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.45 Automatic pistol in D-Day Museum


So, you want to go to Normandy and see the neat stuff in the museums there? Okay, my wife and I traveled to Normandy in May, just before the big rush for the 75th anniversary of the invasion. I like museums but they bore my wife to death. She is tolerant; I did the Normandy museums solo. I like to look at the displays of uniforms and weapons, the dioramas and models, all that stuff. But particularly the firearms. At the D-Day Museum in Arromanches, I was looking over the weapons on display. In one glass case, they had a Colt 1911 .45 pistol. It was Parkerized and looked at first glance like an army weapon. After all, I'd already looked at the few M1 Rifles they had, those all had WW2 serial numbers on them.

The .45 pistol in this museum has a serial number that ends with G70. Then I noticed that it says, "Government Model" on the right side of the slide. No US Property markings. It does have some funny proofs and the letters PTS in an oval. This is not a WW2 pistol; my little Hacker book on 1911's says the serial number dates from 1979. Being fair, the description of the item does not say, "original WW2" but with most other things in the museum being original to the period, you shouldn't expect to see a post-WW2 pistol in there. You go to a museum dealing with a certain period of history, you expect period artifacts.


This reminds me a bit of another piece of museum fakery of firearms. Years ago I was in (what was then) East Berlin and while there I visited the Museum of German History. Of course I thoroughly looked over the WW2 display. In that large room, they had what was purported to be a Luger pistol. It was a single piece molding in Bakelite or hard rubber. They also displayed what was purported to be a shrunken human head from a concentration camp. But it was very obviously made of rubber with black nylon thread for hair. Like the ones you used to get at the carnival. I've wondered about that fake pistol. Did they at one time have the real deal there and some Commie stole it, causing a substitution? Or had the real article been removed for security purposes? I didn't bother to ask. I'd already found out while visiting other museums and historic sites in East Germany that candid answers were rarely forthcoming.
That’s disappointing. I’d offer them my government stamped 1944 1911 but nah! :)



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