Saturday Scenes

Thu 5 August 2010

Churchill and the Tommy Gun

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 17:33

On 31 July 1940, Winston Churchill was photographed holding a Thompson sub-machine gun. The “Tommy Gun” was devised in 1919 in the US and heavily used by the Chicago gangsters including Bugs Moran and Al Capone. The British Army were the first to use the Tommy gun in WWII combat, equipping commandos and paratroopers with the sub-machine gun for combat.

Winston Churchill was photographed holding the sub-machine gun when visiting troops on the coast in 1940.

Churchill and Tommy Gun « Iconic Photos

The Churchill photograph was timely. It was used to convey Churchill as a war leader. Both sides of the war tried to use this picture for propaganda purposes. The British photoshopped out two soldiers standing next to Churchill, making him look statesmanlike, determined and menacing. On the other hand, the Germans got hold of the photo, and compared it to those of the gangsters of the American West. The Nazis used this photo in their propaganda leaflets airdropped onto Britain during the Battle of Britain.

OK, not literally photoshopped, obviously. Still, the varying interpretations of the same photograph is very interesting, with or without the background intact.

On the 31st of July 2010, these wonderful, full-of-background potentially historical images were taken:

And maybe in 70 years, one of these photographs will be highlighted as iconic for its time. Credit should be given to these talented digital photographers:

You can find out what all of these great people are up to simply by checking the Saturday Scenes list which includes everyone who has participated by submitting a Saturday Scene this year.

If you’d like to join us, just take a photograph on Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes with the location! It’s easy and fun and we love seeing new sights.

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