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Thompson .45 transition in the British Army WW2 to the MK.2 Sten

Article about: I noticed that the Polish Para's in approx. 1943 were "moved" from using the .45 Thompson to the Mk2.Sten. Whilst reading an old article, it's turns out that a few Canadian units a

  1. #1
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    Question Thompson .45 transition in the British Army WW2 to the MK.2 Sten

    I noticed that the Polish Para's in approx. 1943 were "moved" from using the .45 Thompson to the Mk2.Sten.
    Whilst reading an old article, it's turns out that a few Canadian units also had their weapon priority switched to the sten around the same time.
    When talking to a Polish Para a few years back, he could not understand the switch, as the Thompson packed a far healthier punch, and as he said, "it would have been far more use to use than the sten at Arnhem". (Noting the lack of Thompsons across the board with 1st Airborne at Arnhem as well).

    Anyhow, my question on this matter is why was the Thompson seemingly phased out for the sten ?.
    Was it because the Sten was cheaper to manufacture in numbers ?
    Was it the availibility of the .45 ammunition ?
    Was it because the Americans prioritised the orders for the Thompson for their troops ?

    Regards

    Gary J.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Thompson .45 transition in the British Army WW2 to the MK.2 Sten

    i would go with the second opinion,,,availability of the ammunition & supply of it thereof

  3. #3

    Default Re: Thompson .45 transition in the British Army WW2 to the MK.2 Sten

    Hello-also the Thompson was much more expensive to make even in the late war straight blowback model-it and the .45 ammo were also quite heavy compared to the Sten, a consideration when more and more new weapons and equipment needed to be carried by both the special forces and line infantry-that being said the 'Tommy gun' was preferred by most users if they could get it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Thompson .45 transition in the British Army WW2 to the MK.2 Sten

    Hi Gary, all three factors which you mention came into play, but ammo supply was a big consideration.

    I can tell you that within British 1st Indep Para Platoon, (Pathfinders) both the Thompson and the Sten MkII were used as late as 1944 in Southern France and Greece. The HQ section got the Stens, while the other sections retained the Tommy guns. I have several unpublished pics of them which some of the Vets kindly loaned me to copy.

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Thompson .45 transition in the British Army WW2 to the MK.2 Sten

    Hello fellas,
    This is my M1928/A1 . As a former Para myself I don't think there is any competition. A quality piece like this which packed a punch or a cheap and nasty unreliable bit of junk????

    I have fired a Thompson,the only thing I did not like was the size of the Butt, it was too long.
    It catches under the armpit when bringing it up to a firing position.

    Regards

    Jim
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  6. #6
    FSO
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    Default Re: Thompson .45 transition in the British Army WW2 to the MK.2 Sten

    Gary,

    The transition "probably" coincides with the wholesale move of the Bdes G4/G1098 when the UK/Govt in Exile agreement allowed 1SBS to come under the Corps command: Helmets, Smocks etc all changed pretty sharpish to allow uniformity of supply, bringing the Bde up to the same scales as 1/6 Abn.

    Regards

    Mark (89)

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