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I initially put off getting a copy of Jan Balcar and Ron Clarin’s book on the Spreewerk P38 because, well, I assumed it was just about Spreewerk. Upon finally reading it, I discovered that it is actually a very well-rounded history of the P38 as a whole, with particular extra attention given to Spreewerk. Originally written in Czech, it includes a great deal of information about the the city of Grottau where the Spreewerk factory was located. It also includes several sections on the other manufacturing done by Spreewerk, including a section on the VG-2 rifle.
The book does a great job covering the development of the P38 in detail as well as its production. The specific variations made by Spreewerk are obviously a focal point, but reading just this book will provide a good overall understanding of the gun. For those who do not want to shell out $500+ for a set of Warren Buxton’s books, this would be my recommendation for the single best P38 book available. Krutzek’s recent work is a good companion to get details on the Walther and Mauser subtypes, but it provides much less background and context than Balcar and Clarin do.
Unfortunately, this volume is mostly out of print today, and will be more difficult to find once Checkpoint Charlie’s sells out their remaining stock.
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