Weapons 31/01/20 “Buckle gun”: how the SS used this as a weapon

the Leaders of the Third Reich had a weakness for technical innovations, hoping with their help to win the war. In fact, many of these developments proved to be “stillborn” — they either demanded an unthinkable amount of resources (like giant tanks Maus), or were “brought to mind” it’s too late. As it happened, for example, with a unique item of equipment of the Waffen SS — shooting belt buckle.

a Weapon of last chance

In 1943, reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler was concerned with the issue of self-defense of SS men in Soviet captivity. Shortly before that, Germany was shocked to learn that in Stalingrad, the Red Army captured alive field Marshal Friedrich Paulus along with 90 thousand soldiers.

the Waffen-SS needed a “weapon of last chance”, which was supposed to help the prisoner to kill a guard and escape. It couldn’t be a regular gun, even the smallest, as prisoners of war in mandatory searched.

Their services, “Academy of armed forces of the SS” suggested that the French designer Louis Marcus. According to one version, he during the First world war he was captured by the Germans. It was then that Marcus wondered if there was any way to help prisoners of war. Even in the 1930s, the French created a prototype shooting buckle — solid clasps from a belt, inside of which was a complex mechanism.

Device buckle

Manufacture of articles Marcus began in 1944 at the Bicycle factory of the brothers Assmann in the Austrian Leibnitz. Beneath the surface of the buckle, decorated with Nazi emblem of the eagle, hiding clever design with both barrels loaded. There were two versions of the device, officially called the SS-Waffenakademie Koppelschloßpistole. Both were made entirely of steel. Model with two barrels is charged by cartridges of caliber of 7,65 mm. Four-barrel variant was able to shoot bullets of caliber of 5,6 mm.

One of the main requirements to the buckle-gun was to prevent inadvertent operation. If there was no reliable security mechanism, the shot from the device could injure the owner of the belt or of his colleague. Despite the presence of safety elements to allow the buckle to “combat” condition, not had too much time. SS had time to press two buttons on the top and bottom then the cover of the device back, and trunks immediately “jumped out” perpendicular to the belt. The shots were fired using the trigger buttons, triggers, the number of which corresponds to the number of trunks. Theoretically, the device could reload, pulling the spent shell casings using a thin rod and by inserting in their place other.

the invention of Marcus there were drawbacks. In size it is superior to the standard buckle officer belt and could attract the enemy’s attention. Manipulation of the buckle also did not go unnoticed, so to use the device was only possible in the case of distraction of the enemy. In terms of the actual procedures for capture, it could be difficult. To aim with a buckle-gun, too, was impossible — the weapons were good only for shots at close range.

the Fate of the weapons

Then release a test batch of SS-Waffenakademie Koppelschloßpistole it does not matter. In 1944, the Third Reich needed ammunition and projectiles, not custom-made “gadgets”. Moreover, the number of workers in the factories was reduced after each mobilization. Played a role and a devastating airstrike allies brothers factory Assmann.

it is Unknown how many were produced buckles-guns. The widow of Louis Marcus said that the factory had produced only about a dozen devices. Known buckle double-barreled pistols at numbers 155 and 158, which are now in different private collections. Surviving “chetyrehstolpnyj” has No 1. Has ever someone from the SS wear belt buckle with shoots or to use it in battle, unknownestno. It is possible that all existing specimens as trophies fell into the hands of the Americans, because in the USA at auction now sometimes pop buckle-guns.

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