Drawn from some of the world's most prestigious collections, this comprehensive work is a visual and historical reference exploring the craftsmanship and technical progress of German pistol development during the 1914-1945 World War I, Weimar, and Third Reich years. Using specially commissioned color photography, these ultra-rare and priceless side arms, many of which are shown for the first time, are displayed in stunning detail, highlighting the engravers' art, intricate designs, and ornamentation. Important weapons ?from Luger, Walther, Mauser, and many others ?belonging to aristocracy and heads of state have been selected to provide the reader with an appreciation of the gunsmith's artisanship. Rare prototypes illustrate key technical innovations, many of which remain prominent features in modern firearms today. Finally, rare pistols used for military trials are also included, marking the evolution of the pistol as an effective military weapon.
Hermann Hampe was born in Hannover, Germany in 1961. After completing his economics education he has been involved in real estate development. During his free time he researches and writes about a number of historical themes in the area of edged weapons. Hermann has a continuing interest in the historical and theoretical development of the edged weapons of the German Navy, specifically during the Imperial time period 1800-1918. He lives in Cannes and intends to pursue further research and publications in the historical development of the legendary Japanese Nihonto swords. Jean Varret was born in 1963 in the North of France, an area which was so deeply marked from the two World Wars. This landscape gave him a deep interest in the history of those days. His passion for famous historical weapons can be illustrated with Victor Hugo: ?he weapon is nothing, the man is everything!?He lives and works in Cannes, he has a deep interest in aviation and fine automobiles.

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