Tuesday, April 05, 2005
An interesting note from To Benghazi
On page 130 of To Benghazi, there is an interesting note regarding the Thompson submachine gun (Tommy gun, as it is called in the note). It was only through hard lessons fighting the Germans that the Tommy gun was finally adopted. The Germans actually had adopted more modern submachine guns. The British only made the Tommy gun part of the standard equipment after the fall of France in 1940. As early as 1918 had found German troops equipped with machine pistols with 25-round magazines. The British had encountered German troops armed with submachine guns in Norway and in probing actions in Lorraine, prior to May 1940. Apparently in May 1940, a British battalion may only have had as many as two or three submachine guns. When the commandos were formed in June 1940, there were only 40 Thompson submachine guns in all of Britain.