15 October 2014

The Gun that Saved a Life

German spy Josef Jakobs landed in a farmer's field near the village of Ramsey on the evening of January 31, 1941. Having broken his ankle while leaving the aircraft, Josef was unable to move from his landing place and lay there all night. The following morning at around 8:30 a.m. he fired his pistol into the air several times to attract attention. He was in luck and two farm workers heard his shots and came to his rescue.

A Mauser 1914/34 pistol (serial #487232) - Josef's pistol  would have looked very similar to this one.  (From Mauser Guns - opens as a pdf file)
A Mauser 1914/34 pistol (serial #487232) - Josef's pistol
would have looked very similar to this one.
(From Mauser Guns - opens as a pdf file)
According to the MI5 files, the pistol that Josef used was a 7.65 mm Mauser pocket pistol, serial number 489356.

The Mauser pistol was manufactured by the German Small Arms company, Mauser-Werke A.G. Oberndorfe A.N.

Based on the serial number, Josef's pistol would have been a 1914/34 model (transitional from the 1914 model to the 1934 model). It was manufactured sometime between 1929 and 1933.

While Josef's gun saved his life on the morning of February 1, it was only a reprieve for on August 15, 1941, Josef would face the rifles of a Scots Guards firing squad.

References
Security Service files on Josef Jakobs, KV 2/24, National Archives, Kew, London.
German Mauser pistols - website - accessed Oct 2, 2014.

No comments: