U.S. Carbines in Germany and Austria

U.S. M1 Carbine

National Agencies Additional Info
Gendarmerie Bundespolizei Accessories Oddities
Bundesheer Zoll Training Rifles

The Gendarmerie
Burgenland Lower Austria Steiermark Upper Austria
Carinthia Salzburg Tirol Vorarlberg


The Austrian Gendarmerie was a rural police force, handling law enforcement duties everywhere but the cities. Their areas of responsibility covered approximately 98% of Austria, with approximately two thirds of Austria's population. The Gendarmerie was merged with the Bundespolizei in July 2005. Historically, they had existed in Austria for centuries.

The U.S. M1 Carbines: Arming the Gendarmerie

The headquarters for the Gendarmerie was located in Vienna. They maintained their own armory, separate from those of the Bundespolizei and Bundesheer. When the first 8000 U.S. M1 carbines were turned over to the Gendarmerie by the Bundesheer in 1955/56, they were transferred to the Gendarmerie armory in Vienna. When the decision was made as to how many carbines would be issued to the Gendarmerie of a particular Austrian Land (State), the armorers in Vienna stamped the letters of the Land Gendarmerie Command (LGK) on the bottom of the trigger housing. along with a four digit number. Collectively, these letters and numbers became the Gendarmerie inventory number for each carbine (ie. LGK B for the Landes Gendarmerie Kommando of Burgenland).

  LGK B   Burgenland  
  LGK K    Kärnten (Carinthia)  
  LGK NÖ   NiederÖsterreich (Lower Austria)  
  LGK OÖ   OberoÖsterreich (Upper Austria)  
  LGK Sb   Salzburg  
  LGK ST   Steiermark  
  LGK T   Tirol  
  LGK V   Vorarlberg  

As additional carbines were obtained, such as those purchased from Bavaria in 1956, they would be sent to the armory in Vienna for an initial inspection. They were then marked with the letters of the Land Gendarmerie Command the carbine would be sent too, continuing the number sequence from the earlier carbines.

When the Gendarmerie command at the Land level received carbines, they would decide which of their dozens of Gendarmerie Posts (Gendarmerie Postens; equivalent to a police station) would receive carbines and how many. The carbines were assigned to the Gendarmerie Posts. If a gendarme was transferred, the carbine stayed at the post it was issued too, unless it was decided at the Land (State) level to transfer the carbine to another post.

It appears the numbers stamped on the various parts, and which parts, were decided at the Land level. Research is continuing in an effort to determine the reasons for the differences in markings, refinishing, and parts replacement. Refer to the web page for each of the Lands (States) for examples.