Thompson SMGs Post WW2

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Random_Task, Apr 25, 2007.

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  1. Anorakish question alert, was flicking through a 50th anniversary book on D-Day,and a photograph of Commando's using the Thompson SMG caught my eye,and got me wondering,what happened to them after the war? Did they continue to be used, or were they sold/mothballed?
  2. Thompsons in British service were binned fairly quickly after WW2 - 9mm was thought more suitable for SMG use, and UK had a couple of million stens available in store. Not sure what happened to the British Thompsons, becaue they don't seem to have resurfaced in quantity anywhere except Israel and one or two other territories; most likely they were dumped into the Irish Sea along with thousands of other weapons (hundreds of thousands of rifles nearly suffered the same fate, but were bought up by the likes of Interarms as they were on the way to be dumped).

    Elsewhere, Thompsons were exported by US all over the place - particularly South/Central America and the Far East. They remain in use to the present day in some corners of the world.
  3. Thanks for the quick response,4(T).

    Perhaps Reid will give them to CSO's?

    I have recently seen Thompsons being used by the Indian police (whom also use No.4's & SMLE's)
  4. They're still being produced.

    I remember a few years ago, various US police departments were desperate to get their hands on some as SWAT teams found their 9mm MP5s ineffective against targets off their box on PCP.
  5. I believe the Texas Rangers used them still in the mid 70's.
  6. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    US SF used them in Nam as well if i remember right...
  7. Some SF groups still have M1 Thompsons in their arms room... for familiarization and all that.
  8. I remember seeing a load confiscated from Serbs/Albanians in Kosovo by my unit in 1999.

    I think they even bought one back.... but sadly had it de-activated (if I remember correctly).
  9. Couple of Micks with Thompsons opened up on us in the Beechmount very early 70s so they were still around then!
  10. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    SF in Vietnam used many weapons, many were left over from the WWII days. The South Vietnamese and the VC, had a Thompson or two. This also, included many French weapons as well. (Mostly of the M-1 Type.)

    The Thompson Sub-gun wouldn't be an issue weapon to an SF team; howver, an individual might 'acquire' one. :)

    Some SF people on SOG operations, in 'Nam carried all types of 'sterile' weapons and equipment, for the purpose of deniability, etc.

    As someone mentioned, an SF Group might have Thompsons or many other types of weapons on hand, for cross training and or/for the two weapons Sgts. to work with.

    I picked up a Chinese copy of the M-1 Thompson in Korea. The ChiComs had a few real WWII American Thompsons, as well as their copycat ones. The copycat ChiCom model, showed tool marks and looked like it was made in a back ally somewhere. Of course the Russian/ChiCom PPSH was the weapon of choice, there in Korea for both the ChiCom and NK.

    My old LE Department, had a couple of 1928 Thompsons, with the drum magzines. The were a beautiful looking piece of machinery, very well made. In firing them at the range, I never had a jam or misfire.

    Military version M-1
  11. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    We had Thomsons demonstrated for familiarisation at NIRTT in 1976.
  12. Thompsons were on general issue during the first three years of the war, so its quite normal to see them in photos of British & Commonwealth troops from 1939-43. Sometime after that, they were gradually withdrawn and replaced by Stens. At the end of the North Africa campaign, for example, 8th Army was re-equipped in Tunis: on the small-arms side, they handed in their No1 rifles (WW1-vintage SMLEs) and were issued the new No4 rifle. Maybe the Thompsons went at the same time? Most photos of the Italy and NW Europe campaigns appear to show Stens instead of Thompsons.
  13. Thanks for the prompt reply 4 (T). It never ceases to amaze me at the depth of knowledge that’s available on ARRSE.
  14. We had a few training weapons in Cyprus 2002-04 which dated from the 1950s. Most were captured from EOKA and some had Greek royal crests stamped in them. But one was an M1 Thomson stamped with the letters TMT. TMT was the Turkish equivalent of loyalist terrorists. Interesting footnote to history, I think.