Walther P38 German Pistol

George C. Marshall was presented with many items considered “spoils of war” after the World War II. One special item was given by General Omar Bradley and is housed within its own presentation box.

The presentation box has a lock and key and is lined with green velvet. Engraved on the top of the box:

General George C. Marshall
United States Army
To mark his visit to TWELFTH ARMY GROUP
France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg.
October 7 – 13, 1944.
O.N. BRADLEY.
Lieutenant General.
United States Army

On the inside is an engraved plaque that tells the story of this particular P38:

This pistol was captured by Sgt. FRANK SEELEY. “Co. C.” 16th INFANTRY, FIRST INFANTRY DIVISION, near Aachen, GERMANY, on September 12, 1944. (During a counter attack at 2300 hours, Sergeant Seeley & his squad engaged the enemy in a hand to hand struggle & seized this pistol from a GERMAN officer whom they afterwards captured.)

Of the many guns that Walther produced, the Walther P38 pistol was made specifically for Hitler’s army. Our pistol has the eagle 359 stamp on the left side of the barrel, meaning “Walther Military.” Above that number, on the slide, is P38 696 e ac 44. The 696 signifies the serial number, e is for the month of May, ac is the code for the Walther factory (top secret to avoid getting bombed by the Allies), and 44 for the year. Numerical stamps (359, 366) on the right side of the slide are proof and acceptance marks from the Waffenamt (German Army Weapons Agency inspectors). The Nazi eagle insignia appears between two numbers with the swastika underneath, although it is scratched out.

The gun is on display at the George C. Marshall Museum in Lexington, Virginia.