The Thompson was used in World War II in the hands of Allied troops as a weapon for scouts, non-commissioned officers (corporal, sergeant, and higher), and patrol leaders, as well as commissioned officers, tank crewmen, and soldiers performing raids on German positions. In the European theatre, the gun was widely utilised in British and Canadian commando units, as well as in the U.S. Army paratrooper and Ranger battalions, where it was issued more frequently than in line infantry units because of its high rate of fire and its stopping power, which made it very effective in the kinds of close combat these special operations troops were expected to undertake. Military Police were fond of it, as were paratroopers, who “borrowed” Thompsons from members of mortar squads for use on patrols behind enemy lines.[The gun was prized by those lucky enough to get one and proved itself in the close street fighting that was encountered frequently during the invasion of France. Through Lend-Lease, the Soviet Union also received the Thompson, but due to a shortage of appropriate ammunition, its use was not widespread.
The Thompson submachine gun was also known informally as the “Tommy Gun”, “Street Sweeper”, “Annihilator”, “Chicago Typewriter”, “Trench Broom”, “Chicago Submachine”, “Chicago Piano”, “Chicago Style”, “Chicago Organ Grinder”, “Drum Gun”, “the Chopper”, “the Tommy Boy” or simply “the Thompson”.,and is one of the most well known and recognised firearms in history.