Tommy Gun by Bill Yenne
How General Thompson's Submachine Gun Wrote History

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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.
 

About Bill Yenne

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Bill Yenne is the author of over three dozen books on historical topics, including several military biographies. Among the latter is Alexander the Great: Lessons from History’s Undefeated General in Palgrave’s Great Generals Series. The New Yorker wrote of Sitting Bull, his biography of the great Lakota leader, that it “excels as a study in leadership.” This book was named to the number 14 spot among Amazon’s 100 Best Books of the Year. Among Mr. Yenne’s other works is his dual biography of Dick Bong and Tommy McGuire, entitled Aces High: The Heroic Story of the Two Top-Scoring American Aces of World War II, which pilot and best-selling author Dan Roam calls “The greatest flying story of all time.”            Bill Yenne has been involved in several History Channel programs, and appeared recently in a National Geographic Channel program on Alexander the Great. He has lived for many years with his wife and family in San Francisco, and he can be found on the web at www.BillYenne.com.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by Thomas Dunne Books. 364 pages
Genres: History, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Sports & Outdoors, War, Nature & Wildlife, Travel. Non-fiction

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Yenne delivers a clear description of the technical problems overcome before Thompson’s company perfected an automatic weapon weighing little more than a rifle which was—unlike the heavier, rival BAR—easy to fire without bipod support.

Aug 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Tommy Gun: How General Thomps...

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