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Thread: Can you guys help identify one of my k98k rifles?

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  1. #11
    Member Fruler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewer View Post
    Ok I am vastly over simplifying things, plus I am missing a good bit of history in between like King Peter II Vs Tito and so on.

    The Germans invaded Yugoslaviaicon in 1941 and stayed there until the end of the war in may of 1945. So it would not be far fetched to see your 1944 made Mauser in the hands of a Germanicon soldier sent to Yugoslavia as part of the occupation force in 1945. Either by surrender or battlefield pick up, your Mauser found it self property of the Yugoslavs in 1945. Some time after 1952 your Mauser underwent over haul and was put into WWIII storage. However it is interesting that your barrel has been replaced by a locally produced one. If it could talk it would probably have an interesting story.

    Moving on. When the Germans surrendered they left all of their equipment there from their rifles to their canteens and zeltbahns. The Yugoslavians basically stripped them to their shirts and pants and then let them go home unlike the Russians.
    Yugoslavia and the USSR did not have a good relationship after ww2. The government of Yugoslavia went what is loosely called “ The third way.” Which was a softer version of communism with connections, trade and limited travel to the west. This along with the fact the Yugoslavians would not allow the USSR to station troops or build military bases in Yugoslavia soured the relations with the USSR. Tito did not want to hand over power of Yugoslavia to moscow. In retaliation Stalin did not supply them with any cash, arms or support.This is why you don't see Yugoslav used mosins and their air force used American f-84 thunderjets until they got migs in the 1960s after Stalin was long gone.
    So after ww2 with chilly ties with the west and no ties to the USSR and the rest of the eastern block, they recycled everything the Germans left there down to the last zeltbahn button. The German weapons were convenient because they were already using the 8mmJS as their standard cartridge. Along with the weapons they fitted their army with German helmets, zeltbahns, boots and other gear well into the late 1950's and some times even longer. If it is not broken, use it until it is seemed to be their motto.

    Odd fact of the day: The movie Kelly's Heros staring Clint Eastwood was filmed in Yugoslavia. This was because it was one of the few places that had enough German equipment to outfit hundreds of extras as German soldiers.
    Wow!!! Dude thanks so much for all that information, I am very glad to know all of that. I have two k98s and one is a Russianicon capture, so I knew the history on that gun... But this yugo capture I have is by far my favorite... I had no idea Yugoslavia got so much of the spoils... I'm very thankful you took the time to explained things to me... I appreciate it very much. Thanks you.
    Aussie in Missouri. Milsurps I have... bzn 4 K98k (non matching RC.)... 1942 Lithgow SMLE No.1 mk3* (matching)... 1942 Mosin M 91/30 (matching).... 1944 dot K98k (non matching)... 1952 fazakerley No.4 Mk.2 (matching)....WANTED- Swiss K31 and M1903a3.

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  4. #12
    Member Brewer's Avatar
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    The history of that part of the world is interesting. My depth of knowledge come from my step dad who is from Yugoslaviaicon (Now Slovenia.) He told me some stories about how things were during his conscript service and reserve service. Some of it funny, some of it highlights a struggle of an impoverished country. He was in the yugo army from 1984-86 active and then reserve until he immigrated in 1992.
    But keeping things on a lighter note... What he said was when he got conscripted he was issued an m59/66 Sks that in his words “ Was shiny from use with little bluing.” That was what he carried while serving in a Anti tank rocket battery. Their play toy was a At-3 “Sagger” and they got a pinzgauzer austrian jeep to drive around in. He once went to a range and got to use it again a broken beyond repair sherman tank. He said the turret flipped off it and it went 30 or so feet in the air. The rest of the time they uses silhouettes targets.
    When he rotated to border guard duty they got much nicer uniforms, some time even camo, and were given brand new looking AKMs. They looked rather nice in their better gear and uniforms. However these were taken away when he rotated away from a border and into the interior of the county. The camo was given to the unit relieving him and they took the old wool jackets and cotton pants.
    When on guard duty at a garrison they issued Austrian 1895 straight pulls re-chambered in 8mm Mauser. He said they called it something like “grand papas rifle.” because those were left over from world war one but were updated to 8mm JS in the 1950 along with every thing else.
    When he was promoted to Junior sergeant they issued him a M48 Mauser and his squad had M59/66s.

    Side note, the small 500 strong yugoslav paratrooper force / special operations guys, they used Mp44 well into the late 1960s before they got the tooling for AMKS.

    When he went on to reserves he had to hand in all his mediocre equipment and got really the bottom of the bucket equipment. When he showed up to do his reservist time, he got an m48 Mauser, an older 1950s uniform that had been repaired multiple times. Aa Germanicon splinter camo zeltbahn. ww2 era German or locally made leather ammo pouches. His boot were old ww2 American style with the double buckles on the side. The yugoslavs did copy these eventually but his were old and this was in the 1980s so that might have been some type of surplus. He was given a very old yugo m59 helmets that liners had torn out and it was repaired with woven jute rope in a sort of net like shape inside.

    Funny story about the original yugo m59 helmets (not the modern m59/85 on the market now.) So from 1945 to 59 the Yugos used German helmets painted green with a red star or with a burlap cover. In 1959 they wanted to update the design, so taking their existing German helmets, they cut the rims and the brim down and that became the M59 yugo helmet until they began to make that pattern themselves.

    But he said over all it wasn't fun in the least being a conscript in a communist county. It wasnt one of his fondest memories. All pay was generously “donated” back to marshal Tito. Barracks were infrequently heated and rampant theft from neighboring units. He lost about 20 or more pounds, while on active duty. Always hungry, the main meal in the mess hall was boiled white fish and mashed potatoes. Served at breakfast and dinner. On the weekends there was “special food” Like the time he was given a can of corned beef from a world war two American ration marked FEB 1945. He said it was good still, but then again hunger is the best seasoning. Also mystery Russianicon sausages, a type of neon pink tube substance that was about the size of your pinky and served along side boiled fish and potatoes.
    Another time unisef food aid came into Yugoslavia the army basically seized all of it. In the mess hall they were serving rice which never really happened before. In the kitchen behind the food line were rice bags with the American flag on it which caught his eye. He said something like “ Are the Americans feeding us now?” to which a more senior NCO Snapped “ NO! That rice was grown here in Yugoslavia, the Americans just gave us a bag to carry it.” He made up his mind and immigrated but that is another story.

    Hope that was an entertaining read.
    All the best.

    ---------- Post added at 10:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:38 PM ----------

    That was my last rant/story for a while I promise.

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  6. #13
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Brewer,
    Thanks for sharing! That was an interesting read.
    I like the part about the American bags, haha.


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