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  #1  
Old 18th December 2007, 10:31
HKC012 HKC012 is offline
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Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

Good day, I am studying the information about the second best german pilot in WWII Gerhard Backhorn. I would like to know what sidearm was actually used by Gerhard Backhorn as his self defense weapon. Someone said it was P38,

In addition, was it a common habit for him to carry flare gun for survival?

thank you for your kindness reply!

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Old 18th December 2007, 19:31
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
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Wink Re: Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

The correct spelling of his name is Barkhorn.
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Old 18th December 2007, 23:40
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George Hopp George Hopp is offline
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Re: Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

Quote:
In addition, was it a common habit for him to carry flare gun for survival?
The flare gun was usually in the aircraft, but often pilots carried some flares attached in a holder that wrapped around a leg of their flying suit.
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Old 19th December 2007, 06:38
HKC012 HKC012 is offline
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Re: Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

Thank you for your information!
I have a question that will the p38 pistol sound bulky to the fighter?
As this is important as they need to get out from the plane whey their plane is shot. Since the holster may obstruct them.

I welcome any further information regarding to Barkhorn or similiar discussion on air crew.

thanks
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Old 19th December 2007, 07:54
WEISNER WEISNER is offline
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Re: Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

The Luger being such a perfect built Pistol, ie, tight tolerances, the holster for it was quite bulky and basically sealed it off from outside dirt and dust and was large and unhandy.
I.... if givin the choice, would hands down have picked the P38! as it was more compact, and forgiving to dirt and abuse... such as a Bail out and coming down in swampy conditions on the Ost front.
Just my opinion and not sure what Barkhorns choice was. search the Net for Luger Holsters and see for yourself! Huge!
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Old 19th December 2007, 17:39
Jon Jon is offline
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Re: Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

I think the pistol was down to the pilots choice, I have a Luger recovered from a HE177 crash in England. To be honest the size of any sidearm even in a holster would not have been so big as to obstruct a pilot or aircrew getting out of an aircraft in a hurry.
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Old 19th December 2007, 18:46
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Re: Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

Since the pistol would normally be under the pilot's jacket, it would bulk out the jacket somewhat but otherwise shouldn't impede his exit from the aircraft. Remember the same person also had a parachute harness, and either seat or back parachute, and depending on where he was flying, a life jacket also. So, I imagine the pistol would simply be tucked in somewhere where it wouldn't interfere with anything else on the pilot (or other crew) and that would be it.

I don't know about other services, but in the RCAF, aircrew seem to have been given a choice of whether or not to carry guns. Most often they didn't because they might shoot themselves, and it might give the Germans extra incentive to shoot them. As an infantry friend said about pistols: "The best way to hit someone with a pistol is to throw it at him."
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Old 19th December 2007, 19:16
Jon Jon is offline
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Re: Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

Spot on George, i remember reading about a British officer wounded on D Day infront of a German Pillbox, hero style as he lay on his back, drew his revolver intending to lob .38 bullets through the pillbox slit.
With his feet pointing towards the enemy he drew aim...and shot a hole through his left foot !!

Weren't some aircrew killed by their own side arms by irrate civilians?
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Old 19th December 2007, 19:26
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Re: Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

We found a FN Browning in a Do 217 crash
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Old 19th December 2007, 19:33
atckyrre atckyrre is offline
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Re: Question about Gerhard Backhorn's sidearm

The famous St.G 77-commander Alfons Orthofer carried a Russian Nagan pistol in a holster hanging from his neck. This according to the account in LW in Focus.

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