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1943 Gestapo pistol/gun translation

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by SimRob.027, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. SimRob.027

    SimRob.027 New Member

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    Hello,

    I am currently translating a WWII French memoir and am having difficulty finding the right terminology regarding a 1943 Gestapo pistol/gun. The specific line (in French) is:

    "Il [le officier] sort son pistolet et arme un chargeur."

    which roughly means: "He [the officer] takes out his pistol and loads the ...?..."

    Could someone tell me what "un chargeur" refers to based on a standard 1943 Gestapo pistol? For example, could I still use "a magazine" or is this too contemporary?

    Thank you very much,
    Simone
     
  2. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I *think* the writer is saying that the officer put a round in the chamber, in effect racked the slide so that a cartridge went from the magazine to the chamber. Normally, the pistol is carried with a full magazine and an empty chamber, so to ready the gun to fire you simply pulled the slide back and released it to "charge" the gun - make it ready to fire.

    Perhaps a French speaker will confirm this, but nobody would walk around with an empty magazine and loose cartridges to "charge" the magazine.
     
  3. Owen

    Owen O

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    Makes sense to me.
    Takes out his pistol & loads the magazine .
    ie. puts the magazine into the pistol.
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Owen, he would still have an unloaded gun if he did that.
     
  5. Owen

    Owen O

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    eh?
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The gun isn't loaded until you rack the slide which moves a cartridge from the magazine to the chamber in the barrel. Normal military carry is loaded magazine (contained in the grip), but empty chamber in the barrel. The gun is still unloaded. When action is imminent, you rack the slide and load the chamber, then engage the safety lever. When action is certain you disengage the safety and put your finger on the trigger.

    In effect, an unloaded magazine means you're walking around with a box of cartridges to be loaded into the magazine. You'd have to open the box, load the magazine one cartridge at a time, insert the mag into the grip, then rack the slide and by that time you'd be dead.
     
  7. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse Member

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    Even for a french this sentence is difficult to understand. :confused:
    It can be intrepreted by : the officer take a pistol without a magazine and engage one.
    However, I am of the same opinion that KodiakBeer, I think the narrator mean he committed a bullet in the chamber by manipulating the slide, difficult to think that the officer carried a pistol without a magazine... but possible, perhaps a manoeuver for intimidate someone...
     
  8. Owen

    Owen O

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    I know I havent touched firearms since the 80s but I can still recall the words of command.
    ''with a magazine of 'x' rounds, Load!'

    that is putting a magazine into the firearm.

    rounds weren't chambered until the command 'Ready' was given.

    when training new recruits on the basics of the SLR I have given the command,
    'with an empty magazine, load!'


    edit: this from chap who left army in 2007
    Unloaded=no mag
    Loaded = mag
    Ready = round in breech

    who mentioned an empty mag apart from me just now ?
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    Powerhouse, can you tell us the literal translation? word for word? it sounds like ''charge'' not load.....thanks
     
  10. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    That would be a training scenario. In the field, a soldier (or Gestapo officer) would have a full magazine in the grip. To "charge" (load) the weapon, he'd rack the slide.

    As for the "loaded" or "unloaded" magazine I suspect we've fallen afoul of English and Americanese. In Americanese, the gun is not loaded until a round is in the chamber.
     
  11. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    "Chargeur" closely means to: charge or make active.

    "Charging your weapon" means to put a round in the chamber.... no different than: "make ready"

    So...it makes sense that if he "pulled" his weapon he might very well have needed to put a round in the chamber depending on the context of his carrying situation.

    I am going to naturally assume that none of us here were in the gestapo officer's chain of command and therefore have no first hand knowledge of policies and procedures which might have been in effect at the time of the incident.
     
    Slipdigit likes this.
  12. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse Member

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    bronk7 the literal translation, word for word :
    "Il [le officier] sort son pistolet et arme un chargeur."
    "He [the officer] take out his handgun and arm a magazine"
     
  13. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    This sentence doesn't make any sense at all. Either the person who wrote the sentence doesn't master the french language too well, or he was totally ignorant when it comes to the functioning of a semi automatic pistol.
     
  14. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    roger that Powerhouse....thanks.....

    good call...as Power brought up...so we deduce what??something's screwy? did a child write it?? can Sim give us more information?
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    One has to be careful of literal translations. Sometimes there are ways of phrasing things that literal translations don't covey the meaning of very well. For instance in at least one language the term used for "shell" literally translates as "grenade".
     
  16. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse Member

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    I hope to have mastered all the subtleties of the English language too.
    Perhaps, if we can have a much longer extract of this testimony, it can be possible for more understand the situation...
     
  17. SimRob.027

    SimRob.027 New Member

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    My my my....I am quite enjoying all this discussion! It is not only (quite) amusing at times, but also wholly edifying! I am glad I am not the only one stumped by the French...and, hence, the English meaning of this sentence. As for more details concerning the author, I am not sure I can give any that would prove helpful. What I can say, though, is that the writer's French (by the way, the writer is Lucien Fayman) is by far not perfect...which is odd seeing that he was born in Paris. Yet even so, throughout the memoir I am working on, his language is choppy to say the least. So SkyLineDrive's comments about Fayman's French and his knowledge about semi-automatic weapons are both probably correct. I will also note that these are memories which he recounted years later (at least twenty although perhaps more), so who knows if time (and the very fact that he was being beaten to pulp...) altered the accuracy of the details. Does this help at all...? Perhaps we could find a 'neutral' translation that would hold true in many circumstances. I have often thought while translating this memoir that if he is vague in what he writes, I too must render that vagueness so as to not inadvertently change the meaning (even if it 'seems' clearer or more accurate). After all, there is no way we can be sure what he was trying to say.

    Here is a longer extract:

    Nous entrons dans une cave assez spacieuse. Une unique ampoule éclaire misérablement des murs gris. Il y a une chaise sur laquelle on m'attache. Nouvelle distribution de coups puis le grand sort son pistol et arme un chargeur. Ils me détachent et me collent contre le mur...'Ein minute, tu parles.' Je ne réponds pas.

    And, by the way, 'le grand' refers to the larger of the two Gestapo officers beating him up.
     
  18. chibobber

    chibobber Member

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    I just want to know,out of all the pistol used by the Germans during WW2 (think anything they could put their hands on).What is a Gestapo 1943 pistol?
     
  19. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Best bet would be a PPK, I think. But many of those evil thugs favored .25s like the Walther Model 5 and 7.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_PP
     
  20. Owen

    Owen O

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    True, use of English different between us & the US, I was chatting to a workmate who served in Northern Ireland he said they carried loaded weapons on patrol but not always with one up the spout. To you that wouldn't make sense.
     

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