U.S. Carbines in Germany and Austria

and the
U.S. M1 Carbine

The M1 Carbines
in the
American Occupation Zone


The American Occupation Zone The British Occupation Zone National Agencies Additional Info
Bavaria Berlin Lower Saxony Border Guard Accessories
Bremen Enclave Hessen Bundeswehr Oddities
Wurttemberg-Baden Labor Service Parts

The German states of Baden and Wuerttemberg were adjacent one another and oriented North/South. They became part of the American Occupation Zone at the end of the war. The Americans eliminated the two states and formed three districts. The southern district was called Baden, the central district Württemberg-Hohenzollern, and the northern district Württemberg-Baden.

When the French were granted their occupation zone during the Allied commanders meeting at Potsdam in July 1945, the south and central districts became part of the French Occupation Zone, Württemberg-Baden remained in the American Occupation Zone. On 25 Apr 1952, all three districts merged and became the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

The name "Württemberg-Baden" is unique in German history. It existed only from May 1945 until April 1952 during the American occupation. To the Germans, Württemberg-Baden was 1/3rd of the Lander Württemberg and the Lander Baden. For the purpose of the U.S. military government and occupation, Württemberg-Baden was referred to as a Lander. Württemberg-Baden covered approximately 5800 square miles, about the size of the State of Connecticut. The population in January 1947 was 3,686,000.

Württemberg-Baden was divided into two administrative districts, Baden in the west and Württemberg in the east.

By June 1949 the German police in Württemberg-Baden had received 3,743 M1 carbines and 4,226 pistols from the U.S. Military Government (OMGUS), Wuerttemberg-Baden. [OMGUS Civil Administration Division, Bad Nauheim, 08 Sep 1949, Semi-Annual German Police Personal & Equipment Report as of 30 Jun 1949]. Baden-Wurttemberg's agreement for its U.S. weapons in 1948 was 7.46 DM (about $31.30 U.S.) per M1 carbine and 6.99 DM (about $29 U.S.) per revolver. [Bayern War Baby by Gerhard Ortmeier, Deutsche Waffen Journal December 2009]

The number of agencies within Württemberg-Baden, and eventually Baden-Württemberg, that used the M1 carbines, and who they were, is not known at this point. More research is necessary. Hopefully owners of M1 carbines used within the state of Württemberg-Baden, or Baden-Württemberg, will find this website and share their carbine information.

To better understand the agency markings that may be found on the U.S. M1 carbines used in Württemberg-Baden, it is of assistance to know the Landkreis and Stadtkreis within this area.

    Landesbezirk Württemberg (14a)


    • Heilbronn
    • Stuttgart
    • Ulm
    • Aalen
    • Backnang
    • Böblingen
    • Crailsheim
    • Esslingen
    • Göppingen
    • Heidenheim
    • Heilbronn
    • Kunzelsau
    • Leonberg
    • Ludwigsberg
    • Mergentheim
    • Nurtingen
    • Ohringen
    • Schwaeb. Gmund
    • Schwaeb. Hall
    • Ulm
    • Vaihingen
    • Waiblingen
    Landesbezirk Baden (17a)


    • Heidelberg
    • Karlsruhe
    • Mannheim
    • Pforzheim
    • Bruchsal
    • Buchen
    • Heidelberg
    • Karlsruhe
    • Mannheim
    • Mosbach
    • Pforzheim
    • Sinsheim
    • Tauberbischofsheim

Regardless of the division of their states imposed by the military government, the people Of Baden and the people of Wurttemberg retained their culture inherited over the course of their history. Some of the carbines used by the police in the area that had been within Baden placed their state crest on their carbines, some of the police in what had been Wurttemberg placed the stag horn of the House of Wurttemberg on their carbines.

Sign containing the crest of Baden

The shoulder patch worn by the Landespolizei was a combination of the two, and specific to 1946-1952.

The Württemberg-Baden Landespolizei

The Landespolizei handled all of the Landkreis and border duties. Württemberg-Baden had no hostile borders or neighbors, so the border policing was assigned to a special detachment of the Landespolizei consisting of 400 officers. Border control, immigration, and customs were turned over to the Federal Border Guard and West German Zoll (customs) in 1952.

Landespolizei WürttembergWürttemberg-Baden Landespolizei 4 digit inventory number
located on the bottom of the trigger guard
Click on the carbine to view
M1 carbines used by the Württemberg-Baden Landespolizei

Württemberg-Baden Landespolizei - 3 digit inventory number
located on the bottom of the trigger guard.
The S. may mean it was used by the Landespolizei school

The Württemberg-Baden Stadtkreise Polizei

A Stadtkreis comprised a city (Stadt) with a population of 5000 or more, in addition to the populated suburbs immediately adjacent the city. The different Stadtkreise were governed and policed locally, not collectively. It is not known how many of these agencies were provided with carbines, a few found so far were for cities and suburbs with less than 5000 inhabitants.

In addition to the Military Government mandated markings on the trigger guard, each Stadtkreis often added additional markings specific to that particular agency, such as the agency name, the crest of the prior German state the Stadtkreis had been part of, and various different marking schemes as far as the serial number on any of the carbine parts.

Württemberg-Baden, Stadtkreis, Esslingen

Württemberg-Baden -Stadtkreis- Esslingen, inventory number 29
Click on the carbine to view
M1 carbines used by the Esslingen Stadtkreis

Esslingen is located on the eastern outskirts of Stuttgart.

Württemberg-Baden, Göppingen

Württemberg-Baden Stadtkreis Göppingen
Click on the carbine to view
M1 carbines used by the Göppingen Stadtkreis

Göppingen is on the eastern border of Esslingen.

Württemberg-Baden, Heilbronn

Württemberg-Baden Stadtkreis Heilbronn
Click on the carbine to view
M1 carbines used by the Heilbronn Stadtkreis

Württemberg-Baden, Stadtkreis, Mannheim

Württemberg-Baden Stadtkreis Mannheim
Click on the carbine to view
M1 carbines used by Mannheim

The city of Mannheim is located in the northwestern corner of Württemberg-Baden. Mannheim does not appear to have used an inventory number in addition to the serial number, as other agencies in Württemberg-Baden sometimes did. None of the parts were marked with any of the digits from the receiver serial number.

Württemberg-Baden, Stadtkreis, Stuttgart

Württemberg-Baden Stadtkreis Stuttgart
Click on the carbine to view
M1 carbines used by Stuttgart

The Stuttgart Polizei used the letters WB-S-STG on the bottom of the trigger guard and sometimes on the recoil plate. A three digit inventory number was placed on the bottom of the trigger housing, below the safety, oriented so the numbers were upright when the muzzle of the carbine was pointed upwards. Below these three digits is the Stuttgart crest consisting of a shield containing a reared horse. None of the parts were marked with any of the digits from the receiver serial number.


Württemberg-Baden, Railway Police, Stuttgart

Railway Police - Stuttgart
Click on the carbine to view
M1 carbines used by the Railway Police in Stuttgart

Policing the railway was initially handled by Allied military forces. On 10 May 1946 the Allied Control Council created the Railway Police, to be managed by the West German Directorate of the Transport System, but subordinate to the military government controlling the area in which they served. On 01 Apr 1948 control of the Railway Police was transferred completely to the West German Reichsbahn. The Reichsbahn existed until 30 Sep 1949. It appears the Railway Police used the M1 carbine for only a few years. The carbine above has the receiver with the Railway Police markings, but with parts and a barrel that indicate a complete rebuild of the carbine 1952 or later. The carbine was used by the police in Guatemala who had obtained it via the U.S. Military Assistance Program.

Configurations & Markings on the U.S. M1 carbines in Württemberg-Baden

The markings and their locations on the M1 carbines used in Württemberg-Baden are very different than the M.O. used by Bavaria. The one consistency used throughout Württemberg-Baden were the letters WB followed by letters abbreviating the agency identification (i.e. WB-LP-1234, WB-S-STG) on the bottom of the trigger guard. From here the consistencies fall into one of two groups. The carbines used by the Landespolizei and the carbines used by the Stadtkreis polizei.

The Stadtkreis

Examples have been found from Esslingen, Göppingen, Heilbronn, Hiedelberg, Mannheim, and Stuttgart. The thing most all of these carbines have in common are the letters WB-S-xxx on the bottom of the trigger housing, where the WB stands for Württemberg-Baden, the S stands for Stadtkreis, and the following letters are an abbreviation identifying the Stadtkreis. These letters may or may not be followed by an inventory number.

Other than these letters on the bottom of the trigger housing, what each Stadtkreis marked and where varied depending on the Stadtkreis. Some Stadtkreis placed an inventory number on the trigger housing and/or on the receiver or recoil plate. Some stamped their agency initials on the recoil plate or the receiver just above the recoil plate, in addition to those on the bottom of the trigger housing. The Stadtkreis do not appear to have stamped any of the receiver serial numbers on any of the parts, including the stock and handguard. For details regarding the configurations specific to each Stadtkreis, refer above.

The Landespolizei

These carbines have several things in common that are different than the M.O. used by the Stadtkreis. The letters and numbers WB-LP-xxxx appear on the bottom of the trigger housing, where the WB stands for Württemberg-Baden, the LP stands for Landespolizei, and the xxxx represents the Landespolizei inventory number for that particular carbine. One variation of this M.O. has been found, WB-LP-S. 1234, where the S. may represent the specific Landkreis the carbine was used in by the Landespolizei. Another variation has been found where the inventory number was placed on the left side of the receiver ring.

The Landespolizei stamped the last three digits of the receiver serial number inside the stock below the barrel band and on the inside of the handguard. If three digits were used, the font and size is distinctive and so far consistent. Sometimes the entire serial number is stamped in these locations, or on the outside of the stock somewhere to the rear of the receiver, sometimes within the slingwell.

The slide, bolt, and trigger housing usually do not have any of the serial number digits. In a couple cases the last three digits of the serial number have been observed etched into the top of the bolt and/or the top of the recoil plate.

The stag horn, or deer antler, is historically indicative of Württemberg. Some of the Württemberg-Baden Landespolizei carbines have been found to have the stag horn imprinted in the receiver below the serial number or on the bottom of the handgrip. It's not yet known if this was done on all of the Landespolizei carbines.

If this stag horn appears as part of a sequence of imprints on the barrel, it indicates the barrel was inspected and proofed in Ulm. Police agencies had armorers that installed replacement barrels if needed. After the barrel was installed, but before the carbine would be returned to the police agency, German law required the barrel and receiver be tested and imprinted with the proof markings.

Württemberg-Baden's U.S. M1 carbines from Bavaria

Baden-Württemberg purchased 900 M1 carbines from Bavaria in 1955. It is not uncommon to find a carbine that has a Bavaria agency name stamped in the receiver to the left of the bolt with the Württemberg-Baden agency stamped in the trigger guard. Close examination often reveals other indications of markings used by the Württemberg-Baden Landespolizei or a Bavaria agency. The two carbines below have had Bavaria agency inventory numbers removed from the top of the receiver below the serial number or on the recoil plate. The trigger housing was left in place and the parts numbered with the receiver serial number are either consistent with the Württemberg-Baden M.O., or are a mix of their numbering M.O. with the four digit M.O. Bavaria used.

Occasionally a carbine is found with the U.S. manufacturer name and the serial removed, replaced with a new serial number that is not consistent with the numbering system established by the U.S. Office of Ordnance for the M1 carbines. Close examination of the top of the receiver between the rear sight and the end of the receiver reveals metal has been added, partially or entirely covering the final inch or two of the top of the receiver.

Normal Rock-Ola receiverNotice added metal

The alterations that have been observed so far have been professional, with the receiver, barrel, front sight, and barrel band refinished with what appears to be hot black oxide. The new serial number may consist of anywhere between three and seven digits, also professionally done. These are the subject of ongoing investigation.

Victory Revolvers

Examples of the Victory Revolvers used by the police in Wurttemberg-Baden.



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