Although it has seen a great deal of action since its invention in 1918, the Thompson submachine gun is perhaps most famous for its use off the battlefield. Nicknamed the Tommy Gun, it is now remembered as an iconic symbol of the Prohibition era in America, due to its use by both police officers and the men they were trying to bring to justice.
However, it has also been used in many military conflicts throughout the world. From the Second World War to the Bosnian War in the 1990’s, this weapon’s efficiency, accuracy, and heavy automatic fire made it popular with a wide range of different nations and factions.
In 1916, John T. Thompson founded the Auto-Ordinance Company in America, specifically with the purpose of creating an automatic one-man machine gun. He envisioned it as a so-called “trench broom”, to be used by soldiers in Europe to quickly clear enemy trenches. It took several years to perfect the design, but in the end, Thompson brought his idea into reality. In an unforeseen twist of fate, however, the First World War officially came to an end two days before the first batch of guns were set to be shipped across the Atlantic.
Of course, they still went on to become extremely popular and found a place on the battlefield during the Second World War as well. To this day it remains one of the most famous firearms in history, and many modern weapons still base their designs on that of the Thomson submachine gun.
Providing both a historical and technical rundown of this classic weapon, this video also gives viewers the chance to see a Tommy Gun in action. The channel behind it, hickock45, posts an extensive variety of content, examining and shooting both modern-day and historical firearms. If you enjoy this one, the rest of the channel’s videos will definitely be worth a look.