Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! The M42 submachine gun was dreamed up in 1940 by Carl Swebilius at High Standard to be a cheaper alternative to the Thompson. But when Marlin started pumping them out in 1942, manufacturing headaches plus the US army not wanting a 9mm gun limited production to around 15,000. So the M42 never replaced the Tommy gun in .45 ACP like intended. But its simple blowback design spitting 9mm pills at 700-1000 rounds per minute made it just right for air-dropping to Resistance fighters across occupied Europe. Even with some jamming issues in the mud, the M42’s rep for solid accuracy and using German ammo made it a hit with groups like the OSS and partisans.
“Originally designed by Carl Swebilius of High Standard, the M42 was intended as a competitor for the Thompson SMG for police and military contracts. It was one of the last generation of “heavy metal” SMGs as it used machined steel and polished wood much like the Thompson but with a more streamlined design that was easier to takedown. Due to a massive U.S. order for M2 machine guns, High Standard sold the design to the United Defense Supply Corporation, a private British run purchasing commission, and contracted with the Marlin Company to actually manufacture these weapons. Hundreds were originally purchased by the Dutch. A large quantity of M42s were left in the warehouse when the Netherlands fell to the Nazis. The Office of Strategic Services and the U.S. Navy took interest in the surplus weapons, dropping them in occupied territories and also funneled hundreds to the nationalist and communist Chinese for their fight against the Japanese. It was noted as being vulnerable to sand and mud unless cleaned and diligently maintained; however, it was more accurate out to 100 yards than most other SMGs. It has a fixed blade front and windage/elevation adjustable rear sights. The left side of the trigger housing has a three-line address and model markings, and a three-position selector (“SEMI-AUTO”, “->SAFE<-” and “AUTO”) is on the right side. “
Lot 1539: Fully Automatic Registered United Defense-Marlin M42 SMG – Very Scarce Fully Automatic Class III/NFA C&R Registered United Defense/Marlin M42 Berkeley, Missouri Police Dept. Marked Submachine Gun. (n.d.-k). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 4, 2023, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/77/1539/fully-automatic-registered-united-defensemarlin-m42-smg.