There are a lot of guns out there attributed to German leaders and politicians of the Second World War. Many of these are completely specious, and many more are true simply because these men had a lot of guns. What we are looking at today is an exception; one of the rather small number of guns whose personal provenance to Hermann Göring is quite well documented.
This is a P08 Luger manufactured by the Krieghoff firm of Suhl and beautifully engraved, platinum plated, and fitted with embellished ivory grips for Göring. We know he purchased several of these from Krieghoff, although the exact number is unknown (I would suspect 5-10). They are serialized in a range between the 16,900s and 17,200s and all bear the same presentation marking, dated August 15, 1939. It appears that they were purchased for Göring to use as gifts to various cronies, but we do not know or any specific recipients by name. Several currently documented in the US have solid provenance to US servicemen who brought them home from Europe as souvenirs in 1945.
For more information, the best reference (albeit unfortunately out of print) is “The Krieghoff Parabellum” by Randall Gibson.
Thanks to Legacy Collectibles for providing me access to film this remarkable pistol!
I can only say that this gun will never be seen on a range, even if it is perfectly operational. Wouldn’t glint or glare distract the user?
Platinum is not as shiny as gold and in contrast to gold actually harder than gold at 3,5 on the Mohs scale. (Nickel is at 4, gold at 3, chrome is 8,5) That makes platinum a more durable plating metal than gold or silver, if it was not so rare and thus expensive.
like always nice video with an even nicer piece of German Art.
Something I like to comment about “GI Souvenirs”:
I know the history is written by the winners, that no question was the allied forces. But according to the laws in 1945 all german government owned property goes into account and handlled by the allied forces and there following governing institutions. So the only legal owner of this piece in 1945 could be the US Government or when given back to german authorities the german government.
Every piece taken by individuals from federal or privat property is looting or stealing.
There is no differnce between Göring steal paintings from Paris or a GI steal a Luger inside Germany, in front of the judiciary that is all the same – theft – a felony.
These is true for all GI souvenirs if no documentation that it was given to them legaly. But as I say in the beginning the winners make the rules!
If you not believe google “Quedlinburg church treasures” or “Lt. Joe Tom Meador”
Regards from Germany and keep on doing your superb videos. Thank you for that.
You forget another legal category, abandoned property. I feel confident that no German would have admitted owning this pistol, or for that matter anything with a swastika on it, in the last half of 1945.
if I follow your logic then any abandoned M16 or AK47 I found after most US and all USSR troops leave Germany in the 1990s is mine? No – that not our laws here, hihihi.
I don’t know about other countries but I am pretty sure if I found an early US marked SAA relic in the Black Hills of SD or an abandoned AR15 somewhere in NJ it is not automatically mine.
In South Dakota and New Jersey, and in most of the U. S., it pretty much is.
Lots of quirks and exceptions, but it’s pretty much finders keepers for ABANDONED property.
Lost or mislaid is another story…
I cannot comment on property stolen by the Germans in occupied countries.
Your theory that all legal German government property automatically is owned by the postwar German government was actually tried out by Bundeswehr, on the initiative of the then curator of the Luftwaffe museum at Berlin-Gatow.
Apart from making himself and Bundeswehr the target of eternal hatred by the German collector community, he failed before German courts.
If you own a Jumo engine, the government has to prove its continuing ownership. There is no obligation for you to prove otherwise.
Germany surrendered unconditionally and the allied country running the respective occupation zone made the laws. And as per US law service men could bring back war trophies by filling out a form DD630 and getting a superior to sign off on it. And what civilian or non-standard military firearms were not brought back were normally destroyed. An uncle of mine, who was in the war, said when they confiscated small arms from German towns and such they were put into a pile and a tank ran back and forth over them.
thanks for that DD630 info. I googled but found only infos from 1965 or later. So I do not know about 1945.
You think that Platinum Luger has this within it probenance, I doubt it.
I am long time customer at RIA and Julia(Murphys) (I collect Colt Winchester and Sharps) and in neither catalog, and I seen hundreds, I found something about DD630 in their description of Krieghoff Lugers, Luftwaffe Drillings, Walthers or any of the hundreds of Nazi items they had on every auction date.
Lets say the coalition forces win the war and nobody within the winning powers care!
Great information sir.Thank you!
There is a video on Mark Felton’s web which shows Goering’s personal surrender. He sits in that instance at table with his captors while he produces what looks like – a U.S. made wheel gun.
Regardless of everything else, in this aspect there was some affinity with gen. G.Patton who also carried a revolver.
I think Goering’s surrender pistol was a .45 revolver. Not sure on the manufacture. Have heard it is up at the West Point Museum.
He also had a .32 PPK that was given to an Army Lt he surrendered to and later was asked to stick around as some type of liaison/guard. Full provenance. It was sold in 2013 for $30k (at auction) and in 2019 for $235K (on Rock Island).
“(…).32 PPK that was given to an Army Lt he surrendered to(…)”
https://www.guns.com/news/2018/11/09/hermann-goering-surrender-pistol has video about it, it states it was Lt. Shapiro who got this gun during surrender.
From the newsreel and the visible proportions, I also thought it was a .45 M1917 S&W revolver (the same model Ernst Udet shot himself with). But I received trustworthy information that it was a .38 Special revolver which still is in a USMC museum.
In video posted by Daweo they say it was Smith&Wesson revolver.
“(…)Goering’s personal surrender(…)”
Interestingly according to https://www.historynet.com/lost-prison-interview-with-hermann-goring-the-reichsmarschalls-revelations.htm
May 8, 1945, Göring surrendered to the Americans in full military regalia. Expecting to be treated as the emissary of a defeated people, the Reichsmarschall was shocked when his medals and marshal’s baton were taken away and he was confined in Prisoner of War Camp No. 32
then he was interviewed, text is available in linked article and should be interested if you want to know about Germans strategic awareness.
Goering’s surrender revolver was a S&W, apparently bought from a German gun shop in the mid 1930’s. Said to be a 38 Spl, and from the photo below that looks about right.
There is also one for sale over at Simpsons. Engraving it similar but grips are different, still ivory. Interarms type of the 1970s. Very pretty gun.
The engraving on the steel and grip scrimshaw is of surprisingly low quality. I would have thought that Goering would have had finer taste.
Well, Goering wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the box. He was also a morphine addict.
I agree with your assessment of the grip work. Second rate at best. Göring was a boorish lout who who knew nothing about art.
Agree on Göring’s character and tastes (just look at his silly hobby of collecting all the medals he could fit on his chest). Maybe these pistols were commissioned on relatively short notice, so Krieghoff did not have the time to look for the absolute best carver out there and took the best he could find or had at his factory? These pistols obviously were meant for some celebration on 15.VIII.1939. So they had to be ready before this day to be presented on the occasion. Whatever it may have been. What happened that day about two weeks before Fall Weiss? Presentation guns for his best generals before the invasion?
However, he has collected OWN awards.
Many of whom were honored in battle.
If you are jealous of someone, do it silently.
Considering Göring affiliation with Luftwaffe it might be linked with dive-bombing demonstration for senior Luftwaffe commanders on that day. It ended fatally for pilots which were unable to do what their lead has done.
just bought “The Krieghoff Parabellum ” by Randall Gibson from Krighoff for about $100 not to bad. They don’t seem to be out of print,it by be a paperback I don’t care but a heads up
Let’s not take Göring’s real achievements from him, he was an ace fighter pilot in the ’14-’18 war.
Nor his later blurbs, in the cells during the Nuremberg trials.
He gave us several useful insights into how the world really works.
Now to presentation ’08 pistolen…
I need to check up on the price of platinum compared to other precious metals during that period.
I think that Pt may be the key to this.
I agree with the team, both the metal engraving and the scrimshaw are worse than amateurish, they’re slipshod.
Platinum was a strategic metal, used in the points of both aircraft engine distributors and spark plugs.
I know of a couple of families who got their leg up in life, by extracting the scrap platinum from war surplus spark plugs.
Now to the second war Göring
Middle aged, far out of his depth, overweight, and with a narcissistic personality disorder that rivaled (but never quite equalled) the narcissism of Churchill, mussolini, roosevelt, Stalin, and who was that little tw@ from Austria, with only one bollock?
The guy who blamed his pilots for the failure of his delusional plans.
Göring had a supply of platinum (for strategic use) and a good cronie relationship with Krieghoff
How better to buy friends and influence people?
Actually, something like platinum or especially rhodium plating, is excellent both outside and inside a gun.
They’re hard, fouling doesn’t stick to them, and they’re pretty.
They’re just not sufficiently better than hard [and competently executed] chrome, to justify their extra cost.
But, in a national socialist planned utopia, where you are the morbidly obese toad with a big budget and a supply of platinum…
Bling lovers might easily become an end result
Bling lugers might easily be the result
I think one of those generals was an admiral that did not like herr Goring