I recently bought a pre-war Sauer 16 Bore with cocking indicators chambered for the 16/70 cartridges. The guns receiver is marked JP Sauer& Sohn Suhl and is identical to the boxlock Model VIII produced by Sauer before the war. The barrel is marked Fried. Krupp AG Essen, Special-Gewehr-Lauf-Stahl. Thing is this gun was proofed in 1951 and the bottom of the receiver is marked Fortuna Werk VEB Suhl.
I found this very odd and thought I would share with you the result of my inquiries.
Sauer was founded as the Koengliche Gewehrfabrik Spangenberg & Sauer. Production started in 1751 and continued in Suhl until 1945. During the war Sauer produced exclusively for the military and next to no sporting arms were made. Before someone corrects me on an obvious point, yes they did make the M30 Luftwaffe Drilling. Components such as receivers and shotgun barrels were stored. Following the end of hostilities Suhl was for a short time in the American Sector. During this time the firm archives were destroyed in a fire. In July 1945 the city became part of the Soviet Sector. The military administrator Col Bukarew of the Soviet Army ordered a thousand sporting guns as reparation payment. Sauer was nationalized by order of the Soviet and absorbed in the VEB Fortuna Werk Suhl. In the nationalization document Sauer was described as a "Schreibmaschinenfabrik" - a type writer factory. The production of civilian firearms for the commercial market was prohibited in the Soviet Sector until 1950. When production of non rifled firearms resumed in 1950/51, VEB Fortuna seems to have used the pre-war stored components to produce the first batch of post war guns thus explaining the markings on the receiver of my gun. This argument is further strengthened by the use of Krupp Stahl, Essen barrels. It is unlikely that the East Germans would have imported barrels from W-Germany. The Model 8 shotgun shown in the first catalog of the Ernst-Thaelmann-Werk in 1960 very much looks like my Sauer Model VIII but does not have the JP Sauer&Sohn markings. This is probably due to Sauer having reformed in Eckernfoerde and claiming the trademark as its own. Most likey then the gun I have is a post-war Fortuna Werke Shotgun assembled from pre-war JP Sauer components. I am very pleased with that as it makes it one of the last Suhl Sauer guns.
So there you have it, a war story of a different kind.