I’ve always had a soft spot for P-38s (the guns, not the can openers, as I find the longer P-51 type a much better form of the latter and don’t even get me into the P-38 Lightning) since I was a kid.
With that, I had the great opportunity recently while in the GDC Vault to find examples made by all three WWII makers– Walther, Spreewerk, and Mauser– as well as some Cold War-era West German Ulm-marked guns.
For insights into how to tell them apart and what to look for, check out my column at Guns.com. https://www.guns.com/news/2019/12/04/the-world-of-german-p-38s-walther-mauser-spreewerk-and-otherwise
Here we see a Portuguese Corpo de Fuzileiros Marine on UN duty in the Central African Republic.
Of note, his rifle is the 7.62 mm Espingarda m/961, essentially an updated HK G3 and in the holster is the m/961 9mm pistol, which is a Walther P38.
The guns date back to Portugal’s brutal African brush wars in Angola, Guinea, and Mozambique during the 1960s and 70s.
As such, the P38 is one of few WWII-era combat handguns (besides the Hi-Power, 1911 and to a lesser extent the TT-33) that are still in regular use downrange some 75 years later.
More on the P-38’s longevity in my column at Guns.com.