Nazi poster with Churchill in an alley holding the Thomson with the German text, “Sniper.”

Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels saw the image as a god send and used it extensively domestically, with the other Axis countries, the few remaining neutral countries and even in air drops over the UK during the Battle of Britain with the text in English “WANTED,” and at the bottom, “for incitement to MURDER.” The reverse of the leaflet is all text:

This gangster, who you see in his element in the picture, incites you by his example to participate in a form of warfare in which women, children and ordinary citizens shall take the leading parts. This absolutely criminal form of warfare which is forbidden by the Hague Convention will be punished according to military law. Save at least your own families from the horrors of war!

The original picture

The men in the image have not been identified but the man wearing the grey pin stripped suit behind Churchill might be his body guard, Detective Inspector Walter Henry Thompson, as he is wearing the same suit in the picture to right of Churchill firing a Sten gun in 1941.

From between 1921 to 1945 Thompson was Churchill’s on and off again body guard. Churchill hadn’t needed Thompson for a long time until in 1939 when he was about to vacation in France. Churchill, even though he was not part of the government at that time, was worried about a possible Nazi assassination plot and called up Thompson for protection duty with a telegram from on August 22, 1939 simply reading “Meet me Croydon Airport 4.30pm Wednesday.” While there was no incidents that trip Thompson claims to have saved Churchill’s life countless times, often because the Prime Minister recklessly putting his life in danger.

After the war the body guard tried to publish a book about his experiences travelling the world protecting the Prime Minister’s life but was blocked by the police department. It wasn’t until 2005 that the full version was published as Churchill’s Bodyguard: The Authorized Biography of Walter H. Thompson

More in: http://www.famouspictures.org/mag/index.php?title=Churchill_and_the_Tommy_Gun

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