Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Warrant Officer

Long story short..... When WW2 broke out, one of my grandfathers was a WO2 in the New Zealand Army on secondment to the Durham Light Infantry. He served with them during the Battle of France and was evacuated at Dunkirk before eventually going on to serve with the New Zealanders' in North Africa and Italy.

Anyway... before he died we used to talk about our different experiences at war, occasionally. One of the conversations I have vivid memories of, is him telling me that when they were evacuated from France in 1940 several of them were given drum-fed Thompson sub machineguns' as additional anti aircraft measures, and I have always assumed that these weapons were at least available if not 'issued'

So, I set about making WO2 armed with a drum-fed Thompson, and as these figures might also be used for Home Guard units, I didn't think the odd 'Tommy' or two would look out of place

Standard Zevzda British Infantry figure with an arm swap and extra kit added

Not yet completed but once it is it will represent a company command platoon, maybe an old RSM?

Don't know if the Thompson was actually used during the Battle of France, but research suggests that the navy had had them for some time. Any further information from you Blogger historians would be welcome. 


  1. Hello.
    Thompson (Eversti J.T. Thompson) is a very old (the second oldest), after Hugo Bergmann MP18 submachine, but bergmann is only rod magazine.

    Beretta (Bruno) was third M18 / or M1918/30, but ready to works well after Thompson
    beretta's only rod magazine models

    Thompson First model was 1921.
    drum-fed or drum-magazine had a problem with all's sub-machine guns.

    There were only two manufacturers who are successful these drum-magazines Thompson and Aimo Lahti (Kp-31) SMG,
    The third best drum system was a Russian PPsh (1941), Kp-31 copy

  2. very interesting story!
    Great Britain purchased many Thompson M1 from USA in 1940, so it's quite possible that they were issued to the troops during the Dunkirk evacuation.

  3. As I've always understood it...we had no automatic weapon of the SMG type (not quite cricket old boy etc...) in 1939, so when feedback/int.reports on the fall of Poland had plenty to say about the MP38 and such like, which made it clear this war was going to have very little cricket about it, we went straight to Thompson with filthy cash lucre...hence why we ended up with 'gangsters' drum magazines (awkward in vehicles etc...) not the in-line mag? Home guard certainly got them a few months later - than the fall of France?

    Nice you had a chance to talk to him, I always regret not talking to my Uncle Ernest about his experiences (he was gassed in France 25 years earlier), but I was very young and his generation didn't talk much about it...

  4. ....and here comes the woman who knows nothing. Rather embarrassing after all the erudite people before me.

    I think it's lovely that you painted this up and did the swap as a way to remember your grandfathers stories.

  5. I read that the Drum mags bullets would click and clack...very bad on night patrols. The fig is spot on.

  6. Great comments, thanks gang. Research from Gerard suggests that they were definitely available to a few units in France at the very generous issue rate of x3 per battalion, more as it arrives

  7. Methinks UK owes NZ great debt of thanks. Thompsons sent to CDO units (thought of as too good for Home Guard) but HG got a replacement... the 'Plumbers delight' or Sten gun made by plumbers workshops for 12 old shillings (60p) each.

  8. I just got that Zeveda set last Sunday. Being painted as South Saskatchewan Regiment.