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How Many Thompsons?


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#1 Ron Mills

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 07:35 PM

I was wondering, and tried a search on this: Does anybody know if there was a fixed number of Thompson gunners assigned to a typical infantry squad in WW2? I know the bulk of the guys carried the M1 Garand; and there was the occasional BAR, I think 1 per squad. But what about our beloved Thompson?

I thought I'd ask, since I couldn't hunt it up anywhere else.

Ron
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#2 bigred

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 07:58 PM

Hey Ron,
If I remember it correctly, the normal Infantry TO&E pretty much has only Officers and NCO's armed with Thompsons. However that was on a preference basis. The NCO or officer could carry a carbine, Garand, Thompson, or M3 depending upon availability and preference.

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#3 Hawkeye_Joe

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 08:20 PM

QUOTE (colt21a @ Sep 1 2004, 07:46 PM)
and if you rode inside a m-3 grant tank in the desert.joe gunn carried one.

take care,ron



Hey Ron.. the one in Sahara was an M-3 Lee.. the Grant was a British version with a different turret config..

Lee:
user posted image

Grant:
user posted image
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#4 TSMGguy

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 01:30 PM

See Tracie Hill's book, Thompson, The American Legend, starting on page 206 for a discussion that includes answers to this very question. The Airborne, by TO&E, carried many more Thompsons than other US infantry units.

The Thompson was very highly regarded by Airborne troopers, as exerpts from questionaires show in Mark Bando's book, 101st Airborne; The Screaming Eagles At Normandy.

Both books are excellent cover-to-cover reads!

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#5 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 05:14 PM

Tracie should put out an addendum addressing the discovered mistakes since the initial publication of his book. It would sure help settle some confusion stemming from some erroneous information that many novice readers accept as fact.
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#6 colt21a

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 11:34 AM

everybody makes mistake's......have you looked at a platapus lately???ron
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#7 Ron Mills

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 02:36 PM

Thanks for all the replies, fellas. I don't have Tracie's book, though. I had heard that most of the 101st & 82nd guys carried Thompsons or m3's. By the way, what is TO&E?
Of course, a good knee-slapper from The Respected One keeps things hopping here!

Thanks again,

Ron/Chicago
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#8 bigred

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 03:12 PM

TO&E - Table of Organization and Equipment - if I remember correctly.

The most common firearm in both infantry and airborne was the revered M-1 Garand. But the airborne did have a higher ratio of Thompson's than the infantry. I know one airborne vets chose to carry an M-1 over a Thompson in Normandy (open fields/longer range fighting), and then took a Thompson to Holland cause he figured there'd be more house to house fighting. Usually the infantryman just used what was given to him.
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#9 Ron Mills

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 04:07 PM

OK, I may be going off-topic, but did the infantrymen get training on all the long arms (M1, carbine, BAR, Thompson, M3 when it came out)?

Thanks again,

Ron
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