Zella-Mehlis & Suhl
The name of the town, Zella St. Blasii, was changed in 1919 to Zella-Mehlis. The of twin cities of Zella -St Blasii and Mehlis were combined to create Zella-Mehlis.
Zella-Mehlis (formed on 1 April 1919) is a town in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district, in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated in the Thuringian Forest, 5 km north of Suhl, and 20 km east of Meiningen. The town of Zella-Mehlis is the site of the original Walther arms weapons factory. It remained there until the Russians occupied eastern Germany at the end of World War II.
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country. It is known as the "green heart of Germany", due to the dense forest that covers the terrain. It has an area of 16,171 square kilometers (6,243.7 sq mi) and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states. The capital is Erfurt.
Suhl sits on the south edge of the Suhler Scholle, an upthrust granite complex that is streaked by numerous dikes. This is part of the Ruhla-Schleusingen Horst that defines the southwest side of the Thuringian Forest. The metal processing of Suhl naturally led, during the Renaissance, to other major local industries, including gunsmithing and armoring. Suhl was a major producer of cannons throughout the seventeenth and subsequent centuries, and Suhl cannons were used by many European powers. A major arms company that was located in Suhl for almost 200 years was J.P. Sauer und Sohn GmbH, producer of hunting rifles, shotguns, and pistols, such as the Sauer 38H, until moving operations to Eckernförde at the end of WWII. Other prominent firearms manufacturers in Suhl included Simson, (also known as BSW under Nazi rule and Ernst Thälmann Suhl under Communist rule), and C.G. Haenel. The largest manufacturer producing firearms currently in Suhl is Merkel, who make both rifles and shotguns.