Thompson/BEF

Discussion in '1940' started by Swiper, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Gsyfestung

    Gsyfestung Member

    The Tommy Guns were used on Operation Ambassador the Commando landing on Guernsey 14 July 1940, I was lucky enough to talk with the Officers of the landing party and he clearly suggested to me that they did in fact have Tommy guns and I am sure 50 was mentioned, he had been told that this was half of the entire stock held by the British Army at the time and particular care had to be taken with them. Consequently they were loaded into two rubber dingy’s to ensure their safe return to the landing ships used, rather embarrassingly one of the dingy’s was upturned in the surf and 25 guns were lost. Some of them were photographed by the Germans with other weapons that were washed up on the beach or found at low tide.
    Gsyfestung
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Not the BEF I know but reading Irish Guards history , Thompson's get a few mentions during in the chapters on the Norwegian campaign which was around the same time.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I'm wondering if these weapons were kept on the SAAR Front and were part of the equipment handed over to units as they rotated through the area.

    Here's a mention of them in the 1st South Lancs war diary:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Tigers at Dunkirk. A book about the 2/5th Leicestershire Regiment in France.

    ....We got to the barn and dead tired we fell asleep in the hayloft. When I woke up there were Germans below us. Bloody hell only yards from the enemy-instant death if they found us. We had to wait until dark, jump and leg it. We went over this field and a German Messerschmidt starts to machine gun us. We were saved by a shit pit that we both fell in. We came across another building. I did have a Thompson machine gun with me. We approached it wearily. Nothing there. We'd just turned around to leave when shots rang out. My Sergeant was dead. Here one moment, gone the next. In anger I rushed back blasting away with my gun. I shot three of the bastards but then needed to get away myself. No shots followed me.

    How I ever got back to the same bunch I'd been with I never knew-but I did-homing instincts perhaps. Yes that was it, you were now living on your nerves, your gile and wit. Almost all semblance of order had disappeared. All sorts of things flash through your mind but you haven't got time for this.

    I'm not overly convinced the account is that accurate though as the 2/5th was a poorly equiped TA unit initially sent to France to perform just labour duties with some men having no more than 15 rounds of .303 when they went into battle.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  6. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Corporal,_East_Surrey_Regiment_1940.jpg


    There were a couple at Ballykinler, missed out on firing it myself. It was not regarded as very accurate and the .45 ACP round had low penetration.
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Is the 'cross badge' on the left wing 52 Div? That would make them part of the 2nd BEF if thats the case?

    Edit:

    Just seen Adams post 5.
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I've just started reading Saul Davids Sacrifice of the Highland Division and there is quite a few mentions early on in the book about Tommy Guns and Submachine guns being used on the Saar Front which adds weight to the possibility they were kept on that front and handed over as units rotated through that front.

    One account refers to them being Skoda Sub-Machine guns given/lent to them by the French when the unit arrived at the front.
     
  9. Jaeger

    Jaeger Senior Member

    I've just started reading Saul Davids Sacrifice of the Highland Division and there is quite a few mentions early on in the book about Tommy Guns and Submachine guns being used on the Saar Front which adds weight to the possibility they were kept on that front and handed over as units rotated through that front.

    One account refers to them being Skoda Sub-Machine guns given/lent to them by the French when the unit arrived at the front.

    post #20
     
  10. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    From Iron Division by Robin McNish (quoting Lt Robin Turner of 2 E YORKS telling of an event on the Maginot Line in 1940),

    “Their greatest success came one night out in the vast, moonlit snow fields of No Man’s Land when a combined patrol led by McKenzie watched, stalked and finally ambushed an enemy fighting patrol. The ensuing action was short and sharp – for our part consisting of concentrated fire at close range from Thompson sub-machine guns (the famous Tommy Gun of gangster days).

    “For identification purposes one of the dead Germans was manhandled three or four miles back to base…

    “…in amazement we found that although the unfortunate man had been hit by a positive fist-full of .45 Tommy Gun bullets, only one had killed him – all the others were lodged in his heavy clothing and the various straps and webbing of his equipment. This was a shock and momentarily impaired our faith in the beautiful new sub-machine guns which had only so recently come our way”.

    Can't have been that bad as they were in use for several decades.

    Richard.
     
    Drew5233 and Owen like this.
  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I don't doubt that the Lt wrote that but I'm very skeptical about how accurate it is.

    Here is a .45 ACP on ballistic gel
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLPjTlj1pHk
     

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