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The Sten Gun

The Sten Gun Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2012 Title The Sten Gun
Author Leroy Thompson Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 9781849087599
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


At times, it proved more dangerous to friends than to foes.  None other than Germany's Otto Skorzeny championed the design.  And it could be "'operated by a child'".

That's the significant Sten gun – companion to paratroopers, tank crews and romantic Resistance fighters throughout Nazi-occupied Europe.  It's also the subject of this excellent eponymous effort in Osprey's acclaimed "Weapon" series.

In the dark days after Dunkirk, Britain required a compact weapon with substantial firepower.  Quickly designed, the Sten proved cheap to make, easy to maintain and simple to master.  Over four million were made, cobbled or copied.  Concealable and deadly at close range, it didn't even require oiling.  In short, it proved an outstanding weapon for worldwide total war – and beyond.

Leroy Thompson's The Sten Gun recaps the whole terrific tale in just 80 pages.  After an informative introduction, contents course through development, deployment and impact of this legendary weapon.  Sidebars and extended captions cover competitive designs and operators.  Enormously informative illustrations by Alan Gilliland and Mark Stacey season this savory study.  And dozens of photos with selective bibliography and index complete coverage.

Academics and footnote readers!  I especially appreciated author Thompson's annotations – rarities, regrettably, in Osprey's otherwise excellent books.

I loved this enormously entertaining effort.  Make it your introduction to the remarkable Sten.

Robustly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!