WEAPONS OF WAR: Sterling Submachine Gun

The natural successor to the expedient Sten, the L2 – or Sterling – equipped British soldiers for half a century and became an export success. One of the world’s most successful submachine guns is profiled by John Ash

PRIVATE FRANK SIMISTER COCKS HIS STERLING AS HE AND HIS 1ST LANCASHIRE COMRADES WATCH THE YEMENI BORDER, ADEN, 1967 
GETTY

When British troops were pushing through Europe in the summer of 1944, the standard submachine gun available to them was the Sten. Born from necessity, its development had been driven by affordability yet the utilitarian Mk.I was positively luxurious next to the zero-frills Mk.II and Mk.III following it.

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