Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:21 AM
I do not know the rules that pertained to German officers purchasing their own side arms, but they certainly did. Whether this only applied above a certain rank I don't know.
With respect to pistols using the service ammunition, at the beginning of the war there was really no choice other than a privately purchased Parabellum Pistol (Luger). The only 9mm pistols in production at that time were the commercial, Navy and army models made by DWM and the army model made at the Erfurt state arsenal. Later of course in 1915/16 Mauser started to produce the C96 "Broomhandle" in 9mm Para for the army.
For officers requiring a pocket pistol there was a wide choice of 7.65mm pistols available, FN Model 1900, Walther Mod.4, Mauser Mod.14, Dreyse, Pieper etc., all of which saw use. We had a Dreyse 7.65mm in the school armoury that a master had brought back from WWI.
For senior officers who might want a dress pistol or for back-up there were similar 6.35mm pistols galore, Walther Mod.2 and Mauser Mod.10 being two of the better known.
I suppose it is also conceivable that there were privately purchased versions of the 10.6mm Reich revolver as well, since that was still a service issue calibre.