This was the iconic sub machine gun of the entire series.
This was Sgt. Saunder’s weapon.
As a kid growing up in Japan, my friends and I would spend hours playing Combat. I remember how envious I was of my best friend Gordon when he got a Tommy Gun for his birthday, which of course, gave him the right to be Sgt. Saunders every time.
It wasn’t until I finally got one for my birthday as well, when we got to compete who gets to be Sgt. Saunders.
The Thompson that Sgt. Saunders used was the standard military issue Thompson Machine gun M1928A1 with the Cutts Compensator muzzle brake.
During WWII, the Thompsons were generally issued to noncommissioned officers and patrol leaders, as well as commissioned officers.
Armored crewmen also carried them such as Sgt. Dane, the tank commander carrying one in Lost Sheep, Lost Shepherd.
Spraying .45 rounds at the enemy, this weapon was effective in suppression fire while the riflemen in the squad positioned themselves for more accurate fire to take the enemy out. Also it was very effective at close combat in enclosed areas such as buildings. Nobody did it better than Sgt. Saunders. Very rarely did I see him shoot only one round. It was usually short bursts, probably to conserve ammo. I have seen him use bursts that seemed like around a half a magazine’s worth, between 10-15 rounds.
Sgt. Saunders always carried his spare magazines inside his jacket, where he seemed to have an endless supply. You never saw him carrying an ammo pouch, which held three 30 round magazines.
What’s interesting in the series, is that they used the same sounds for any automatic weapons fire, whether it was the MG-42, Schmeisser MP-40 or the Thompson. While in fact, each of these weapons have a distinctive sound and different rates of fire. (They did use different sounds for the BAR and the Bren guns however)
Below video show the Thomspon and the high rate of fire. Compare that with the MP-40 just below it.