The M1A1 Thompson is a Submachine Gun used by the US Military until the end of the Vietnam War. It is a later, simplified version of the M1928A1 Thompson Submachine Gun (the M1928A1 was also called the 'Tommy Gun').
The Thompson Submachine Gun series goes back to 1919, after World War I, where retired general John T. Thomspon created it. The M1921 Thompson shot at a Rate of Fire of 1200 Rounds per Minute, even though the military had no interest in this, the Thompson was later sold onto the civilian market. Unfortunatetly, the Thompson got into the wrong hands, as bootleggers like Al Capone used it that made the "20's roar". Ironically the Thompson wasn't even that popular with the mobsters either. John Dillinger used a M1928 Thompson, but wasnt really good with it because of the heavy recoil. Capone only used the Thompson once, and Bonnie and Clyde didn't favor the Thompson, but used the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). The M1928 Thompson was later picked up by the Police force, as well as the military in small quantities. The M1928 Thompson had a reduced Rate of Fire, from 1200, to 600-800. It had an 20 or 30 round box magazine or a 50 to 100 round drum magazine. The gun was simplified and was put into military service first with the British, during the African campagin. The Americans used a simplier Thompson, with a completely new look, dubbed the M1 Thompson, this new Thompson lacked the Cutts-Compensator, and could only use the 20 or 30 box magazine. The later M1A1 Thompson was introduced in 1942, as the standard US military Submachine Gun. The M1A1 Thompson shot the heavy .45 ACP bullet, having tremendous stopping power and a simplier bolt than the M1 Thompson. The M1A1 Thompson though was still replaced by the M3 Submachine Gun (the Grease Gun) by 1943, even though the Thompson was still being used. By the end of World War II, over 1.5 million Thompsons were produced. The Thompson saw limited service in Vietnam and was replaced by every branch of the US military and government in 1972.
Band of BrothersEdit
The Thompson is seen in every episode of Band of Brothers, mostly used to suppress fire against moving troops. It is mostly seen in the hands of Captain Ronald Speirs, Bill Guarnere, Harry Welsh, Buck Compton and Johnny Martin. It is seen with the 30 Round magazine, as most soldiers preferred it over the 20 round box magazine. The Thompson is seen to be jammed in Part 2 of the series when Buck Compton tries to kill a seriously wounded German soldier when he finds out the gun jammed. He later clears the jam and continues the fight. The series got the correction that most privates do not have a Thompson, as the Thompson was only given out to NCO's of sorts and squad leaders. Even though the Thompson is seen very frequently in the series, it isn't seen in a lot of other hands.