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Overview of ZB rifle sales to China from 1927 to 1939

Research request: Example is very important for our research , if our readers who own Chinese or Japanese Vz24  and willing to share information, I would be very grateful to be contacted.

ZB established business connection with China dates back to 1924. Several agency made offers to ZB on behalf of Chinese buyers until 1926.

ZB directly offering rifles to China happened in 1927 when General Zhang Zuo-ling’s delegate’s visit to Czech. At first. General Zhang would prefer to buy used rifles. The search for used rifles, however, was fruitless in the end. ZB made several offers to the General’s delegate who finally accepted an offer of 40000 rifles in June 1927. 20000 rifles were borrowed from MNO deposit. ZB gained 4.8 million Kc profits from this first direct contract which value amounts to 31 million Kc. Though the transportation was hard owing to embargo and Chinese volatile situation, the consignment arrived in China intact in February 1928 as reported by ZB management.

Following the first contract, in March 1928, ZB immediately secured a second contract of 30000 rifles which were dispatched from ZB on August 12 1928 and arrived in China on October 13. The last major contract that ZB conducted with Northeast warlord was of 10000 rifles sold to Jehol Province which under Zhang Xueliang’s control, Zhang Zuolin’s son, in March 1930 through Ing. Havlicek.

General Zhang Zuolin’s death and reunification of China encouraged ZB to make connection with Kuomintang government in Nanking and the warlords of Canton Province. From 1931 to 1937, ZB managed to sold a substantial number of ZB26 machine guns to Kuomintang and Canton government, which contrast to meager rifle contracts of this period. ZB sold 5000 Vz24 rifles to Canton in 1931, 1200 Vz24 rifles to Nanking government in 1936, which was followed by the last contract of 5000 Vz24 borrowed from MNO in February 1937 prior to Marco Polo Bridge incident.

After the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out, The head of Chinese Mission to Britain, Minister of Financing, Kung Hsiang-his followed instruction from Central Military Committee to buy 50000 Mauser rifles. The contract was award to ZB in July 1937 in London. ZB agreed to supply China 50000 Vz24 rifles. The first delivery of 10000 rifles was scheduled in May 1938 followed by next two deliveries in July and March 1939 of 20000 rifles respectively.

In October 1937, China sent another mission headed by T.L Song to Europe for acquiring more weapons. The mission singed agreements with ZB for additional 50000 Vz.24 rifles. T.L Song initially bought 10000 rifles then added another 40000 rifles. Among these contracted rifles, he claimed that 20000 pieces were actually bought on request of General Li Zong Ren. These rifles delivery was scheduled on following date: February 1938 for 10,000, April 1938 for 5000, May 1938 for 10000, June for 15000 and July for 10000.

ZB dispatched the last consignment of Kung Hsiang-his’s order on 31 March 1939 signifying the end of business with China.

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