How General Thompson's Submachine Gun Wrote History
by Bill Yenne
The Trench Broom. The Annihilator. The Persuader. The Chopper. The Chicago Typewriter. The Tommy Gun.
The Thompson submachine gun has gone by many names, and for nearly a century the gun's image has been indelibly marked on the popular consciousness. In this broad-reaching cultural and military history, Bill Yenne charts the tommy gun's unpredictable and one-of-a-kind career, from its infamy in the hands of Al Capone and the Chicago mobsters, to its shady days with the IRA, to its indelible place in the arsenal of World War II, and its truly immortal and ongoing role in Hollywood.
The tommy gun is without a doubt the most famous, and the most infamous, American firearm of the twentieth century. Since its birth in the aftermath of World War I, the tommy gun has enjoyed a varied career on both sides of the law. Though General John T. Thompson invented it for the American military, it first found notoriety thanks to its part in events such at St. Valentine's Day Massacre. But when the United States entered World War II, the gun's true power as an essential, life-saving weapon made it an iconic weapon of the American GI.
Full of incredible stories from the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific, America's gangland, and Hollywood studio back lots, Bill Yenne's Tommy Gun is the definitive story of this unique American icon.
- St. Martin's Press, October 2009
Thomas Dunne Books
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