This is a 1906 first issue Navy Luger, altered. The back strap is marked "II.T.D./78" indicating issue to the 2nd Torpedo Division at Wilhelmshaven, which was established in October of 1906.
On Good Friday before Easter 1916, Sir Roger Casement and several other leaders of the planned rebellion against British rule in Ireland rowed ashore at Tralee Bay in a small boat from the German submarine U-19.The German steamer SS Libau posing as the neutral SS Aud, carrying rifles, machine guns and ammunition was on course to be intercepted by a British warship, but based on some accounts it is thought that in the small boat with Casement were a number of weapons drawn from German Navy stores, including a small number of Navy Lugers. The commanders, including Sir Roger Casement, were eventually captured and executed, with Casement being hanged during August 1916 in London. It is known that at some point Navy Lugers were delivered to Irish rebels and were used in the Easter rebellion and the bloody civil war that followed. The Lugers remained in official Irish hands after 1923, and were first discovered by William Edwards of Afton, Virginia, in the depot in 1948, but were not for sale. It took until 1990 for Edwards to obtain the pistols, which numbered only 28 (27 Navy Lugers and one cut down Artillery), and receive permission to import them into this country. This pistol is one of that lot, an assertion supported by Edwards notarized statement of the gun's provenance and the Republic of Ireland’s Department of Defense papers verifying their existence in inventory listed by serial numbers and the subsequent sale to Edwards.
A Irish Commandant at Clancy Barracks told Edwards this 1906 Navy Luger was later used by the IRA as an assassination weapon. After an assassination was committed an oily rag was stuffed into its muzzle and it was thrown into a manure pile to hide it from the Black and Tans and retrieved at a later date. That is the reason for the pitted exterior and the excellent interior.