German ammo at Katyn forest

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Sergey Romanov
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German ammo at Katyn forest

Post by Sergey Romanov » 29 Jan 2004 23:03

I really hope this is not off-topic.

One problem regarding the Katyn massacre, for which I haven't seen satisfying solution yet, is the use of German guns by NKVD to kill Poles. That wasn't their style and the main problem is where they got these guns. In his report of 10 June 1943 Voss wrote that bullets were made by Genschow firm, and that inquiry to the High Command (Ch. H. Rust und Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres, letter of 31 May 1943) revealed that ammo and guns were shipped to Poland and USSR before the war.

During the Congress Katyn hearings (http://www.conservativeclassics.com/boo ... k/BK07.PDF) Genschow testified about ammo (before the committe in Frankfurt):

Mr. GENSCHOW. The cartridges of the shells of this pistol ammunition carried, since the year 1933-34, the word "Geco" on the bottom of the shell, and underneath the "Geco" was "7.65".
Question. Can 7.65 ammunition of the type manufactured by this firm be used in various hinds and makes of pistols?
Mr. GENSCHOW. Yes, it could; because it was a standard type cartridge which could be used in very many different makes of pistols.
Question. Was it used internationally by various nations, police, or armed forces, in pistols?
Mr. GENSCHOW. Yes certainly.
Question. Did this firm ever export pistol ammunition of the caliber 7.65 to Eastern Europe?
Mr. GENSCHOW. Yes; that is the case.


BTW, it is strange that Genschow, presumably, did not explicitly testify about USSR.

OK, so if there were shippings to USSR and Poland, there likely were some documents left. Yet I did not see them cited or even mentioned in any of the Soviet/Russian or Polish publications that I have. If anybody knows anything about such documents, please, inform me.

Also, it would be interesting to know if it was even probable that German military men would carry Walthers of caliber 7.65 and this particular ammo with them at this particular time. I'd like to hear your thoughts about this.

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 30 Jan 2004 01:03

What are you trying to prove? Do you want to denied this horrible crime commited by the NKVD from the order of the megalomaniac Stalin against the Polish intellitgentsia Officer. Sorry but this kind of message make me upset.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 30 Jan 2004 01:12

> What are you trying to prove?

Nothing. I'm asking a question.

> Do you want to denied this horrible crime commited by the NKVD from the order of the megalomaniac Stalin against the Polish intellitgentsia Officer.

Of course not. Only a foolish "revisionist" would do that.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 30 Jan 2004 05:43

Sergey Romanov wrote:> What are you trying to prove?

Nothing. I'm asking a question.

> Do you want to denied this horrible crime commited by the NKVD from the order of the megalomaniac Stalin against the Polish intellitgentsia Officer.

Of course not. Only a foolish "revisionist" would do that.

so-called Bolo-mausers probably aka Mauser-astra

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Post by David Thompson » 30 Jan 2004 06:22

Sergey -- You said:
One problem regarding the Katyn massacre, for which I haven't seen satisfying solution yet, is the use of German guns by NKVD to kill Poles. That wasn't their style and the main problem is where they got these guns.


You went on to say:
Also, it would be interesting to know if it was even probable that German military men would carry Walthers of caliber 7.65 and this particular ammo with them at this particular time. I'd like to hear your thoughts about this.


I don't know how many German military men would carry a Walther 7.65mm pistol (it was not a military issue weapon for most of the German armed forces), but it was very popular with the police. Also, while Walther automatic pistols fired 7.65mm ammunition, that firm was not the only manufacturer of pistols produced in that caliber. A quick perusal of the standard Smith & Smith firearms reference Small Arms of the World, the Stackpole Company, Harrisburg [PA]: 1969 turned up this list of 23 other 7.65mm pistols in service by various nations, in military and police capacities, at the time the Katyn massacres occurred during the winter of 1939-40:

(1) 1898 Browning automatic pistol, manufactured under license by the Belgian firm Fabrique Nationale D’Armes de Guerre; “used as a side arm in practically all military groups in the world at one time or another.”

(2) 1899 Browning automatic pistol, manufactured under license by the Belgian firm Fabrique Nationale D’Armes de Guerre

(3) 1900 Browning automatic pistol, manufactured under license by the Belgian firm Fabrique Nationale D’Armes de Guerre

(4) 1900 Swiss Luger automatic pistol

(5) 1903 Browning automatic pistol, manufactured under license by the Belgian firm Fabrique Nationale D’Armes de Guerre

(6) 1905 Mannlicher pistol

(7) 1906 Swiss Luger automatic pistol

(8) Colt Hammerless .32 Automatic Pistol

(9) 1908 Savage pocket automatic pistol, used by the military in Portugal

(10) 1910 Browning automatic pistol, manufactured under license by the Belgian firm Fabrique Nationale D’Armes de Guerre; “hundreds of variants of this pistol have been manufactured in Belgium, Italy, France, Spain and Czechoslovakia;” “extensively used abroad as a police pistol”

(11) 1910 Mauser blowback pattern automatic pistol

(12) 1912 Frommer Stop Pistol

(13) 1915 Beretta Automatic Pistol

(14) 1922 Browning automatic pistol, manufactured under license by the Belgian firm Fabrique Nationale D’Armes de Guerre; adopted as a service pistol by the Netherlands, Yugoslavia and Belgium

(15) 1927 Czech Ceska Zbrojovka Nicki design blowback pattern automatic pistol, used in the Czech military

(16) 1929 Walther Model PP automatic pistol

(17) 1929 Swiss Luger automatic pistol

(18) 1929 Hungarian automatic pistol

(19) 1930 Sauer Behorden Modell automatic pistol

(20) 1931 Walther Model PPK automatic pistol

(21) 1934 Beretta Automatic Pistol

(22) 1937 Hungarian automatic pistol

(23) Mauser HSc automatic pistol

(24) 1938 Sauer automatic pistol

(25) 1939 Frommer Stop Pistol

While it is true that Soviet-manufactured pistols came in calibers other than 7.65mm, the pistols may have been purchased abroad by the USSR, or, the NKVD faces behind this crime might have thought it was the cream of the jest to kill the Polish army officers, professors, etc. with captured Polish weapons and ammo.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 30 Jan 2004 10:11

Thanks, Mr. Thompson!

Tokarev testified that Poles, buried in Mednoe, were killed with Walthers, which Blokhin brought from Moscow in a suitcase. So, if the procedure was uniform, I guess Walthers were used at Katyn too, although not necessarily.

The reason given by Tokarev is that German guns were more effective, that they didn't "get hot". But then, we don't see that they used German guns in other cases, and NKVD shot many thousands. And why not use Nagans? So that is not quite plausible.

> the NKVD faces behind this crime might have thought it was the cream of the jest to kill the Polish army officers, professors, etc. with captured Polish weapons and ammo

Really, that was top secret and very serious and hard operation (as described by those NKVD members, who testified after the fall of USSR), no time for "jests". Effectiveness would be above all. And Nagans were quite effecitve in 1937.

> I don't know how many German military men would carry a Walther 7.65mm pistol (it was not a military issue weapon for most of the German armed forces), but it was very popular with the police.

What interests me most is this: how probable is the use of this particular ammo, found in the forest, among German police or military men. According to Butz's report, this ammo was produced in Durlach, in 1922-1931. Would it be available by then? Or is it impossible to ascertain this?

The main problem is actually absence of published documents about shippings of German ammo and guns to USSR. Both Butz and Voss stated with certainty in their reports that large amounts of ammunition were shipped to USSR. Butz wrote that large amounts were shipped before 1928, and less after that. Goebbels speculated in his diary that ammo could have been shipped during the period of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

But why speculate? Voluminous documentation should be available on both sides. OK, let's suppose that Russian authorities are not willing to publish such documents. What about German documents then? I hope someone with access to the wealth of German documentation can help me.
Last edited by Sergey Romanov on 31 Jan 2004 19:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Luca » 30 Jan 2004 11:23

oleg wrote:so-called Bolo-mausers probably aka Mauser-astra

Bolo was in caliber 7,63 Mauser.
Luca

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Post by David Thompson » 30 Jan 2004 17:29

I'm thinking that this thread may profit by a move to the allied equipment section of the forum, whose learned readers may be of more assistance.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 30 Jan 2004 18:02

Thanks, Mr. Thompson.
Though shouldn't it be "Nazi equipment"? ;]

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Post by Mark V » 30 Jan 2004 19:50

Hmm... previous posters are apperently thinking about 7.65 Browning chambering.

What about 7.65x21 Parabellum ?? - an standard calibre of Parabellum pistols from end of WW1 to start of German re-armament in mid-30s. Germany was forbidden by Versailles Treaty to export weapons in larger calibre than that.

I don't either totally rule out the chambering Oleg suggested. 7.63 Mauser was known during it's lifetime also by nominal calibres of 7.62 and 7.65 and i am remembering that during acceptance period of TT-pistol calibre was for a time called as 7.65 ?? - i guess it possible that imported German ammunition was stamped accordingly though they were in reality 7.63x25 Mauser. My memory may fail me here.

Anyway - what is the problem here ?? During first half of 20th century everybody sought after German small arms - they were much valued everywhere, and for sure NKVD-troops were not an exception, especially thinking that Soviet Union suffered from critical shortage of small arms in first decades of Bolshevik state - there weren't much domestic alternatives and so there was an market for imports from Germany.

Regards, Mark V

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 30 Jan 2004 20:22

I'll formulate it in a few words:

1) Why did they use German guns/ammo?
2) Where's the paper trail?

We might never know the answer to (1), but (2) seems to be verifiable, so if anybody knows anything about any such documents (about shipment of German ammo/guns specifically to USSR), I will be glad if you tell me.

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Post by Mark V » 30 Jan 2004 20:47

I don't either have import documents available.

Mauser "broomhandles" were imported to Soviet Union in large numbers though - those exports greatly helped Mauser to survive as an company in 20s.

Your question 1 - is very easy to answer. NKVD troops were elite forces. Best equipment available. If available i think all of them would had chosen Bolo-Mauser or Parabellum over domestic alternatives -> Tula-Korovin, Nagant and TT, atleast i would have... in that selection quality is one thing on favour of imported alternatives, prestige is another and maybe as important...

Mark V

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Post by Harri » 30 Jan 2004 20:49

Have we yet seen all Soviet documents about the Katyn case? The whole happening was denied until 1990's (50 years) - but it was then admitted. Anyway it is quite clear that Polish officers had been shot a few years before they were found. I guess it is clear for everyone that Germans couldn't be in Katyn then?

It is a well known secret that Germany and USSR had rather close relationships during 1920's and also later. Without doubt Germany delivered weapons and ammunition to USSR. Have we seen any documents about these? If there are any documents left they should be found from Russian archives.

7.65 Browning is a rather ineffective cartridge. If I would going to execute someone with a pistol I chose more powerful one. Longer 7.65 or 9 mm Parabellum cartridge would do the job much better. 7.63 Mauser would be an ideal choice.

And was it really so that NKVD never used reloaded cartridges?

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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 30 Jan 2004 21:17

Mark V wrote:I don't either have import documents available.

Mauser "broomhandles" were imported to Soviet Union in large numbers though - those exports greatly helped Mauser to survive as an company in 20s.

Your question 1 - is very easy to answer. NKVD troops were elite forces. Best equipment available. If available i think all of them would had chosen Bolo-Mauser or Parabellum over domestic alternatives -> Tula-Korovin, Nagant and TT, atleast i would have... in that selection quality is one thing on favour of imported alternatives, prestige is another and maybe as important...

Mark V
mausers were not imported from Germany - they were imported from Spain

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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 30 Jan 2004 21:22

Sergey Romanov wrote:I'll formulate it in a few words:

1) Why did they use German guns/ammo?
2) Where's the paper trail?

We might never know the answer to (1), but (2) seems to be verifiable, so if anybody knows anything about any such documents (about shipment of German ammo/guns specifically to USSR), I will be glad if you tell me.
who gives a hoot it is a minor detail. the whole katyn thing is well documented -600 pages book conisyed primerely of documents was pubslihed by Yakovlev fond in 1999. If you are interested PM me your e-mail I' sent you a PDF copy.

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