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Savage Restores U.K. Bound Sea Damaged Colt TSMGs


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#41 rpbcps

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 11:14 AM

My copies of the British 1940 Small Arms Training Pamphlet No. 21 is also not to hand, however there are some pictures in this post:

 

http://www.machinegu...topic=21771&hl=

 

It does contain pictures of TSMGs with both horizontal and vertical foregrips... and the Thompson in the photos is a Colt era example, which can be identified by the markings on the receiver.

 

Stay safe

Richard


Edited by rpbcps, 08 September 2019 - 11:14 AM.

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#42 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 01:57 PM

I do believe that of the 750 guns initially, only 2 of these were Colt made guns, the rest Savage. 

 

Interestingly, Jean Huon quotes a figure in his book/s of 3750 as being ordered by France. When I corresponded with Mr Huon he told me this information came from the National Archives in France, as one would expect. 

 

Before everyone jumps up and down and says that this figure of 3750 does not gel with the known inventory of guns in the AO warehouse in 1939/1940, that is correct, but it does not mean that the order for 3750 guns was not placed, it would mean that it was not fully filled and/or was modified or reduced.

 

Regards

Alan

 

Alan,

Thanks for confirming the source for Jean Huron's 3750 figure that is mentioned earlier in this thread.

 

As you say, this figure did cause later consternation for researchers who couldn't reconcile that figure being correct when tallying the estimated 4,700 Colt TSMGs left in inventory at the end of 1939 to be divided up between the U.S. Army, French and  Swedish orders.  This was resolved by lowering the figure to 3,000 rather than raising the 4,700 inventory figure to over 5,200. 

 

The Swedish order runs the gamut of Colt serial numbers from the low of #2091, #2291 to #15025.   

 

Regarding the 180 order that left Savage Utica, New York  on April 16, 1940, we still do not have any confirmation when Savage started production in April and how many MODEL OF 1928 TSMGs they had available by that date out of the 201 total for the month.  Rather than allow for a 100 more or less Colt TSMGs to bring that order up to 180,  it is necessary to imagine Savage initial month of operation produced way more units in the first two weeks (or less)  than the last two weeks of the month.  Without this sort of documentation the narrative is  modified to increase production early in the month (as opposed to decreasing the French order)  to make it  all even out.


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#43 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 02:18 PM

My copies of the British 1940 Small Arms Training Pamphlet No. 21 is also not to hand, however there are some pictures in this post:

 

http://www.machinegu...topic=21771&hl=

 

It does contain pictures of TSMGs with both horizontal and vertical foregrips... and the Thompson in the photos is a Colt era example, which can be identified by the markings on the receiver.

 

Stay safe

Richard

 

Richard,

 

The date on the cover of British 1940 Small Arms Training Pamphlet No. 21 is July 3, 1940 and yet it is a Colt TSMG with horizontal grip used for illustration purposes.  In the same month, the first sighting of the  Savage MODEL 1928 with Cutts, L drum, and horizontal foregrips is in the British Pathe film "This Is A Tommy Gun" released July 11, 1940.  The William Clowes & Sons Ltd. did not have a Savage TSMG available before they went to press? 


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#44 rpbcps

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 04:43 AM

My copies of the British 1940 Small Arms Training Pamphlet No. 21 is also not to hand, however there are some pictures in this post:

 

http://www.machinegu...topic=21771&hl=

 

It does contain pictures of TSMGs with both horizontal and vertical foregrips... and the Thompson in the photos is a Colt era example, which can be identified by the markings on the receiver.

 

Stay safe

Richard

 

Richard,

 

The date on the cover of British 1940 Small Arms Training Pamphlet No. 21 is July 3, 1940 and yet it is a Colt TSMG with horizontal grip used for illustration purposes.  In the same month, the first sighting of the  Savage MODEL 1928 with Cutts, L drum, and horizontal foregrips is in the British Pathe film "This Is A Tommy Gun" released July 11, 1940.  The William Clowes & Sons Ltd. did not have a Savage TSMG available before they went to press? 

 

Arthur,

Perhaps it was just 'pot luck' and the first one that came to hand, when they were looking for a model to photograph, for inclusion in the pamphlet. I would think that they were not concerned with, what at the time were 'minor' details such as manufacturers markings. 

 

We can presume that the limited number of Thompsons they had available, where in high demand at the time, not only for service use / training, but also being used for propaganda purposes, as we see in the many periodicals from that time, and the film you mention above.

 

As a footnote, while serving in different parts of Africa in the 1980's, we used Kalashnikovs on a number of occasions, but it was not until much later, as a civilian, that I learned that different countries manufactured AKs, with different markings on them. In the 1980's that was not a concern to us, we required weapons that operated and had a plentiful supply of suitable ammunition, and the markings on them were not even considered, by me anyway.

 

Stay safe

Richard


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#45 AlanDavid

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 05:26 AM

 

My copies of the British 1940 Small Arms Training Pamphlet No. 21 is also not to hand, however there are some pictures in this post:

 

http://www.machinegu...topic=21771&hl=

 

It does contain pictures of TSMGs with both horizontal and vertical foregrips... and the Thompson in the photos is a Colt era example, which can be identified by the markings on the receiver.

 

Stay safe

Richard

 

Richard,

 

The date on the cover of British 1940 Small Arms Training Pamphlet No. 21 is July 3, 1940 and yet it is a Colt TSMG with horizontal grip used for illustration purposes.  In the same month, the first sighting of the  Savage MODEL 1928 with Cutts, L drum, and horizontal foregrips is in the British Pathe film "This Is A Tommy Gun" released July 11, 1940.  The William Clowes & Sons Ltd. did not have a Savage TSMG available before they went to press? 

 

Arthur,

Perhaps it was just 'pot luck' and the first one that came to hand, when they were looking for a model to photograph, for inclusion in the pamphlet. I would think that they were not concerned with, what at the time were 'minor' details such as manufacturers markings. 

 

We can presume that the limited number of Thompsons they had available, where in high demand at the time, not only for service use / training, but also being used for propaganda purposes, as we see in the many periodicals from that time, and the film you mention above.

 

As a footnote, while serving in different parts of Africa in the 1980's, we used Kalashnikovs on a number of occasions, but it was not until much later, as a civilian, that I learned that different countries manufactured AKs, with different markings on them. In the 1980's that was not a concern to us, we required weapons that operated and had a plentiful supply of suitable ammunition, and the markings on them were not even considered, by me anyway.

 

Stay safe

Richard

The request for early dispatch of two sample guns - which had to be Colt manufacture in February/March - was for among other reasons, the production of training manuals. Production and the writing of these pamphlets takes a while, no time to waste waiting for the first shipment of 180 (178) guns in a few months time. So it is not random that this Thompson in the photo with a horizontal forend is a Colt gun. I only wish the serial number could be read. Perhaps it is the same as the one in the Imperial War Museum? Could be another one that was located from within the UK, perhaps from Parker Hale who did advertise them in one of there catalogues or BSA who seemed to be the UK agent for some years, no way of knowing unless a high resolution copy of the photo turns up allowing the s/n to be read.

Arthur, I agree that some of the first 180 guns, in addition to the 2 that had to be Colts, could also have been Colt made guns as well. There is no definitive proof either way, unless a list of serial numbers of the first shipment turns up in an obscure file in the U.K. or U.S.A. Unlikely I know but these things do happen. I have found the list of 200 serial numbers for the second shipment of Colt made AR15's that the U.K. purchased in around 1963. The first shipment was for 100 rifles, I have not located this list - worst luck.

Anyway this has been a really good thread if you are into British service stuff. Personally, I still think and its only an opinion that the 178 guns of the 180 first shipment were Savage made, based mainly on the combined order of 750 guns being cancelled and then a fresh order for the same number being placed. Also the lack of surviving Colt guns with British ordnance markings, which in the 14,XXX serial number range is precisely one known example. As I said none of this is proof, just circumstantial.

 

Regards

 

AlanD

Sydney


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#46 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:43 PM

Richard

Arthur, I agree that some of the first 180 guns, in addition to the 2 that had to be Colts, could also have been Colt made guns as well. There is no definitive proof either way, unless a list of serial numbers of the first shipment turns up in an obscure file in the U.K. or U.S.A. 

 

Exactly!

 

There is also an alternate route the Colt Tommy Gun made it to Great Britain during the early days of WWII  that didn't pass through AOC or Savage in Utica, New York. 

 

On page  164 in Des Turner's  "Station 12: SOE'S  Secret Weapons Center,"   SOE agent Arthur Christie, who was assigned to the laboratory at Aston House in April 1940, describes the weapons American private citizens donated to the British war effort.

 

"Shortly after Dunkirk, the Arms to Britain campaign started in America. This was a gesture of support to help us with the war effort. As a result of this, we received boxes and boxes of arms. There were all kinds of rifles, revolvers, pistols, automatics, sub-machine guns, and a Colt machine gun that had last seen action in the Cuban/American War. Alf and I had to unpack them all and of course try them out."

 

 

November 1940 American Rifleman:

 

SEND A GUN TO DEFEND A BRITISH HOME: British civilians, faced with threat of invasion, desperately need arms for defense of their homes. THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE FOR THE DEFENSE OF BRITISH HOMES has organized to collect gifts of pistols, rifles, revolvers, shotguns, binoculars from American civilians who wish to answer the call and aide in defense of British homes. The arms are being shipped with the consent of the British Government, to CIVILIAN COMMITTEE FOR PROTECTION OF HOMES, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND"

 

https://www.american...a-british-home/


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#47 TD.

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 09:56 AM

The Swedish order runs the gamut of Colt serial numbers from the low of #2091, #2291 to #15025.   

 

Interesting. Regardless of all the documentation indicating the first Savage manufactured Thompson guns were shipped to Great Britain in the second shipment of 180 guns, some defer back to conjecture, opinion and circumstantial thoughts that a few of these 180 guns were Colt's. I could read this in today's New York Times and Washington Post :)

 

Just to set the record straight, Colt's NO 15025 was not part of the Swedish order. Registration documentation at the IRS beginning in 1939 to present indicates NO 15025 never left the USA. Regarding NO 2091 and NO 2291, there are no pictures I am aware of that shows these Colt's with the hand stamped letter "A" after the model nomenclature. Without this marking, there is no way to associate these early Colt's with the 1940 Swedish order. However, there is documentation that the Swedish government tested the Thompson submachine gun many years prior to World War II. See page 295 of The Ultimate Thompson Book. Gordon Herigstad reported NO 2091 as a Model of 1921 and NO 2291 as a 1928 NAVY A. Absent any nomenclature markings mirroring the added "A" marking as found on the 500 gun order in 1940, it is logical to assume NO 2091 and NO 2291 were in the Swedish military inventory long before World War II - and probably used in the documented Swedish military testing. The nomenclature on these two Colt's will certainly tell the story, if available.  

 

I will have copies of Great Britain - The Tommy Gun Story available at the Thompson Collection Association Show & Shoot this weekend. I encourge everyone to come by and take a look. All comments are always welcome.   


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#48 AlanDavid

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 09:25 PM

Arthur

Just to clarify, I am still of the belief that 748 of the initial order of 750 guns were made by Savage, but am open to new information coming along to disprove this, but I doubt this will happen, in view of what has already been uncovered by researchers around the world, which seems fairly compelling to me, but thats just my opinion.

There certainly were Colt guns that made it to the UK both before the War, being the imports of BSA and Hugh Pollard. During the war there was the quantity of refurbished guns that the UK got as part of a reconciliation of the French government account when the BPC took over all French contracts placed through the Anglo French Purchasing Commission, after the fall of France.

In addition to these are the Colt Thompson's collected through the American Committee for Defense of British Homes, along with the Thompson's used by the American Motorized Squadron Home Guard based in London - see photo. Tom covers both these in his book.

For anyone who is interested in the American Committee for Defense of British Homes and the American Motorized Squadron, I would recommend a new book out, "To the Last Man - The Home Guard in War & Popular Culture" by Malcolm Atkin, published this year by Pen & Sword books. One chapter has 26 pages on these two topics and explains in detail the ACFDBH from its beginnings to its wind up after the war. All facts are fully referenced, so this is the the first publication to set the record straight and debunk all the urban myths and fairy tales that have been written so far. I did have the opportunity to read the proof chapter last year and make comments and suggestions. It is good to finally set the record straight.Out of interest and getting back to the point one of the files in the National Archives in London that covers the ACFDBH, there are about a dozen of them, does have about 20 pages of guns and serial numbers. Unfortunately, a lot of the information is spartan such as Shotgun single barrel, S/N 123456, or Luger pistol, S/N 123456 and so on, which is pretty meaningless. I will try and relocate the file and see if there are any Thompson' serial numbers buried within it , that I missed last time. I will be there in November this year.

 

 

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#49 Mk VII

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 01:01 PM

There is a telegram in AVIA 38/355 from Charles Suydam Cutting confirming 70 Thompsons sent by the American Committee have arrived safely.  

 

medium800.jpg


Edited by Mk VII, 05 October 2019 - 01:08 PM.

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#50 AlanDavid

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 09:01 PM

Excellent detail on the shipments of the two batches, giving the total of 110 Thompson guns.

 

Regards

AlanD


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#51 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:48 AM

Arthur

Just to clarify, I am still of the belief that 748 of the initial order of 750 guns were made by Savage, but am open to new information coming along to disprove this, but I doubt this will happen, in view of what has already been uncovered by researchers around the world, which seems fairly compelling to me, but thats just my opinion.

 

In addition to these are the Colt Thompson's collected through the American Committee for Defense of British Homes, along with the Thompson's used by the American Motorized Squadron Home Guard based in London - see photo. Tom covers both these in his book.

 Alan,

 

It is those initial 180 TSMGs delivered to AOC April 16, 1940 that were supposed to be all of Savage manufacture where the research is sketchy.  Considering the total production for that month was 201, it would be beneficial to know when in April Savage  production began  and what were the production numbers by the week in that month in order to eliminate the logical conclusion that the Colt TSMGs in AOC inventory brought the available numbers up to 180 by that date.

 

Back in 2017 (see thread) I posted that 1940 photo of American movie house architect Howard Crane Home Guard posing with what I tagged as a Colt 1928 TSMG.  Tom doubted that the TSMG in the photo was a Colt. 

 

http://www.machinegu...topic=20475&hl=


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#52 AlanDavid

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 07:23 PM

I suspect that the level of detail for the production of guns in April to categorically proof either hypothesis, is just not available; unless someone knows better?

But the preponderance of evidence that is available as enumerated in the above posts does point to the the first shipment of 180 guns being Savage manufacture, and so 748 of the first 750 guns also being Savage manufacture. Weather this is all beyond "reasonable doubt" is a matter of opinion...

 

The photo of Howard Craig is wonderful. Its the only photo I have seen of the American Squadron with a Thompson, has anyone else come across another photo of members of this unit with Thompson's? I have got a photo of them training with a number of "Potato Diggers", haven't looked at the photo in a while but think it was the Model 1914, rather than Model 1895.

The exact number of Thompson's and where they came from has a couple of different explanations depending on what source you read.

As to weather its a Colt or a Savage in the photo I don't know but the finish looks the same as my British marked 1928 Savage, but photos can be deceptive to say the least.

Regards

AlanD

 

 

 

 


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