Thompson SMGs Post WW2

#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
4(T) said:
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.
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.

www.tommygun.com

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
sandmanfez said:
They're still being produced.

www.tommygun.com

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.
I believe the Texas Rangers used them still in the mid 70's.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
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
chrisg46 said:
US SF used them in Nam as well if i remember right...
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.

http://www.a-human-right.com/ppsh.html

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.

http://www.philaord.com/products/m1928.html

Military version M-1

http://www.rt66.com/~korteng/SmallArms/thompson.htm
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#11
Busterdog said:
Couple of Micks with Thompsons opened up on us in the Beechmount very early 70s so they were still around then!
We had Thomsons demonstrated for familiarisation at NIRTT in 1976.
 
#13
Rumrunner said:
Slightly off thread. I posted this pic sometime ago. I wonder if they were issued (1942)or acquired? I see that the butt has been removed.

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=16693/postdays=0/postorder=asc/start=300.html
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.
 
#14
4(T) said:
Rumrunner said:
Slightly off thread. I posted this pic sometime ago. I wonder if they were issued (1942)or acquired? I see that the butt has been removed.

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=16693/postdays=0/postorder=asc/start=300.html
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.
Thanks for the prompt reply 4 (T). It never ceases to amaze me at the depth of knowledge that’s available on ARRSE.
 
#15
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.
 
#16
I test fired a replacement Thompson M1 when the MUF Range Tommy gun gave up the ghost in the late 80s. It turned up from Donnington in a "US Ordnance" packing case, and we had to boil the grease off it with the trusty Armourer's kettle. Very heavy for an SMG, so bugger all recoil, but lots of fun! There are still a selection of Tommy guns held down at Lydd for OPTAG.

I also "rescued" two Thompsons (along with a shed-load of other kit) from Sierra Leone which are now in the REME Museum in Arborfield - a 1928A1 minus cutts compensator, fore-end pistol grip and butt, and an M1A1 in reasonable nick.

When I first joined, an old Queensman told me they still had Tommy guns and Owen Guns when he was in Malaya, but I don't know when.
 
#17
You could dump them in a big pile and forget about them

 
#18
I read 'somewhere' just lately that a problem with the Tommy Gun on nightime parol was that the gun 'Rattled', especialy the rounds in the big drum magazine.
john
 
#20
Early 70s at the RVH in Belfast I picked up a flack jacket which had been worn by a young Foxhound officer who had taken a burst from a Thompson across the chest. I thought it had a magazine of 7.62 in the pocket but the weight was the four .45 slugs which the jacket had stopped.

The Lt had taken a total of 6 rounds - two of which had broken his arms. The zip of the Flack Jacket had been enough to turn one of the rounds which had melted its way into the nylon padding. The gun had been fired at pretty close range and we suspected that the ammo was duff.

PIRA were using the Thompson more for nostalgia than anything else.
 
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