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M1928a1, M1 Thompsons At Normandy


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#1 TSMGguy

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 11:36 AM

This post is a follow-up to an earlier topic about the presence of both M1928A1 and M1/M1A1 TSMGs at Normandy. Here, a company commander and first sergeant of the 82nd Airborne Division contemplate a meal of ragout lapin Normandie (rabbit stew). The scanned photo is quite a bit larger and is of better quality, and in it can be seen that the '28A1 is cocked, locked, and safetied. There are many other interesting details, including the frayed pockets on the captain's M1941 jumpsuit, and the fact that both men still wear the M1938 horse-hide gloves, which were widely abandoned not long after the drops. The 82nd patches appear to be secured only in the corners, instead if being sewn on all the way around. Note the 20-round magazines, and scarves made of camouflaged parachute canopy.

user posted image

From the book, "The Thompson Submachine Gun", by Chris Ellis, Parkgate Books, Ltd., 1998. ISBN 1 902616 25 1

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#2 maverick4440

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 11:38 PM

That is a neat photo.
I hope You don't mind I saved that. I have read that the Rangers that assaulted Normandy were carrying 28's and there are big arguments about this among WWII reenactors. Nice to have photo proof of one in Normandy. There are also photo's of privates carrying thompsons and there was a kind of "Don't ask don't tell" policy regaurding weapons. If a guy picked up a thompson on the field and suddenly showed up with one no one asked how or where they got it. The brits also had thompsons so there was any number of ways one could be aquired. I also have some video footage of a GI with a Garand carrying a folded up MP40 on his pack as a back up close quarter weapon. Never know what You are going to see in WWII photos
maverick
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#3 TSMGguy

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 09:44 AM

You're right; I think they quite often 'run what they brung'. William A. Foley, in his book, "Visions From A Foxhole; A Rifleman in Patton's Ghost Corps', writes of his extensive infantry combat in the closing days of WWII. He tells of usually carrying his assigned M1, but of preferring the M3 for night patrols, and the TSMG for close-quarter work in buildings and towns. These additional weapons were picked up on the battlefield as needed. At inspections in the rear, each man carried his assigned weapon.
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#4 M1tommygun

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 10:40 AM

That is a neat photo. Do you have any more? I love to see unpublished photos. They tell some pretty incredible stories.

In Sgt. Joseph Beylre's book 'Behind Hitler's Lines', he stated as a radio operator he was issued a folding stock carbine. He did not care much for the knockdown power, so he obtained and jumped with, beside the carbine, a Thompson and a .45 auto and extra ammo for all three weapons. I have read where many times men obtained various weapons by unconventional means. My wife's grandfather, who just recently passed away, said he carried different weapons while fighting throughout Europe. I have seen a number of pictures of GIs carrying as their main weapon a MP44, and I have seen many pictures of the M1/M1A1 Thompson used in Normandy and before. For someone to say it was not there is like saying the P-47 Thunderbolt was not used in the Pacific theater of Operations.

Scott
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#5 Z3BigDaddy

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 11:23 AM

QUOTE (M1tommygun @ Sep 27 2004, 10:40 AM)
That is a neat photo. Do you have any more? I love to see unpublished photos. They tell some pretty incredible stories.


That might be cool if we set up a page for tsmg photos. I'm not talking about pictures of everyone’s guns since at some point they do all look pretty much the same... But pictures of the gun being used in real life situations. I have a few photos that I’ve posted here but maybe a gallery would be nice....
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#6 TSMGguy

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 03:03 PM

More photos, same source:

user posted image

Members of the Afrika Korps with captured TSMG

user posted image

Street fighting somewhere in Europe

user posted image

Members of the Second Ranger Battalion train in England, 1943

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#7 maverick4440

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 11:39 PM

Here is another one that always struck Me as odd. The guy is in double buckle boots which means 44 or later and has the M43 jacket so it is late war and he has a Thompson with stock detached and no compensator vertical front grip and a 50 round drum. Where the heck did he get this? http://www.ImageHost...44/13helmet.jpg
I read that this photo was taken in France
Maverick

Edited by maverick4440, 28 September 2004 - 11:40 PM.

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#8 Merry Ploughboy

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 07:00 AM

"American Thunder II" will reportedly have more previously unpublished photos of Thompsons in action. I'm ready to buy a copy now. I hope it's out before Christmas!
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#9 21 smoker

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 07:57 AM

I believe the storyline on that particular photo stated that this was a 21 Colt and was probably a battlefield pickup...but who knows the whole story...only the soldier in the pic could answer that... wink.gif
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#10 michael

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 08:42 AM

I missed the images... only red X's now. Please repost.

Thanks!

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#11 M1tommygun

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 10:23 AM

I tell you what maverick4440, that soldier with the 1921 sure makes the Thompson look small. He must be a pretty large fellow, or the Thompson is half scale. biggrin.gif I thought this when I noticed the picture in American Thunder 1.

Scott
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#12 Uncle Dudley

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 04:09 PM

I'm not sure if the German subguns were used by the GI's as regular weapons. My Uncle, who was a D Day veteran, said his squad kept a captured MP 40 and only fired it to confuse the Germans they engaged into thinking they were firing on their own troops. He said it was very effective, as the Germans would stop firing because of the distinct sound it had. He also said this had to be coordinated with friendly troops or the sound would draw friendly fire. He told me they captured a whole truckload of MP 40's, new in the crate in Normandy. Most were destroyed except a few for use as stated above. Uncle Dudley
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#13 leid

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 10:11 PM

Hi guys,
I just returned from the 82nd Airborne in New Orleans. About 168 vets were there with their scrap books and photos. I saw no pictures of 1928A1s, only M1/M1A1 TSMGs. And the Savage US1928A1 I brought along with me was referred to as "an early top cocker" by the WW2 vets. One NCO from the 101st said he had used a Savage 28A1 in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam. They did like the MP40 I brought along. One NCO had used an MP40 in combat after being captured on DDAY and escaping on DDAY+2. He acquired the MP40 from a German after a little throat cutting. He said he was very careful not to fire it near the American lines or he would draw fire. He said when he escaped, he tore his shoulder patch off his uniform to prevent being recognized by the Krauts. The "kid" who tried to escape with the NCO was caught by the guards and beaten so badly, he was left totally blinded. He later committed suicide.
Only 2 guys in attendance carried the TSMG in WW2, one officer and one NCO from the 507th PIR. Both men got rid of their M1/M1A1s in favor of weapons better suited for the hedgerow warfare around St. Mere Igles(sp). The NCO favored the M1 Garand and the officer favored the M1 carbine. When asked what MG served them best, they answered that the BAR (without the bipod) was the MG that served them best in their particular combat environment. The TSMG lacked range and power and the Browning .30 MG took too long to set up. ATF had refused to expedite my 5320.20 to bring a BAR to the reunion. They did not feel that a reunion of WW2 vets was a valid reason to hurry things along. ATF needs a history lesson!
The TSMGs pictured were used with a mix of 20 & 30 rd. mags. The 30 rd mag pouches pictured were made by the parachute riggers and held 4-9 mags. I saw no pictures of the U.S. pouch that holds 6 30s. One of the curators of the DDAY Museum in New Orleans has documented as much history as he can from this group. I will be receiving his book in the next few days.
After emptying an L drum out of the 28A1 at the local range, one RANGER remarked that he felt so good, he was going to go "slap the old lady around a little". Well, its better than Viagra!
And how did I get to talk to all these guys and go thru their photos? Easy! I pulled duty as the bartender.
Carey

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