Berlin-Lübecker Maschinenfabrik

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Berlin-Lübecker Maschinenfabrik
Industryfirearms
FateDissolved
Founded1936 (1936)
Defunct1945 (1945)
Headquarters,
Area served
German Army
Productsweapons, Rifle Scopes, Firearm Components
OwnerBernhard Berghaus
Footnotes / references
Invented the hammer forged barrel process
View on the site with ruins from the banks of the river Trave (2014)

Berlin-Lübecker Maschinenfabrik (BLM) was a manufacturer of handguns, infantry rifles, ammunition up to 2 cm, flareguns and precision military equipment in Germany from 1936 to 1945.[1] The company, based in Lübeck, Germany, was one of a number of metal-related businesses owned by Bernhard Berghaus, a German industrialist and member of the Nazi party who played an important role in the rearmament of Germany during the Third Reich.[2]

BLM had a reported labor force of 3,809 in August 1944, comprising 1931 German men, 539 German women, 467 foreign women, 752 foreign men, and 120 war prisoners. The foreign workers were housed in onsite barracks.[3] After the war, Berghaus was sought by the Allies for his participation in using forced labor in his facilities.[4]

The plant, located on Curt-Helms-Str. (today: Glashüttenweg), sat along the eastern bank of the Trave River north of the old City of Lübeck, an island in the Trave River.

Karabiner 98k Rifle[edit]

From 1936 to 1942, the company manufactured the Karabiner 98k, the standard service rifle of the German Wehrmacht. The K98k is a bolt-action rifle based on the Mauser M 98 system. As a means of hiding the identity of manufacturers, the German Army required manufacturers to mark their equipment with codes rather than brand names. For the K98k rifles produced by BLM, they were designated with the German Army ordnance codes "S/237", "237" and "duv".

Gewehr 41 Rifle[edit]

In 1943, the plant began manufacturing semi-automatic Gewehr 41 rifles. The Walther-designed Gewehr 41 was intended to replace the bolt-action Mauser to allow German infantrymen to offset the advantages of Red Army soldiers equipped with the semi-automatic Tokarev SVT-40 rifle. The Gewehr 41 design proved unsatisfactory in combat and was later replaced by the re-designed Gewehr 43. BLM produced G41 rifles using the "DUV" code with "WaA214" inspection proofs.

Gewehr 43 Rifle[edit]

In 1944-45 the company made G/K43 semi-automatic rifles using the ordnance codes "duv" and "qve".

Scopes and Other Equipment[edit]

From 1941 to 1944, the company made all the scope mounts for the Zf-41 sniper scope. In 1944-45 it was 1 of 2 only manufacturers to make mounts for the ZF4 sniper scope. From 1936-1940, BLM supplied many parts for field armourers using the 'duv' identification code. On a small scale, the company made M1928 flare guns and MG34 bolt parts and barrels.

Innovation[edit]

BLM invented the hammer forged barrel process, which speeded up production substantially.

Bombing Raid[edit]

On August 25, 1944, 81 B-24s of the American Eighth Air Force conducted a bombing raid over Lübeck,[5] heavily damaging the BLM factory and killing or wounding 58 of the facility's workers and air raid personnel.[6]

References[edit]