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The Year that Was:

jar_

Contributor
In June 1941 Operation Barbarosa was launched. In North Africa Rommel was driving the British back into Egypt. In the North Atlantic the German Submarines were sinking masses of ships. All of France was either directly ruled by Germany or under the nominal Vichy French. German troops had pushed almost a thousand miles into Russia and seemed unstoppable.

And in the JP Sauer factory this Model 38h was made.





The fit and finish is superb with smooth surfaces, no visible machining marks and deep blueing.

Fast forward about twelve months and in September of 1942 things in Russia were disastrous for Germany. In North Africa Rommel had been stopped and was being driven back. The US had entered the war and it was now the submarines that were being hunted. England was actively bombing German cities.

And in the JP Sauer factory this Model 38h was being made.





Fit and finish is suffering. To get guns out quickly there is almost no bluing and both frame and slide show heavy machining marks.

Both guns still work although the latter does have some mechanical issues that affect reliability and will need work. The holster that was captured with it in 1943 in Italy was originally for a CZ 27 and shows signs of field repairs that are definitely done by the soldier as patches.



crudely hammered mushroom:


Replacement strap.


It's clear that in just a year both manufacturing as well as front line supply were severely degraded and that the weapons being issued to the front line troops as well as replacements for damaged gear like the holster reflected the changing state of the war.
 
Awesome pieces of history and a great account of their history. I really enjoyed reading this.

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Absolutely cool - and appreciated!

I can do the same with K98s ... Don't have a 1945-made, though. Do have a 1938 Sauer und Sohns, bit frosty from being dropped in the Stalingrad snow. At least that one doesn't have the blood pitting ...

Imagine turning barrels on a lathe, with B-17s soon overhead...


AA
 
A great comparison.

It wasn't however due to the fact that the things weren't going well for the Germans (in 1942, their domestic production capacity wouldn't really be impacted as badly yet). It was more that because of the sheer scope of their involvement on the Eastern front, their needs exceeded their production capacity. And the top priority was given to the more important stuff like artillery, tanks, planes, machine guns, and rifles.

To meet the demand, they were buying and importing tens of thousands of guns from friendly states like Spain, and dropped non-essential production requirements like super high quality finish.

Still, the machine marks on this gun are impressive... It's very probable that Sauer was running behind on a large military order & cut non-essential corners.

In 1941, they would still pretty much operate under peacetime manufacturing standards. Their production demands wouldn't have shot through the roof yet.
 

Sonoftakis

Contributor
A great comparison.

It wasn't however due to the fact that the things weren't going well for the Germans (in 1942, their domestic production capacity wouldn't really be impacted as badly yet). It was more that because of the sheer scope of their involvement on the Eastern front, their needs exceeded their production capacity. And the top priority was given to the more important stuff like artillery, tanks, planes, machine guns, and rifles.

To meet the demand, they were buying and importing tens of thousands of guns from friendly states like Spain, and dropped non-essential production requirements like super high quality finish.

Still, the machine marks on this gun are impressive... It's very probable that Sauer was running behind on a large military order & cut non-essential corners.

In 1941, they would still pretty much operate under peacetime manufacturing standards. Their production demands wouldn't have shot through the roof yet.
Wow, what a history lesson.
Wow
 
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