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Thread: Chinese K98k contract Research- A review and a supplement to Bruce&Michael's

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    Default Chinese K98k contract Research- A review and a supplement to Bruce&Michael's

    I am doing research on Chinese Mauser rifles. I just finished the gorgeous K98k book and want to provide some thoughts. I hope Mr. Jon Speed could provide us more information. Another undergoing project is Chinese SM, I am wondering do we still have Mauser records of sale to China?

    The first K98k contract negotiation commenced in February 1938. The contract was singed in March between Chinese commercial representative in Berlin Tan Boyu and Mauser Company. Each rifle costs 5.25 Sterling Pounds (exchange rate 1 pound to 11.7 RM) making the whole contract valued in 262500 Sterling Pounds. Mauser made the first delivery in late March.

    Another detail: Georg Thomas met Tan Boyu on Feb 23, 1938. During the meeting, Thomas received a phone call said Chinese K98k would not stamp "1938".

    The commercial office in Berlin attached to Chinese Embassy mainly conducted military armaments trades in Europe on behalf of Nationalist Government. Tan Boya was the head of the office since 1933.

    One month later, Tan Boyu approached to Mauser intending for a second batch of 50000 rifles. However, the deteriorated situation between Germany and China barred the possibility of further supplement of arms to China. On April 28 Herman Goring ordered a cease of transportation of Chinese ordered armaments including HAPRO contracts. On May 3, NAZI government declared formal embargo.

    On the same day, Tan Boyu received a Mauser Company delegate who informed the rifles scheduled in May would not be delivered in time because of the embargo. And Mauser Company unlikely to take another 50000 rifles order for China. The intention of the contract was canceled on July 11 by Chinese. Nevertheless, this is not the end of Chinese K98k contract story.

    To make my post short, I am skipping the history of Germany-China-Japan relationship. In short, German Government prohibited German companies from further shipments of weapons to China. However, they can divert the shipments to foreign agencies.

    Chinese expectation of delivery schedule of 100,000 Mauser K98k
    Feb 5000
    March 5000
    April 12500
    May 12500
    June 12500
    July 12500
    Aug 5000
    Sep 12500
    Oct 12500
    Nov 10000

    Handelsgesellschaft fuer Import und Export, Berman. (IMEX) diverted Chinese shipments to a Finnish company called Messrs. DAHLBERG and HILBERT, Q.Y Helsinki whose agency in Hamburg being IMEX.

    On July 8, Tan Boyu reported Finnish ship Hansrickmers left Hamburg with 5000 rifles. On July 11, Sheng Pingchen reported the last 15000 rifles would be shipped on Aug 1.

    Chinese reported delivery of Mauser K98k from 1938.7 to 1938.8
    As of 1938.7.5 30000 delivered
    1938.7.11 35000 delivered, intention for another 50000 rifles withdrawn.

    Weekly Report of Weapons Importation dated Aug 9 1938. It translate to: Order 100000 from Mauser Company within which 50000 has been revoked. 35000 delivered, undelivered 15000.
    2.png

    Interestingly, prior to Feb 1938 contract, on Dec 8 1937, General Li Tsung-jen reported he had bought 10000 rifles from Mauser Company through distributor Groupe Chine. And Chinese Foreign Ministry issued transportation passport Xuan Zi No.96 (玄字96號). On Dec 31, he reported additional 15000 Mauser Company rifles through Groupe Chine. These provincial government orders were not included in the table prepared by Nationalist Gov.

    This is the telegraph from General Li to Foreign Ministry dated Dec 8 1937. He singed contract with Groupe Chine on Dec 6 (魚日) for 10000 7.9 caliber Mauser company rifles.
    1.jpg

    Groupe Chine handled many FN Chinese contracts. Chinese documents were not always precise on terminology things such as the model, manufacturer etc. The dealer might belie the source of rifle to buyer.

    A serious setback of Germany-Japan relationship happened during late 1938- early 1939. NAZI government failed on signing the Economy cooperation protocol with Japan. Japanese refused to cede on the requirements of Most Favoured Nation offered by Germany. China sized this last chance ordered additional 50000 rifles from Mauser Company.

    In November 1938, China Central Bank on behalf of Nationalist Government planned to procure 100,000 rifles. Central Bank office in Hongkong inquired several distributors and manufacturers including Boixo Frčres, FN, ZB and Siemssen & Co.

    Boixo Frčres offered “off the shelf” Model 24 for CIF 4 pounds 18 schillings each. China could make the payment with raw materials.

    FN offered Model 24 for CIF 4 pounds 16 schillings each. China could pay the factory with tin ore. FN would deliver 8000 rifles each month starting on January 1939 and conclude the deal within 12 months.

    ZB offered Model 24 for FOB 4 pounds 19 schillings. The factory had 70,000 rifles in stock that can be delivered immediately, the rest 30,000 would be delivered by December.

    Siemssen & Co. offered “Model 1937” rifle directly from German military force at a price of CIF 5 pounds (shipped to Yangon, Burma). The payment would be handled by HAPRO.

    Tan Boyu telegraphed Chinese Minister of Finance H.H Kung that the unit price of Mauser Company rifle including 1000 cartridges was only 7 pounds 4 schillings. On January 11 1939, Chinese Central Bank representative in Hongkong received further instruction from Kung that ZB and Siamese & Co offers were excluded because of the uncompetitive price.

    FN lowered its price several days later followed by Siamese & Co lowering price to 4 pounds 4 schillings each if China would buy 50000 rifles. Siamese & Co also promised they would make full delivery within five months by delivering 10000 rifles each month.

    Suddenly Siamese & Co had the lead in this business. The contract was permitted by Minister of Finance on January 19. As agreed, the down payment of 300,000 US dollars was paid by reallocated Chinese government account of the undone contract of airplanes and the rest payment would be handled by HAPRO Company.

    Siamese & Co informed Tan Boyu that Chinese inspectors were probated from inspecting the rifles by themselves according to an order from NAZI government. Tan managed to acquire permission to let Chinese officials to inspect rifles covertly. And the final deliveries were rearranged on March and April regarding the urgency of Chinese government.

    On March 23, Chinese embassy in Berlin issued a passport to the contract of 50000 “Original Mauser Infantry Rifle Model 1937 Cal.7.9.”

    Document from Foreign Ministry shows “50000 pieces Original Mauser Infantry rifles Model 1937 Cal7.9” dated 1939.3.21
    3.jpg

    The 1939 delivery times in this Mauser document accords to the times reported by Tan Boyu. In British custom records, 49960 rifles arrived in Yangon between May and July.

    4.jpg


    Serial Number Contribution is welcom
    CH k98k SN.png
    Last edited by FIB48; 04-01-2021 at 12:32 PM.

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    Default Mauser order entry and order acknowledegement

    Just received these from Jon.
    The hand written entry from March 1930 shows the first order of 5000 Standard Modells for China which were routed through the Carlowitz firm.
    The 2nd document segment is a follow up order for 10,000 rifles in 1931 again using the Carlowitz firm.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ---- Turbo Myš ----

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce98k View Post
    Just received these from Jon.
    The hand written entry from March 1930 shows the first order of 5000 Standard Modells for China which were routed through the Carlowitz firm.
    The 2nd document segment is a follow up order for 10,000 rifles in 1931 again using the Carlowitz firm.
    Thanks!

    I only confirmed a Nationalist Government contract of 10000 rifles in 1934. Several reports and telegraphs dated 1936 show Guangdong and Guangxi Provincial government ordered around 20000 rifles from Germany. Nationalist Government asked Germans do not deliver the rifles.

    Attached document segment is 1934 Nationalist Gov contract.
    In red square reads from top to botton: 7.9 Cal Mauser Rifle, 10000 pieces, German Oberndorf Factory, signed date 1934.4.23, German Mark 550000.00
    1934 Mauser Oberndorf rifle.png

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce98k View Post
    Just received these from Jon.
    The hand written entry from March 1930 shows the first order of 5000 Standard Modells for China which were routed through the Carlowitz firm.
    The 2nd document segment is a follow up order for 10,000 rifles in 1931 again using the Carlowitz firm.
    Hi Bruce

    Thank you for your post and Mr. Speed's help!

    Another question is Finnish K98k contract. I've never heard of wide use of Mauser small arms (K98k etc) in Finland. In FY 37/38 and 38/39 Finland suddenly became an important buyer.

    After May 1938, Chinese orders were transported by a Finnish company under the cover of "Finnish Government Contract" as reported by Chinese Representative in Berlin. So, any chance that the Finnish contract actually might be Chinese orders.

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    Keeper of the Def's Head M1903A3's Avatar
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    This is some seriously impressive research here guys! Thank you for sharing. I own a 50’s era Chinese produced K98 so I’m interested in the Chinese K98 “angle.”


    Sent from my top secret official Bunker of the Order of the Def’s Hed.

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    Interesting project.
    Are you wanting data on the Standard Modells that went to China and/or the two orders of actual K98ks (sun firing proof) that were sold to China

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    Default Current thread

    Just following up on his data request. Appears the poster is fluent in Chinese and has access to Nationalist records.
    Bin Shih wrote an excellent book on this "China's Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War" (48HrBooks in 2011).
    ---- Turbo Myš ----

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    Quote Originally Posted by M1903A3 View Post
    This is some seriously impressive research here guys! Thank you for sharing. I own a 50’s era Chinese produced K98 so I’m interested in the Chinese K98 “angle.”


    Sent from my top secret official Bunker of the Order of the Def’s Hed.
    Sounds interesting. A few pictures would be a great pleasure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by runner View Post
    Interesting project.
    Are you wanting data on the Standard Modells that went to China and/or the two orders of actual K98ks (sun firing proof) that were sold to China
    I’d like to hear anything related to Mauser China contracts. The top one subject on my list is Chinese Mod07 followed by SM and K98k.

    I am doing research on the topic of Mauser-China relationship since 1880s. Read more on my blog:

    1. Mauser-China 1880 Contract
    https://mausercn.blogspot.com/2019/0...-1895.html?m=1

    2. A summary of my Mod.07 research
    https://mausercn.blogspot.com/2019/0...rifle.html?m=1

    I’d like to work with guys who share the same interests.
    Last edited by FIB48; 03-31-2021 at 10:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce98k View Post
    Just following up on his data request. Appears the poster is fluent in Chinese and has access to Nationalist records.
    Bin Shih wrote an excellent book on this "China's Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War" (48HrBooks in 2011).
    Just received Jon’s document. Appreciate your help.

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