Mauser G98 used by the German Imperial Navy
Photos ©
Marc Thevenin

This Mauser G98 rifle was made in Berlin in 1906 and was recently found in a state of decay and corrosion in Alsace in modern France. This region was part of Imperial Germany before the First World War. It is possible that this rifle was brought home by an Alsatian sailor after serving in the Imperial German navy. Marc Thevenin has spent considerable time and effort in restoring it to the condition we see here. The reason we allude to an Alsatian sailor is the the gun bears two naval markings (on the chamber and stock), though they are hard to see at first glance.

There is also a unit marking and weapon number "M.A. 111". The markings, M.A. in the Prussian and other German armies denoted the Militär-Betriebs-Abteilung but this was a naval rifle and thus did not follow army regulations. The problem with identifying this and other naval weapon markings is that the original Imperial Navy regulations for unit markings do not exist anymore. They were most likely lost in allied bombing raids on Berlin the the Second World War. As a naval marking it could be speculated that M.A. may represent the land based naval artillery, the Matrosen Artillerie.

The Near Sights of the Rifle with range adjustments for hundreds of metres. The barrel number "20..." has been partially eaten away by corrosion as has the crowned naval M next to it on the chamber.

The Chamber and Breech of the Rifle with a makers marking, Deutsche Waffen-und-Munitions Fabrik Berlin 1906. To the right on the barrel is a crowned AN marking. This is a later French marking to show the gun was deactivated at the armaments workshop of the Banc National d’Epreuve in Saint Étienne.

The Butt of the Rifle with the butt disc having the unit and weapon number marking M.A. 111. Notice the but itself is also stamped with an M for Marine and has a crowned inspection marking.

Photos © Marc Thevenin


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