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Thread: Unusual Markings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Unusual Markings

    I don't remember if I ever showed this Gew98M
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    Last edited by Dave; 22nd October 2017 at 06:45 PM.
    Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    228

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    Very interesting rifle Dave, I really like the modified Gewehr 98's. Have you asked Paul Shomper about this one? He's the first person I'd think of when it comes to Gewehr 98's. The 'Zn' on the top of the receiver makes me think 'Zeithain,' and I wonder just what that might mean, and if it has anything to do with the 'WaA' stamp on the stock.

    Pat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default HZa Zeithan - Saxony

    You have, - first shows up on the market in November 2010, sold for around $700, then you posted it on this forum sometime after. I logged the rifle that time in November 2011, though it may have been earlier... I didn't "pouch" all the data off this forum until long after I joined.

    I thought i would post here what I posted on Mike and Bruce's forum:

    It is a dying shame the rifle is mismatched though, not because it takes away from what it is, but because the loss of so much we could have learned from a matching-original rifle...

    This rifle is one of the last rifles built by HZa Zeithain, an ordnance depot active 1924-1928, in Saxony, north of Dresden, - like so many activities of the new Reichsheer, it was based around secrecy and typically old facilities that were less "visible" hosted illegal activities. Zeithain was once an old Imperial training grounds, like Döberitz and Zossen near Berlin these old facilities harbored illegal army operations, Seeckt was a master at working around both his own government (socialist usually, though fairly tolerant SPD politicians that gave Seeckt a long leash and "moderate" defense secretaries to operate under - The Reichswehr was the only stabilizing institution in the country 1918-1923 and held it altogether) and the IAMCC...

    Shortly after the calamity of 1918-1923, where the German Army barely survived, - the period has almost no precedent prior to 1945, a society in free fall, Seeckt began to revitalize the German Army, prior to 1924 no rifles were made and probably few ordnance shops even existed outside of perhaps the Wehrkreis (each infantry division had one, something along the lines of Imperial Army Korps districts, though fewer, Germany only had 7 infantry divisions and 3 cavalry) and the two group HQ at Berlin (Spandau) and Kassel (We know they existed in both, HZa Spandau is well known, and so was Kassel/Cassel)

    The operation at Zeithain was probably located here because it was out of the way and was an old military base; such facilities were strictly illegal and everyone knew it. The dates of operation make perfect sense, something like this was impossible before 1924, and very few rifles are 1924 dated, none have been discovered 1925 dated, most 1926-1927 dated, which fall into the period of Lorcarno (Treaty negotiated in Switzerland) which led to a normalization of relations between Germany, France and England. Germany would join the League and the IAMCC would leave by January 1927 (neutered far earlier).. the dates correspond well to this event:

    1. 1924 the German Army is for the first time stable and confident in its position, much of the divisions within the Army are resolved, the economy is stabilized, relations with France still tense, but at least they are for the first time stable. Seeckt above all desires his Army independence and a state within the state, - actually his Army above politics and representative of the nation. Expanding operations at Cassel (name change 1926), Spandau and a new covert facility at the training grounds at Zeitain to build rifles from left over receivers from WWI (which there are many hidden)

    2. Stresemann (the foreign secretary, rival of Seeckt and former chancellor- they hated one another) in 1925 negotiates with England and France in Switzerland to normalize relations, set western borders, Germany joins the league, and the IAMCC to exit Germany. To achieve this Seeckt ordered to refrain from actions that may disrupt negotiations... Zeithain stops making rifles, after treaty signed (December 1925 in London) resumes, returns with gusto in 1926-1927, lingers on into 1928, stops due to irrelevancy. It is known that many German ordnance shops existed in 1931, probably at each Wehrkeis HQ (seven at least) and the two group ordnance shops already mentioned (which were active throughout 1924-1933, plenty of rifles as evidence). The IAMCC and all official oversight was gone by 1927, Simson was online and Spandau could handle most rifle related business.
    3. Seeckt is gone, Heye his successor in 1927 stated the German Army possessed 350,000 illegal rifles in clandestine depots. The problem was not a shortage of rifles, but one of a shortage of ammunition.

    So, the rifle is very interesting to me, it is not only a rather rare variation, a short lived variation, it covers a period of history almost forgotten in history books, - most books focus, rightly, upon the 1931-1933 period, which is fairly devoid of rifle developments (only the experiments the German Army conducted on shortening the 98b to 98k, which collapsed due to financial difficulties)

    Perhaps most interesting about your rifle is the stock, I have seen this stock before, but no other like it.I had imagined its marking to an earlier period, the period prior to 1924 when all the chaos reigned, a medley of organizations and gangsters roaming Germany, communist led revolts, Freikorps, short lived police organizations, militias of every stripe, even Army backed organizations, para-military Verbände which were militia-Freikorp raised on the frontiers, especially in the east facing the Poles... the dogs of the French! But, that is unlikely that I think about it more... more likely some obscure Reichswehr organization or property marking after 1927. Whatever it is the stock is the neatest thing I have seen in a long time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    I don't remember if I ever showed this Gew98M

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