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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi. New to the forms and it looks like there’s a wealth of info on here.

I’m looking for any resources to track the history of a PPK that I just inherited.

It is a PPK with the “crown over N” proof. It also had markings on the left side PDM 275. It has no eject button for the magazine. The release is at the bottom.

It was in a German black leather holster stamped 1941 and has the typical German symbology of the time.

I found the certificate that classified the weapon as “captured enemy equipment” that allowed my relative to ship the weapon home in 1945.

Markings: Crown over N
Serial: 899275
PDM 275

Are there any online resources to track the history of this weapon? As it’s a PDM, I’m assuming it was manufactured in or around 1935, but I’d like to know for sure.

Also, is there any way to track this back to where, when and from who it was captured from?


** Edit - Re-uploaded images. I didn’t realize they were rotated funky.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! Sadly mine is showing a bit of wear and has a cracked grip. The pistol in the second link you sent is almost pristine. That’s a beautiful example.

I’ll email them and see if I can learn anything more on the general history of the PDM PPK’s.

Does anyone have any idea if it’s possible to link a particular weapon back to who it was issued to in Germany? The Germans were (and are) extraordinary record keepers, but I’m not sure if there are any records or resources available to the public.
 

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Make no mistake, you've got a great pistol.

PS: Would be cool to see a picture of the capture document to see if the unit listed was involved in operations in or around Munich.
 

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Thank you! Sadly mine is showing a bit of wear and has a cracked grip. The pistol in the second link you sent is almost pristine. That’s a beautiful example.

I’ll email them and see if I can learn anything more on the general history of the PDM PPK’s.

Does anyone have any idea if it’s possible to link a particular weapon back to who it was issued to in Germany? The Germans were (and are) extraordinary record keepers, but I’m not sure if there are any records or resources available to the public.
The history of PDM marked PPs and PPKs is well known to collectors: purchased by the Polizei Direktor München and issued to police in Bavarian cities of Munich and Nuremberg beginning in 1934/35. Interestingly, that corresponds to the appointment of Himmler to a senior position in the Bavarian police leadership.

But unfortunately direct information of particular pistol and their owners has not been discovered. That is if such information still exists. Many records were destroyed in the war, as well as in the post war as governmental authorities destroyed old files.

Perhaps you can edit your images to appear upright? And show us the holster in which the PPK came home.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Here’s a pic of the holster and the certificate. Unfortunately the certificate doesn’t have a great deal of details. I’m planning on interviewing other family members to see what they know. Sadly, like most of his generation, he didn’t talk about the war at all after he came home. I’m afraid his story might be lost to history.

I found the certificate in the holster where the magazine sits. It had been crumpled up and was wedged in the bottom. I had to use pliers to extract it. I plan on flattening it out and preserving it.

I’m in love with the pistol. I’ve been looking for a original PPK for years and this one just fell into my lap. I didn’t know how rare it was until I got my hands on it.
 

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https://www.spiegel.de/international/remembering-world-war-ii-the-us-soldier-who-liberated-munich-recalls-confronting-the-nazi-enemy-a-354029.html

Was he in the 42d Division?

"It was just on the other side of Marienplatz that Robinow encountered his first armed Germans. Having noticed a police station, he marched inside in full battle gear to confiscate their weapons. Prepared for the worst, he was surprised to be greeted with military salutes - and to find the weapons already boxed up and prepared to be taken away.

"And if you can imagine - German efficiency - on each pistol there were two tags," Robinow recalls laughing. "On one of them was the number of the pistol and on the other was the number of the officer who had been issued the pistol. Before I could take them though, the man insisted on my giving him a receipt. So he got me some paper and a pen and I wrote him out a receipt and wrote something like, 'received this day the 30th of April, 1945, 102 pistols. Signed John Doe. First Lieutenant Infantry US Army' or whatever came into my head. His grandchildren have probably put it in a frame and it is hanging in some living room somewhere."
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I’m honestly not sure. I never actually met him. He passed away many years ago and left the pistol to his brother. The brother passed recently and my father wound up with it. He didn’t want it and passed it to me.

All I know of his service was he was on the beach on D-Day. He survived and was captured shortly after. He was a POW for a while, liberated, and continued to serve in Europe.
 

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The pistol is certainly wonderful. It is something to be proud of.

I'm not a holster expert but I don't believe that holster was issued with the weapon.
 

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While remote, there's "a chance" the roster of this particular police department was captured and is on micro film or is now digitized.
In the American zone, vast amount of captured German records fell into the hands of the United States. These records (to include Nazi police records) are on micro film and available at the National Archives. There are also vast files available in Germany -- An example is the "Arolsen Archives." The "Arolsen Archives" have a digital search engine. While it would be searching for a needle in the haystack, in the digital age finding the needle is possible. With the passage time, more records are becoming available.
 

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I'm not a holster expert but I don't believe that holster was issued with the weapon.
Most certainly not. To my knowledge, the PDM did not issue the PPK for uniform carry.

Whether or not the pistol and the holster found each other before the end of the war depends on how late in the war the officer was drafted. Usually the pistols were tied to the "Dienststelle" and stayed when the temporary owner left, but in the last years little went as usual. If a policeman was drafted at high enough rank, as an officer candidate, and thus was allowed a personal sidearm, he could have taken his issue pistol with him, and found a suitable holster once in uniform.

But the US soldier could have also acquired the pistol and then at some point found a holster that fit. There was lots of gear laying around at collection points.

That's unlikely to ever be provable. All just fun speculation :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Interesting info. Thank you.

I’m hoping to learn more about the PDM PPK’s. All I’ve found so far is the info listed in the auction sites. I’ve emailed a few, but haven’t heard back yet.

I know the differences that I can spot, such as the lightweight frame and the heel release for the magazine, but I’d like to find more specifics into the history and production.

When I found I was getting the pistol, I was exited to take it to the range and have a little fun with it. After seeing the PDM markings, I’m a little leery about doing so. It seems like a very rare piece and I’m now looking more to preservation.
 

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I’m honestly not sure. I never actually met him. He passed away many years ago and left the pistol to his brother. The brother passed recently and my father wound up with it. He didn’t want it and passed it to me.

All I know of his service was he was on the beach on D-Day. He survived and was captured shortly after. He was a POW for a while, liberated, and continued to serve in Europe.
Well the info you have certainly deserved further research at the US Records Center in St. Louis. There are also researchers who will attempt to secure service records of those men from WWII. Perhaps you can secure his record to indicate the unit in which he served.



While remote, there's "a chance" the roster of this particular police department was captured and is on micro film or is now digitized.
In the American zone, vast amount of captured German records fell into the hands of the United States. These records (to include Nazi police records) are on micro film and available at the National Archives. There are also vast files available in Germany -- An example is the "Arolsen Archives." The "Arolsen Archives" have a digital search engine. While it would be searching for a needle in the haystack, in the digital age finding the needle is possible. With the passage time, more records are becoming available.
True, police records are in the National Archives. They exist in four finding aid of the "Records of the Reichsführer SS and Chef der Deutschen Polizei". I have been searching them for 40 years now in my police research. When I started in the mid 70s, I acquired the paper copies of the finding aids and ordered micro-film rolls. Things were cheaper and easier then. I scoured the finding aids looking for references to firearms. Not much. True the RSHA arsenal cards were discovered by Joachim Görtz some years a back. My comments were based on my research experience over the past forty years.



And smaller local departments were meticulous in their record keeping and these records are often found in the current German Land or District archives, as the researchers of the German Police Historical Association found. But I never had luck with the firearms records of the nationalized police post 1936.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks. I feel lucky to have this piece of history fall in my lap. I’m still waiting on info from the family regarding my family member’s service details. I’ve also emailed a few groups that might be able to track down some more info on him.

I was looking forward to taking the PPK to the range, but now I’m a bit leery of taking it. It’s such a rare find, I’d rather preserve it at this point. So, I went out today and came across a Fort Smith PPK at the local shop. Picked it up. It’ll be my new carry weapon. Haven’t fired it yet, but looking forward to putting some rounds through at the range.
 

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Very nice buy. If you could, it would be neat to see of picture looking down at the top of the slides when your two PPK pistols are held side by side.

A "Zella Melhis PPK" and "Fort Smith PPK" picture comparsion would be "a first" for this forum.
 
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