WWII Weapons Used in Combat!

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Thompson Submachine Gun ("Tommy Gun")

The Thompson submachine gun was Saunders' weapon of choice. It is popularly called a Tommy gun.

Saunders guarding German Prisoner with Thompson Submachine GuneFully automatic, the Thompson is an all-round field weapon of .45 caliber. It weighs 12.5 pounds when fully loaded with a 30-round magazine and is 33 inches long. The M1928 Thompson fires between 600 and 700 rounds per minute.

Saunders carried extra 30-round stick magazines inside his jacket. Some soldiers carried magazine pouches on their belts that held up to three magazines. According to the Army-Navy Guide from 1942, the Thompson "is used by motorcyclists, and is usually one of the weapons on armored vehicles." And, in Combat!, used by blond sergeants.

The Thompson was the only submachine gun mass produced in any Allied country during WWII. The French and British ordered them by the tens of thousands during the war. Though they were less efficient and costlier than the German submachines guns, they had the great advantage of being readily available for Allied use!

According to The Unofficial Tommy Gun Page: "In 1939, Thompsons cost the government $209 apiece. By Spring of 1942 cost reduction design changes had brought this down to $70. In February of 1944 the M1A1 model reached a low price of $45 each, including accessories and spare parts. But by the end of 1944, the M1A1 was replaced with the even lower cost M3 'Grease Gun.'"

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bulletMastering the Thompson Submachine Gun in Six Parts:
Six US Army Training Films with Thompson Manual
included on the DVD

Tommy Gun Toys:


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The Social History of the Machine Gun Fascinating combination of history and analysis, viewing how the invention of machine gun changes modern warfare. Covers early developments of the weapon and field use. The WWI chapters are especially chilling as the author shows the high cost paid for the military strategists failure to comprehend what the machine gun meant in terms of killing power. Includes dozens of pictures and illustrations. Emphasis is on WWI, but also includes some WWII information. If you're looking for a technical reference, this book isn't for you. If you want the human dimension of war and how it is effected by the machine gun, you can't do better this. Absolutely fascinating reading!
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Other US WWII Weapons pages on this site:
WWII B.A.R. Browning Automatic Rifle
M1911 Colt .45 Pistol - American WWII Handgun
M1 Carbine
M1 Garand Rifle - American WWII Rifles
Tommy Gun - Thompson Submachine Gun
WWII Bazooka
WWII American Tanks and Armor
WWII American Machine Guns
WWII Artillery and Howitzers - American
Mortar Weapons of WWII
WWII Bayonets and Knives - American



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File last updated August 15, 2011

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