The United States entered the
Korean War with virtually no knowledge of the
enemy's military capabilities. First we found
ourselves facing a North Korea armed with Soviet
infantry weapons, tanks warplanes and artillery.
Then we were precipitated into a desperate
struggle with a China armed with virtually every
kind of weapon manufactured until that time.
Among the more favored British
weapons used by the Chinese Communists was the
Sten Submachine Gun, the first example of a new
breed of cheap and simple full-auto infantry
weapons that came to be adopted by many of the
world's armies. First produced in June, 1941.
It was designed by Vernon "S"heppherd
and Harold John "T"urpin and developed
at "En"field, the government arsenal.
Total production of the Sten in various marks,
from mid 1941 to late 1945, was 3,750,000.
The Sten Mark II was simplicity
itself, being easily dismantled into its
component parts. The mechanism was little more
than a bolt and spring with the most basic
trigger and fire selector equipment. Sights were
fixed for 100 yds and could not be adjusted for
zero. The magazine held 32 rounds, but was
generally loaded with 30 to minimize strain on
the magazine spring and hence reduce jams, and
had to be filled with a special filler. The
horizontal magazine permitted controlled firing
while completely prone. Georg Luger originally
developed the 9mm Parabellum cartridge in 1902.
The cartridge case is rimmed with a slight taper
from rim to mouth which enhances feed
reliability, but the Sten was notorious for
jamming, as well as firing accidentally when
bumped, especially when dropped. Jamming was
reduced somewhat by loading the magazines with
the successive rims alternately "over and