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Military History/Naval Officer in Marrakesh

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Question
While with the ATC my father, a 92 year old retired Air Force Colonel, flew a C87 into Marrakesh to pick up wounded. The crew was billeted in a hotel overnight. In the closet of his room my father found a full German officer's uniform complete with sidearm.  He father "Liberated" the Mauser 6c. I'm not certain of the dates but it may have been fall of 1942.

I was unaware that he had it until a couple years ago. The old man is full of surprises. In addition to the swastika and markings for the Reich Marine, it is heavily engraved. A local gunsmith believes the decoration indicates it was a presentation piece to a general officer.

I would like to trace the history of the weapon if at all possible.  Toward that end, what would a high ranking German naval officer be doing in Marrakesh which is nowhere near water? Was there a high level conference?  If so, who was in attendance?

My father's health is declining any help or reference you can give would be much appreciated.  

Sincerely,

Herb Goede

Answer
I tried to sent an answer earlier but had no luck.

The gist of my answer was that you might have a unique piece of history.

That there was high naval grade office in Marakesh is no surprise.  The Germans had intelligence operative active in Morocco just a stone's throw from Gibraltar and they would kept tabs on the British naval comings and goings.

German Adm. Carnaris head of the German Military Intelligence, the Abwehr.  He was and ardent and active anti Nazi is supposed to have been collaborating with the British by way of Spain.  He approached them about terms of surrender if Hitler was removed from power before the July Assassination plot that failed.  He was subsequently executed for his role in the plot.

Either he or another operative may have been caught unawares by the Allied landings at Casablanca and had to flee south, ditch their uniform and make happy feet east ahead of the Allies to rejoin German forces in East Morocco and Tunisia.

Now most presentation grade guns are special things.  It might with the right contacts, be able to determine exactly who the gun was presented to and when and for what reasons.  The fact that it was in the company of a high ranking naval officer's uniform would I presume make it easier to determine the owner.

I am not sure if you could contact Mauser directly, even in English, I am sure they would have someone who can read it.  Asking if they have any records of such a presentation piece being made.  If you can provide them with the serial number and a photo of the engraving it would probably help.

It might be that you have an important piece of history, especially if it might have belonged to Carnaris or one of his high ranking Abwehr opereratives.

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Keith H. Patton

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I can answer questions pertaining to weapons and tactics, personalities, battles, and strategies in european and U.S. history.

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I was a history major, and had done extensive research in the subject area. I have designed and tested numerous computer games for various
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B.A History M.S. Science
I have had the opportunity to live abroad and walk numerous battlefields both in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific.

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