Rarely do firearms owned by field marshals come up for auction. Offered here is an Ortgies 6.35 semi-automatic pistol owned and used by German Field Marshal Hugo Sperrle. The pistol's action is smooth and the barrel shows only moderate use. The matte blue finish is very good to fine, with only the most negligible corrosion about the left side of the slide. The slide is marked "Deutsche Werke Aktiengesellschaft Werke Erfurt", following the pistol's manufacture in Berlin. The pistol has an operable safety, a lever inset into the back of the grip and, with the gun cocked, it is forced backward out of the grip into the "safe" position by spring tension from the firing pin upon depression of a button under the slide. The wood grips with "HO" inserts are very good, and each is engraved with Sperrle's elaborate, stylized "H S" initials which he applied to most of his possessions. The serial number is 456. This pistol was recovered by Sgt. Rollo G. Rice, Co. E, 506th P.I.R., 101st Airborne, a late 1944 replacement, and apparently attached to a headquarters company. Co. E is one of the most notable groups of soldiers of World War II, made famous in the book "A Band of Brothers" and the television series of the same name. Rice was with the 506th at Berchtesgaden. He may have obtained his Sperrle relics at Sperrle's residence near Munich while en route to Berchtesgaden, or perhaps at the office of Gen. KARL BODENSCHATZ, who served as Adjutant to Field Marshal Hermann Goring. Rice's very early post-war map of the area about the Berghof (copy and photos included) shows Bodenschatz's office circled. As Sperrle had to flee Paris only hours before the arrival of the French and American liberators, and in light of the fact that his own home was in the path of American invaders, he may have elected to hide his possessions with his close fellow officer in the mountains of Bavaria. Our consignor purchased the Sperrle lots nearly a decade ago from Rice's widow, who confirmed their provenance. Our consignor's letter of provenance is included. See similar lots in this sale for additional provenance. HUGO SPERRLE (1885-1953) German Field Marshal in the Luftwaffe during World War II. Sperrle joined the Imperial German Army in 1903. He served in the artillery upon the outbreak of World War I and then joined the Luftstreitkr�fte. He was given command of the Condor Legion in November 1936 and his force became known for their ruthless bombing of towns and cities. Sperrle was used during the Anschluss and Czech crisis by the Nazis to threaten other governments with bombardment. With the invasion of Poland, Sperrle played a crucial role in the Battle of France and Battle of Britain, and in 1941 he directed operations during The Blitz. Through 1941-43 he became more involved in air defense until his forces were depleted. His meager squadrons were totally ineffective in Normandy, and he was dismissed.