Model for the Luftwaffe


In addition to staffing the famous flare guns model Heer and LP 42, the army corps of the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine equipped models are quite different.

The latter, still in calibre 26.5 mm for the most part, can be single or double barrel guns, this is what makes them unique in addition to their relative low production.

The Luftwaffe, German Air Force, is expanding rapidly since the Great War.

Because of its diversity and the importance of its aircraft and personnel, it becomes the Second World War, the Air Force the most powerful in the world. It has contributed enormously to some victories. Thus the strength of his first experience during the Spanish Civil War, the Luftwaffe was equipped with flare guns its own drum. It was developed in 1936 and was designed as Filegerleuchtpistole Model 'L'.

The first signaller that is most often encountered was produced by Krieghoff. Named flare gun L, it is equipped with two barrels. Its carcass, alloy gray or blackish contains black grips in Bakelite. It has a tilting system cannons. Its opening is done by manipulating the lever located in front of the trigger guard. It has a lever on top of the weapon at the rear of the guns, allowing the selection of the firing pin and a safety lever on the left flank.

This flare gun is quite evolved and can fire at will, by one or other of the two cannons see through a selector. It has two triggers.

Like the Model Heer, the model L has two pins which, in a seemingly identical, however, have a different meaning. Indeed, if the pin is apparent (and one can "feel" to the touch), it indicates the the internal tension of the spring. It does not mean that a cartridge is in the chamber (meaning the spur model Heer).

It should be noted that it is composed of over eighty pieces, some of which require special tools for assembly and disassembly. Therefore, these two operations are not recommended who does not have some experience of a gunsmith.

During the war, grips initially in wood will then be made in Bakelite. Concerning the markings, the number on the left side 24483 is the order number of the weapon. It may be preceded by the two following codes:

- FL for Flieger (or aviator)

- LN for Luftwaffennachrichtentruppe (transmission service to the Air Force).

On the right side is the serial number of the weapon.

The various manufacturers of this type of PLF are as follows (note that the code of some of them have changed during the conflict):



Code and production


Emil Eckholdt

22.800 items with code ECKO and 4.500 with code ojr

August Menz

3.000 items with code AM


355 items only

Gustav Bittner Werke

5.500 items with code GBW and 9.500 items with code gpt

Heinrich Krieghoff

100 idems with code HK and 38.000 with code fzs

Hugo Eckholdt

500 items


The code is usually located behind the safety lever, above the left grip plate. It may still sometimes be encountered in the fire selector. During the conflict, some slight variations in manufacturing are met (mainly simplifications). They focus on the quality of the finish of flare gun itself, and parts (form and nature thereof) given the shortage of raw materials.

Some examples to illustrate this:

From left to right, as the progress of the conflict.


The finish is black anodizing tobacco tan colour through tanning gray metal.
Note the change in the nature of the material (including the selection of canon).

Manufacturer code fzs in 1942 and in 1944


Manufacturer code Ecko

Selector canon (L to R Links and Recht).
Ergot status spring tension and load indicator.

The other flare guns which have equipped the Luftwaffe are actually systems of chambers for the shooting of 26.5 mm ammunition.
Indeed, it was necessary for mission, to take advantage of fireworks signal from the aircraft without having to open a door or opening.

Thus, three production companies are responsible for its devices. The first of these is the company located in Duren Hanneman which produces remotely commanded flare guns loaded before the flight.
The second mechanism, quite ingenious, was created by Arado Flugzeugwerke in Potsdam, a famous town near Berlin, where a conference was held in July-August 1945 between the 3 major leaders (Stalin, Churchill and Truman) to decide the fate of the Germany.

It placed in the wing, could be responsible for four fireworks and operated manually, mechanically or hydraulically.
The last device was produced in Berlin-Zehlendorf by firm H. Elektromekanik List. Also equipped with a store of 4 cartridges, it was the most used by the Luftwaffe and could be electrically operated remotely with a keyboard specially designed for the selection.

Some detailed pictures of Model L:

Model L dated 1942 and manufactured by fzs (Heinrich Krieghoff)   


Model L without any date and manufactured by Ecko   


Model L dated 1944 and manufactured by fzs   


Model L datet 1943 and manufactured by gpt 


Some comparisons:


Some rare LP produced by Sander (due to the little number designed by the manufacturer) - (many thanks to their owners for the pictures provided)

(Clic on picture with your mouse to see it in its original format)

Example with the Id: 290


Example with the Id: 355