US Army Ordnance engineer fires the prototype T47 rifle on full auto

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The Thompson Submachine Gun was replaced at the end of the war with the M3 Submachine Gun. During WW2 the US built about 2.5 million Submachine Guns about 2/3rds Thompsons 1/3 M3 Grease Guns. After the war there was a big draw down and with the shrinking size of the army the US decided to cull their armory. Now the M3 had a major advantage over the Thompson with its telescopic stock which made it more compact and suitable for the uses envisioned for it. What uses are those?

The primary users of Submachine Guns in the US Army fell into four categories. A close defense weapon for vehicle crews like trucks, tanks, half tracks and armored cars all of which have a minimum of space. Paratroopers who see a lot of close combat and have to strap everything to their bodies. Officers and Support Troops who have another job primarily so need a compact weapon that stays out of their way. Finally special issue to regular troops for close combat, each US rifle company kept 6 SMG’s around for hand out from 1944 to the late 50’s. Three out of Four of these users benefit heavily from the telescopic stock which is why it was chosen to continue service.

Okay so what happened to the surplus WW2 Thompson Submachine Guns? Well the US kept many of them in storage for a time as an in case of emergency thing. I imagine most have been disposed of by now. Like many WW2 weapons a large number went on to serve the various Cold War Allies of United States. They’ve popped up in conflicts all over the World and appeared in the armories of countries like South Vietnam, South Korea, Greece, Netherlands, Turkey, France, Brazil, West Germany and many others. Most by now are out of service.

So to answer your question, yes it was post war no longer viewed the same way. The Thompson as a weapon was still very capable and in some ways better but the compact nature of the M3 usurped it.

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