At page 91 of my book “La Luger Artiglieria”, I have started analysing the P08 and LP08 made by Mauser under French Control. This production represents the last effort made by Mauser in the Parabellum area before the destruction of the facility started in 1948. In those years, the Mauser management was still trying to convince the French to avoid the complete destruction of the firm, but we know now that this effort was useless. This historical period and the successive rebuild of the company with the new Parabellum production started in 1969 is really the object of my research.

Coming back to the “Parabellum made under French control”; all these pistols have been produced mainly for the French army and used successively in the Indochina and Alger war. The LP08 seems not used on the field but mainly produced on demand or for VIP people visiting the firm. It seems that the Spahis (camel riding troops) acting as personal protection guards for General Pierre Koenig (1898 – 1970), supreme commander and military governor of the French zone in post war Germany, were used to use the LP08 during official ceremony. The last to use the P08 was the Gendarmerie until 1950. It seems that the P08 were collected in the depot until 1970.
So far, five variations have been classified by the collectors. The pistols here presented belong to the second variation and to the fifth variation. The second variation, that is considered the most representative of this production, is characterized by the “star” proof mark and usually are indicated by the collectors as “étoile model” (étoile = star in French). The fifth variation is really the last one made in Oberndorf or in the
Manufacture d'armes de Chatellerault - MAC where the French moved all the P38, P08 and LP08 spare parts from Oberndorf. The Mauser archive available until end of 1946 indicates that in Oberndorf have been produced 2680 Parabellum. The production was most probably continued in 1947 and also in France. The French used the star proof symbol only for around 300 pistols with the serial number ranging in 200 – 499 (the number 500 belongs already to the third variation). Only four LP08 (260, 400, 450, 456) are reported in the second variation and eleven in total.

The full amount should be not greater than 4000 pistols. In the 1950, the French Army printed out 5000 P08 manuals to cover the need of the gunsmith in Indochina. You can see one of them, the only one today reported, in the following pictures.

Usually the set is composed by the pistol, two magazines with serial number and the holster. For the LP08 also a couple of stocks have been reported. The fifth variation is different in term of marking and proofing with respect to the previous variations. This could be also indirect evidence that the pistols have been assembled in France.

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