Book Reviews: V19N4


Great Britain - The Tommy Gun Story
By Tom Davis, Jr.
Copyright 2014
ISBN #9781502977816
Available from: www.createspace.com/5070216, and from fine bookstores and book dealers around the country.
Soft cover
170 pages and over 100 pictures and illustrations
Reviewed by Robert G. Segel

It has been 6 long years since an authoritative book has been published about the beloved Thompson gun. This changed in January 2015. Tom Davis, Jr., known for his in-depth and thoroughly researched stories in Small Arms Review, has written a book about the Thompson in Great Britain during World War II. The book was actually an offshoot of a story published in SAR (3rd Quarter 2013) about the Savage Model of 1928A Thompson gun. Tom obtained so much additional information from the National Archives in London for this story that he just started writing. Over 50,000 words later the end result is: Great Britain – The Tommy Gun Story.

This is a reference book, a documented history of the British adoption and procurement of the Thompson gun during World War II. Every sentence in this book is supported by a document, a recorded meeting or some type of irrefutable proof. The reader will not have to wonder where the information was obtained. There are over 350 footnotes detailing by document and date the source of all facts and figures presented. And the footnotes are located at the bottom of each page for easy reference.

When was the first time the Thompson gun was put into active service with the British military? How many guns were involved? When was the first order placed? Who was involved in the decision making process? When were the first guns shipped to Britain? How many - and for what purpose? These questions and many more are answered completely in only the first few pages.

This book also avoids and corrects much of the misinformation that has been published over the years. Have you ever wondered what information the pundits used when discussing the number of Thompson guns lost during U-Boat attacks? For the first time you will be able to review the documented losses of Thompson guns by ship name, date of attack and number of guns lost. Are you interested in Colt Thompsons in British service? Or the early Savage Thompson guns? What about Savage guns commercially sold to law enforcement organizations in the USA during WWII? Early Canadian orders; French orders? This is your book. Does your interest include spare parts? Read the ‘war of spares’ and review the many official parts lists included in this book – some published for the first time.

Confused about the many markings on the Thompson gun? Learn the four variations of the Savage Arms receiver in a chapter of pictures that takes the enthusiast through time. There is also a chapter about the Thompson gun in Great Britain today. And so much more!

Much has been written about the Thompson and its U.S. development and service. But the Thompson gun played a huge part in the history of Great Britain during World War II and is a story in its own right. Thankfully, Mr. Davis’ thoroughly researched book has brought the details of that important story to light.

With 170 pages and over 100 pictures and illustrations, the book is priced at only $29.99 – a real bargain for the information it contains. A must book for every Thompson enthusiast’s library. It is available directly from Tom’s website at www.createspace.com/5070216 and from fine bookstores and book dealers around the country.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V19N4 (May 2015)
and was posted online on March 20, 2015


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