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General von Arnim's (or Rommel's?) pistol
Old 10-20-2002, 12:15 PM   #1
George Stimson
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Default General von Arnim's (or Rommel's?) pistol

A friend of mine's father has a gun he got during World War Two (or he got it from his brother, or a friend, during the war -- I don't remember which) which is allegedly the pistol handed over to the Allies by Afrika Korps Colonel-General Hans-Jurgen von Arnim when he surrendered in May 1943. My friend also speculates that the gun could have originally been owned by Erwin Rommel. Is there any way to verify (or refute) either of these possiblilites? (If the gun is the real deal, my friend wants to donate it to a museum after he inherits it from his dad.)

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Pistol
Old 10-22-2002, 04:01 PM   #2
Ralph Heinz
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Default Pistol

There was a good deal of animosity between Rommel and von Arnim so your friend is on the wrong track. Can you imagine Patton happily giving one of his famous pistols to Monty? For that matter, Rommel went on to serve in Europe until his death and there would have been no reason to give a pistol to von Arnim. Rommel was rarely photographed wearing a pistol and at that, photos of him wearing a small automatic in a soft holster appear later when he was inspecting beach defenses in Normandy.

Your friend needs a good deal of actual evidence that von Arnim actually surrendered a pistol, description of the pistol, date, witness accounts, to whom, etc. -- otherwise it is all "blue sky" and without proof, it may simply be a war story. What was the rank of the man to whom the pistol was surrendered? He'd better be pretty well up the chain of command to accept the surrender of such a high ranking German officer and in that case, his rank and unit in the US Army should indicate that he was indeed in the right place to accept such a surrender. Von Arnim was an aristocrat and he wouldn't have been surrendering his personal sidearm to Willie or Joe.
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Old 10-24-2002, 10:52 PM   #3
George Stimson
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Thank you, Ralph! I will pass your observations and suggestions along to my friend.

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Old 10-25-2002, 02:36 PM   #4
Matt Weber
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I totally agree with Ralph on this one. Rommel and Von Arnim didn't get along very well together, so I see no reason why Rommel would give him a pistol.

Your friend definately needs to get much more facts before making any claims to this piece.

Rommel was highly photographed during his tour of the "Atlantic Wall". Looking at the photos, it appears Rommel is wearing a small SLP in a softshell holster. Possible a Walther PP or PPk, or maybe a Sauer 38H?

I don't recal seeing any photos of Von Arnim wearing a pistol at all? Perhaps one of our members here has one?

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