A very special Inglis Hi-Power
During the darkest days of WWII, with Belgium overrun along with most of Europe in 1940, the FN factory in Liege went with it. There, the brand new top of the line military sidearm, FN’s Grande Puissance GP-35, had its production line taken over by the Germans as the new Pistole 640(b) for Hitler’s special units. Of the gun’s inventors, John Moses Browning was long since shuffled off to the great gun shop in the sky, but the man who finished the design on Browning’s demise– Dieudonné Joseph Saive– was free in the West and ready to work.
He soon recreated production drawings for the Hi-Power and set up shop in John Inglis’ factory in Toronto where he began making the very slightly modded HP in Canada for the Nationalist Chinese, the Free Greek forces, and British Commonwealth forces, eventually making 153,480 pistols before the end of the War.
Terry Edwards over at Small Arms Defense Journal has a great piece on the 100,000th, which is still in circulation.