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Savage Restores U.K. Bound Sea Damaged Colt TSMGs


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#21 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 07:15 PM

 All of this is covered from documented sources in the records from the British National Archives in my first book, Great Britain - The Tommy Gun Story. 

 

Perhaps you could further elaborate on the documents your researcher James West produced for your book. The "Pre Lease Lende Requirements" hand scribbled document seems to say under the heading  "No Ordered" and 'Presently Delivered" the same figure  "750" with a date of  March 2, 1940.   Is this an example of  a British clerk typo or sloppy record keeping?


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#22 TD.

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 09:58 PM

Your correct. James West did a great job! By the way, the date is February 2, 1940. I wonder how many of those 748 Savage Thompsons were in the 15,000 serial number range. 


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#23 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 08:28 AM

 I wonder how many of those 748 Savage Thompsons were in the 15,000 serial number range. 

 

Meaning that only two of the 750 were of Colt manufacture and 748 were of Savage.

 

And for this conclusion, you are relying on the WO-185/12 war office file document for this information in your book, yes?  This stated that  two guns with some ammunition were shipped in March for testing and 180 more were shipped out in the mid April time frame. Of course the document doesn't say these were Savage or Colt TSMGs.  182 of these Thompsons were equipped with horizontal foregrips while the the rest of the 750 had vertical foregrips.  

 

1.  The British already had Colt TSMGs to conduct tests on back in the 1920's/30s as you postulated back in 2013 on this board. What was the purpose of the British War Office wasting time retesting Colt MODEL 1921/28 special delivered in March, 1940 ahead of the April delivery?

 

2.  The French ordered 3000 Colt TSMGS from AOC on November 1, 1939.  That order was not delivered to France until January of February, 1940.  Savage production numbers in the month of April, 1940 was a total of 201 TSMGs. But AOC  is supposed to have delivered to the U.K. 180 Savage TSMGS  around April 19, 1940.  

 

3. The first sighting of these earliest 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. (see photo)

Attached File  024.JPG   63.46K   8 downloads

 

4. The April, 1940 order of 180 TSMGs  is supposed to have been transported on the S.S. Eastern Prince/Empire Medway.  In 1940 she made seven round trips between the U.K. and Canada before being converted to a troop ship December, 1940. This would cut the time table even more to account for transportation to Canada and make one of the seven Eastern Prince crossings and still arrive in the U.K. in April.

 

What is the standard for determining which British records are 100% reliable and which are  considered human errors of recording?

 

Gordon Herigstad's contrary conclusion that the British order of 750 TSMGS were among the 4,250  Colt TSMGs exported in 1940 seems more plausible especially factoring in the history of AOC's time table of actually shipping out foreign orders  months after they were placed even when they had the TSMGs in stock as was the case in the French order.   That some of the 750 were in the 15,000 serial number range is indeed likely. But it is more likely they were Colts in that range that arrived in  mid April rather than Savages.   


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#24 dalbert

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 10:05 AM

1.  The British already had Colt TSMGs to conduct tests on back in the 1920's/30s as you postulated back in 2013 on this board. What was the purpose of the British War Office wasting time retesting Colt MODEL 1921/28 special delivered in March, 1940 ahead of the April delivery?

 

Arthur,

 

The argument above has no legs.  The decision makers change, and would have been different in 1940 than the 1920's.  Maybe they wanted to test Thompsons for a particular reason that was different than the earlier test.  They didn't adopt the Thompson based on the earlier tests.  Perhaps they thought the earlier tests may have missed something.  They didn't have other available SMG's to choose from.  Maybe their adoption process required a recent test?  There was a war going on, and they wanted to see and test the Thompson.  Wouldn't you want to see and test it, as well?

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


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#25 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 08:08 PM

The argument above has no legs.  

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

 Dave,

 

I concede your valid point. However.........The Limeys and Frogs were Allies. The AEF were in France at the time of this U.K. March, 1940 request of AOC.  If anyone, other than AOC and the French Government, knew about these 3,000 Colts arrival in France in January/February, 1940, it was the Brits.  As you say there was a war on and time was of the essence.  Why not  borrow two Colts from the French Army and send them 20 miles across the channel back to England for this unspecified testing  rather than send to the Colonies 3,000 miles away for the same type TSMGs?   Surely this logical assumption has Cyd Charisse possibilities?


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#26 TD.

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:09 AM

 I wonder how many of those 748 Savage Thompsons were in the 15,000 serial number range. 

 

Gordon Herigstad's contrary conclusion that the British order of 750 TSMGS were among the 4,250  Colt TSMGs exported in 1940 seems more plausible especially factoring in the history of AOC's time table of actually shipping out foreign orders  months after they were placed even when they had the TSMGs in stock as was the case in the French order.   That some of the 750 were in the 15,000 serial number range is indeed likely. But it is more likely they were Colts in that range that arrived in  mid April rather than Savages.   

 

Gordon's contrary conclusion omitted a critical piece of documentation that was published in The Ultimate Thompson Book in 2009 (and earlier in Small Arms Review (SAR) magazine. The documentation is referenced on the top of page 290 and is contained in the chapter, Colt Thompsons in Swedish Service. On or about January 18, 1940, Auto-Ordnance officials told the British Supply Board that 600 Thompson guns without compensators were available for purchase for $175 per gun. Compensators were $25 more. This same documentation was included in Great Britain -  The Tommy Gun Story on page 2, footnote 3. Of course, the Swedish government purchased 500 of these 600 available Colt's as Model of 1928 A or without compensators. 

 

The two Colt's shipped on March 14, 1940 to the Director of Artillery, Ministry of Supply (MoS), were to be used in the "fabrication of carrying chests (page 3, footnotes 15 and 17)."  The reason I know these two Thompsons were Colt's is because the first Savage guns were not completed until April 1940. And yes, 180 of the first 201 Savage Thompson guns were shipped to Great Britain on April 16, 1940.

 

The first documented receipt of Thompson guns by the British military after the shipment of the two Colt's in March 1940 was the 180 Savage Thompson guns shipped on April 16th. It took 5 shipments to complete the first British order of 750 guns. The first 10 or 11 pages of GB - TTGS replaces all the conjecture published and banded about for years regarding Colt guns being shipped to Great Britain in the early days of the war. Unfortunately, Gordon was very sick when GB - TTGS was first published. I am fairly certain he never read the book. I would have enjoyed our discussion. One reason for the footnotes is to show documentation exists to support what actually transpired in 1939 and 1940. That said, I know some will always believe otherwise, perhaps even Gordon. And I am OK with that!      


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#27 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 02:04 PM

Gordon's contrary conclusion omitted a critical piece of documentation that was published in The Ultimate Thompson Book in 2009 (and earlier in Small Arms Review (SAR) magazine. The documentation is referenced on the top of page 290 and is contained in the chapter, Colt Thompsons in Swedish Service

 

The two Colt's shipped on March 14, 1940 to the Director of Artillery, Ministry of Supply (MoS), were to be used in the "fabrication of carrying chests (page 3, footnotes 15 and 17)."  The reason I know these two Thompsons were Colt's is because the first Savage guns were not completed until April 1940. And yes, 180 of the first 201 Savage Thompson guns were shipped to Great Britain on April 16, 1940.

 

 I am fairly certain he never read the book.

 

"Present position 600 without compensator available now."

This January 18, 1940 telegram from the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Canada seems to be the sine qua non for negating the reasonable conclusion that the first TSMGs to arrive in the U.K. from the USA were of Colt manufacture.   This is not a telegram from Auto-Ordnance Corporation stating that the entire lot of TSMGs consists of a total of 600.  

 

Auto-Ordnance Corporation puts out a brand new catalog in 1940 advertising the immediate availability of Colt MODEL 1928A and Colt MODEL 1928AC.   No indication that perspective buyers had better hurry as  there are only 600 ( or  only 100 depending when this catalog came out in early 1940)  still available.  Did AOC inform the Swedes that there were only 600 total TSMGs in inventory when they submitted their two orders the first for 500? Why wouldn't they have grabbed another 100 MODEL 1921A  knowing that was all there would be until some unknown point in the future?  

 

G.H. certainly read  Hill's 2009 TUTB as he includes in his 2014 book a special gratitude to Tracie Hill and Richard Karlson for "concerted effort in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, researching and retrieving lost Colt Thompson history in that part of the world."  G.H., like others, no doubt read the "600 without compensators"  and did not interpret that to mean there are a total of 600 of any type Colt TSMGs in inventory.

 

The type of Colt TSMGs required for the  "fabrication of carrying chests" (see photo from Imperial War Museum) were with Cutts Compensators and this is why they couldn't borrow any examples from the supply of French Colt MODEL 1921A?  But this would mean that AOC had in stock Colt MODEL 1928AC ready to ship out in March for the Brits to take measurements.  

Attached File  Imperial War Museum TSMG chest.JPG   85.08K   6 downloads

 

G.H. also no doubt read another passage in Hill's TUTB.

 

"French researcher/author Jean Huon stated that the French order of 3,700 were delivered to France February, 1940.-and that they were mostly 1921A and a few "previously reconfigured MODEL 1928s"

 

If the 3,700, not the 3,000 were accurate that would set up an additional problem for AOC filling the Swedish order of 500.  How many MODEL 1928AC that were previously reconfigured is what is missing from the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Canada telegram.

 

 

SAVAGE ARMS MODEL OF 1928 A THOMPSON SUBMACHINE GUN
By Tom Davis, Jr.

"One of the most interesting pictures of 1928 style Thompsons without compensators was found at the British Hulton Archive of pictures. It is titled: Two members of the Home Guard, armed with American Thompson sub-machine or 'Tommy' guns, during training at a rifle range in Western Command. The date of the picture, 1/1/1939, is incorrect as the Local Defence Volunteers or LDV was not established until May 17, 1940 and later renamed the Home Guard on July 22, 1940. The two Thompson guns without compensators are clearly visible."

 

 

"...procurement of Savage Model of 1928 A Thompsons (without compensators)  by the British government.

 The Ministry of Supply, SUPP 4-310 – Contract Record Books at the British National Archives are clearly dated 8.10.40. 

 

There have been no 1928 A models observed that appear to have been manufactured after November 1940."

 


 According to this officially correct document any TSMGs that appear in any newsreel/photo in Britain without a Cutts and with a horizontal foregrip before  October, 1940  is unequivocally  a Colt 1921/28A. That includes Home Guards armed with these in the Summer of 1940, yes

 

The Colt 1928A #14733 in the Imperial War Museum is stamped on left of receiver with a British Purchasing Commission acquisitions/British inspection mark broad arrow over crown, over E over 6 (?) over '40.  Any thoughts?

 

What was the total number of Savage TSMGs available to be shipped out Tuesday, April 19, 1940?  If the total for the month of April was 201, that would mean there were 100  available end of work week April 15 to be  prepared for cosmoline treatment and crating. Even if you pump up that half month total to 150,  how would it be possible for Savage to have 180 complete MODEL 1928AC ready at that moment in time and not include Colt TSMGs?

 

You sort of attempt to answer this question by referring to  a letter 7 months removed from April, 1940 delivery. 

 

"One question that has never been answered is what happened to the remaining 100 Colt manufactured Thompson guns in Auto-Ordnance inventory after the Swedish government made the 500 Thompson gun purchase. Why not ship these remaining 100 Colt guns to the British as part of their initial order? A partial answer to this question may be found in a letter from the British Purchasing Commission, the organization responsible for purchasing arms and war supplies from North American manufacturers, to the Ministry of Supply, dated November 6, 1940."

 

Now jump to this non sequitor:

 

  '149 new guns and 40 reconditioned second hand guns were to be provided to the British government free of charge by Auto-Ordnance as a penalty for not meeting the delivery schedule."

 

How could these "reconditioned second hand guns"  refer to the 100 Colt MODEL 1921/28A left over from the available 600 Colt TSMGs  the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Canada claimed were all that was left in AOC inventory?  This would mean that the 500 Colt MODEL 1928A  purchased by Sweden were second hand as well.


Edited by Arthur Fliegenheimer, 22 August 2019 - 02:06 PM.

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#28 TD.

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:58 AM

Arthur,

What you may not understand is the file(s) found at the National Archives by James West were not in any type order that allowed for complete comprehension of what actually transpired during the early days of the war. It took several years to read and comprehend the material and make it understandable for the reader. I found out later that Gordon had a look at some of these files before I did. Apparently, he decided it was not worth the effort to tell the story. Or he had other irons in the fire that involved Colt Thompsons. It also became obvious other authors had cherry picked certain details from the files over the years but never understood the complete context of the documentation. All your conjecture and what if's were valid points years ago when the complete story was not known. Some of my early thoughts were quite similar. However, the truth is now available for all to read. Perhaps, additional documentation or incontrovertible  evidence will surface in the future that will change or modify some of what I have written. To date, that has not happened. Not one word of Great Britain - The Tommy Gun Story has been shown to be incorrect (other than a few typos and grammar errors). One reason for the footnotes is to show documentation exists to support what actually transpired in 1939 and 1940. That said, I know some will always believe otherwise, perhaps even you and Gordon. And I am OK with that!    

 

As a side note, sales of GB-TTGS have recently taken an uptick. Perhaps this thread is the reason! 


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#29 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:06 PM

One reason for the footnotes is to show documentation exists to support what actually transpired in 1939 and 1940. 

 

As a side note, sales of GB-TTGS have recently taken an uptick. Perhaps this thread is the reason! 

 

Good to hear sales of GB-TTGS have been revitalized. If this thread can assume the blame, or rather credit, so much the better. Your book certainly raised additional questions in the pursuit of the "complete story."

 

Here's the thing.  Real time generated documentation is always preferred to recollections decades after the fact. Hamblin's recollection  is the catalyst  for this thread  But human error still exists in the recording of documents by bureaucratic bean counters as is demonstrated in your GB-TTGS.    Citations of a reference work in support of the main text does help the reader understand the origin for the author's conclusions.

 

Another form of a citation (footnote) for the purpose of  this discussion, that is just as compelling as a real time document, is the existence of an actual Colt 1928A Thompson that proves AOC included Colt  TSMGs to Great Britain along with Savage MODEL 1928  to bring the number up to 180 units by April 16, 1940.  

 

You did cite Colt 1928A #14733 (with 2nd model Cutts) in your "Colt Thompsons in Swedish Service" while omitting description of the telltale markings. Not saying this was an example of "cherry-picking"  as you may not have had all the relevant information regarding the markings on #14733 . 

 

You describe the Colt thusly:

 

"...the original purchaser(s)  and configuration of both of these guns (15025 and 14733) when they left the factory is unknown."

 

 While this may be true regarding #15025, it certainly is not the case with #14733.

 

What other possible explanation can there be for  the  existence of the British Purchasing Commission* acquisition inspection mark of a "broad arrow over crown, over E over 6 (?) over '40" on the left side of the receiver aside form this being an example of  Britain  purchasing from AOC this Colt 1928 TSMG(s)  in 1940. 

 

*

"The Inspection Board of the United Kingdom and Canada was formed 26 October 1940 and held its first meeting 15 November 1940. With equal representation of both countries,Its headquarters were in Ottawa, and it had an office in New York City. It was to inspect the production of war goods and resources, supplies and stores in Canada and the United States."


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#30 TD.

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 09:50 AM

Here's the thing, as stated on page 3 and page 8 of, Great Britain - The Tommy Gun Story, two (2) Colt manufactured Thompson guns were included in the original 750 gun British order. It took five shipments to complete this first order. The second through the fifth shipments fit perfectly with the known Savage production of the Thompson gun.  

 

NO 14733 is certainly an interesting Colt's. Unfortunately, there is no known past history. That said, I have no doubt NO 14733 ended up in Great Britain in 1940. Gordon published NO 14733 and NO 15025 appear to be part of the Swedish order. Gordon is speculating, or worse, guessing. He has no documentation of evidence of this. It is not something I would publish. I find NO 14988 to be equally as interesting. Perhaps, one day I will be able to find out the real story - and publish it.   


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#31 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 06:09 PM

It took five shipments to complete this first order. The second through the fifth shipments fit perfectly with the known Savage production of the Thompson gun.  

 

NO 14733 is certainly an interesting Colt's. Unfortunately, there is no known past history. That said, I have no doubt NO 14733 ended up in Great Britain in 1940. Gordon published NO 14733 and NO 15025 appear to be part of the Swedish order. Gordon is speculating, or worse, guessing. 

 

But it is that first Savage shipment of 180 to AOC in April 16, 1940 where the numbers do not add up if they do not include the left over 100 out of the 500  Colt TSMGs  the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Canada mentions in his telegram.  What explanation did you find in the archives in the U.S. or G.B. that eliminates at least these 100 Colts from consisting of the bulk  of the 180 shipment?  It certainly couldn't be the actual serial numbers of the TSMGs as those are not mentioned.  Why wouldn't those 100(?) Colts, that the Brits had knowledge of,  still be available April 16, 1940 as they were in February and March? 

 

When did Savage start manufacturing in April?  April Fools Day? The following Monday April 8? That date  is not mentioned in periodicals. In order to make all the 180 Savage TSMGs available by April 16, did Savage only produce  an  additional 21 TSMGs over the last 13 week days of the month to wind up with 201 total? Is it logical they were turning out fewer TSMGs during the 2nd half of the month? 

 

Aside from your unresolved issues with G.H.,  the past history of Colt #14733 is no more a mystery than the two (2)  Colt TSMGs you continue to maintain were the only examples sent from AOC to G.B. in 1940 or beyond.  Whether there is or isn't a connection to the Swedish order is irrelevant.  You can check all the boxes on #14733 just as you did on the two (2) Colts shipped in March.

  Manufacturer: Colt

 Model Type: 1928 (A) but with Cutts Compensator added
 Location: G.B.
 Original Purchaser:  British Purchasing Commission 
 Serial Number: 14733
 Date: 1940

 

Here is Colt 1921 #7882 with a buttstock swivel location favored by Brits in a Swedish museum that does not have the "A" stamp.

 

Attached File  Colt 1921A #7882 in Sweden GH listed as 1928 Navy Dallas COunty Sheriff's Department shipped June 1933.jpg   16.08K   16 downloads

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#32 TD.

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 10:27 PM

I believe and have documented the numbers do add up. However, your welcome to believe otherwise. I encourage you to publish your own story. And I do appreciate you purchasing my book. 

 

What museum in Sweden has NO 7882 on display? 


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#33 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 05:40 PM

What museum in Sweden has NO 7882 on display? 

 

Faktorimuseet in Eskilstuna.

 

 Couldn't find any information in the text or footnotes of GB:TTGS regarding Savage production numbers by end of week April 12, 1940 or the disposition of the 100 Colt TSMGs (left over from the 600) available for immediate delivery the U.K. High Commissioner in Canada mentions in his February telegram.

 

You did throw a bone to the G.H.  faithful with an entire page devoted to Colt U.S. Navy #4328.  Seems a lot of space for a  non Savage/AOC TSMG considering the Colt TSMGs are interlopers in The British Tommy Gun Story.

 

The total Savage production of TSMGs in 1940 was just under 43,000.  If  Savage continued with the Colt serial number 15,041, that would put the serial number of Savage TSMGs in the 58,000(?) range by January, 1941.  The  Savage MODEL 1928A do not  appear in photos in Great Britain  until March, 1941.   The date the Savage MODEL 1928A was ordered by the Brits is October 8, 1940.   Yet  Savage MODEL 1928A on display in G.B. are S-17359 and S-16739. 

 

For there to have been  4,560 Savage TSMGs already in G.B., or on there way, by end of Summer 1940, as stated in the National Archives,  these Savage 1928A examples would be above the 20,000 serial numbers to coincide with the October 8, 1940 date of The Ministry of Supply, SUPP 4-310-Contract Record Books at the British National Archives.  Why would a Savage in the 16,000 serial number range still be in inventory as late as October, 1940 when over 4,000 Savage TSMGs left the factory for G.B. by August, 1940?


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#34 TD.

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 01:29 PM

I have known about NO 7882 for a long time. I don't believe it is on display in a museum in Sweden...but it really does not matter.

 

So now you are looking at pictures. I do find pictures are important, especially the ones on Pages 19 & 20 in Great Britain - The Tommy Gun Story. It was nice being able to view the markings on the right side receiver and determine the Thompson in the picture was a Savage 1928A. Coupled with the documentation James West found at the National Archives, everything fell into place. 

 

I can tell you are possessed in proving some Colt's had to be included in the second shipment to Great Britain of the 180 guns that set sail on April 16, 1940. (The first shipment was the two Colt's that were shipped on March 14, 1940.) The production dates and figures from Savage Arms do not establish or even support your hypothesis. And more importantly, no earlier shipments involving Thompson guns were recorded in documentation at the National Archives. The forty second-hand guns given to the British as a penalty for not meeting the contract provisions of the second French contract put a pretty big dent in the possible 100 remaining Colt's There is also one recorded order in January 1940 for 8 Colt's to the US Marine Corps - see page 168 of American Thunder II. And the 2 Colt's shipped on March 14th. 

 

I have established the first order by the British of 750 guns was made up of 748 Savage Thompson guns in the 15,000 serial number range and two Colt's - all delivered as per documentation. I have only been able to document three surviving Savage Thompson guns in the 15,000 serial number range, none in original condition, and one frame. But I encourage you to keep looking for those Colt's as I do enjoy the conversation.     


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#35 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 11:39 AM

 Coupled with the documentation James West found at the National Archives, everything fell into place. 

 

The production dates and figures from Savage Arms do not establish or even support your hypothesis. 

 

There is also one recorded order in January 1940 for 8 Colt's to the US Marine Corps

 

 

 

Does James West post on this board?  Perhaps he could furnish the Savage document that states when they started production in April and when they had completed 180 Savage TSMGs in time to be shipped out by April, 16, 1940.  That would surely settle this mystery.

 

Still confused how S-17359 and S-16739. would be MODEL 1928A when the Brits didn't order 1928 TSMGs without Cutts until October, 1940.  Why would these first couple thousand Savages still be in Savage inventory  in October when Savage had shipped out over 4,000 TSMGs by early August? 

 

January and February of 1940 were busy months for AOC.   In December 1939, AOC subcontracted with Savage to make TSMGs.  While many of the machines to manufacture the Colt TSMG were still at Colt in the beginning of 1940,  AOC was moving equipment to the Utica, New York plant in December, January, February, etc.  This would suggest that Savage had the remaining Colt TSMGs at their factory by 1940.  Would that not be the location for where the Colt  1921A TSMGs  were converted to MODEL 1928A?   

 

As for the U.S.M.C. order for Colt MODEL 1928AC Navy in January, 1940, was that before or after the January 18, 1940 U.K.  High Commissioner in Canada telegram?  Did these already have type II Cutts  fixed (which would be outside the number of "600 without compensators available now"  as mentioned in the telegram)  or did Savage install Cutts Compensators  on Colt TSMGs as well as replace  the actuator, spring, pilot/buffer in the remaining stock of Colt TSMGS to make them MODEL1928?


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#36 TD.

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 12:32 PM

The Briish wanted vertical fore grips on the first order of 750 Thompson guns. The first shipment were the two Colt guns in March 1940.  As documented, the second and largest shipment to date of 180 guns were equipped with horizontal fore grips. Auto-Ordnance promised the remaining guns in the first order would be equipped with vertical fore grips.

 

What does that tell us. Most likely, Savage perfected the production of the horizontal fore grip prior to the vertical fore grip. Savage guns were shipped from the factory in Utica, New York. Any remaining Colt guns would have been located at the Colt plant in Hartford, Connecticut. These remaining Colt guns, if new, would have been Model of 1921As and equipped with vertical fore grips installed in 1922. Aside from having to convert the Model of 1921s to Model of 1928, AOC employees would have had to have removed the vertical fore grips, purchased, and installed horizontal fore grips (which the British did not order or want) and coordinate the shipment to the port so all the guns could be loaded at one time on the S.S. Eastern Prince. At this point in time, Auto-Ordnance had recently completed the Swedish Order so there would have been at least 500 unused vertical fore grips sitting in piles in the AOC space. This in itself shows there was little or no coordination between AOC in Hartford and Savage in Utica. What happened to all the extra parts and spares at Hartford. Most likely, everything that could be sold as spares was sold as spares. The remaining assets were packed away and shipped to the AOC space at Utica or the new Auto-Ordnance plant in Bridgeport.  

 

I am not confused one bit.   


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#37 Mike Hammer

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Posted 04 September 2019 - 01:51 PM

Whew...

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#38 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 07:56 PM

This in itself shows there was little or no coordination between AOC in Hartford and Savage in Utica. 

 

What happened to all the extra parts and spares at Hartford. Most likely, everything that could be sold as spares was sold as spares. The remaining assets were packed away and shipped to the AOC space at Utica or the new Auto-Ordnance plant in Bridgeport.  

 

The November 28, 1939 letter from Colts Executive VP  H.D. Fairweather to Savage Arms VP F.F. Hickey indicates there was a congenial relationship between the first subcontractor of the TSMG and the second subcontractor of the TSMG.  This is a month before AOC signed the contract with Savage to manufacture 10,000 TSMGs.

 

Why would any Colt TSMGs or AOC employees still be operating out of the cramped quarters at the Colt Hartford location by January, 1940 when Maguire had his subcontracted plant in Utica to process orders?

 

 How many AOC employees were still hanging out at the Hartford location and how much time did it require  to have transformed MODEL OF 1921 into the nearly 1000 Colt  "U.S. MODEL OF 1928 A1" TSMGs ordered by the U.S. Army in June 1939?  The last reference to AOC still having an office and store room at Colts Hartford plant is Summer of 1938.  By the end of December, 1939, everything that wasn't still required by Colt to make spare parts for the Colt TSMG was moved to the Utica, New York plant.  That would mean the remaining Colt TSMG inventory including the parts required to make a 1921 into a 1928AC or A. This would make it easy for Savage to make-up the order for 180 TSMGs to be shipped out April 16, 1940. 

 

We know that Savage also had no qualms making use of Colt TSMG receivers and parts as  they stamped the serial numbers  #2594, #7822 and #7886 on Colt manufactured and marked receivers and Savage NO. S-15960 has a Colt/Remington frame grip.  

 

It seems the only recorded date associated with Savage production during the month of April  is the Schedule 1 agreement between Savage and AOC dated April 23, 1940. Do you know of an earlier date recorded somewhere?

 

The memoirs of Eugene Daniel  Powers, Russell Maguire's attorney,  stated that during the enforcement period of the U.S. Neutrality Act, George Goll in the Fall of 1939 smuggled several Colt TSMGs into Canada to be shipped to the U.K. for "testing."  Guess you can the number of "several" (more than 2 less than 5?)  to the 2 Colt TSMGs shipped to the Brits in March, 1940.

 

You do recognize Powers as a reliable source as he is mentioned in glowing terms in your  "THE KILGORE MFG. COMPANY, WESTERVILLE OHIO" article.

 

"Unfortunately, the years after World War II were not very kind to Maguire Industries. Part of the reason may have been the loss of his Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer, Eugene Powers, who left Maguire Industries in June 1945. Powers had been with Maguire since the beginning of the Thompson venture; he was actively involved in the negotiations to purchase the Auto-Ordnance Corporation and the creation of the Thompson Automatic Arms Company. By 1949, Maguire Industries was having serious monetary losses. Powers came back to Maguire Industries in 1950, shortly after the sale of the Thompson, and returned the corporation to profitability."


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#39 TD.

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 12:24 PM

That is a lot of supposing and wishful thinking. Of course, that is all it is. I have documented what I know happened and footnoted the source. Everything seems to fit. But again, your welcome to believe what you want. 

 

We don't know Savage used any Colt receivers to meet their production goals. NO 2594 is a Model of 1923 Thompson gun. I don't think Savage was involved in the Auto-Ordnance Model of 1923 program. There is no documentation about NO 7822 or NO 7886 ever being at the Savage plant - only speculation. I am not convinced these are even Colt receivers but I don't want to speculate.  

 

Maybe the Goll smuggling adventure involving Canada allowed the British military to provide the six Colt's to the British Expeditionary Force in France in late 1939. I did add these into the number of possible Colt's sent to Great Britain during World War II - See pages 107 & 108 of GB - TTGS.

 

All good stuff!!!  

 

 


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#40 AlanDavid

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 02:36 AM

This is one of the best threads on the forum at the moment and on a topic I have some interest in. There are lots of interesting comments , it would take a long time to multi quote and respond to the various points so I will just make some overall comments, which will probably raise more questions than answers.

I have read the large file at the National Archives in London a couple of times and photographed some parts of it, but not the whole thing. The file is in date order with each page numbered in colored pencil or crayon. Like most of the files in any national archive it is not 100% complete, but it is the best file that we have. So a few points.

I do believe that of the 750 guns initially, only 2 of these were Colt made guns, the rest Savage. In the big file there is correspondence which states that the original order of 750 guns - which was really two orders of 300 and 450 - is cancelled and replaced by a new order for 750 guns. These no doubt being new manufacture by Savage. In fact 748 would be supplied as two were already received and were of Colt guns.

One of the reasons given in the earlier correspondence for getting two guns ahead of the main order was for use in preparing training pamphlets. My example of the British July 1940 TSMG Small Arms Training Pamphlet is not to hand, but if memory serves it has illustrations showing a Model 1928 with the horizontal forend.

This is the same configuration as 14733 in the Imperial War Museum This has the Enfield inspection mark and separate to this a '40 mark, which I take to be 1940. There is a probability that this is one of the two guns shipped in March. I have examined this gun myself and by chance was there when Gordon H was visiting the museum and watched him strip the gun down and examine it in front of the small arms curator. We will never know for sure if it is one of the two Colt guns shipped, but there seems to be fairly strong circumstantial evidence it is.

As far as British military marked Colt made guns are concerned, I am only aware of two. 14733 and another one posted on this forum years ago the photo for which I cant locate at the moment but was I think in the 8XXX serial number range.There are a couple of ways this may have entered the British military system but this would be speculative and I wont go into this topic now. Perhaps someone can post a photo if they still have it? So that's it only two British ordnance marked Colt made guns.

The earliest Savage made gun I have seen with British ordnance markings is S-15795 which had a verticle pistol grip, but this could have been a replacement.

Finally, onto the French order. In the big file in London is a letter perfectlly typed on wafer thin Air Mail paper from Auto Ordnance pitching the British government on placing an order for some Thompson guns and referring to an order they had for 3,000 guns for France. 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. This research was dome over 20 years ago and he did not still have a copy of this he could send me. I have no reason to doubt what Mr Huon has published. Interestingly when I was in College Park a few years ago looking for information on British Purchasing Commission orders, low and behold was the same figure quoted in some American government documents dated 1940. 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.

An example of this is the order from the British government to Colt in WW1 for 6,000 Vickers guns in .303 calibre. This order appears in numerous reports and projections in files in the National Archives in London, but not a single gun was made never mind delivered.

Hope the above is of some interest.

If anyone has seen another Colt made gun with British ordnance markings not mentioned above, please post the details!

 

Regards

Alan


Edited by AlanDavid, 08 September 2019 - 05:25 AM.

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