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Thompson Guns in British & Aussie Service


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#1 rpbcps

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 05:11 PM

Kent Home Guard with TSMG & Lewis gun

Attached File  Kent HG with TSMG.jpg   43.64K   76 downloads

 

Ulster Home guard unit 1943

Attached File  Ulster HG 1943.jpg   33.74K   87 downloads

 

Australian Home Guard 1943

Attached File  Bill Hart Australian LDV 1943.jpg   47.57K   87 downloads

 

1st Battalion Grenadier Guards 1941

Attached File  1st Bat Grenadier Guards Jan 1941.JPG   96.89K   85 downloads

 

Corporal of the 2nd Battalion Northamptonshire Regt. with well worn TSMG, awaiting to board for Italy 1943

Attached File  2nd Batt Northamptonshire Regt. awaiting to board for Invasion of Italy 02.09.43.JPG   152.6K   90 downloads

 

5th Battalion Northamptonshire's Training in UK 1942

Attached File  5th Northamptonshires in Trg 1942.JPG   94.29K   82 downloads

 

Belgium Soldier in training, Tenby UK 1941

Attached File  Belgium Soldier Trg Tenby UK 02.41.JPG   108.79K   82 downloads

 

British Commando Officer and US Rangers, 29th Battalion

Attached File  Cmdo Lt John Lee Warner, instructs US 29th Ranger Batt..jpg   155.73K   94 downloads

 

101 Troop, Special Service Brigade in Training 1941

Attached File  Captain Gerald C. S. Montanaro of 101 Troop, Special Service Brigade, trg in Scotland, 9 October 1941. .png   704.63K   105 downloads

 

Surrender of Japanese Garrison Hong Kong 1945

Attached File  Hong Kong 1945 surrender of the Japanese garrison.jpg   96.3K   99 downloads

 

 

 

Stay safe

 

Richard


Edited by rpbcps, 28 March 2020 - 05:21 PM.

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#2 Ivan

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 05:47 PM

Great pics !  Captain Montanaro  looked ready with his P08 Artillery Model W/ snail drum magazine !


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#3 Stormin

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 02:31 PM

Always fun to see pictures of the TSMG in action...


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#4 APEXgunparts

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 03:04 PM

Now I know how the British carried the BOYS A/T rifle into battle!
My father trained with the Thompson (as well as a whole lot of other firearms) when he was a member of the LDV (before the "Home Guard" was created)

He said the Thompson was a 2 person team, one person was the guns "operator" and the other bloke wore the vest with the drums stored in it (front and back)
He said the vest of drums was very heavy, and not very pleasant to wear.

Richard


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#5 Taliaferro

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 04:47 AM

Interesting that almost all of the troops with TSMG w/ drums have the bolt forward. Which means that the guns are empty (I hope)

or someone has one in the pipe with the bolt closed (Yikes).

 

Tracie


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#6 john

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 06:23 AM

Anyone have any photographs of the Hertfordshire Home Guard?
I used to collect Commando, ARP and Home Guard stuff years ago and bought a lot from a lady there. It has muster books, gunnery practice books, other misc paperwork as well as a whistle, a couple cap badges, etc.
Have to dig it out and see if there's a serial number listing if their Thompson's but recall they had two of them.....
If anyone has any information please let me know.
TIA.

john
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#7 rpbcps

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 10:55 AM

Anyone have any photographs of the Hertfordshire Home Guard?
I used to collect Commando, ARP and Home Guard stuff years ago and bought a lot from a lady there. It has muster books, gunnery practice books, other misc paperwork as well as a whistle, a couple cap badges, etc.
Have to dig it out and see if there's a serial number listing if their Thompson's but recall they had two of them.....
If anyone has any information please let me know.
TIA.

john

 

In my collection I have one photo of the Hertfordshire HG

 

Attached File  Hertfordshire Home Guard.JPG   78.17K   45 downloads


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#8 Bridgeport28A1

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 12:45 PM

Some of those pictured in the back row look fairly young. Was there a minimum age for Home Guard Service?
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#9 rpbcps

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 03:06 PM

Some of those pictured in the back row look fairly young. Was there a minimum age for Home Guard Service?

 

17, if I recall correctly.

 

Stay safe

Richard


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#10 m3bobby

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 12:52 AM

Interesting that almost all of the troops with TSMG w/ drums have the bolt forward. Which means that the guns are empty (I hope)
or someone has one in the pipe with the bolt closed (Yikes).
 
Tracie


They say that a lot of the photos with Thompsons were staged propaganda shots that were going to be published. This way they hoped the Germans would see them and think the use of the Thompson was widespread and without the U boat menace causing a hinderance.
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#11 rpbcps

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 05:29 AM

Interesting that almost all of the troops with TSMG w/ drums have the bolt forward. Which means that the guns are empty (I hope)
or someone has one in the pipe with the bolt closed (Yikes).
 
Tracie

They say that a lot of the photos with Thompsons were staged propaganda shots that were going to be published. This way they hoped the Germans would see them and think the use of the Thompson was widespread and without the U boat menace causing a hinderance.

 

In the past I have read the same about the early photos taken in 1940 when we had our backs against the wall having left a lot of military hardware on the beaches of France. I have also read that the same guns were originally used for propaganda photo shots with different units to give the impression there were more Thompsons in British service, than there actually was, in 1940.

 

There was initially a shortage of .45 ammunition for them, which was not standard for the British army, when the Thompsons were first being issued to British home guard units in 1940. Many units were issued new Thompsons, albeit initially with no ammunition. Peter Evans, ex-East Yorkshire Home Guard, is quoted as saying:

 

“We had two Thompson guns and several dozen Enfield Pattern 1917 rifles, which were chambered for the [American] .30-calibre ammunition, but we were issued with .303 cartridges which were no use. We had no ammunition at all for the Thompsons though, and were told that in the event of invasion we were to apply to the nearest regular army headquarters for a supply of cartridges. This was daft, because they were 20 miles away, which meant we’d have to fight our way to get there with useless guns in order to get our ammunition! Things got much better later on, though, and we eventually became very well armed; indeed, we had something like 20 Thompsons, as well as Browning machine guns, mortars and Enfield rifles. When we were photographed, we looked like a regular army unit.”

 

Stay safe

 

Richard


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#12 rpbcps

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 05:59 AM

Great pics !  Captain Montanaro  looked ready with his P08 Artillery Model W/ snail drum magazine !

 

Captain Montanaro was a veteran of the Royal Engineers who was evacuate from Dunkirk in 1940 prior to joining the 101 Troop No.6 Commando.

He earned the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished service on 11/12 April 1942 at Boulogne harbour, in France:

 

"On the night of 11/12 April 1942 Captain Montanaro accompanied by Trooper Preece, entered Boulogne Harbour in a canoe which had been taken by a Motor Launch to about one and a half miles from the harbour entrance. Successfully avoiding detection by the breakwater forts, and a number of vessels which were active in the harbour, they manoeuvred the canoe alongside an enemy tanker to which eight explosive charges were attached below water. They withdrew still undetected and commenced their return across channel without great expectation of being picked up until daylight some four hours later. The canoe had suffered some damage during the operation and the sea conditions were deteriorating so that it was fortunate that as planned the motor launch was able to make contact and pick them up  an hour after they had left Boulogne Harbour, by which time they were 2 to 3 miles clear of the enemy coast. Subsequent air reconnaissance has established that the tanker was damaged and beached. Captain Montanaro displayed a high degree of courage, resolution, and indifference to danger, as well as skill in successfully carrying out this operation.".

 

He later joined the Special Boat Section (Home) (2 S.B.S.) and was the Chief Instructor in the early days until detached to command the Mobile Flotation Unit, being granted a commission as Lt. Commander in the Royal Navy and left the S.B.S

 

Ref: the LP08, although a little off topic for this board, my other passion is the Luger, and amongst those in my collection, I have a couple of LP08 Artillery examples, including a rare example from the Persian Mauser contract in the 1930's, with all the markings in Farsi, including the serial numbers.

 

Attached File  LP08 Holster Rig 3.JPG   151.5K   12 downloads  Attached File  3124 Toggle 'Arms Factory Mauser' markings.JPG   157.5K   11 downloads   Attached File  3124 Farsi Safety.JPG   169.5K   10 downloads

 

Stay safe

Richard

 

 

 


Edited by rpbcps, 31 March 2020 - 06:00 AM.

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#13 APEXgunparts

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 10:36 AM

 

Interesting that almost all of the troops with TSMG w/ drums have the bolt forward. Which means that the guns are empty (I hope)
or someone has one in the pipe with the bolt closed (Yikes).
 
Tracie

They say that a lot of the photos with Thompsons were staged propaganda shots that were going to be published. This way they hoped the Germans would see them and think the use of the Thompson was widespread and without the U boat menace causing a hinderance.

 

In the past I have read the same about the early photos taken in 1940 when we had our backs against the wall having left a lot of military hardware on the beaches of France. I have also read that the same guns were originally used for propaganda photo shots with different units to give the impression there were more Thompsons in British service, than there actually was, in 1940.

 

There was initially a shortage of .45 ammunition for them, which was not standard for the British army, when the Thompsons were first being issued to British home guard units in 1940. Many units were issued new Thompsons, albeit initially with no ammunition. Peter Evans, ex-East Yorkshire Home Guard, is quoted as saying:

 

“We had two Thompson guns and several dozen Enfield Pattern 1917 rifles, which were chambered for the [American] .30-calibre ammunition, but we were issued with .303 cartridges which were no use. We had no ammunition at all for the Thompsons though, and were told that in the event of invasion we were to apply to the nearest regular army headquarters for a supply of cartridges. This was daft, because they were 20 miles away, which meant we’d have to fight our way to get there with useless guns in order to get our ammunition! Things got much better later on, though, and we eventually became very well armed; indeed, we had something like 20 Thompsons, as well as Browning machine guns, mortars and Enfield rifles. When we were photographed, we looked like a regular army unit.”

 

Stay safe

 

Richard


My Father mentioned that even though they (the LDV "Local Defense Volunteers") had practiced with many different types of small arms (including the PIAT & BOYS), he spent nights on "guard duty" out on the Yorkshire Moors watching for glider or paratroops armed with a WWI vintage 303 ROSS Rifle.
He was not impressed with the ROSS, and remembered having to stand it on its butt and using his boot heel to unlock/open the bolt.

He and the other LDV members did manage to bag some small game while on patrol! (filled the stew pot)
That practice was discouraged and they had to start accounting for every round.

Richard


Edited by APEXgunparts, 31 March 2020 - 10:36 AM.

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#14 Uncle Dudley

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 05:42 AM

A soldier of the 1st Company, 13th Battalion, 5th Wilno Brigade (5th Kresowa Division, 2nd Polish Corps) demonstrating a method of operating the 'George' (Jurek) or 'Polish V3' decoy dummy soldier, 24 March 1945. It was designed to divert enemy fire and, at the same time, to gauge the strength of the enemy fire power. Photograph taken at the company position at River Senio, 400 metres from the enemy line. -

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#15 GeeRam

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 11:46 AM

Some of those pictured in the back row look fairly young. Was there a minimum age for Home Guard Service?

 

17, if I recall correctly.

 

Stay safe

Richard

 

Yes, my late father joined his works HG unit at 17 in September 1943, 6th Middlesex HG. He was an apprentice at the aircraft components factory that his father worked at, and they were both in the same HG unit. His father died on HG service a few month later in November 1943 after being injured in an ammunition explosion at the nearby anti-aircraft site that they had responsibility for guarding. Two female AA gunner's were killed in the same incident. My grandfather was hospitalised with his injures and while in hospital he contracted meningitis from another patient and died a few weeks later. It took my grandmother 5 years of battling the War Dept to gain a widows pension from the War Dept.

My father didn't fire a Thompson until over a year later after he joined the Army as a regular on 7th December 1944.


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#16 john

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 08:49 PM

Well, I thank you Richard, as well as the knowledge and insight from others additions to the string.
It is interesting to see such a wide age range but that's how they rolled.
The books I received were muster books which included drilling, shooting and scores, general meetings, educational classes they took part in and roll calls, as well as other various duties.
Now I just need to dig those out and see if I can learn more about this group.
There's a BAR next to the Thompson too.
As Spock always said, Fascinating.

john

Edited by john, 28 April 2020 - 08:50 PM.

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#17 DZelenka

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 12:07 PM

Can anyone tell me about the checkered horizontal fore ends? Were those unique to British guns or were they used by other commonwealth forces?

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#18 rpbcps

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 04:22 PM

I am led to believe they were used by commonwealth forces, not just British army, during the Burma campaign to assist with grip in wet muddy jungle conditions

Stay safe
Richard
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#19 DZelenka

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 08:45 AM

I am led to believe they were used by commonwealth forces, not just British army, during the Burma campaign to assist with grip in wet muddy jungle conditions

Stay safe
Richard

 

So not in the ETO?


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#20 DZelenka

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 08:46 AM

This gun was an early 1990s Century Arms import. Does anyone know where Century got their TSMGs during that time frame?


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