Turkish Mauser Model 1893 Rifle : Captain R L Leane, 11th Battalion, AIF

Accession Number RELAWM00308
Collection type Technology
Object type Firearm
Place made Germany
Date made c 1893
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

German Mauser Model 1893 rifle. The receiver on the left side has a Turkish Arabic inscription that translates to Mauser Arms Works Oberndorf and has a date in Turkish Arabic of 1312 (1893). The bolt has a mismatched number to the rifle. It is complete with a cleaning rod. Faint scratched or impressed markings into the proper right side of the wooden butt appear to read 'Capt R L Leane / Gaba Tepe / 5/5/15'.

History / Summary

The Model 93 Mauser was one of the standard pattern Mauser rifles used by the Turkish Army in the First World War and amongst the most common types of rifles used by the Turkish army against Australian forces during the Gallipoli landings in 1915. The Turkish Model 93 Mauser was developed from the Spanish Model 93, but in a different calibre and equipped with a magazine cutoff. All production of the Model 93 was undertaken by the Oberndorf Mauser works which manufactured 201,100 Model 93 rifles for the Imperial Ottoman government.

The original Australian War Records Section (AWRS) entry for this rifle indicates that it was handed over to the AWRS on 2 July 1918 by Colonel Leane of 11 Battalion AIF. The accompanying text states: 'Captured by 'C' Coy, 11th Battalion which Colonel Leane, then a Captain, commanded. The Company landed from 'London' as one of the six covering parties at the first landing on Gallipoli and this rifle was one of the first war captures made by the Australian Army.'

HMS 'London', mentioned above, had departed Mudros Harbour, Lemnos, at 1:30 pm on the afternoon of 24 April, bound for the Gallipoli Peninsula. The relevant entry for 11 Battalion's War Diary for 25 April 1915 states: "4:30 am. Landed under heavy musketry and machine gun fire and stormed the cliffs about 300 ft high. Pushed back the Turks and occupied the position. Occupied forward ridge about ¾ mile from beach and entrenched."