Beating Ploughshares into Swords, from Convent to Arms Factory.
Date(s): 2008. Photos by Aymar. 1 - 10 of 10 Total. 2121 Visits.
1 Oberndorf The Baroque church of the Augustine monastery. The convent became the main production facility for Mauser rifles in the second half of the 19th century. Outlying buildings were added on a demand basis. Their names often associated with particular contracts. Picture shows the renovated church which has been converted back into a church. (The secret of this particular temple cleaning: There is no longer any demand for church smithies in a purpose built world. Pertinent self service laundry reminder: Vibrating machinery can wreak havoc with plaster ceilings.)
2 Oberndorf How an Augustine Convent became a factory for Mauser rifles.
Most things start and end with a French tie in. Oberndorf and its Augustine monastery were awarded to Württemberg as part of a wider settlement scheme in 1806 (compensation cum down payment for future military services). The Napoleonic Yalta so to speak. (A rather civilized Yalta one may add, no ethnic cleansing.) 'Logrolling' by any other name. Direct result: King Frederic I (the rank promotion was part of the agreement) only too glad to avail himself of some of the the windfall profits. Some spiritual property in politically inaccessible regions had hitherto escaped nationalization (secularization by any other name). This was soon remedied. The monastery's choice location sealed its fate. There was water power (Neckar) and halfway reasonable infra structure (Neckar bridge). There was also renewable fuel from the Black Forest. The local ore deposits, also Black Forest, would have been insufficient f...
3 Oberndorf Hemingway: my kind of elephant gun. This 13 mm anti-tank gun, basically a scaled up infantry rifle, was the high tech answer of the Imperial Army to the tank threat. Time line: There is no indication that depleted uranium was used to increase the armor piercing capabilities of the ammunition. From a different source, Rastatt: will penetrate 22 mm armor - condicio sine qua non, a halfway favorable impact angle. Small print: kickback like a mule, certainly no elegant, rocket like propulsion magic. - Left window pane shows an unrelated line up of of Parabellum (Luger) precursor models (looks that way). Right hand pane: Entente troops showing off captured anti-tank guns.
4 Oberndorf Looks very much like the bolt action part of an ordinary Mauser, dimensions apart.
5 Oberndorf Sewing machines for niche markets were fabricated in times when there was an interdict on arms making. Arms production is by its very nature a rather cyclical business - more so in certain parts of the world. - Some assembly line errors. Gun parts were occasionally found mixed in with export models. B.Traven mentions the problem in 'Death Ship'. (Slogan: Better than trading cards, a hardware mascot in every shipment.)
6 Oberndorf This four barrel flak looks efficient. Only problem, how do you get the Flying Fortress to pass directly overhead. Nimitz class gun crews had it somewhat easier. No problem with out of range, high altitude targets. Guide board says that about 15.000 of this type were manufactured before the end of the war. Both sexes were in the end eligible for air defense training. - The collection in the showcases is recent.
7 Oberndorf Sighting device. The principle is clear, the details less so.
8 Oberndorf The town museum is divided into two wings, one which includes folklore items and carnival costumes, the other is dedicated to the craftsmanship of the Mauser factory. Again, two separate wings.
9 Oberndorf Exhibits of carnival costumes in a local museum are a good indication that the township lies in a predominantly Roman Catholic era. The Reformation strongly disapproved of the whole custom, suspecting quite rightly some pagan tradition. Most Pilgrim Fathers would probably have agreed. What do we need painted faces and theme park floats, don't we have quite enough genuine Indians for free. - Cannot explain these particular costumes. Looks like something FIFA approved.
10 Oberndorf Shaman rattles and pretzels on a stick.