Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Brief Spot of History

As the last few posts have illustrated, units in recently cleared areas devote a significant amount of time to finding and clearing weapons caches left by dead or retreating fighters. Most of the time, cache sweeps come up empty or find standard AK47s or explosives. Every once in a while, cache sweeps turn up something remarkable. While I was deployed to Ramadi, Bravo company discovered a cache that included a M2 .50cal Machine Gun that the unit we replaced had lost when an IED blew apart the RG31 that carried it. Recently, troops from 5/7 Cav (Bandit troop, coincidently), had a rare find of a different sort.

CPT Owens, the commander of Bandit troop, holds the Mauser his men found

Bandit troop found this WWII German K98 Mauser in excellent condition in a cache in Falahat, at the south end of Arab Jabour.

Swastikas and serial number on the receiver

Every serial number on the weapon matches- even the stock is original and in good shape. The swastikas are still visible on the reciever. The manufacturer's stamp is worn, but still visible on top of the reciever.

Manufacturing date and stamp


  1. Wow...

    Amazing find on that Mauser. Who gets it? :)

  2. My question as well... What's to become of the Mauser? Museum, perhaps?

  3. We're all thinking along the same lines;-)

  4. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front 02/20/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

  5. Anonymous20/2/08 09:41

    Please don't tell us that it will be destroyed....I agree with everyone else, the Mauser needs to find a home in a museum.

  6. How cool! Wow, that is really amazing stuff.

  7. ky woman:

    Or in some officer's closet. I would be sad to find it was destroyed...

  8. Man, that's cool. It's amazing the stuff that turns up. I remember going through one of the headquarters buildings here on Ft. Hood and seeing kalashnikovs on display from the first war. I bet that thing will end up in some unit museum or a display like that.

  9. By the rules, the Mauser has to be destroyed or handed over to the Government of Iraq.

    There is a provision allowing "unit history" pieces to be transported to the US for a unit museum, which is what Bandit will try to do.

  10. Anonymous12/8/08 14:07

    Cool find. Old surplus stuff from the war usually ended up in the third world, the US captured russian captured mauser k98:s from the viet cong in the 60s.