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The Thompson submachine gun, or Tommy gun developed an almost iconic status during the 20th century. it had an unusual beginning, For it was developed during the dying days of World War I as a 'one-man, hand-held machine gun.' the war ended before these first prototypes could be shipped to Europe but once the M1921 Thompson formally entered production it was used by the criminals working in Chicago and New York during the 1920s. With the police increasingly outgunned they too were forced to equip themselves with the Tommy gun. it quickly came to be used in Hollywood films, and by the end of the 1930s it would have probably faded from view had history not intervened. With the entry of the US into World War II there was an urgent need to equip and arm a force of epic proportions; the Thompson submachine gun began a second career as part of the US Army. it also became the weapon of choice For The small band of British commandos as they conducted a number of daring raids against the heart of occupied Europe.
Martin Pegler has a BA Hons in Medieval and Modern History and an MA in Museum Studies, both from University College, London, and was for many years the Senior Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds. He now lives in the Somme, France, where he and his wife run a small bed and breakfast, which is situated on top of the old German front line.
Martin has established The Somme Historical Centre (www.martinpegler.com), where visitors can see the technology used in the 1914-18 trench warfare. Martin enjoys shooting historic firearms, and has participated in many shooting competitions. He is currently an author and firearms consultant and he also lectures at local Great War museums. In his spare time Martin runs motorcycle tours of the battlefield. He is the author of a number of books including The Military Sniper since 1914 (Osprey, 2001), Firearms in the American West 1700-1900 (The Crowood Press, 2002), and the highly acclaimed Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military Sniper (Osprey, 2004), and he has also contributed to a number of magazines.
Table of Contents
'A one-man, hand-held machine gun'
The weapon of choice for criminals and Commandos
A celebrity submachine gun
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