Although the Walther PPK is probably most famous for its connection with James Bond, it was actually one of a series of Walther pistols that were produced in huge numbers in Nazi Germany, equipping the many police and security forces, as well as being used by Luftwaffe aircrew and Army officers, tank crews and other men for whom a rifle would have been a burden.
This book traces the development of Walther pistols from their original Modell 1 of c.1911 through to the post war production of the PP and P 38. The three famous models weren’t the only Walther pistols to enter production and we get some details of the less familiar types as well as the detailed accounts of the PP, PPK and P 38. The PP and P 38 get good cutaway diagrams explaining how their mechanisms worked (although I’m still not entirely clear on how the safety mechanism operated!)
The section on the pistols in service focuses more on production numbers, serial numbers and markings than on their actual use in combat, perhaps inevitably because these pistols weren’t a particularly significant weapon on the mass battlefields of the Second World War.
The book is well illustrated , admittedly largely with fairly similar looking pictures of pistols, but that can’t really be helped in this sort of book!
This is a good well written guide to the main German military pistols of the Second World War, and a weapon that remained influential well into the post-war period.
Development – Semi-automatic innovation
Use – The PP, PPK and P 38 in service
Impact – Walther’s worldwide influence
Author: John Walter