The Thompson submachine gun was invented by John T. Thompson in 1918 with the intention of providing an automatic “trench-broom” to rid enemy troops from trenches during WWI, however the war ended before it could be distributed. Nicknamed “Tommy Gun”, “Annihilator”, and “Trench Broom” among others, it remains popular today due to its historical significance during the Prohibition Era and WWII.
In order to simplify the M1928 Thompson, development on the M1 began in 1942. The M1’s were issued with a 30-round box magazine and could use the earlier 20-round box. However, it would not accept the cumbersome drum magazine. The M1 also had a barrel without cooling fins, a simplified rear sight, and had a straight blowback action. The majority of the Thompsons issued for WWII were the simplified M1 and M1A1 variants.