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Article about: Seeking information on the WWII Kriegsmarine inspection and acceptance organization for KM weapons and ordnance (Marinewaffenamt). Much is available on the Army inspection/acceptance functio

  1. #1

    Default Marinewaffenamt

    Seeking information on the WWII Kriegsmarine inspection and acceptance organization for KM weapons and ordnance (Marinewaffenamt).
    Much is available on the Army inspection/acceptance function (Heereswaffenamt), but very little on the Kriegsmarine.
    We are familiar with KM proofs such as Eagle/M/III/3 and Eagle/M/III/8, but need more information on these KM proofs such as KM Bureaus and specific inspection departments.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Marinewaffenamt

    Hello hochadler,

    I too am researching this area. About the only thing that I've been able to find are promotion Urkundes for Inspektors. I also discovered the name of the Direktor of the Kriegswaffenamt.

    Otherwise, there is virtually no information to be had from the militaria market. That's not to say that something will not surface - eventually. I think information can potentially be found in the National Archives or BundesArchiv, but other than that, it's really slim pickings.

    I've yet to locate a Technical Brief (TL) which was used by all the different waffenamt sections.

    If I find anything I will surely let you know. I would appreciate you do the same as I'm trying to collect enough data and information to prepare a reference text on this area.

    Best Regards

  3. #3

    Default Re: Marinewaffenamt

    Hello Luther,
    It's a pleasure to hear from a serious Kriegsmarine researcher focusing on the Marinewaffenamt.

    While I made some initial inquiries to several Naval bureaus and archives in Germany, nothing materialized. It's really surprising that more information or documentation isn't readily available.

    My primary interest is in the KM inspection and acceptance function for small arms (primarily pistols), both at naval installations and at the factory.

    It's great to hear that you're working toward a reference text on this whole area. I'll certainly share any information that arises.

    To simplify matters, here's my email:
    Regards, Peter

  4. #4

    Default Re: Marinewaffenamt

    Hello hochadler,

    Wapruf at the factory is a tricky one. For example, at Mauser a full-time devoted staff from the Heeres Abnahme was stationed there permanently.

    I've asked the same question - what about the Kriegswaffenamt and Luftwaffenamt? Not to mention SA and SS.

    It is a real mystery and there is no documentation or reference to such topics anywhere. To be honest with you, I am of the impression that the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine may have delegated this to the Heeres Inspektors, although I do not know this for sure.

    However, if this is the case, then the Inspektor had multiple Wapruf stamp sets. I think this would be problematic, but not impossible.

    The gentleman, Claus Espeholt, that potentially has the answers to these questions is in prison for 3 years in Denmark. He along with 9 others from various EU nations were successfully prosecuted for the manufacture of fully automatic weapons.

    If you do not have the PDF by Espeholt let me know and I will send you one. You might also want to get a copy of General der Artillerie Leeb's book on the German armaments establishment. He covers a wide range of issues that you will find interesting and noteworthy.

    I'm always available to discuss this topic...

    Best Regards

  5. #5

    Default Re: Marinewaffenamt

    Hello hochadler,

    My last post is completely wrong regarding Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe delegation fo Heeres Inspektors.

    I know that the Kriegsmarine had their own Inspektors. Of the three promotion Urkundes that I've seen, I think all three individuals were engineers. So perhaps these Inspektors would be assigned to larger items that would require an engineering background to assess.

    Small weapons inspection was handled by specially trained armorers - at least this is the case for the Army. Since both the navy and airforce had armorers it is logical to assume that they would do things the same as the Army where small arms acceptance is concerned.

    Where navy and air force armorers were trained is a mystery. The policies and procedures pertaining to small arms Wapruf-ing is an even bigger mystery. How the Inspektors were selected is unknown as well as how they interacted with the period's armaments manufacturers. Furthermore, SS and SA small arms acceptance marks are an enigma.

    Perhaps the SS and SA simply marked items that were previously Wapruf-ed by the Army?

    This entire topic is one that needs a signifcant amount of additional research. There is just too much that is unknown.

    Best Regards

  6. #6

    Default Re: Marinewaffenamt

    I have Claus Espeholt's PDF and have communicated with him in the past regarding Marinewaffenamt data, or rather lack of such. I've also provided him with serial numbers of various rifles. I was aware that he had been convicted and sentenced. It's regretful.

    There are a number of items that I'd like to forward to you, but that would be lengthy and cumbersome. It would be much easier to simply send you various attachments via email.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Marinewaffenamt

    Hello hochadler,

    You can send e-mail if you like. Contact me through private message.

    I have a "flow-chart" of the entire OKW - Procurement - Inspection - Acceptance process. I just need to find it. It's not that detailed but at least gives an overview. Do you have it?

    Best Regards

  8. #8

    Default Re: Marinewaffenamt

    The following data obtained from Oberndorf shows that a Kriegsmarine inspection team was stationed at the Mauser factory:

    Militärische Abnahmestellen bei den Mauser-Werken

    Abnahmestelle des Heereswaffenamtes
    Ltg.: Major Rosenhagen
    Zeichen: [Reichsadler als Hoheitszeichen] "655" bzw. "135"

    Ltg.: [?]
    Zeichen: [Reichsadler als Hoheitszeichen] "L" bzw. "F"

    Marine-Abnahme-Kommando A IV/6
    Ltg.: Marine-Stabsingenieur Wolff
    Zeichen: [Reichsadler als Hoheitszeichen] "M"

    The 7.65mm Mauser HSc pistol procured by the KM was stamped in mid to late war with an Eagle/MIII/8. (Often incorrectly viewed as MIII/3 or MIII/6) Another advanced collector/researcher and I regard this proofing as representing:

    Marinewaffenamt Abteilung III des Marinezeugamt 8 (Navy Ordnance Office, Department III of Naval Arsenal 8)

    What are your thoughts regarding this designation?

    I have not seen the 'Flow Chart' you mentioned. I'd like to see that.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Marinewaffenamt

    Hello hochadler,

    I think your deciphering/interpretation of this particular Wapruf is very likely correct.

    * * * * *

    What I would really like is to find documents, literature, etc. from the various departments and acceptance offices. Soldbuchs, arbeitsbuchs, Urkundes, etc. offer little in the way of truly explaining this entire process.

    The only way that I have been able to "recreate" the links between different parts of the armaments establishment has been to study the posting of some senior officers. For example, visit this link and study this general's commands & assignments:

    Generalingenieur Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Spies (Luftwaffe Civil Servant)

    You will see that he was involved with the Reich's Air Ministry Inspectorate departments, technical consulting, etc. All of these bear on the OKW Waffenamt.

    There are references to more than a few obscure/unknown departments and offices - such as the Reich Calculation Chamber of Economics. Their relationships, and how they figured in the Waffenamt programs, are of great interest - at least to me.

    All a big mystery. This is really important stuff, both for collectors and historians. Understanding the policies & procedures that drove the Waffenamt can lead to a better and deeper understanding of makers' marks, designs, materials used, specifications, etc., not just Waprufs.

    * * * * *

    If you send me your e-mail address through the private message function on this website I will get documents to you.

    Best Regards


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