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Thread: The LK5 marking - A new track

  1. #31
    aka 8x57IS Stephan98k's Avatar
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    Now I will continue with another option.

    During my research I was reading some books and a lot original documents, I have looked more closely at all the military units deployed in Southern France in the relevant time frame. One unit catched my attention already in the beginning, the SS-Polizei-Regiment 19, it was involved in many battles in Southern France. The mission of the SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 was the fight against the partisans and they had a lot of experiences in these things because it was their mission already in Slovenia and Croatia. The Polizei-Regiment 19 was setup on July 9, 1942 in Veldes/Oberkrain from Reserve-Polizei-Bataillon 72, Reserve-Polizei-Bataillon 171 and Polizei-Bataillon 181. On February 24, 1943 the Polizei-Regiment 19 was renamed to SS-Polizei-Regiment 19.
    Reserve-Polizei-Bataillon 72 (1st battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19)
    Reserve-Polizei-Bataillon 171 (2nd battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19)
    Polizei-Bataillon 181 (3rd battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19)

    I could find a document with a order from February 19, 1944 to the Leader-staff Höh.SS-u.Pol.Fhr. in the Wehrkreis XVIII. The order says the SS-Pol.Rgt. "Todt" should get moved from France to Oberkrain and get replaced by SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 which was in Oberkrain. These regiments was transfered by train and the SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 arrived in March/April 1944 in Southern France. At first the 1st battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 was based in Nizza, the 2nd battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 was based in Limoges and the 3rd battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 and the staff of the regiment was based in Lyon. On April 12, 1944 the 12th company of SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 was setup in Lyon. In June 1944 the 3rd battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 was moved to Grenoble. In June the staff of the 2nd battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 and two of their company was located in Limoges and two of their company was based in Tulle.
    The Regiment was not used closed, but the Battalions and their individual companies were used in many different places for partisan control and took part in many battles. I have made a map and the black dots mark the location and battles of the SS-Polizei-Regiment 19. The two northern locations are already from their withdraw in the end of August/beginning September 1944.

    Yesterday I have read the second part of the activity report of the Feldzeug-Kommando of the Stellv.Gen.Kdo. XVIII A.K., unfortunately it just cover the time frame Juli - December 1944. Nevertheless I could find some interesting informations about captured weapons and some HZa. In the activity report is also a list with all officers of the Feldzeug-Kommando of the Stellv.Gen.Kdo. XVIII A.K. and one person or rather a place catched my attention. Oberstleutnant Erich Czuber from the Feldzeug-Kommando was commanded to the Heeres-Gerätelager (Heer-Equipment-Depot) in Laak. Laak is only 24 miles away from Veldes, where the SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 was septup and maybe the SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 got their equipment and weapons from the Depot Laak.

    Now we have a connection from SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 in Oberkrain, where also the Depot in Laak is located, to Southern France. But another city in the activity report of the Feldzeug-Kommando of the Stellv.Gen.Kdo. XVIII A.K. catched my attention, Landeck. Here is a excerpt from October 1944 of the activity report about Landeck:
    "Weapons and equipment depot at the troop.
    In the replacement and training units of the military district continues to be a tense weapon situation. In particular, it lacks handguns. The following staff were equipped:
    I/XVIII Landeck
    II/XVIII Graz
    III/XVIII Innsbruck
    IV/XVIII Tessendorf
    "
    Landeck is only 48 miles away from the HNZa Innsbruck.

    Here is the map which I mentioned before:
    Karte 2 Kopie.jpg
    It's again interesting, on August 23, 1944 Bourgoin was liberated and there the LK5 marked VZ24 from member Toulon44 was captured and the two other LK5 rifles came from this area too. In this area with the cluster of LK5 marked rifles the 3rd battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 was most active and the 1st battalion SS-Polizei-Regiment 19 was completely wiped not far from this area.

    It is another theory and the abbreviation "LK" would make sense if you consider the former abbreviation practice of the depot system. We still have no answer and it remains exciting, I'm curious about your opinions.

    Regards,
    Stephan

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    Very interesting thread. Does any evidence exist for the LK3 or 4 marked rifles as to locations captured? One would assume LK1 and 2 examples would also be possible?

  3. #33
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loewe View Post
    I agree, an exceptional example of a collector-researcher! Stephan's observations and collection of incidents are adding up and I think he is on the verge of an answer.
    We’re very fortunate to have you and Stephan guiding us through these mazes ;) I agree with your position concerning the material facilities. I think it dovetails with Stephan’s information above. I think that once up and running they would get various arms through for repair/inspection, such as Gew.98 and K98k for the reasons identified by Stephan.
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  4. #34
    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    I'm going to disagree with this theory- the accepted method would be Lk, not LK which is what we have. Throwing theories out there is the best way to eventually figure it out.

    My feeling is these all come from a repair depot, even the ones that don't show repairs. I say that due to the sheer volume of rifles with the LK marking accompanied by a 2 digit number at the wrist. But, is it possible the depot isn't German as the marking is not applied or formatted in German style? Also, no keel number added as is German doctrine, but blued bolts which is.

    Keep digging, you have narrowed down the area of operations, you may have already hit the target but not know it yet.
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  5. #35
    aka 8x57IS Stephan98k's Avatar
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    Stan, personally I have only seen LK5 marked rifles and a picture of a rifle with LK3 marking. I can't rule out the existence, but I think if they would exist, we would certainly have already discovered a example. Hopefully French collectors will also participate in the research, because of the language skills the research is much easier for them. I hope we get more data on the capture/find locations of these LK marked rifles.


    I have translated a Army High Command directive from December 10, 1943. It's not an answer, but in my opinion a important information.


    Directive OKH/Gen.Qu. Az. 504 b (Qu.3/W u. G.2) December 10, 1943

    The provision of weapons for soldiers in case of transfers and relocation.

    According to directive OKH/Gen.Qu. Az. 504 b (Qu.3/W u. G.2) of December 10, 1943, only the following weapons may be given for transfers and relocation to other front sections:

    To the East - only weapons that shoot German ammunition.

    To the West - German weapons, 7,5mm rifles (f) French, 8mm rifles (f) French.

    To the Supreme Command of Southwest - German weapons, 6,5mm rifles (i) Italian, 7,9mm rifles (i) Italian.

    To the Supreme Command of Southeast - German weapons, 7,5mm rifles (f) French, 7,7mm rifles (e) British, 7,9mm rifles (j) Yugoslav.

    To Denmark - Weapons that shoot German ammunition.

    To Norway - German weapons, 6,5mm rifles (n) Norwegian, 8mm carbines (n) Norwegian.

    In the case of transfers of individual soldiers, German weapons must always be exchanged to the foreign weapons authorized for the new area of deployment - if available in the army sector - before departure.


    The 7,5mm rifles (f) French for Supreme Command of Southeast are interesting. In the Balkans I would have expected less use of French weapons.

    Regards,
    Stephan

  6. #36
    No War Eagles For You! mrfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephan98k View Post


    The 7,5mm rifles (f) French for Supreme Command of Southeast are interesting. In the Balkans I would have expected less use of French weapons.

    Regards,
    Stephan
    Didn’t the Polish use French rifles after ww1? Maybe there was stocks of ammunition?


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  7. #37
    aka 8x57IS Stephan98k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfarb View Post
    I'm going to disagree with this theory- the accepted method would be Lk, not LK which is what we have. Throwing theories out there is the best way to eventually figure it out.

    My feeling is these all come from a repair depot, even the ones that don't show repairs. I say that due to the sheer volume of rifles with the LK marking accompanied by a 2 digit number at the wrist. But, is it possible the depot isn't German as the marking is not applied or formatted in German style? Also, no keel number added as is German doctrine, but blued bolts which is.

    Keep digging, you have narrowed down the area of operations, you may have already hit the target but not know it yet.
    Thank you very much Mike and it's great you mention the "LK" and "Lk" problem, in addition the other deviation. Maybe the marking deviations have something to do with the foreign location of the depot. In general the pressure during this time frame could influence the marking practice?

    You are right, throwing theories out is the best way to eventually figure it out and I thought the same, I may have already hit the target but not know it yet.

  8. #38
    aka 8x57IS Stephan98k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfarb View Post
    Didn’t the Polish use French rifles after ww1? Maybe there was stocks of ammunition?
    I'm not sure, I just know about the "Blue Army", the Polish military contingent which was created in France.

    The German Army captured in general a lot of French rifles and ammunition during the Battle of France in 1940 and also later they got again many weapons and ammunition when they occupied Southern France. Even on January 14, 1945 when the Russian Army was already knocking on the door, the Posen Depot still had a lot of French ammunition in storage. From 8mm they had in Posen 60,219 rounds and in 7,5mm they had 324,952 rounds.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Pat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfarb View Post
    But, is it possible the depot isn't German as the marking is not applied or formatted in German style? Also, no keel number added as is German doctrine, but blued bolts which is.
    The other elements that accompany the LK marking, such as the added one or two digit number stamped into the stock, blued bolts, numbered smaller components not numbered in original production, all sound very much like German depot treatment to me. Personally, I'd still bet on this marking being German. Just my opinion, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfarb View Post
    Didn’t the Polish use French rifles after ww1? Maybe there was stocks of ammunition?
    The Poles acquired several thousands of French rifles and carbines through sales following WWI. There's a whole other story waiting to be told regarding German capture and use of those, but for now the easy way to distinguish them is that the French didn't start using 7.5mm cartridges until after Poland had acquired their French small arms. No Polish used French arms should be 'N' marked on the barrel or receiver, as we see on weapons processed by the French during the 1930s.

    Stephan, does that 10 December 1943 order specify Italian rifles in 7,9mm? That's very strange, as it should be 6.5mm, and Krieghoff didn't turn out any of their conversions until early (January-March) 1945.

    Regarding 7.7mm (Enfield) and 7.5mm French use in the SE European Command Area, I've attached two photos of Serbian border police assigned to the Albanian border that are shown using a No.1 Mk.III Enfield and a MAS 1936 respectively. They functioned as a collaborative element of the German occupation, and were apparently armed by the Germans for this role.

    Keep up the good work Stephan, this is an exciting process!

    Best,
    Pat
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  10. #40
    aka 8x57IS Stephan98k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    Personally, I'd still bet on this marking being German. Just my opinion, though.
    I think the same and maybe the depot was in an occupied country.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    Stephan, does that 10 December 1943 order specify Italian rifles in 7,9mm? That's very strange, as it should be 6.5mm, and Krieghoff didn't turn out any of their conversions until early (January-March) 1945.
    Yes, it specify Italian rifles in 6,5mm and 7,9mm. I forgot to mention it and I'm glad you was pointing 7,9mm out.

    Thank you very much for the photos! Because of the order and your photos, I have again to think about the SS-Polizei-Regiment 19. So it's not that unlikely they used French rifles as well and was already equipped in Slovenia.

    Regards,
    Stephan

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