Colonel J.T. Thompson developed the Thompson, or "tommy” gun during the course of World War 1, but it arrived too late to be used in action. The Auto-Ordnance Corporation found that it was difficult to sell these guns during peacetime, especially during the Great Depression. So they heavily advertised the gun, which resulted in steady, but small sales to law enforcement agencies and many guns found their way into the hands of criminal organizations.
The real breakthrough for the Thompson SMG came in 1938, when the United States Army adopted the weapon. Other modern guns at the time were better weapons, but the Thompson had the advantage of being available. Demand for the gun rose greatly at the outbreak of war. Aside from the domestic needs of the US, Britain also bought as many Thompsons as it could from 1940 on. Like many pre-war weapons, the Thompson had been produced with a great attention to detail, but simplifications were needed to increase wartime production. The result of these changes resulted in the M1, which included the change to the H-shaped bridge, and the substitution of a heavier bolt to compensate. Externally, the main changes were the absence of the compensator on the muzzle, and the change from the front pistol grip to a basic forward grip. The complex rear sight was replaced with a simple flip sight. The new model could not take a 50 round drum, but rather a 30 or 20 round box magazine.
Yet another simplification, the incorporation of a fixed firing pin resulted in the M1A1 model of the gun. By then the weapon had been a quarter of a century old, but the Thompson gave excellent service in the critical years of 1939 and 1945. The Thompson was a reliable gun with excellent stopping power.
In Company of Heroes, the Thompson SMG is uesd by the highly trained soldiers known as Rangers. They are available if playing with the Infantry Company on the American Faction.
Upgrade the Rangers with thompsons to give them close range power. With the thompson costing 100 munitions it is invaluable that the rangers given the thompsons are kept alive. With the thompsons the rangers can now handle about any situation, weather the enemies be infantry or tanks, though it is advised they be used in combined arms operations.