Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken
Overview
 

Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken Aktien-Gesellschaft (German Weapons and Munitions public limited company
Public limited company
A public limited company is a limited liability company that sells shares to the public in United Kingdom company law, in the Republic of Ireland and Commonwealth jurisdictions....

), known as DWM, was an arms company in Imperial Germany created in 1896 when Ludwig Loewe
Ludwig Loewe
Ludwig Loewe was a German merchant, manufacturer, philanthropist and a member of the Reichstag. Loewe's companies became involved in the production of armaments, employing famous designers and creating notable guns....

 & Company
united its weapons and ammunition production facilities within one company. In 1896 Loewe founded Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken with a munitions plant in Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe
The City of Karlsruhe is a city in the southwest of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, located near the French-German border.Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states...

 (Baden
Baden
Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württemberg of Germany....

), formerly Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik Lorenz, and the weapons plant in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

.
Encyclopedia

Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken Aktien-Gesellschaft (German Weapons and Munitions public limited company
Public limited company
A public limited company is a limited liability company that sells shares to the public in United Kingdom company law, in the Republic of Ireland and Commonwealth jurisdictions....

), known as DWM, was an arms company in Imperial Germany created in 1896 when Ludwig Loewe
Ludwig Loewe
Ludwig Loewe was a German merchant, manufacturer, philanthropist and a member of the Reichstag. Loewe's companies became involved in the production of armaments, employing famous designers and creating notable guns....

 & Company
united its weapons and ammunition production facilities within one company. In 1896 Loewe founded Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken with a munitions plant in Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe
The City of Karlsruhe is a city in the southwest of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, located near the French-German border.Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states...

 (Baden
Baden
Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württemberg of Germany....

), formerly Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik Lorenz, and the weapons plant in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

. Shares that Loewe had in other gun- and ammunition plants were transferred to DWM. This included Waffenfabrik Mauser, Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre (FN) in Belgium and Waffen- und Munitionsfabrik A.G. in Budapest. The DWM was orchestrated by Isidor Loewe (1848–1910), as his brother Ludwig had died in 1886. The Loewe family was of Jewish descent.
Karl Maybach (who was part of the Maybach
Maybach
Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH is a German luxury car manufacturer. It was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son. The company was originally a subsidiary of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH and was itself known as Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH until 1912.Today, the ultra-luxury car brand is owned by...

 company) was employed by the Loewe company in 1901.

Firearms

DWM introduced the Pistol Parabellum
Luger pistol
The Pistole Parabellum 1908 or Parabellum-Pistole , popularly known as the Luger, is a toggle-locked recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol. The design was patented by Georg J...

 ('Luger Pistol') in the late 1890s. It was worked on by Georg Luger
Georg Luger
Georg Johann Luger was an Austrian designer of the famous Luger pistol and the 9 x 19mm Parabellum cartridge.-Early life and military service:...

 and Hugo Borchardt
Hugo Borchardt
Hugo Borchardt was a firearms inventor and engineer, born in Magdeburg, Germany. He is known for his inventions of the Borchardt C-93 pistol and the Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 rifle....

. DWM manufactured the Maschinengewehr 01 and Maschinengewehr 08
Maschinengewehr 08
The Maschinengewehr 08, or MG08, was the German Army's standard machine gun in World War I and is an adoption of Hiram S. Maxim's original 1884 Maxim Gun. It was produced in a number of variants during the war. The MG 08 remained in service until the outbreak of World War II due to shortages of...

, licenced version/clone of the Maxim machine gun. The MG08 would be the main German machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

 of the First World War. Along with being one of the main arms suppliers of Imperial Germany, the company was at the forefront of small arms technology. They also supplied the world (mostly Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

) with the Mauser
Mauser
Mauser was a German arms manufacturer of a line of bolt-action rifles and pistols from the 1870s to 1995. Mauser designs were built for the German armed forces...

 rifle system, becoming one of the world's largest arms manufacturers. Due the fact that the Mauser rifle was one of Germany's main exports before the First World War, DWM proved to be an important part of the pre-war German economy. Many of their weapons were still used by German troops up through the Second World War.

DWM had its own system of cartridge
Cartridge (firearms)
A cartridge, also called a round, packages the bullet, gunpowder and primer into a single metallic case precisely made to fit the firing chamber of a firearm. The primer is a small charge of impact-sensitive chemical that may be located at the center of the case head or at its rim . Electrically...

 codes, and the "DWM" three digit-code still is important in differentiating vintage ammunitions. Furthermore, the DWM cases got no caliber
Caliber
In guns including firearms, caliber or calibre is the approximate internal diameter of the barrel in relation to the diameter of the projectile used in it....

 names, so one did not get misleading caliber designations in reformed cartridges.

Takeovers and name changes

DWM was taken over by the Quandt Group in 1929. At this point the involvement of the Loewe company came to an end. The original Ludwig Loewe & Company merged with the 'Gesellschaft für Elektrische Unternehmungen' in 1929.

DWM underwent a number of name changes following World War I and the subsequent disarmament phase. DWM was no longer allowed to produce military equipment after World War I (although they continued on a smaller and somewhat secret scale) and the first name change was to BKIW (Berlin-Karlsruher Industriewerke or 'Berkawerke') in 1922. After the national-socialist takeover of power in Germany, the company added 'vormals Deutsche -Waffen und Munitionsfabriken' (former DWM) to the company name in 1933. In 1936 DWM reverted to its old name.

Deutsche Waggon- und Maschinenfabriken

In the 1950s the Berlin branch of the company started using the name 'Deutsche Waggon- und Maschinenfabriken GmbH', but still using the original DWM logo. The new name reflected the fact that the Berlin branch had switched to the renovation and building of railroad and public transport equipment following the war. The Berlin branch eventually became Waggon Union, a manufacturer of rail vehicles and bus bodies
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

.

Industriewerke Karlsruhe

The Karlsruhe branch changed its name into 'IWK' or 'Industriewerke Karlsruhe' and following a merger with an Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

 base company 'IWKA' or 'Industriewerke Karlsruhe Augsburg' in 1970. In 2007 the Karlsruhe-Augsburg company moved its seat to Augsburg and reverted to the name 'KUKA
KUKA
KUKA is a leading German producer of industrial robots for a variety of industries - from automotive and fabricated metals to food and plastics...

', the original name of the Augsburg company, short for 'Keller und Knappich Augsburg'.

Anheuser-Busch

Following the takeover by the Quandt Group in 1929 the manager of DWM, Baron Paul von Gontard, was asked to step down. Paul von Gontard had married Clara Busch, daughter of American Brewer of German origin Adolphus Busch in 1895http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F1091FFD355911738DDDAE0994DA415B8585F0D3 and joined his wife in the USA, becoming involved in the Anheuser-Busch company.

See also

  • Antique Guns
    Antique guns
    An antique firearm is, loosely speaking, a firearm designed and manufactured prior to the beginning of the 20th century. The Boer War is often used as a cut-off event, although the exact definition of what constitutes an "antique firearm" varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction...

  • Luger Pistol and Mauser Parabellum
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