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September 29, 2006

Brothers in Arms...

We need a gun pic.

Steyr-Hahn M1911 and Webley .25 auto

These two pistols have an unlikely connection. They were both taken from a German officer captured in the early days of the Normandy invasion by a soldier of the 29th Division.

The interest lies in the fact that one is Austrian, the other Brit, and they were taken from a German.

The story as related with the pistols is that the German's father fought in the young Rommel's division on the Italian front during WWI, where he acquired the Steyr. As his son went off to fight in WWII, he sent the pistol off to war again. The German acquired the Webley from a Brit commando officer (reputedly a Major) who carried it as a backup piece. Where? Dieppe.

The German officer then started to carry the Webley as *his* backup piece, though in the end he found it more prudent to surrender than use it. Accordingly, you won't find me using it as a backup piece... aside from being too small a caliber to be useful for much more than rodent-shooting, it has a bad track record... and I don't have a magazine for it, either. They are rather more rare in the wild than I would have expected. I was offered one, once - for $150, less more than I paid for the pistol.