The following tables list the base forms for police unit marks found in German Small Arms Markings From Authentic Sources by J. Goertz and D. Bryans, Walsworth Publishing Co., Marceline MO, USA, 1997. This book contains English translations of the actual regulations issued by the German authorities from the Imperial and Weimar eras, and is an invaluable source of information about the often obscure markings found on German weapons and equipment until 1937, when unit marking of materiel was officially discontinued.
Unit marks were applied to many kinds of German military and police equipment during the Imperial and Weimar eras. A complete discussion of the interpretation of German unit marks is outside the scope of the information presented here, but they indicate which unit(s) the materiel were issued to. (For more information, consult The Imperial German Regimental Marking [Revised Edition] by Jeff Noll, P.O. Box 7184, Ventura, CA 93006, USA.) Knowing that, and having the history of the German military and police units, one can sometimes derive some information about where such materiel have been (e.g., which battles in WWI). Thus, unit marks give one some history about the items on which they are found.
Unit marks normally take the form:
The first set of letters on the line indicate the military or police unit that the item was issued to. There are many possible combinations of letters and numbers, and the information presented here addresses just those pertaining to German police units in the Weimar and early Nazi era.
The last numbers on the line indicate the item number of the item that was issued to a unit; e.g., the 351st P08 pistol issued to the Schutzpolizei of Stettin.
As always, I'm not responsible for any inaccuracies in the data, just for the transcription. Please report any errors to me.
I. German Police Forces during the Weimar Era
[This information is lifted almost verbatim from Weimar and Early Nazi Lugers and their Accessories, by Jan C. Still, printed by Walsworth Publishing Co., Marceline, MO 64658 USA.]
The IMKK, Inter-Alliierte Militaer-Kontroll-Kommission (Inter-Allied Military Control Commission), was established to enforce the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles on German soil. It worked through various subcommissions and left Germany during January 1927.
The Treaty of Versailles (through the IMKK) restricted the size of Weimar police forces to their 1914 level, namely 150,000 men. Police arms had a similar restriction. The German state depended on the stabilizing influence of its police during the violence and disorder of the Weimar period and evaded restrictions placed on them. The military character and arms of this police force were a source of comflict with the IMKK, who feared that an expanded police force would become a ready reserve for the German Army. A 1925 dated report of the IMKK notes noncompliance and violations of the Treaty of Versailles by the German police. It cites that the German police exceeded the limit of 150,000 by 30,000 men and that the Schutzpolizei had a military character.
During the Weimar Era, German police power remained decentralized. It was centered in the federal states of Prussia, Bavaria, Baden, Wuerttemberg, Hesse, Saxony, and others. These consisted of the following city and rural police groups:
The Einwohnerwehr was a paramilitary police force formed by an order of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior dated April 15, 1919, to allow citizens to protect themselves from looters, armed gangs, and revolutionaries. It was subject to the command of the local Reichswehr regiments which supplied its guns. This was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles, and after repeated demands by the IMKK, on June 29, 1921, the Berlin government dissolved the Einwohnerwehr. The Einwohnerwehr had a membership of hundreds of thousands and was formed mostly from former servicemen. Many of its members (for example Captain Ernst Roehm, future head of the SA [Sturmabteilung, a.k.a. the Brown Shirts]) eventually joined the Nazi Party.
II. Bavarian Police Defense Force (Polizeiwehr Bayern), 1920
The base forms of the unit marks for this police force are contained in regulations issued in 1920, and are shown in the following table.
|Pw.B.||Polizeiwehr Bayern (Bavarian Police Defense Force)|
|Roman numerals||Detatchment identifiers|
|Arabic numerals||Centuria identifiers|
Pw.B. 2 St 16 - item 16 of the 2nd patrol unit.
III. Prussian Police (Schutzpolizei), 1922
The base forms of the unit marks for this police force are contained in regulations issued in 1922, and are shown in the following table.
|Roman numerals||Identification of individual units or independent centuria within an administrative district|
|Arabic numerals||Enumeration of centuria, or factory numbers, or property numbers|
|H.Ps.||Senior service police academy, Potsdam|
|P.B.||Berlin police school|
|P.Bg.||Brandenburg police school|
|P.H.||Hannover police school|
|P.He.||Hessen-Nassau police school|
|P.N.||Niederschlesien police school|
|P.O.||Ostpreussen police school|
|P.P.||Pommern police school|
|P.S.||Sachsen police school|
|P.Sch.||Schlesiwg-Holstein police school|
|P.W.||Westfalen police school|
|Ps.L.||School for physical training|
S.Al.II 1. 12 - item 12 of the first centuria within command II in the Allenstein district.
|P.N.B.||Berlin police communications section|
|S.B.B.||Berlin mounted police section|
|S.B.Ko.||Berlin Command of maintenance/supply section|
|S.B.M.||Berlin Mitte (Middle) police group|
|S.B.No.||Berlin Nord (North) police group|
|S.B.O.||Berlin Ost (East) police group|
|S.B.S.||Berlin Sued (South) police group|
|S.B.So.||Berlin Suedost (Southest) police group|
|S.B.W.||Berlin West police group|
S.B.S.I 1.7 - item 7 in the 1st Centuria within command I of the South Berlin police group.
Note: Air surveillance departments controlled by the provincial presidents were stamped like the police schools, but with an "L" instead of "P".
IV. Bavarian State Police (Landespolizei), 1930
The base forms of the unit marks for this police force are contained in regulations issued in 1930, and are shown in the following table.
|Wi.M.||Wirtschaftsamt Muenchen (Munich procurement office)|
|Wi.N.||Wirtschaftsamt Nuernberg (Nuremberg procurement office)|
|Fl.S.||Flugueberwachung Bayern-Sued (South Bavarian avaiation supervision)|
|Fl.N.||Flugueberwachung Bayern-Nord (North Bavarian aviation supervision)|
|I.||Abschnitt I (Section I)|
|1.||1. Hundertschaft (first centuria)|
|N||Nachrichtentechniche Abteilung (communications section)|
|N.A.||Ausbildungsstaffel der Nachr. -techn. Abtlg. (communications training section)|
|N.Ba.||Baustaffel der Nachr. -techn. Abtlg. (communications maintenance squadron)|
|K||Kraftfahrabteilung (motor transport seciont)|
|K.S.||Sonderwagenstaffel der Kraftfahrabteilung (armored vehicle squadron)|
|1||1. Lehrabteiling (1st training section)|
|P.R.||Polizei-Reitschule (police equestrian school)|
|b||berittene Abteilung (mounted section)|
M.5. - Kommando Muenchen, staff, gun 5
N.b.5. - Kommando Nuernberg-Fuerth, berittene Abteilung, gun 5
W.K.S.5. - Kommando Wuertzburg, Kraftfahr-Sonderabteilung, Sonderwagen-Staffel, gun 5
V. Prussian Police (Schutzpolizei), 1932
The base forms of the unit marks for this police force were ammended in regulations issued in 1932, and are shown in the following table.
|K.||Assigned to Kriminalpolizei (detective force)|
|L.||Assigned to Landjaegerei (rural constabulary)|
|S.||Assigned to Schutzpolizei (municipal police)|
|B.||Berlin police administration|
|F.||Frenkfurt (Oder) district|
|HP.||Senior Service police academy|
|LS.Al.||Allenstein Landjaegerei school|
|LST.||Trier police school|
|PB.||Bonn police school|
|PBd.||Brendenburg a.d. Havel police school|
|PBg.||Burg police school|
|PFr.||Frankenstein police school|
|PHi.||Hildesheim police school|
|PK.||Kiel police school|
|Pl.||Police School for physical education|
|PM.||Muenster police school|
|PMd.||Hannoeversch-Muenden police school|
|PS.||Sensburg police school|
|PT.||Treptow a.d. Rega police school|
|PTV.||Police institute for technology and transport|
S.Br.I.365 - Schutzpolizei of Breslau, first precinct, item 365
LS.Al.13 - item 13 of the Landjaegerei school in Allenstein
K.B.526 - item 526 of the Kriminalpolizei of Berlin
VI. Einwohnerwehr Bayern
In a typical attempt to demonstrate its political autonomy, the federal state of Bavaria had the small arms issued to its members of the Einwohnerwehr marked E W B on pistol grips and rifle butts. This was naturally discontinued with the dissolution of the Einwohnerwehr in 1921.
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