Saturday, July 26, 2008

[Weapon: Allies] Thompson Submachinegun

"The Tommy Gun"

The Thompson M1928A1 Submachinegun (SMG) was the Allied SMG used by the 9th Division during the North African Campaign. Made in the United States the Thompson, or "Tommy Gun" gained notoriety by it's use by gangsters of the 1920's and 1930's.

It fired a .45 calibre bullet and the one pictured above is loaded with a 50 round "drum" magazine. These were found to be too heavy when fully loaded for long range patrolling like that done at Tobruk. Often a smaller 20 or 30 round magazine would be used instead. A great example of the two variants can be seen in the photo in the post "Tobruk Patrol By Day". The Thompson provided a very quick spray of bullets at short range, perfect for close quarters combat. It was accurate to about 100 yards.

The Thompson saw out it's service with the 9th Division during it's North African campaign. Once the 9th Division was deployed to New Guinea the Thompson was soon replaced with the Australian designed and built SMG, the Owen Gun Mk1. The Owen Gun was named after it's creator, a Private from the 2/17th Infantry Battalion, Pvt. E. Owen. More on him and his creation later.

image cropped from 090000 Australian War Memorial.

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