Collectors of Quality WWII Firearms & Accessories
P.38 Pistol - cyq, Himmler Presentation
When I first saw this piece, I immediately thought it was a fake. I bought it anyway because the price was right, and it was an interesting conversation piece. However, the more I looked at it, and researched the inscription, the more I became convinced it was authentic.
The gun itself is a matching cyq in the y block. The whole gun was polished prior to engraving, and finished with a glossy metal preservative of some sort. There is a double rune S swastika on the slide bridge over the barrel, and the SS motto on the top cover. The inscription on the barrel reads:
The first thing that caught my attention was that the barrel inscription was placed starting at the leading edge of the saddle atop the barrel. When the pistol is assembled, some of the engraving is hidden under the slide bridge. It struck me that this was the kind of mistake that a Jewish KZ inmate engraver (someone who had never handled or disassemble a P.38) might make. The appearance of the engraving itself is very believable. It looks period, and shows wear in the likely spots.
Next I looked at the finish of the metal. The polishing and metal finish was not anything that a forger would have aimed at. It looks period, inside and out. The glossy gray sheen started to give me less pause, and more curiosity.
Finally I turned to the inscription itself, especially on the barrel. My WWII library is vast, but I could not find anything on an SS General named Siegfried Taubert. The internet did reveal that the SS castle at Wewelsburg (where Himmler centered his SS Occult beliefs) was under the direct command of SS Obergruppenführer Siegfried Taubert. Now my curiosity was fully roused. The pistol's recipient was lowly enough to not warrant more significant attention, but with duties close enough to Himmler's agenda to have the Reichsführer's favor. Where the Sauer Model 38 Himmler presentation guns were prizes for shooting contests, this piece would be a possible token of appreciation for the commandant of SS chief's new Teutonic mecca.
The one part of the inscription that I could not decipher was the 5 digit number beneath Taubert's name. Too many hours of internet searching have still not uncovered a photo of Siegfried Taubert, let alone a photo of him with a P.38 holster on his belt. But, I finally stumbled upon a German language web page that listed key data on SS Generals. I searched the page for our mystery man, and found two lines of text telling his various ranks (he also held rank in the Waffen SS), his birthday, his deathday, his Nazi party membership number, and his SS affiliation number. To my absolute delight, the number on the gun was Siegfried Taubert's SS ID number (and I don't mean social security #).
With that discovery, I became convinced that this piece was indeed an inscribed presentation piece from Himmler to his keeper of the geographic epicenter of SS mysticism.
Further research has shown that Wewelsburg was captured by forces of the US 3rd Armored Division. Such a piece could indeed have found its way back to the US, and passed from the vet to the collection I found it in. You've read my conclusion, check out the photos below and draw yours.
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