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Soviet Lend Lease Thompsons

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 05:40 PM

Since everyone's rushed to buy up the old Lend Lease 1928 kits, y'all might be interested to see what I've dug up on them. Supposedly, 81,287 were sent to the Russians. Additions welcome.

Russian markings


- Dmitriy Fedorovich, there were personal weapons in each Sherman that arrived in the USSR, Thompson submachine guns (also known as the Tommy gun). I read that rear area personnel stole these weapons and that few tanks arrived in units still equipped with them. What kind of weapons did you have, American or Soviet?

- Each Sherman came with two Thompson submachine guns, in caliber 11.43mm (.45 cal), a healthy cartridge indeed! But the submachine gun was worthless. We had several bad experiences with it. A few of our men who got into an argument were wearing padded jackets. It turned out that they fired at each other and the bullet buried itself in the padded jacket. So much for the worthless submachine gun. Take a German submachine gun with folding stock (MP-40 SMG by Erma -Valera). We loved it for its compactness. The Thompson was big. You couldn't turn around in the tank holding it.



The Finns apparently captured about 15 or so examples during Continuation War. According to POW interviews, the guns were not particularly liked. They had inferior range and penetration.

Translated:"From Thompson's drum magazine, Aimo Lahti got some ideas for Suomi SMG drum magazine design. However, the insides of the magazines are totally different, and Finnish magazine worked better. Also in other respects, Finnish soldier considered Thompson as decidedly inferior compared to domestic weapons. Barrel rise was considerable even with compensator. Magazine change and operating the gun were seen as unnecessarily complex. Magazine was too small, and 100 round drum was much too heavy and cumbersome. "

The photo shows a relic Thompson discovered in 1972 underwater. It had been struck by a bullet and abandoned. Fate of the soldier who abandoned it is unknown.

And assuming that the Soviets were the source of these weapons -
Sierpień 1944: żołnierze Kedywu "Kolegium A" na Woli. Z Thompson'em M 1928A1 stoi pchor. "Kostek" [Włodzimierz Denkowski], uczestnik akcji na ul. Czackiego.


Rough translation - August 1944: soldiers of Kedyw (acronym for sabotage/guerilla forces of the Polish Home Army) College A (a unit within Kedyw?) with M1928A1, one of them (or photo credit?) nom de guerre Kostek (ankle), real name Wlodzimierz Denkowski, participant at Czackiego street (action in the Warsaw Uprising).

The paragraph above on that site says Thompson's used by the KA (home army) from summer 42-44 in the GG territory (General Government, Nazi occupied Poland), including Warsaw uprising.

Edited by ACARLG, 05 March 2006 - 05:50 PM.

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#2 Merry Ploughboy

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 08:01 PM

Interesting stuff. Thank you for posting.

For a fictional account of use of the Tommy gun by Soviet occupation troops see Grass, Günter, "Tin Drum.'
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#3 Waffen Und Bier

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:08 PM

Ya know, thick quilted bra and panties not withstanding, I still wouldn't want to get shot with a TSMG. Wow, four posts within like two minutes. Okay 8 minutes...I'm so drunk!
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#4 faabala



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Posted 06 March 2006 - 09:56 AM

Straight from the lend lease records.


Submachinegun, Cal. .45, (All Types)

British Empire 651,086

Soviet Union 137,729

French Forces 20,856

China 63,851

Brazil 1,401

Other Latin American Rep.s 871

Canada 1,321

Netherlands 3,680

Case, 5 pocket, 20 rounds, magazine

Soviet Union 249,755 (that is a lot of pouches!)

Canada 60

Netherlands 895

Case, Web, f/30rd magazine w/strap

French Forces 1,563

China 115,546

Canada 60

Case, 50 rds./magazine SMG w/strap

Netherlands 775

Edited by faabala, 06 March 2006 - 10:11 AM.

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