effects of those two shots are still wtth
and duchess to express their sympathy and by another of the conspirators or one of their us.
So it was agreed, and it was a great prty that
no one thought to inform the chauffeurs of the
change in plans.
From his station at the_end of the Latin
Bridqe, Princip had heard Cabrinovli's bomb
explode, realized soon afterwards that thelr
prime target had escaped unhurt, and seen
Cabrinovi6 attempt to escape along the river
bed pursued by pohce who soon caught hrm,
Princip dallied byrefly with the idea of pursurng
them, shooting Cabrinovii in order to ensure
his silence and then turning the pistol upon
himself, Princrp. soon abandoned lhe nolion,
mxing with the'crowd instead and eventually
takrng post on the opposite srde of the Appel
Quay, on the corner by Schrller's Store, Here,
he and the crowd believed, the cortege would
eventully slow in order to turn into Franz Josef

The funeral ofFranz Ferdinand took place on 2July

1 9 I 4. Austria-Hungary deliberately made
demands on Se rhia that coulci not be met in order
to go to war . The network of alliances drew the
G reat Powers into the conflict one by one and
across Europe party differenceswere put aside for
the s ake of n ational unity.

Pistols of the Great War
Austro-Hungarian pistols
-:e basic prstol of the Austro-Hunga-
:--an armies was the 8-mm Rast und
Gasser Revolver M.I898, This was a
-;ery robust and well made revolver,
was issued rn large numbers to
:-icers and NCOs of the imperial
-mies, But it was unusual on two
lcunts: one was that it fired its own
:-cecial B-mm (0.315-in) cartridqe, and
-ie other was the unusual method of
s:ipping. This was carried out by pull-
-::g down the trigqer gnrard, In this way
:-e entrre interior workings were ex-
posed for cleaning and repair, not that
:epairs had to be carried out very often
-:r the M. 1B9B was extraordinarily
::ugh. In fact the standard of produc-
:on was so hiqh that many were still in
;e durinq World War Ii.
Despite the widespread issue of the
ll.l898 revolver in1907, the Austro-
iurgarian army decided also to adopt
1n automatrc pistol, This was the B-mm
Repetierpistole M.07 (also known as
jle Roth-Steyr) a prstol that used a uni-
arre mechanism that no one has seen fit
3 copy, The M,07 used a long bolt that
-ritially moved backwards with the
:arrel on flring and continuedto travel
:3 the rear once thebarrel was held by
s:ops. A complicated process of ejec-
:cn and feeding the next round then
:ommenced, ceasing only when the
bolt and the barrel were back in their
-ltial position, The process rnvolved a Superficially similar to the Mauser Cl Lengrths:overall233 mm (9.17 in);
:raiqht travel and at one point rotary
lovement. Despite all thrs complexity
MannlicherMl903was arival
96, the
weapon produced with the military
barrel 131 mm (5, 16 in)
Muzlevelocity: 332 m (1,089 ft) per
re M.07 was a sound senrice pistol but marketinmind, butwasreiected as a second
,: was never produced for anything service pistol as itwas not sufficiently Magazine capacity: 10 rounds
:iher than Austro-Hunqarian military rcIiable.
servrce, It too had a cartddqe all ofits Specification
:!.m that was not adopted elsewhere. hands. However, the official status did M.12
The M,07 was drfficult to produce not prevent the ear[er M,1B9B and Calibre:9 mm (0,354 in)
rd in 1912 the 9-mm Repetierpistole M,07 remaining in widespread use, Weight: 1.02 kq (2.25 lb)
M.12 was introduced. Widely known Lengrths: overall216 mm (8.5 in); barrel
- the Steyr-Hahn, the M, 12 used what Specification 128 mm (5. 1in)
-,';as probably the stronqest pistol ac- M.07 Muzzle velocity: 340 m ( 1, I 15 ft) per
:-ln ever made, wrth a locked-breech Calibre:B mm (0,315 in) second
:-echanism operated by a rotating Weisht: 1,03 kq (2.27 lb) Magazine capacity: B rounds
:arrel. The 9-mm (0,354-in) cartridge
-,';as again specral to the weapon and The Steyr M1912 was a first-class gan
',';as used by no other, and another dis- butwas adopted only by the Austro- Right: Having begun the Hussar style
'-:.:lion was that the magazrne was Hungarian army, perftaps because it in the first place, itwas only natural
and had to be reloaded through fired aunique9-mm cartridge that that Hungarian hussar uniforms in
.::e top using a charger clip. was more powertul than the 1 9 I 4 retained all the panache of
Ihe M, 12 was offlcially the standard increasingly popul ar 9 -mm traditional light cavalry, despite the
-r-'-stro-Hungarian side-arm of World Parabellum. It was called'S teyr- addition of modern weaponry. This
ar I and many were still around dur- H ahn' ('S teyr-H ammer' ) to officer holds a Steyr-Hahn M12
:-; World War II, by then in German distinguish it from the Roth-S teyr. automatic in classtc due/lrnersfance.


Japanese pistols
During World War I the Japanese srgned by one Krjiro Nambu and was
armed forces used two types of side never offlcially accepted for Impertal
arm: the Pistol revolver Tlpe 26 and service However, so many were
rhe Pistol Automatic Type 4 purchased and used by Japanese
The 9-mm (0.354-in) Type 26 revol- offlcers from the late 1900s onwards
ver was adopted in 1893, inttially for that the desigm was provided with the
cavalry use. It was a Japanese desiqn Type 4 desiqnation, To the West it be-
that was typical of its era for rt was came known as the Nambu and was so
produced at a time when the Japanese widely used that all subsequent
were still studying Western technolo- Japanese pistols were called Nambus.
gy to bring their nation forward from The Type 4 flred an B-mm (0,315-in)
the state of qenerally medieval back- cartridge, and used an action not un-
wardness, Unfortunately for the small- Iike that of the ]talian Glisenti but
arms designers they did not know mechanically stronger, Thrs action
which particular Western desigms to gave the Type 4 a drstinctive appear-
follow and so produced an amaiqam of ance, There were several variations of
several different designs The overall the basic Type 4, the most drastic of
appearance owed much to the Nagant which was a special 7-mm (0,276-in)
revolvers, the cylinder swing-out sys- 'Baby Nambu' versron intended for use
tem was borrowed from the Smith & by staff offlcers, Despite its wrde-
Wessons, the ability to swing open the spread use the Type 4 was apparently
lock mechanism came from the French not a very satisfactory pistol. One con- The 9-mm Nambu automatic was purchased by many J apanese officers
Lebel and Lhe action was deflved fiom stant source of troubles was the strtker althoughitwas never adopted as a servicepistol.It had a breech-lock similar
several European designs. The spring which sometimes became too to that of the Glisenti but suffered from a weak striker spring.
Japanese decided to add a touch of weak to fire a cartridge. Another was
their own and made the pistol a dou- the generally low standard of steel Specification Specification
ble-action only weapon, To this they used for some components which often Type 26 Type4
added their own 9-mm ammunition broke under anythrng other than light Calibre:9 mm (0.354 in) Calibre: B mm (0,315 in)
that was not then, or ever srnce used use. But the Type 4 remained in ser- Weight:0.9 ks (1.98 Ib) Weisht: 0,9 kq (1,98 lb)
by any other weapon, The result was vice for many years. Many were still in Lenqths: overall 239 mm (9.4 in); barrel Lengths: overall 229 mm (9 in); barrel
an odd revolver that was at least ser- use during World War II despite the 119 mm (4.7 in) 120 mm (4,7 in)
vrceable and strong enough to last provision of a generally-improved de- Muzzle velocity: 277 m (909 ft) per Muzzle velocity: 325 m (1 066 ft) per
througth two world wars siqn known as the Type 14 (introduced second second
The Type 4 automatic pistol was de- in 1937), Ammunition capacity: 6 rounds Ammunition capacity: B rounds


N Model 1895
The Nagant Model 1895 revolver was
ongnnally a Belgian desiqrn produced
as early as IBZB. From then onwards
the basic desigrn was procured by Bel-
grum, Arqentina, Brazil, Denmark,
Norway, Portugal, Rumania, Serbia
and Sweden, usually from Belgium and
.n various calibres (althouqth copies
,'rere produced in Spain), However,
-le number of Nagant revolvers pro-
duced in Russia (inrtrally under li-
:ence) dwarfed all output carried out
:lsewhere, to the extent that the
\agant is now regarded as a Russian
The first Russian production of the
liaqfant was carried out at the Tula
l:senal in 1895 and continued until
-340 The vetsion involved was the
liagart Model 1895, a model designed
.r rnprove the overall efficiency of the
iasic revolver concept, It was an un-
'..s':al revolver in many respects, not
--:e Ieast being the unique 7.62-mm
, 30-rn) ammunition that used a brass
:-iridge case with a fully recessed
:llet The idea of this was that as the
;-s:ol was fired the cy[nder was ram-
:-ei iorward into close contact against
:-: end of the barrel, wrth the case
a compiete gas seal behveen
:,/vo assemblies, The idea behind
.i -r/as supposedly to make the car-
:,ige more efflcient by minimizinq the
-:ss cf propellant qases throuqh the
-:-a11 gap behveen the cylinder and ference behveen the flnish of the tvvo thousands over the years. The type The N agant was a Belgian design
:-: :arrel, but it was a feature of doubt- models, the single-action models often was used throughout World Wars I and adopted by many different armies
-,':lue that added a degrree of com- being left as bare metal while the II, and it is possible to encounter some but so many were produced under
;,:-':ry to the requirement for a special offlcers' verslons were plated or today in odd corners of the world. A ficence in Russia that the revolver is
:-::lidqte, although the Russians blued, Both were extremely sturdY few ammunrtlon manufacturers still regarded as Russian. It incorporated
-,:-.;ii much of it and retained the and reliable weapons: they had to be find it worth their whrle to produce the an unusua,l gras -seal mechanism
-==::le unchanged until production to last under the conditions in which specral recessed ammunition, which added needless complication
the Russian army usually fouqht, The although most sales must now be to for little real benetit.
::l some reason the Tsarist army frame was solid and the cylinder was collectors.
:=:-i:C to perpetuate the differences fixed wrth loading takinq place Lengrths: overall230 mm (9,055 in);
:=..';=cl the ranks by issuing enlisted through a qate on the right, A rod was Specification barrel 110 mm (4.33 in)
:-=: -,';-i srnqle-action revolvers while used to eject spent cases, NagantModel IB95 Muzzle velocity: 272 m (892 ft) per
---:r.s received double-actron ver- The Nagant Model IB95 revolvers Calibre: 7,62 mm (0 3 in) second
- :s here was also a noticeable dif- were produced in hundreds of Weisht:0 795 kq (1 75 lb) Cylinder capacity: 6 rounds
9-mm Pistole '08 Pistols of the Great War
,:,:9-mm Pistole '08 remains one of Iong, Other barrel lengths were of the butt made the pistol a good one They liked the P'OB, and after 1918:::=
: classic' pistols and it rs still almost 152mm (6 in), 203 mm (B rn) and even to aim and fire. The P'08 soon became model was kept in service. It was s.'l
---'.'ersally known as the Luger after lts 305mm (l2in) These lonq-barrelled a prized front-line weapon and war tro- in production in 1943 and even tci:.
r=s,gner, Georg Luger The basic de- verslons were usually tssued with com- phy, and througrhout World War I there many manufacturers find it welt r. :--
' lt. ,4,ias based on tnat of a previous bined wooden shoulder stocl</holster were never enough P OBs being pro- their whrle to produce 'look-alke ::
:-s::l the Borchardt but Luger tidied kits and were known as Artillery Mod- duced to meet the ever-growing de- dtrect copies for a seemingly unsa _-
-;.hat desiqn and developed it into els, They were frequently used with a mands, it was here that the disadvan- able market.
:-: iorm manufactured by Deutsche
-.'.-:Jen 32-round'snail' magazine. tages of the P'08 became apparent, for
und Munrtionsfabriken (DWM) AII the variations of the P'08 used the it was a diff,cult weapon to produce rn Specification
:.:::ing rn lB9B same mechanisms with rts upward- quantity as vrrtually all its components P'08
re first Luger prstols were sold to opening toggle lock mechanism. As had to be hand-made, By lg17 much of Calibre: 9 mm (0.354 in)
-'-,'.--:zerland in 1900 chambered for the the prstol was fired all the htnge ele- the exceilent pre-war detail finish had Weisht: 0.876 ks (1,93 Ib)
::-mm (0.301-rn) cartridge. By 1904 ments of the toggle were in line to lock been omitted and the odginal grip Lengrths: overall 222 mm (8.7 6 |n).
-o1sto1 was being re-chambered,for the breech, The recoil forces had to safety was deleted altogether, never to barrel 103 mm (4,06 in)
:: 9-mm (0.354-rn) Parabellum car, overcome the mechanical advantage return even after 1918, There was one Muzzle velocity: 320 m ( 1,050 ft) per
and this version was accepted of the toggle mechantsm before it other drawback to the P '08, and that second
3erman na\ry use, In 1908 a slightly would open, and once open the ejec- was the fact that the toggle mechanism Magazine capacity: (box) B roulds
:=';ed model was accepted by the tion and reloading processes could be was not very tolerant of trench condi-
lelman army and thereafter the P'08 cafired out. A return spdng in the butt tions. Mud and dirt could all too easily A standard Luger P '08 is shown
'.'.-:s fabricated in hundreds of reset everything ready to flre the next clog the workings, often at the worst beneath an'Artillery' Model, thought
-::-.sands. These early models were round. possible tlmes, so the pistols deman- to have been introduced in 19 17. The
:::duced in a variety ofbarrel lengths, The toggle device save the P'08 a ded a lot of care. Iatter had a 192-mm (7.S-in) barrel
:-: shortest beinq 103 mm (4.06 in) distinctive appearance, and the rake The soldiers did not seem to mind, and aflat board-like stock-

Uiil:r German pistols

J:.t :: :e first commercial pistols lo

:r* ;"- :::.rced m 9 -mm P arabellum
v:;: :e ?Jl & M'Dreyse',whichwas
::,,i: :-: :::.ired o nly in limited
:--:+--sirt saw active service
:stri =i: s-"ess. T he we apon w as
:*r*rfi-:,-ed on this earlier Dreyse
{r :,::-:::. chambered for the 7.65-

-r -_;4^
Other German pistols (continued)

ing system that required a rod to eject

spent cartridqe cases, These ancient
revoivers were still around in 19 18 and
for many years after as they did not
wear out, There was also a Modell 1883
wrth a shorter (126-mm/4,96-in) barrel,
Another typical wartime expedient
was the 7.65-mm (0,301-in) Belholla-
Selbsladepistole. This was really a
commercral automatic pistol of undis-
tingnrished design, but was available in
some numbets and was fairly easy to
make, Many were issued to staff
officers who had to carry a pistol and
for whom the Belholla would be quite
suff,cient, freeing more useful combat
pistols for front-line units, Thousands of
Belhollas were made and issued, often
under an array of sub-contractor
names, The design was so simple that
little thoughtwas given to maintenance
and the pistol could not be stripped
wlthout recourse to a trained armourer
imth a substantial tool krt,
I'hese two pistols were typical of the
mx of commercial and ancient side-
arms with whrch a Qreat deal of the
German army (and other sewices) had
to conduct their war. Demand con-
stantly outstripped pistol supply, so a
wide range of odd pistols wete col-
iected into the German army net, Pis-
tols with such names as the Dreyse and
the Langenham were pressed rnto ser- kind they often had to encounter, so Weight: 1,04 kq (2.29 lb) An automatic 7 .65 -mm pistol
vice in quantities that ensured that many were less than satisfactorY, Lengths: overall 3 10 mm ( 12, 2 in); designed for the commercial market,
theLr names wou]d not be entirely for- barrel 183 mm (7,2 in) the Langenhanwas adopted by the
gotten, as theywould probably other- Specification Mrzzlevelocity:205 m (673 ft) per German army during thewar as
have been, but few of them were Modell 1879 second demand for weapons exceeded the
desigmed for front-line sewice of the Calibre: 10,6 mm(0.417 in) Cylinder capacity: 6 rounds production capacity of existing guns.

Mauser C/96
The onginal design ofthe Mauser C/96 Military Model had a mechanism that to a limited extent. A return springr re- but in Spain and many other nations,
range ofpistols was produced by three can only be described as complicated. turned everythinqr for the next round. including Chrna where lhe quantitles
brothers named Feederle, who work- Rounds were fed tnto the magaztne The mechanrsm depended on careful involved were prodigious, Most of this
ed on the basic design until 1896 when situated in front of the trigger ustng machining and exact tolerances, two 'overseas' productron was entirely un-
-: was placed in production by Mauser clips fed in from above, At the moment factors that made the C/96 series dif- official
ai Oberndorf-Neckar. Thereafter the of flring the breech was locked bY a ficult to manufacture and which 1ed to
Ci96 and its derivatives were pro- locking piece underneath the bolt that its eventual mrlitary dem,se. Specification
Cuced in a bewrldenng array of mod- moved to and fro in a barel exlension. The C/96 pistois were certainly MilitaryModel
els to the extent that rt is still a veritable After firing, a system of tongues and formiable military weapons with a cer- Caiibre: 7 63 or 9 mm (3 01 or 0,354 in)
:r-rnefield for the unwary histortan, bolt movement delayed the action until tain aura about them that suwives to Weisht: 1.22 kq (2 69 Ib)
The first C/96 pistols were hand the chamber pressure had dropped to this day, for it seems that every prstol Lengths: overall 3OB mm (12.125 in);
jurls, but it was not long before later a safe level, after which the bolt was collector wants at least one C/96 rn hrs barrel 140 mm (5,5 L in)
::rodels began to sprout shoulder allowed to move back to carry out the collection, Such collectors have awide Muzzle velocity: (7 63 mm) 433 m
s:ccks and other such appendages. reloading and recockingt operations, choice, for the pistols were made in (1,420 ft)persecond
3arrels started to increase in lengrth The barrel also moved back, but only large numbers, not only in Germany Magazine capacity: l0 rounds
-:rtl the weapons became virtual car-
bnes rather than prstols, and some
::cdeis of the C/96 became very com-
pl:x pieces of krt together with their
s:oulder stock/holsters that also car-
:-ed cleaninq tools, spare cltps and so
::r Only one model needs to be consi
ieled at thls stagie to explain most
The Military Model was first pro'
:rced rn 1912 and was widely used
:roughout World War 1. It had a 140-
:::r (5.51-in) barrel and was one of the
:-sioVcarbine versions that used a
::nbLnation shoulder stock and hols-
::r Originally these pistols were pro-
ri3ed to fit a special 7,63-mm (3,0l-in)
:ar.:ridge but during World War I the
i=rrand was such that some were
--:ed to fire the 9-mm (0,354-in) Para-
:::lum cartridgter these had a large
:=j number 9 engraved into their
:-.--s. Usinq both these cartridges the

The Mauser C/96 has one of ffi e best

)anown profiles of any pistol, and this
elqantweapon, already popular at
the turn of the century, is today a
! av ou rite for colle ctor s.
lvlqus€r: the sforg confinues
Desr'gnedin 1894 with a hammer intended to be cocked against a horseman's
s addle, the Mauser cl 9 6 was carried by winston churchill during his army days.
S ubsequently copied in arsenals around the world, a modified version is today
narketed by the Chinese as a machine pistol.

- -: story of the Mauser C/96 'Broomhandle' enclosed

_: =.:1s may have started back in the l89Os, but By the time World War I started the C/96 was
- ,: -ar from over, The C/96 was the world's first in widespread use. Many sales were made to
: --,. automatic selfJoading pistol, and over the officers of diverse nations, for at that time an
:=:ades has gained a followrng that has yet to officer had to purchase his own side-arm. Many
_: f af were attracted by the C/96, and many Bntish
-re C/96 was first produced in 1896 and off,cers sported them: Winston Churchill car-
::::-edrately became a much desrred weapon, ried one durins his spell rn the World War I
- := main attraction was its selfJoading leature, trenches, Most of the C/96s used by the Ger-
-r. many buyers were drawn to the weapon man army dunng the war were a model known
.-.: by rts appearance, Srmply carrying the as the 'neue Sicherung 1912', thrs being a sim-
'.';eapon seemed to impart some sense of im- plifled varrant compared with previous mod-
;:aance to the carrier, but thrs was offset by e1s, and having as standard a barrel 139.7 mm
-:,: iact that the C/96 was not easy to maintain. It (5 5 rn) long. Many were issued wrth the
:-=i a complicated mechanism and took some wooden stock/holsters,
-::e to understand, The bystander never saw Il was with the rnlroduclion of thrs mode. l9l2
-:-:se 'off-stage' requirements, and thus re- that the company made increasingly feasrble
:-:rned impressed. the use ofthe C/96 as a specialist assassrnation
Anyone on the receiving end was also im weapon by the introduction of a powerful 9 mm
::essed. The 7,63-mm (0.301-1n) cartrrdge (0 354-in) cartridge known as the Mauser Ex,
-:ed by the C/96 was a high-velocity round that port, Thrs fired a bullet srmilar to that used in
:,.ild inflict serious damage at quite long the Parabellum cartndge but at a higher muz-
r:rEes compared with other pistols of the era,
--i Mauser took advantages of thrs by sup-
:--.-rng some models wrth leaf rearsights cah-
Right : A G erman U hlan sports a M auser C / I 6
modified to fire the standard 9-mm Parabellum
::aied up to as much as i0O0 m (1 094 yards), cartridge instead o{ the origina|7.63-mm round.
-',-i:ch was rather optimrstrc. To take advantage The weapons were marked on the grip with either
a red or(less commonly) ablackfigure'9'. Afew
- :his long-range feature there emerged the
early models made for the armywere chambered
-.: of wooden holsters that could also double
.. shoulder stocks for more accurate atming. for the longer-cased 9-mm Mauser Export
-:-Einally these accessories were produced
,:: ,vealthy commercial customers, but it was
-,-: long before they attracted the attentions of Below: Most Mauser C/96s were capable of being
:,: milrtary who then decided to take the idea fitted with the Mauser hollow wooden shoulder
stock, which doubled as a holster and carried the
:---: stage further and add cleaning tools spare cleaning kit. The magazine was an integral part of
'--:nunrtion clips and other items to the holster, the pistol andwas loaded through the topof the
--- .re end the wooden holster was in turn car actionwith the I0 round charger illustrated. Note
--=i in a leather holster with all the extras the figure 9 on the grip of the lower pistol.

Mauser: the story continues

The Spanish and Chinese also introduced an

innovation. By some slight alterations to the
trigger mechanism the C/96 could be con-
verted into a form of sub-machine Qun, or more
correctly a machine pistol, providing fu11y auto-
matic flre, The value of a weapon the size of the
C/96 firinq on fully automatic was dubrous but
its effects could be dramatic, especially at
close rangtes; the l0-round magazrne capacity
was soon exhausted and the recoil caused the
barrel to c[mb rapidly away from the target,
Thrs did not appear to be any problem to the
Chinese, who again took to these new Spanrsh
and locally-produced automatics wrth a wi1l.
The weapons soon became considerable sym-
bols of personal importance, and war lords
often equipped therr personal bodyguards
wlth the guns in an effort to ensure that the men
commanded respect wherever they went, The
violent barrel climb was easily overcome by
the Chinese: they simply turned the weapons
on their srde to produce a wide horrzontal fan of
--e velocity (415 m/l 362 ft per second as Emperor Haile,Se/assie sifspen sively on a log after fire,
:pposed Io 344rn/I 129 lt per second) This his epic march back to Ethiopia. His bodygaard
::ade the pistoVcartridge combinatron an ex carried an extraordinary variety ofweapons, Newmodel
:eilent long-range weapon that could be re- including the MauserC/96 sported by the manon Mauser was alarmed by these inroads into its
theright. market and soon (1930) produced its ou,m mod-
--:rve1y easily concealed and used at distances
ell above normal prstol ranges. Thus the el to meet the situation, The company aitered
i.lauser Export pistols were often used for clan- the basic C/96 mechanism slightly to produce
i:strne and assassination mrsslons all around After the war Mauser was prevented by the the Model 712, almost always known as the
::-.,rrorld, especrally rn the Balkans where the Aliies from supplyrng the German army, and so 'Schnellfeuer'. This was a more sophisticated
I 96 was much favoured The importance of looked around for new customers. Many com- firearm than many of the forelgn models, with
:--s special cartridge must not be overempha- mercial sales were made by assembling pis- an elongated magazine holding up to 20 rounds
s--ed however, for the standard Mauser 7.63- tols from spare parts, but the largest post-war and a much superior standard of manufacture;
:':: carirrdge was no mean performer in its customer was the USSR, for which Mauser pro- most were produced with fittings for shoulder
: ,'.:r right. duced a 7.63-mm model known as the 'Bolo', stocks, This model became just as much a suc-
lulng World War I the C/96 in rts various supposedly after 'Bolshevik'. This version had a cess as many of the earlier models, despite its
-::::s did not fare as ivell as some other pistols barrel 99 mm (3.9 rn) long and used a shor- apparent lack of combat value, It certainly de-
':,:en used in the trenches The complex tened six-round magazine, The overall appear- manded respect for its carrrer, and was soon
:,::hanism drd not cope well with mud or dirt ance was cleaned-up and was much smoother found to be a formidable assassination weapon:
l::.:ing rn its workings, so the C/96s were than that of earlier models. These Bolos were King Alexander II of Yugoslavia was killed by
;::erally used by second-line units such as the used extensively by both srdes during the Rus- one ln 1934.
---'ery. They were also used wtth some de- sian Civil War of the early I920s, and more The German military were not so impressed,
1=e of success by the newly-formed German were purchased rn 1926. but nevertheless some were procured for the
:-r arm It was almost certainly one of the first German armed forces, A few went to the ]ruft-
-,'.':apons ever used in arr-to-atr warfare when Far Eastern version waffe, more to the Waffen-SS and others to
l:rman pilots in their otherwise unarmed By the late 1920s Mauser was losing trade to various Hitler Youth units, The German nar,ry
.:::: aircraft attempted to shoot at Allied pilots a number of overseas producers of Mauser also received a number from a batch ordered
=:-j arrcraft flying close by, The C/96 was look-alikes, The attractions of the C/96 were by the Chinese but not dehvered, In German
::rhaps better pistols
than most rn this form of not conflned to World War I combatants, and use the Schnellfeuers were not wrdely used in
-:-:ertain warfare and promoted Allied prlots numbers of C/96s were produced before the combat but were generally retained for Waf
- :=.aliate with pistols or rifles. It was not long war for Persia and China, who took to the de- fen-SS activities behind the lines, largely
:: :re machine quns were ln use and the era sign wrth a will, Thus rt was not long before against resrstance fighters and partisans.
: - :-s:ols in air-to-air combat passed almost as nations other than Germany were producing The C/96 and the Schnellfeur went out of
::::- as ii had began, C/96 copies for the market. Sparn especially production beiore the end of World War 11.
produced direct copies for sales to China and Both were too expensive to produce in large
9-mmParabellum other Far East nations. The Chinese aiso began quantities, and other weapons had hrgher
-:- World War I Mauser churned out C/96s to produce Mauser C/96s of all types, Some prrorities, But the C/96 story did not end there,
:-=-:i_r ihe model 1912) in thousands to meet were direct copies, others were srmply look- The Chinese strll maintained the production of
='.-=r-growing demands, The standard of many alikes with differing mechanisms, and still their various copies and continued to use them
, :.ese war-time models suffered, and a others were produced ihat were downrrght all through the campaigns that led to the even-
-:---;e -'ruas made rn 1916 to enable the pistol to dangerous to fire, These Chinese copies were tuai communist victories of 1948-9 Even then
::= l-:rm Parabellum ammunition, These pis- usually liberally sprinkled with Chinese mark- the C/96 was still retained by some, who used it
- -. ,',-ere issued with a large '9' burned tnto the ings to denote therr source of origrn, and were more as a badge of rank rather than a combat
: r: ::::randle butt and painted red. produced in thousands for local markets.

Pistols of the Great War
I'lcuse r C/ge'Broomhandle
flip-up rearstoht
7.63 mm Mauser caftridge

ma nspr ng

magazine floorp ate

Lock mechanism frame

sear sprlnq and hammer pivot

:';en now the C/96 lives on. The Chinese still

::: j-:ce a version known as the Type 80 This
:=-s no immediate resemblance to the old
I :: out the seeds are stiil there, The Type 80
'-=: ;.7.62-mm (0.3-in) pistol round from a I0-
:: l--round magazine in front of the trigger
. -.-: fhe slide appears to be more
:-= :-:','.'back type than the complex Mauser
of a sim-

:,:, but wlthout actually examining an

= .:--,i-e cne cannot be sure, The pistol fires
:-:-- _r i.rlly-automatic, and there is even a
-::.- : s.cck, no ionger the old holster/stock
: *' : -:,:- :elescopic device that clips onto the
: -- ---: Type 80 even has a bayonet,
: - -:-= lrlauser C/96 survives, far from tts land
, :,:-:. cll still liable to be used in any action
-,' :
:-:s -:s way, Exactly where that might be
.: : - _'--:: say for the Chinese are offertng the
- ', ::l sale to anyone who will buy,
= --

-l* --:-:ese are today offering for export the Type

rfi :- : :--: e pisf ol, which is a version of the Mauser
i :: :- :":::'ed for fully automatic fire. It evolved
:r:.* -:: 3.'-:.nese copies of the C/96 produced in
-:,* i- - s',,;i'.en it was a favourite weapon with
-.:r*r: a'z:.crds.
Lebel revolver
The first French military revolvers The lrebel flred a specral B-mm car-
were the Moddle 1873 and Moddle trrdge using a double-aclion trigger
1874. When they were flrst issued they mechanism, The action was very
f,red an I 1-mm (0,433-in) cartrldge that robust and heavy, which was gtood
used black powder, although after enough for short-rancte work but not
lB90 a more modern propellant was forgiving enough for tarQlet-range
substrtuted and some were even con- accuracy. To clean and repair the ac-
verted to fire the new B-mm (0,315-rn) tion the Lebel had what must be one oi
cMridqe, The only visual differences the best mechanism access systems of
betvveen the mles 1873 and 1874 was any revolver. A plate at the lower left-
that the mle 1874 had cylinder flutes hand side of the frame could be hinged
while the mle IB73 drd not, open in a forward direction to expose
These two revolvers wrth their fixed the entre trigger and cylinder operat-
frames and gate-loaded cylinders ing systems Changing or cleaning any
were still in use durinq World War I part was then very simple.
(indeed, many survived until World The marn drawback to the Lebel
War II), but were largely replaced by when used in close-quarter action was
a more modern desiQn known officially the cartridqe, It was seriously underp-
Modele 1892 or
as the Pistol Revolveur owered and even at short ranges in-
the Moddle d'Ordnance, To most sol- flicted wounds that only rarely knock-
diers it was simply the Lebel, The ed down an enemy. Unless a bullet
Lebel had evolved via an interim de- found a \'rtal spot an enemy could still
sigm that fired a new B-mm cartridge, contrnue to function - after a fashton,
but this intenm model was not consi- This drawback did not detract from the
dered satisfactory and was rede- in-service popularity ofthe Lebel dur-
sigmed to the mle lB92 standard by the ing World War I, for many front-line
design staff of the Saint Etienne arsen- soldlers valued its reliability under
al, The Lebel was the first European adverse conditions more than its hit-
revolver to incorporate a swinq-out trng power,
cylinder that considerably assisted Being the flrst of its krnd in Europe
raprd reloadrng: the cylinder swung the Lebel was copied in both Spain
out to the right and spent cases were and Belgium,
ejected using a central hand-operated
rod that was normally situated under Specification
the barrel. Moddle 1892
Calibre:B mm (0,315 in)
Weight:0,792 kq (1,75 lb)
Iiengths:overall235 mm (9,25 in);
barrel 118,5 mm (4,665 in)
Muzzlevelocity: 225 m (738 ft)per
Cylinder capacity: 6 rounds

Left: T heir catasfrophi'c /osses in

1870 notwithstanding, the French
cuirassier regiments went to war in
1 9 I 4 in virtually N apoleonic

uniforms, the only difference being

that the glittering breastplate and
helmetwere covered and they
c ar ried m ode rn pr'sf ois.

Below: The Lebelwas the tirst

European revolver to sport a swing- Above:AFrench officer delivers lle coup de grrAce to aGerman prisoner of
out cylinder for rapid re-loading. war, executed by firing squad for fatally knifing one of the guards. This was
Inconveniently, it swung out to the perhaps the only situation inwhich the lack of stopping-power of the French
right. 9-mm round was not a problem .
Armed Forces of the Worid

-he Republlc of lndoneiia came into being on
August 1945 and for the next four years was
,,olved in a struggle for existence, initrally against the
3ritish in Java and then agalnst the Dutch. A number
cf internal rebellions and guerrilla actions followed
ihroughout the 1950s, and such small-scale wars
eventually led to the abortlve confrontation with
Valaysia and the Brltish during 1963-4, when small
.lnits of regular soldiers and marines were landed by
sea and air to fight mainly along the frontier area
oetween Kalimantan and Sarawak-Sabah. The regu-
iar units were defeated by the much more experi-
enced British troops, with on one occasion the loss
cf a Lockheed C-1 308 Hercules transport to an RAF
Gloster Javelin fighter. Since that time the armed
forces have engaged in further combat against com-
munist guerrillas, and on 7 December 1975 they
;nvaded Portuguese Timor after pro-lndonesian par-
ties had called for help against the leftwing Fretilin
forces which controlled much of the terrltory. This The actual compositlon of the 210,000-strong Thevast size of Indonesia and f}le sheeriii:.--:e-: :-'
guerrilla war is still smouldering today, as are the army below the KODAM level is: differentislands make the republc s na',.ar:or-.s
various contacts with communist bands in other especially important. The navy has a large ::-::-c-::
of fastattackcraft, with another 40 Boeing;e:c:-:
parts of lndonesia. one armoured cavalry brigade (KOSTRAD-
planned.This 38-m (125-ft) search andresrue
The armed forces are organized according to a assigned). craff, ffi e Kujang, rs on e of srx sucfi vesseis b :;:-': ::
territorial system with regional commands known one ndependent lank battalion, Francefrom j,981.
as KOWILHANs, numbered l to 4. Each of these seven independent armoured cavalry battalions,
has a combined service HO group, plus separate four infantry divisions (each of two infantry brigades oneLST, 20 LCUsand twotJq: :-l
organizations for the different subordinate services. plus support units), Army Aviat:on iwith ore oe rrcoPtt' ->a -'=a---' =' :
ln the case of the army, the KOWILHANs control a six independent infantry brigades (three KOSTRAD- one composite f ,,reo-w ng te .--,a-.=' : r - : :-- -
total of 17 KODAMs lDaerah milltary commands) assigned), flyingsevenNC-212Aviocars.sx3: 2,:. . .
which are of divisional strength (with two infantry 1 1 independent infantry regiments, Bell 21 2s, two Aerospariale A r. -='.-.= : : .', - - .

brigades apiece) for each of the three Java-located 33 independent inf antry battalions, Commander 680s. one Beecr ' a " a' ,'-a ,
KODAMs and the Jakarta Command, but elsewhere two airborne infantry brigades (KOSTRAD- 1 05s and 26 Aerospatiale Srper
tr--:s =
of brigade strength or equivalent. The naval com- assigned),
mand equivalent to the KODAM is the KODAERAL, fou r independent ai rborne infantry battalions, The equipment for these 'crre= .- : - ,' -' :'- - -
of whjch there are eight, while for the air force it is two field artillery regiments (each of three East and West, wilr l^e oloesi '.a* : :-=- .= r -'
the KODAV, of which there are five. Apart from battalions), through an extensive series o' '-'-':
='- :-
- --- -
these operational commands there is also the KOS- eight independent field artillery battalions, rammes. Mosr of the armo-' -= --' :':.- -- =-: : - -
manufacture, the former uS-? , 33 -l :--: -:
TRAD (Strategic Reserve Command) which is one air-defence artillery regiment (of three
directly responsible to the head of state, and the battalions), Dutch equipment. However, tngi-: : : .- - . -; -,
indigenous arms manlfacr-;"]'--: -::: .:- -:l
KOPPASSANDHA which controls the special forces seven independent air-def ence artillery battalions,
groups. Although not part of the KOWILHAN joint fou r independent air-defence artillery batteries, on the Bandung Arsena , at'c -.'='==. = -': "
service headquarters, there are also 17 KOMDAKs four special forces para-commando groups weapons and arti lery come a: - . =':- '-- :, =-
whlch correspond to the army's KODAMs but are (assigned to KoPPASSAND HA), Union. A full list oi the eqJ F.-:-' - , -:=.-
made up of armed police units and are directly re- one f ield engineer regiment (of two battalions),
sponsible to the governor ol a Daerah and through six independent field engineer battalions, armour: AMX-13F1-lOlign:,.a'. =---=
him to the home mrnister and the people's elected 1 0 independent f ield engineer detachments, amphib ous tanl,; Salao r. z'-'- .'=-.,'=-'
assembly. Marine Transport Force (with 1 4 transport ships, and Commando scouicarsr ar: l',', -, --
Saracen, BTR-40, BTR-1 52, AC!,' :-":
CommandoV-'l 50 and Corr n a - i. -.' -:
:=- I : I -
artillery: (towed) 76-mm (3-inr r\,/a8 *.,' .. - a,-
76-mm M1942field gun, 105-r- !''- - 1.t= :

pack howitzer, 105-mm M lOi ::'.', ::- '

---- -
(4.8-in) M 1 938 howitzer
(self-propelled) 105-mm M<6- r:.', :=-
{mortars) B1-mm (3.19-in)Mi a2--- : -:-'
Soviet, '1 20-mm (4.12-in) Sov e:. 1 2-,-- -

anti-armourweapons: 89-mn' 13.a-'',' i - -. -.. -

launcher; 90-mm (3.54-in)M67 a',:' -a-- -
(4.17-in) M40A1 recoillessr,fies, El.-:: r- j,',
air-defence weapons: 20-mm Rr'202 2l-- -
Oerlikon. 40-mm M 1 Bofors, 40--
-- =- -',-.
b7_mm 5-60Mguns;and
smallarms:7.62-m,r (0.3-inr 8M53 -'---^' -
" =,.)---
Madsen and 7.62-mm DPM LMCs: ,-
SGM MMG; 12.7-rnm (0.5-int Bro',','. -? -'.':
Indonesia has two German-built 'TTpe 2a ciass
diesel-electricsubmarnes, fitted with eigm l 3 3-
mm (21-in) torpedo tubes in the bow anC:s capa:je
of 2 1 kts submerged and I I Jcfs surfacea'. Fie Ca-<--
seen here, was commissioned in March I9? . .
Armed Forces of the World
lndonesian navy for the three 'Fatahillah' class frigates from the sian islands. There is only one interceptor squadron,
3ecause of the vast size of the island republic and Netherlands, the three refurbished 'Tribal' class fri- which flies a total of 11 Northrop F-5E fighters and
:-e constant need to resupply outlying garrisons as gates from the UK and the two West German-built four F-5F operational trainers. For the ground-attack
,',:ii as to shift men and equipment from trouble 'Type 209' conventional submarines. mission there are two squadrons of 30 McDonnell
,:3ct 1o trouble spot among the islands, the navy is A full listing of the vessels in service includes: Douglas A-4E fighter-bombers and four TA-4H Sky-
=a -v iarge in manpower (29,000), light forces and hawk operational trainers bought secondhand from
:-pnibious warfare transports. There ls also a submarines:two'Type 209' (plus a f urther unit on the US Navy and lsraeli air force. A counter-
- 0O-strong naval air arm and a 12,000-strong order); insurgency (COIN) capability is provided by a squad-
-3r'ne corps, the latter being considered one of f igates:three'Fatahillah', three 'Tribal', four ex-U S ron of 15 Rockwell OV-10F Broncos, and the three
-:onesia's elite strike formations. The marines are 'Claud Jones' and two ex-Soviet'Rlga'; training squadrons fly BAe Hawk Mk 53 jets, Beech
: ,, Ced into two infantry regiments each of three light forces:Lwo 'P857'fast attack craft, eight T-34Cs, Cessna T-41s and FFA AS202 Bravos. For
a::-lallons, a training reglment, a combat support MM.3B Exocet-armed 'PSMM Mk 5' missile maritime patrol and economic zone protection
-sg ment and an administration support regiment. boats, two'TNC45'torpedo attack craft, three lights the air force has a mixed squadron with five
:s equipment is slightly more modern than that of ex-Soviet' Kronshtadt' large patrol craft, fou r ex- Grumman HU-16 Albatross SAR amphibians. three
:-3 army in some areas, with about 30 PT-76 light Yugoslav' Kraljevica' large patrol craft. f ive ex- Boeing 737 Side-Looklng Airborne Radar (SLAR)-
::i(s. some 50 recently delivered French AMX-10P Australian 'Attack' large patrol craft, one ex-US equipped commercial jet conversions and a single
',':i'ne APCs and AMX-I OPAC9O Marine fire sup- 'PC461' large patrol craft, eight coastal patrol Lockheed C-1 30H-MP Hercules.
:':-: vehicles, and around 30 elderly Soviet BTR-50 craft, and five Boeing jetfoils (with up to 40 more The transport fleet is formed into four fixed-wlng
-:trCs. All of these are amphibious and capable of planned); and three helicopter squadrons with a miscellany of
s.", nming ashore from LSTs. Artillery support is mine warfare forces: two ex-Soviet'T43'ocean aircraft. The most important fixed-wing types are
c-:';,ded by some 40 Sovlet M 1 938 howitzers, with minesweepers and four ltalian 'Lerici' the 22 C-1 30B/H/HS and L-1 00 Hercules transports
3o'ors L'70 40-mm guns available in the air-defence minehunters (on order) ; and-21 locally-built NC-212 Aviocars. A total of 32
-:ie, The marines (together with the air force and amphibious warfare forces: 1 5 LSTs, four LCUs, NC-235s is being delivered [o replace such elderly
:, ertually the army) will almost certainly take deliv- 40+ LCMs and 20+ LCVPs; and aircraft as the Douglas C-47 Dakota. Of the helicop-
=-. c= some of tne BAe Towed Rapier SAM systems support ships:four survey, two submarine tender, ter fleet the most modern types are the SA 330
:-:- Indonesia has bought recently. one repair, two tanker. three harbourtanker, two Puma and SA 332 Super Puma. Agaln, local produc-
-ne air arm flies 10 ex-Dutch navy Westland transport, three training, one cable and about 30 tion of the BO 105, the MBB/Kawasaki BK1 17, the
,',eso light ASW helicopters, together with 1B Au- m iscellaneous vessels. Super Puma and the Bell 412 is allowing the retire-
s:-:, an GAF N22B1L Nomad maritime reconnaiss- ment of older machines such as the Bell4TG and the
:-:ea rcraftand 14otherhelicopters andfixed-wing There are also a small number of mainly ex-Soviet Sikorsky UH-34T. Apart from aircraft, the air force
: -:ra,'t used in the liaison, transport and support ships used as alongside hulks for trainlng, depot or also has under its command five battalions of lightly
-::s. A considerable expansion and upgrading of accommodation duties. armed troops. These act as a rapid deployment
:^: .atter is under-way, with four Nurtanio-built force to trouble spots, either ln support of or actually
:rSA NC-212 and '18 NC-235 transports plus 26 lndonesian air force before the army arrives.
S-cer- Puma hellcopters on order. Although the army and navy are large, the 29,000-
-:e This British Aerospace Hawk 7.53 is one of I 2
navy has now retired almost all the 1 04 Soviet strong air force has very few combat aircraft to
delivered in two batches to Indonesia in 1980; the
.:-.:e s acquired in tne early mid-1960s, replacing defend the republic against external aggressors. As version r's a dua l-role trainet and attack aircraft.
:-:- ',v:th a mixture of new build and refurbished with the navy, a considerable proportion of the air The Indonesian air force has only I I interceptor
,',esrern vessels. Of the programmes undertaken, force's strength is devoted to the transport and aircratt, the bulk of its strength being devoted to
:^: 'r ost important since the mid-1 970s are those communications roles around the myriad lndone- transport and communication roles.

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