Walther PPK

Catalogue number
  • FIR 11696
Display status
IWM London
  • grips: plastic
Alternative Names
  • FULL NAME: Walther PPK
  • SIMPLE NAME: pistol, blowback, replaceable box magazine
Object Type
weapons and ammunition

© IWM (FIR 11696)

Purchase & License

The Walther PPK pistol, which first appeared in 1931, was a more compact version of Walther's successful PP (Polizeipistole) design. The K appended to the name suggested that it was intended for use by the Kriminalpolizei (ie plain-clothes officers). The PPK was however used by more than just the police and become a great commercial success. It was also purchased in large quantities by for Nazi party officials and was a popular officer's sidearm during the Second World War. This pistol is associated with Odette Sansom who, in 1946, became the only living female recipient of the George Cross. The award was made for her bravery under interrogation, after being captured by the Germans while working as a radio operator in for the Special Operations Executive in occupied France. She was subsequently incarcerated in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. In May 1945 she persuaded the camp Commandant, Fritz Suhren, that it would be in his interest to drive her to the Allied lines. She took this pistol from him after he had delivered her into the custody of the US Army. Suhren was later hanged for war crimes.

History note

Taken by Odette Sansom from Fritz Suhren, commandant of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, after he had driven her to the American lines in May 1945.

Physical description

pistol & magazine (7) 60 degree safety, brown grips

1. stamped on left of slide 2. stamped on left of slide and magazine wall

1. Waffenfabrik Walther, Zella-Mehlis (Thur) Walther's Patent Cal 7,65m/m Mod. PPK 2. Walther banner trademark

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