[Civil Affairs] Weapons of War - The Luger P08

The Luger P08, a pistol that was much more than just a pistol. The weapon may have overstayed its welcome on the battlefield but symbolically, the Luger became the prized possession of many soldiers, Allied and Axis alike.

The design of the weapon was first patented in 1898 by Georg J. Luger. Originally the Parabellum Pistole, the weapon’s production began in 1900 and was soon issued to the Swiss military. The Luger became one of the first semi-automatic pistols manufactured using a toggle-lock action mechanism rather than a slide action, which almost every other semi-auto pistol used. The Luger weighed in at around 871 grams (depending on the variant) holding a 7.65×21mm Parabellum cartridge of eights rounds with the option of a 32 round drum attachment. The weapon was first adapted by Germany's Imperial Navy who began issuing the sidearm in 1904. In 1908 the weapon was issued to the German Army with the model at the time being the Pistole 08, or P08. The U.S also held trials for the weapon in 1906 and 1907, accepting the second series tested which are now valued among traders at around $1.5 million on account of their rarity.

During WWII, the ubiquitous nature of the weapon didn’t make it as valued a possession as it would be in WWI since the firepower was underwhelming compared to the bolt actions and new automatics of the time. The pistol was standard issue to artillerymen as a personal defense weapon. In WWII, the weapon was sought after by seemingly every Allied soldier as one of the greatest spoils of the war. The weapon had become much more rare than in WWI, with the P38 beginning to phase it out and Mauser beginning to test new weapons. The Germans became aware of this and began to use Lugers as traps set to explode land mines when moved. As a result, experienced Allied soldiers used much caution when approaching a discarded Luger.

Today, the only value a Luger will see is enclosed in a glass box on a collector’s shelf. The pistol is still widely sought after because of its historical background and its sleek design, with rare serial numbers selling for around $1,000,000 at auction.

In Darkest Hour, this weapon seems to under-perform compared to its counterpart, the Walther P38. The gun doesn’t hit very hard and only has a slightly faster fire-rate than the P38. Although the gun looks amazing in all its pixelated glory, for a squad leader lucky enough to hold one in their hands, missed shots will be very unforgiving.
Luger P08
Above: Fallschirmjäger with a Luger pistol.

Written by PFC Chamine.
Edited by WO1 Brewer.
Formatted by PFC Laird.


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