After looking at the German MP 40, it is only logical to follow up with a few words about the iconic “Chicago Typewriter”, that is to say, the Thompson M1A1.
From Al Capone to Normandy
When John T. Thompson first began working on prototypes for his namesake firearm, he intended to call it the “Annihilator”. The purpose of this new weapon was to act as a trench broom, that is to say, a gun that could be carried by a single man to clear the trenches of the First World War of enemies with a barrage of automatic fire; however development was not completed until after the war ended. The Thompson submachine gun, as it became known, was the first SMG to be labeled as such.
In the Prohibition era, the “Tommy Gun” became associated with the image of American gangsters through spectacular mob murders like the Saint-Valentine’s Day Massacre. In the 1930s it was also adopted by the FBI and by the US military, and saw extensive use during WWII, notably during the invasion of France, where it became a prized weapon among paratroopers as well as tank crewmen and MPs, to name a few.
Like other submachine guns, the Thompson is a close combat weapon, best suited for storming enemy bunkers and other enclosed spaces. Its accuracy and penetrating power decreases at mid range and it is not worth much at long range. It has a more recoil than the MP 40, but also a slightly higher rate of fire, which comes in handy when capturing enemy positions.
Stay tuned for more!