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Arming the Volunteers - Commissioning and Importing

Thompson sub-machine gun, 1920

Thompson sub-machine gun, 1920

This .45 Thompson sub machine gun was part of the small consignment sent from the USA to Dublin in 1920.  The Squad were the first to receive and test the new gun, though they never used it in their operations. It was later used in an IRA ambush on a train of British troops passing through Drumcondra, Dublin, in June 1921.
The gun was designed in 1919 by General John Thompson of Pennsylvania, and the IRA was amongst his first customers.  In 1921 they ordered 653 of these light, rapid firing machine guns, which were portable and easily hidden due to the removable stock. Nearly 500 units of this order were impounded in New York in June 1921, one month before the Truce, with the rest being smuggled into Ireland afterwards.


Thompson sub-machine gun, 1920 is located at:
On Display

Previous artefact:

Land mine case, 1st Eastern Division, IRA, 1920-1921

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IRA munitions factory, Vicar Street, Dublin, 1920-1921

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