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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi l am doing a couple of ww2 figs and want to give them both a thomson at what rank would they accure one, one of my figs is done and he is a corpral and l gave him a thomson, is this acuurate, l know captains had them but did sargents aswell,need some info.
 

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Thompson basis of Issue....

In the for-what-its-worth category... As it happens, I am researching a PhD on the US Army's inter-war tank force. Not precisely the answer you're looking for perhaps, but the Thompson was issued to tank and other vehicle crews as a weapon for use by the crew when dismounted -- especially when dismounting one crewman for scouting and observing off the vehicle. The basis of issue in the Infantry (Tanks) in the 1930s was one gun per light or medium tank (more or less), and sometimes to other vehicles that would be up close to the front, e.g. scout & armored cars. That remained true as well after some of the Army's armored equipment & materiel was split off to the 7th Cav. Bde. (Mecz.) after 1932. The point of course is that there was only one lieutenant per platoon in the Infantry (Tanks) or the Mechanized Cavalry, so obviously sergeants and corporals as the other vehicle commanders in the platoon COULD decide "they" would carry the Tommy-gun.

In WW2, the Tommy-gun was soon replaced on most armored vehicles by the less expensive and far easier to mass-produce "Grease gun." Hell, we were still carrying "Grease guns" when I served in Armor & Cavalry in the '70s and '80s! As a Troop XO, I commandeered the "Grease gun" off our "88" and carried it most of one winter on FTXs.

Don't forget too that things got a little "loose" in WW2 the further from the flag pole you got. I was watching HC the other night, which i usually take with a large grain of salt, though they have gotten better! However, in this case they were interviewing a "youngster" who had been an infantry platoon leader in NW Europe in 1944/45, and he carried a "Burp Gun!" So, I see no reason why you couldn't have your corporal (infantry?) carrying a Tommy-gun.

Finally, one anecdotal piece of "evidence," at least for "plausible denial." Don't forget that in the '60s hit "Combat," Sgt. Saunders carried a Thompson. Given the popularity of that show with the large number of WW2 Vets who must have been watching, if the story-lines and elements of detail were not believable, the show would not have done as well -- IYGMD?

:bag
 

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Allot of UK troops were issued the 'gangsta' version (front pistol grip and clockwork ammo drum) in north africa. Not allot of Privates got them, mainly promoted troops.
 

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with nothing to go by but stories from my father and uncles, pictures in lots of books, and a gut feel on how things military work, I would say that in general, you would rarely see anyone without three stripes carrying a thompson, UNLESS there were no more folks with 3 stripes in the combat sector. Definately, 2 stripes were a normal minimum before being entrusted to the task of acquiring and carrying a tommy.

However, this is life: There's no reason your buck private can't be carrying one, especially if said private was a sarge just a month ago, before a trip through a couple quarts and a general's car... his rank may be temporary.
 

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In the beginning of WWII, M-1921 (ganster) Tommy guns were rounded up and sent to various war theaters while the M1A1 which was considerably cheaper to stamp out were made. So as rare as they were realtively, the upper ranks may have had their dips first. But by the time the M1A1 was available in abundance, I wondered if it became just a preference and even privates had their choice of Garands, carbine, or Thompson. Certainly by late war, great numbers of Thompson M1A1's were sent overseas thrugh Lend Lease to foreign allied armies. I can tell you for Chinese forces they weren't retricted to sergeants & above.
 

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One thing I will add here:

Thompsons and BAR's were never left with the dead. So if you were serving with someone that had one and they got hit, you sure as the sun rises would not hesitate to pick it up. Once in your hands how likely would you be to give it up, rank be damned

Cya,
Hankster
 

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Yes..very much. This topic covers a lot of ground of ground. M1 is standard issue. In a squad comes the gunner armed with a BAR. US adopted the one caliber system 4 all infantry 7.62. Tommies and carbines was 4 rear troops but found its way into the hands of frontliners. How? to many reasons.RANK for one could be influence. Special missions. I hate the rifle too heavy. I saw a dead GI w/ a tommy I am going close quarters battle...WHY NOT? Oh I like it. I have an old book about US soldiers european THeatre of operations. Photos of private with Carbines and tommies. Even a sawed off M1 for a tank crew. A lot of reasons..but your guy is corporal why not..as long as he has spare mags. I love tommies too, your figure will turn out well i'm sure keep as posted.
 

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I will add I just remember. This is base on a TV show . Thompson tried to convince US ordnance to buy his weapon. But US did not. So there wasn't a lot of tommies at the start of the war. The Tommy gun found its way to the gangters who has the dough. And incidentally British was one of the first buyers. It even showed Churhill trying one I just don't remember the title of the show. Realizing the effectiveness of the tommy so it found its way back to US troops in time for the DDAY
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks guys l was doing an american airborn and american ranger 1944 era, l guess l will keep the thomson on my ranger corpral,thanks guys l will poest pics this week.
 

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airborne or ranger? they were 2 different services back then.'airborne ranger' was something that you didnt hear untill after WW2.a few observations(or just heresay).half of the thompsons sent to britain ended up on the bottom of the north atlantic. the thompson(all versions) was a highly prized and lusted for bit of kit.naturally it was sent not to frontline troops at first,but to rear guard units.we also sent several packed aboard every stuart tank sent to russia 'lend/lease'.they threw them into a warehouse where they rotted untill a few years ago...now they are on the used parts market. and the vietcong and NVA regarded the thompson as a form of battlefield promotion,so impressed with it they were.instead of stipes,they would hand a young tiger a thompson instead...talk about incentive.yes...in the us service,sargeants would get first pick,if they could..but 'everybody' wanted one...heavy as they were.dont forget motorcycle troops...they had a scabbard on the front forks for one.finally...the phrase 'tommy gun' became a generic for almost any SMG..much like 'burp gun' or 'grease gun'..although these phrases were originally quite specific.
 

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Depends on the need for the weapon. My father was stationed on Biak Island New Guinea,(1943-1945) at one of the 3 air strips there. His job was to go to the edges of the air strips,at the tree lines,every morning, and spray the area with his Thompson, these were suspected areas where Japanese may still be after infiltrating during the night.
He was a private, but was also trained on the HMG, the .50 cal.
 
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