Thai Variation

Imperial Luger with Thai KOR TOR and NAGA marks

The   book   “The   Mauser   Parabellum   –   analysis   of   a   million   of   Luger   pistol”   by   Joop   van   de Kant   and   Don   R.   Hallock,   describes   some   Imperial   Luger   pistols   used   by   the   Thai   Police. These   pistols   survived   WWI   and   were   sold   as   surplus   to   the   Royal   Thai   Police   somewhere between 1919 and 1937. This   is   an   evidence   of   the   fact   that,   the   Royal   Thai   Police   started   using   Imperial   Lugers before that the Mauser Parabellum contract was set up. Most   probably,   they   decided   to   pass   the   contract   to   Mauser   for   the   “new”   Parabellum simply because they were satisfied with the Imperial surplus pistols already in use. The   contract   passed   to   Mauser   in   1936-1937    is   absolutely   understandable   considering   the fact that: 1 . The   Policemen   and   the   gunsmith   are   already   familiar   with   the   Parabellum   therefore no additional costs are foreseen for training operational and logistic personnel; 2 . Documentation,   User   Manual,   if   available,   can   be   reused   as   they   are;   no   additional cost to update the documentation; 3 . The   Imperial   and   Mauser   model   have   the   same   caliber   (9mm   Parabellum)   therefore no impact on the the ammunition stock. In   the   end,   the   selection   of   the   “new”   Mauser   Parabellum   is   a   cost/effective   solution because allows the reuse of competence with no impact in the logistic management. One   of   the   main   differences   between   the   Mauser   Parabellum   and   the   Imperial   ones,   used by the Thai Police, is a specific Bangkok (Kor Tor) mark (see the paragraph Kor Tor). Until now, no Mauser Parabellum pistols have been reported with this specific mark. Only   a   small   number   of   Imperial   Lugers   with   Thai   Police   marks   have   been   reported,   but they are enough to propose possible theories. Before introducing the theories, let’s clarify the meaning of the marks.

Kor and Tor

Kor Kai or Kor is the first letter of the 44 letters of the Thai alphabet.

Tor Thahan or Tor is another letter of the Thai alphabet. This   acronym   is   read   "Kor   Tor"   it   is   considered   to   be   the   abbreviation   of   Krung   Thep,   the Thai name for Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. This   interpretation   has   been   validated   by   Thai   sources   (see   paragraph   Sources)   as   well   as by the Thai Embassy in Italy. Considering   the   fact   that,   one   of   the   pistols   with   the   Kor   Tor   mark   shows   an   Old   Bangkok P olice Logo supports the interpretation of Kor Tor as the abbreviation of Bangkok. The   number   that   follows   is   definitely   big   and   cannot   be   considered   the   number   of   pistols   in use. It is most probably a serial number for all the guns available.

NAGA

The NAGA is a mythic animal for Thailand. One   of   the   more   beautiful   elements   of   Thai   temples   and   spiritual   places   is   that   of   the Naga.   Naga   is   a   Sanskrit   and   Pali   word   for   a   deity   that   takes   the   form   of   the   great   snake, often a king cobra. For   the   occidental   point   of   view   it   is   easy   to   confuse   the   mark   used   in   the   Parabellum pistol,   above   the   lanyard   ring,   with   a   lion   or   an   elephant   instead   of   a   Naga,   closer   to   the Thai tradition. The   author   considers   more   realistic   the   interpretation   of   this   symbol   as   a   NAGA   instead   of a Lion or an Elephant although there is not definitely evidence of that.

Consideration

A   picture   from   the   Görtz   archive ,   shows   a   Imperial   Parabellum   with   the   Kor   Tor   mark   but no the NAGA. The first and fifth pictures show Lugers with both the Kor Thor and the NAGA marks. The   last   picture   of   the   Imperial   Parabellum   and   then   all   the   Mauser   Parabellum   don’t   have the Kor Thor mark.

First hypothesis

It   is   a   fact   that   the   Mauser   Parabellum   pistols   do   not   receive   the   Kor   Tor   mark   used   by   the Bangkok police. It   could   be   that   the   Mauser   Parabellum   pistols   were   not   provided   to   the   Bangkok   police   but to others Police departments in Thailand. In   this   case,   the   Bangkok   police   used   only   Imperial   models   and   these   pistols   receive   the Kor Tor mark. This   hypothesis   seems   not   realistic   because   the   number   of   pistols   indicated   by   the   three digits   after   the   NAGA   is   small;   it   represents   most   probably   the   number   of   pistols   used   by the Bangkok Police and not by the entire Thai Police.

Second hypothesis

Initially   the   pistols   used   by   the   Bangkok   police   receive   only   the   Kor   Tor   mark.   Probably, others Police departments received a different mark (no evidence of this). At   a   certain   point,   the   NAGA   mark   was   introduced   for   all   the   pistols   and   the   department mark was not used anymore. It   means   that   the   pistol   with   the   Kor   Tor   mark   have   been   re-marked   with   the   NAGA   mark except   the   ones   not   in   service   anymore;   this   can   justify   why   the   first   luger   analyzed,   from the   Görtz   archive,   shows   only   the   Kor   Tor   mark   and   not   the   NAGA.   This   pistol,   most probably, has been kept by the policeman and it was not submitted to the NAGA re-stamp. All the others “new” pistols received only the NAGA stamp and not the department one. The   second   hypothesis   seems,   at   least   to   the   author,   more   credible   and   should   be   retained until no additional evidences are found.

Conclusion

These   Thai   (Bangkok)   Imperial   Parabellum   pistols   are   definitely   interesting   guns.   The   lack of   official   documents   is   not   helping   the   definition   of   a   correct   scenario   but   we   are   still   in the hypothesis. The    only    document    available    is    the    certificate    released    by    the    Major    General    Vitoon Pitugpol,   Commander   of   the   Quarter   Master   division   in   Bangkok,   to   ODIN   certifying   that the   Mauser   Parabellum   pistols   were   used   by   the   Thai   Police   (see   The   Mauser   Parabellum 1930 – 1946 by Joop van de Kant and Don Hallock - page 502. It   is   definitely   difficult   to   have   information   from   the   Thai   authorities   and   the   tentative   of contacting Bangkok Police and others Thai departments fail. Additional   information   or   evidences   provided   by   collectors   are   crucial   to   increase   the knowledge about this exotic variation.

Source of the pictures.

The first picture analyzed is from the Joachim Görtz files in the author collection now. The second picture is from the author collection. The third and fourth pictures are kindly provided by Giuliano Alfinito.

Sources.

The author would like to thank: Joop   van   de   Kant   and   Don   R.   Hallock   for   starting   the   researches   about   the   Imperial   Luger with Thai marks. Uma   Sengsomwang   Senior   Export   Sales   Executive   (Marketing   Division)   THAI   WATANA PANICH PRESS CO., LTD. for the information provided about the marks. Giuliano Alfinito for the pictures of the Imperial Luger with Kor Tor and NAGA mark.
 Artillery Luger pistol and Mauser Parabellum  
 Artillery Luger
© Mauro Baudino 2013 - all rights reserved
LP08 with KOR TOR and NAGA marks. All rights Reserved. Thai alphabet. Bangkok Police Logo. From the Görtz Archive. All rights Reserved. NAGA mythic animal for Thailand. Navy Luger with KOR TOR and NAGA marks. All rights reserved. Rebarreled Imperial Artillery Luger with NAGA marks. Courtesy Giuliano Alfinito