The Thompson Gun’s Curious History, from World War I to World War II
Both British and U.S. soldiers liked the Thompson submachine or 'Tommy' gun for its rugged dependability and knock-down firepower, and it was certainly in the fighting across Europe that the Thompson excelled.
By Arnold Blumberg In 1917, when America entered the First World War, the United States Army tasked Brigadier General John T. Thompson, Chief of the Small Arms Section of its Ordnance Department, with designing a short-range, rapid-firing, large capacity infantry trench weapon. The general turned the job over to his own firearms firm, the Auto-Ordnance Corporation (AOC). Thompson and his team determined the .45-inch Automatic Colt Pistol cartridge used in the Colt M1911 semi-automatic pistol pr