Monthly Archives: July 2014

Steyr and Radom

With the war many companies would benefit from the early conquests, while some of these were private companies, the ones that benefited most were the state owned conglomerates like the Reichswerke. The fall of Poland is probably the most extreme example of the early exploitation, both in its ruthlessness and with the lethargic pace that it developed. The initial stages of conquest occurred quickly and completely, as in 1939 Poland was a regime not far removed from that of national Socialist Germany. Both were extremely aggressive with its neighbors and had near complete control over their industry, – most of Poland’s most important assets were state owned. In a pattern that Germany would repeat over an over again during its conquest in Europe, all assets of the conquered state would be seized and outright confiscated as Reich property. These conquered assets would then be placed under trustee firms (Komissarische Verwaltung), sometimes private ones, but in most cases, especially if important assets, they were assigned to German companies that were owned by the Reich (the state). Without a doubt the largest conglomerate chosen in the most important cases were companies owned or controlled by the Reichswerke Hermann Göring.

In December 1939, the new owners of the former Polish Armaments Works at Radom and Warsaw, theOberkommando des Heeres (German Army), placed Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG (SDP) as trustee of the firms. This in no way implied ownership, firms such as SDP were chosen because the German Army did not have the expertise to operate the confiscated property and selected German firms that specialized in similar industrial endeavors to run them. They were operated under SDP’s operational oversight but were subject to the Armaments Inspectorate controls.

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Steyr Firearm Production Numbers

Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG rifle production during the war is more complex than simple numbers, they were burdened by a series of problems after its union with Germany, they had great difficulty making rifles that were acceptable to by the German authorities. Many rifles made prior to 1943 were rejected and subsequently passed later, this is the reason why the rifles they made often have variation to their acceptance and marking pattern. Below is the official totals made (accepted) from the official report on the company. 1945 is not included, but was probably about 35,000 rifles by known serial ranges.

SDP (660-bnz)

1939 –   28,801
1940 – 118,452
1941 – 232,425
1942 – 202,400
1943 – 286,807
1944 – 279,562

Gewehre Modell 12/34

The so-called G29ö or “Luftwaffen Karabiner” actually had an official German designation, the German authorities called the rifle the Gewehre Modell 12/34. The designation is derived from the two models of rifles that the design originates from two rifles Steyr made for export, – the M1912 (Modell 1912) and the Steyr-Solothurn M1934.

While the rifle was not made in large numbers, it is fairly easy to find if you have some patience and have the wherewithal to afford a nice example. Production of the rifle was limited, all were delivered to the Luftwaffe during 1939, but examples can be found dated 1938, but they are extremely rare. Total production was probably about 2000 dated 1938 and probably about 29,000 dated 1939. Production was envisioned through the early part of 1940, but was abandoned when SDP (Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG) adopted production of the Kar.98k and the G29/40 rifle made from salvaged Polish Wz.29 rifles. Which were first made starting during July 1940.