A common DWM (German Arms and Munitions) 1916 dated pistol. What caught my attention was this
It is an abbreviation that stands for:
72nd Reserve infantry regiment, company 8 weapon 6
Written by Jan Still, Luger author extraordinaire:
The regiment was basically annihilated. The owner of this gun was probably killed in action.During World War I the R.I.R. 72 was part of the 7th Reserve Division. Notes: from the history of this Division are summarized below. It fought in most of the major battles on the Western Front during World War I: Marne, Champagne, Verdun, Somme, Picardy, Aisne, Soissons and on Sept. 26, 1918, the Meuse- Argone, where it was swamped by an American attack.
7TH RES. DIV., 4TH RES CORPS, FIRST ARMY
1914 ,BRUSSELS VIA TONGRES AUGUST 19, ADVANCED TOWARD PARIS SEPT 4
1914 BATTLE OF THE MARNE, SEPT.6&7, HEAVY LOSSES, NOUVRON
1914 AISNE, ATTACK OF THE PLATEAU OF NOUVRON ,CONSIDERABLE LOSSES
1915 FIGHTS AROUND SOISSONS, JAN.
1915 CHAMPAGNE, HEAVY LOSSES AT TAHURE OCT.30
1916 VERDUN ATTACK OF JUNE 1 ON THIAUMONT-DAMPLOUP; ATTACK ON BOIS DE VAUX CHAPITRE JUNE 2 & 3 & 21 HEAVY LOSSES
1916 SOMME SEPT 23- OCT 11
1918 RETHEL, JAN-MARCH
1918 BATTLE OF PICARDY MARCH HEAVY LOSSES
1918 AISNE MAY 27 OFFENSIVE
1918 CHAMPAGNE JULY
1918 SOISSONS AUGUST, HEAVY FIGHTING
1918 MEUSE- ARGONE, SEPT 26, SWAMPED BY AMERICAN ATTACK, LOSSES 3500. LUGERS FROM R.I.R.72. ARE MORE COMMON THAN OTHERS BECAUSE AMERICANS SOLDIERS COLLECTED THESE LUGERS FROM CAPTURED & DEAD GERMANS ON THE BATTLEFIELD AND RETURNED HOME TO THE UNITED STATES WITH THEM IN THEIR DUFFLE BAGS.
There are more (16) Reserve Infantry Regiment 72 marked Lugers reported in U.S. collections today than any other unit. This is because the Reserve Infantry Regiment 72 was overrun and “swamped” by U.S. soldiers during World War I. American dough boys captured these Lugers on the battlefield and returned home with them in their duffle bags.