Walther Pistols: PP, PPK and P 38 (Weapon) (Paperback)
While the PP and PPK were intended for police work, the Walther P 38 was produced for the Germany military; all three pistols have garnered a formidable international reputation since the 1930s.
The innovative Walther PP (Polizeipistole), a double-action semi-automatic pistol intended for the law-enforcement market, became available in 1929 and went on to arm the police of several European countries in the 1930s. Its smaller cousin the PPK, more readily concealed for undercover work but with reduced magazine capacity, was produced from 1931. Intended to replace the P 08 Luger, the Walther P 38 was issued from 1940 and equipped the armed forces of Germany and other countries during and after World War II, but never entirely replaced the Luger in German service. All three pistols went on to have lengthy and varied service across the world after 1945. Both the PP and the PPK remain in production today, while the P 38 re-emerged as the P1 and equipped West German forces from 1963 until 2004, when it was replaced by the P8. In this study, noted authority John Walter assesses the origins, development, use and legacy of these three high-profile semi-automatic pistols, alongside other Walther variants, such as the tiny .25 ACP Modell 9.
About the Author
John Walter is among the world's most prolific writers on small arms, and the author of 70 books.
Adam Hook studied graphic design, and began his work as an illustrator in 1983. He specializes in detailed historical reconstructions, and has illustrated Osprey titles on subjects as diverse as the Aztecs, the Ancient Greeks, Roman battle tactics, 19th-century American subjects, the modern Chinese Army, and the history of fortification. His work features in exhibitions and publications throughout the world.
“This excellent volume deals with the history of this company, their various designs from the 1930s and how these pistols were used in the service of many post-war nations. The PPK and P 38 are the mainstay of Walther’s reputation and the chapters on their history are outstandingly informative. There is so much information in this book that makes this volume a must have book for anyone interested in these pistols. Osprey Publishing have been producing the Weapon Series for several years and every book in this Series is an excellent concise guide to a particular weapon or class of weapons. This book is yet another outstanding volume added to this Series, and it is very welcomed. All the books in the Series have a similar format namely an introduction to the weapon or class of weapons, a history of their development, a detailed description of their usage, the long-term impact of the weapon / class of weapons on future derivatives / designs, a conclusion, and a highly useful bibliography.
If the development of these three Walther handguns appeals to you then you must consider this book as a necessary addition to your personal library. It is priced very competitively and given the quality of the author’s research it is an excellent publication. There are masses of information on various designs / sub-variants, serial numbers, engraving and stampings etc which make this volume a superb read. The author must be congratulated on this volume and all readers will no doubt be pleased by the high quality of his work. If you have one of these guns, then this book will reveal a considerable amount about its history.” - Dr Stuart C Blank, Military Archive Research
“The PP, PPK and P38, some of the most famous pistols of the 20th Century, are covered in this new title, number 82 in the Osprey Weapons series. An 80-page soft-cover book in the usual Osprey style.
The book opens with an Introduction that gives some historical background to the area of the Thuringen Forest of east-central Germany and a tradition of gunmakers to which Walthers became a part. With some early designs that led to the design of the PP, the Polizei-Pistole, a semi-automatic designed for police and personal use. Then the PPK, a slightly smaller version known generally of the Polizei-Pistole Kriminal, intended to more easily concealed. Added to these was the work on a military pistol, to replace the P08 Luger, something easier to manufacturer and simpler to maintain in the field, this resulted in the P38. There is great detail on the weapons themselves, the markings you will find on them, the numbers made, the serial numbers used, and in terms of the German military, who they were issued to. They proved reliable weapons, with the small PP & PPK popular with AFV and aircrews where they suited the more confined spaces and after the war they remained in production, not only in Germany but in France as well. Fascinating text accompanied by lots of photos of preserved examples long with some beautiful artwork which included cutaways of both the PPK and P38 weapons. These Walther guns remained in production after the end of the war and used by both the German and French military post-war.
If you have any interest in these famous guns, either for their wartime military use or with the fame the PPK gained for being used by James Bond then there is a lot to like about this book. I for one was able to discover a little more about my own examples of the PPK and the P38, which for example I now know was made by Mauser at their Obendorf factory. A fine reference to keep if you have any interest in these famous Walther products. Thanks to Osprey for our review copy.” - Robin Buckland, Military Model Scene
“I found this book fascinating, in the way the author relates the gradual evolution of the three weapons , their variants and special orders and serial numbers, also including some unusual derivatives that I had never heard of” - Susan Wilson, Army Rumour Service