1928 Dutch East Indies contract M.11 Luger and accessories
In 1927, the Dutch military resumed contracts with BKIW, formally DWM, for 3820 Model 1911 or M.11 grip safety Lugers for the Dutch East Indies Army, all of which were delivered in 1928. The serial numbers did not start with 1 but continued from the last Vickers contract deliveries serial numbers of 10182 to 14001. The only mechanical differences from the Vickers Lugers were the circa 1913 reinforced rear frame area and the new circa 1916 modified Sear Bar. The difference to the markings consisted of the changes from the British proofs to the BKIW/DWM nitro or vertical crown N receiver, breechblock, and barrel proof marks. The most controversial added mark was the encircled KL or KOL stamping found on the receiver right side of the 1927/1928 contract only deliveries. This is the only Royal Dutch Indies Army, Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger (KNIL), contract Dutch army Luger with this stamping. All prior KNIL contract Dutch army grip safety Luger deliveries lack this stamping.1
Four Luger book publications dating from 19692, 19883, 19914, and 19935 all state or infer that the 1928 Dutch KNIL M.11contract Lugers are for the Dutch Air Force. One source publication states that the KOL stamp was exclusive to the Dutch Air Force stating in a section entitled DWM/BKIW Royal Netherlands Air Force Model that: In 1928 The Netherlands purchased ‘another’ 4,000 Model 1906 type Lugers for distribution to their Air Force. These Lugers bear an entwined "KL" within a circle on the right side of the receiver. These weapons carry serial numbers which were progressive from the earlier Vickers contract. They range from 10,080 to 14,000.4 See also the earlier reference by Kenyon2 publication by the same author with similar descriptive text. Still5 quotes Dick Deibel in a 1974 article who states that the KOL means Kolonien or colonies yet the author insists the 1928 BKIW contract batch of 3,820 M.11 Lugers went to the KNIL Air Force. Martins and de Vries1 state that as of 1928: ...the Indies Army Aviation Department consisted of hardly more than a few dozen men.
There is no doubt that some of the 1927/1928 contract Dutch East Indies Lugers eventually ended up in the Dutch Air Force or Military Aviation Department in the late 1930s. One such KOL marked Dutch Luger recently sold with a brass plate affixed to the left side frame marked M.L. Kdj. / 147 identified with the advertising descriptive text as Militaire Luchtvaartdienst (Military Air Service) or more correctly the Military Aviation Department. This one cited example does not necessarily support the proponents of an exclusive 1928 Dutch Air Force contract as the identifying brass plate could not have been affixed no earlier than 1939 - 1942. As a matter of note, there is no previous published information specifically listing or identifying any Dutch Luger brass plate markings with the Dutch East Indies Military Aviation Department. In the descriptive text from the seller of the above M.L. Kdj. / 147 brass plate KOL M.11, he also quoted a serial number range of 10182 to 14001. However, the information describing the gun was not obtained from Martins and de Vries1 as they do not recognize a separate Military Aviation Department contract. The information could possibly have come from Kenyon2, 4 and Still3, 5 as they do recognize a separate Military Aviation Department contract.
Moreover, the data supports the fact that of the Dutch Lugers in the subject serial number range, when identified with brass identification plates, the vast majority went to the Dutch East Indies Army based in Java per the 1927/1928 contract. Therefore, it can be concluded that there was no separate stand-alone 1928 BKIW contract for the "Dutch Air Force," which in 1928 was part of the Dutch Army and that there is, to date, no association of the KOL mark with the Dutch Air Force to support Kenyon2, 4 and Still's3, 5 assertion of a separate contract.
1927-1928 DWM contract KNIL Dutch East Indies Army M.11 Luger, serial number 11148
One such example featured herein with the KOL mark, serial number 11148 with a brass plate ID of St. – Inf. VIII / 21 or St. (for the staff), Inf. VII, ergo (staff of the Eighth Infantry Battalion, weapon 21).
The serial number 11148 pistol component parts are all matching, unusual for a Dutch East Indies Army KNIL Luger. Even the rear axle pin and the firing pin retainer are stamped with the last two digits of the serial number. The gun appears to have the original bluing as evidenced by the displaced metal of the frame serial number and the frosting around the barrel serial number. The full serial number is stamped on the inside surface of the left side wooden grip with no serial number stamping on the right side wooden grip. The 11148 serial number placement locations described appear to be standard practice for the 1928 BKIW contract Dutch Army Lugers.
An example of one variation of the holster provided for the 1928 M.11 contract Dutch East Indies Army Luger was made in the Dutch East Indies. Shown above is a 1940s circle z stamped example. Included with the holster is a Dutch East Indies made twin magazine pouch. Pictured are three original DWM provided special magazines with removable wooden bottom pieces. The twin magazine pouch also has two pockets, one containing a KOL marked combination tool and the other containing a GS (Geweermakers School, Bandoeng) marked punch/drift.
The magazine pouch shown was used with the pictured Dutch holster and would have been an accessory to the 1928 contract Dutch KNIL Dutch M.11 Luger. The very rare and unique magazines shown, which were used with the earlier Vickers Lugers, may have been phased out by 1928, being replaced with newly made magazines with two transverse pins securing the wooden bottom to the magazine body as stated in The Dutch Luger book on page 216. Pictured is a very unusual Dutch magazine with not two, but three pins securing the wooden bottom to the magazine body. Another accessory is a rarely encountered ammunition pouch. The KNIL leather pouch was affixed to the belt as was the twin magazine leather pouch and was used to carry extra ammo.
The Dutch KNIL M.11 Luger instruction manuals
The following is a chronological list of published/printed M.11 instruction manuals as identified in The Dutch Luger.
1928 Dutch KNIL M.11 Luger instruction manual D.v.O. III., No. A 3.
In the case of accessories, the military instruction manual is a rare item with a low survival rate. This is due to several factors, one being the fragile nature of the manual which is awkward to store and protect. Also, the owner or soldier tends to discard or set aside the manual once the item, or in this case the pistol, is mastered. Additionally, to a defeated army, the manual is discarded or destroyed by the victors. With that said, shown below is a very rare first edition dark green cover with gold lettering 1928 D.v.O. III., No. A 3. published instruction manual for the Dutch East Indies Army M.11 Grip Safety Parabellum. This identical manual is pictured and briefly described in a 1992 published Luger book6. The same identical manual is also featured and described in greater detail in a later 1994 published Luger book.7 Included here is a brief additional description of the manual as described by the former owner Nico v. Gijn:
The manual was printed in 1928 and many changes have been added, up at least to 1937 as that is what is written in the front page as “change instructions” although after the “change instructions” another change (instruction nr.7) was added. So most likely the manual has all the changes that were used until the war (WW2) started. The manual did not leave the service (Dutch army) until after the war in 1945, in my opinion. Of these types of manuals, 1928 is the earliest manual I’ve ever seen. All others were dated later. The front and rear cover is paper coated linen.8
1937 and 1939 Batavia-Centrum M.11 instruction manuals
Featured are two other interesting and equally rare M.11 manuals. The first manual is D.v.O. III., A nr. 3a and the second manual is the D.v.O. III., A nr. 3b., both printed in Batavia-Centrum or Batavia-Central, formally of the Netherlands Indies until 1942, currently Jakarta, Indonesia. These excellent condition 1937 and 1939 printings, complete with no additions or changes, are apparently the last manuals printed for the Dutch East Indies Army M.11 Luger, as barely three years later, the Dutch East Indies Army surrendered to the Japanese. The fact that these manuals were printed and distributed in Batavia-Centrum or the Netherlands Indies, quantity unknown, suggests not many of these manuals survived the tropical environment or the Japanese occupation, making any surviving manual, in any condition, extremely rare.
Note that the manual cover designation of "D.v.O." stands for Department van Oorlog (Department of War). Also that the 1937 manual represents Bijgewerkt t/m het 7e wijzigingsblad or has been Updated to the seventh amendment, whereas the 1939 manual has been updated to the ninth amendment. Prijs on the inside title page means Price or Value. F. 052 in the 1937 inside title page means the value or price of the manual was 052 cents of a Guilder (F =original Florin but was used for Guilders). This could be the original price, which may have varied from time-to-time, as the manual was printed with a place for the price which was "ink stamped" added after the manual was printed or it could be, in case the manual was lost, one had to pay 52 cents for a replacement. The price, apparently did vary or fluctuate, as indicated by the different prices of the 1928 (F 028, 1937 (F 052) and 1939 (F 044) manuals.
Dutch Shooting Award Medal
Additionally, in the back of the manual on Plaat VI there is a line drawing of a medal one could win with the annual Dutch East Indies competition using the M.11 pistol. Also Plaat V shows a series of figures describing the set up of the shooting target. Pictured below is an actual award medal or schietprijs (shooting prize), similar to the medal that is shown in the 1939 manual.
In the subject 1939 manual, it is pictured as a black and white line drawing. To be an M.11 Pistool shooting award medal the ribbon needs to have a bronze banner clip with the word "PISTOOL," a number and then the word "MAAL." Since the Dutch word MAAL is time, it therefore represents how many times the soldier was a marksman on the type of gun; one time, 2 times, 3 times, etc. However, the periods of getting such a marksman quality banner /schietprijs was only once a year. They had a contest once a year, so for instance, a banner three times could be reached in three years, but it could also take more years. The pictured medal in color is not for the M.11 Pistool but for the K.M., which means that this medal was not given for using the Luger but for the use of a Karabijn Mitrailleur or K.M. (Carbine Machine Gun). The same medal was given for the M.11, only the bronze banner clip was different. In case you were a marksman on more arms, then they would not give a second medal but only an additional bronze banner clip to add to the ribbon. The issue of these Dutch shooting award medals started in 1936 and lasted through 1949 so they will not be seen or mentioned in earlier Dutch M.11 manuals.
The KNIL ended in 1951 and not 1949. However, 1949 was used as an end date for the shooting contests as in that year the Republic of Indonesia was started. From that moment the KNIL was in practice, ended, as already it was a colonial army only. It is not known if in the years after 1942 these shooting contests still took place as the Dutch were at war in the colonies. First in 1942 against the Japanese army and secondly in 1945 against the freedom fighters that wanted Indonesia as a state. Shooting contests are something one does in peacetime. The only thing that is stated is that this medal was not used after the ending of the KNIL army and that was formerly in 1951.
As a rare LOB collection accessory to the subject 1939 manual, the following is a detailed description of an excellent condition circa 1936-1949 Dutch East Indies KNIL shooting award medal/ribbon with several affixed bronze banner awards. The ribbon has three "K.M. 1, 2, 3 MAAL" and five "GEWEER 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 MAAL” for a total of eight bronze banners affixed to the dark orange with two vertical gold strips ribbon. The GEWEER bronze banner is for the Mannlicher M95 rifle made in licence at the Dutch sate arsenal “Hembruk” in Zaandam. The Dutch army used several variations such as carbines, but all were called rifle (Geweer). Therefore, there are no carbine banners. Attached to the bottom of the ribbon is a five pointed bronze star with central circular, white enamel and gold filled concentric circle "bulls eye” target with a black center. The outer circumference is a gold fill laurel wreath design. The target, including the laurel wreath, is 19 mm in diameter. The dark orange ribbon is 52 mm wide x 87mm long with two vertical seven mm wide gold stripes. The five pointed star medal is attached to the lower part of the ribbon with an integral eye hook and additionally held in place on the ribbon with threads over the top position star point to the ribbon. The rear side backing appears to be a fabric/cardboard combination to hold the ribbon in place with eight outside perimeter positions sewn through the backing to the ribbon. Additionally, on the backside are two vertical pins to attach the award to the soldiers' uniform.
Although the subject medal and ribbon has no affixed PISTOOL bronze banner, it is, nevertheless, the five pointed medal pictured in the 1939 manual. The ribbon design pattern, however, is different from the manual line drawing, having two vertical, gold colored stripes vs. a single, centered stripe in the manual line drawing. There is an existing Dutch shooting prize with an identical five-pointed medal but with a different pattern gold colored ribbon with a centered, vertical green stripe as pictured, albeit in black and white, in the 1939 manual with a single affixed PISTOOL 6 MAAL bronze banner along with three other bonze banners: GEWEER 2 MAAL, MITR 4 MAAL and A K.M. 5 MAAL. Inasmuch as the K.M. MAAL and the GEWEER MAAL banner appear on both style ribbons, it is certain that a PISTOOL MAAL banner could also be on either ribbon style. There is a Dutch web site dedicated to award medals. The single, centered vertical strip ribbon style was first (although according to published information both ribbon styles were established in 1936) and was followed by the new dual ribbon strip style.
Also part of the LOB collection are a series of individual bronze banners, three PISTOOL 1 MAAL, one PISTOOL 3 MAAL bronze banners and one K.M. 4 MAAL bronze banner. Dutch East Indies soldiers received the medal and ribbon with the first banner. The next banners were issued in subsequent years. A soldier was to add or replace these banners to the ribbon himself. But if they did not add or replace them, then the banners remained in their new, unused condition. This would explain the condition of these individual bronze banners, that they were awarded but never affixed to a ribbon.
Pages 66 and 67 of the subject manual shows a typical shooting contest form with individual names. The names are typed on the form to illustrate how such a form should be filled out with the names of the gunners and the results of the shooting. Plaat V, Figures 1 through 6, shows targets and tools to hold one target or 2 targets, along with an angle adjusting tool and a flag. These items are used for the shooting contest.
In the manual, as stated above, is a line drawing picture example showing a Pistool metal banner with the number 3 and K.M.banner with the number 4. This indicates that a soldier was three times a marksman on the Luger and four times a marksman on the MP28 Schmeisser. So such three and four marked bronze banners would be even more desireable to have as it would accurately match the manual picture. I have been told that the higher number banners are even rarer to find than the low numbers like number one. These are extremely rare, especially the banners with higher numbers because a three means three times a marksman in a row. Such a marksman banner could only be won once a year at the yearly KNIL marksmen games. The Geweer medal was much more common as most soldiers were a marksman on the rifle.
An example of the 1927-1928 DWM contract KNIL Dutch East Indies Army M.11 Luger, serial number 11148, is presented. All of the component parts are matching, which is unusual for a Dutch East Indies Army KNIL Luger. A variation of the holster provided for the 1928 M.11 contract Dutch East Indies Army Luger was made in the Dutch East Indies and also a Dutch East Indies made twin magazine pouch with three original DWM provided special magazines with removable wooden bottom pieces, along with a rarely encountered ammunition pouch.
In the authors opinion, the featured 1928 and 1939 Dutch KNIL Army M.11 Luger instruction manuals represent the last in a classic series of European, large format, high quality pistol, military and commercial instruction manuals. This list starts with the DWM 1893 C93 Borchardt manuals and continuing through the 1902 DWM German, French, Spanish, and English language colored series Parabellum instruction manuals up to the 1939 Dutch manual. The manuals construction, from 1893 to 1939 consisted of high quality paper with brilliant colored covers, with gold lettering, except for the earliest C93 Loewe and DWM Borchardt pistol manuals, all with time consuming letter offset text printing, including several high quality fold-out illustrations, some in color.
Regarding the DWM circa 1902 manuals, the manufacturer was introducing the Luger, a new product, thus a more elaborate manual was produced. These manuals included front and rear cover gold lettering, colored cover background, and descriptive text extolling the virtues of their new product. All these manuals were published in an age of black and white and in the case of the commercial instruction manuals, are more of a promotional nature by the manufacturers, and as such, these rare manuals today are coveted and avidly sought out by collectors, in some cases -- more than the pistols they describe.
Pictured are two ensembles, one featuring the 1928 manual with a 1928 “KOL” contract M.11 Dutch Luger and the other featuring the 1939 manual with an early pre WW1 1911 contract M.11 Dutch Luger.
"Schietwedstrijden" is translated: Shooting competitions / Shooting contests.