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Interview Harold J. Turpin june 1943

looking for interview with the inventor of the Sten gun

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Askild Antonsen26/02/2015 11:42:00
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Engineering friends!

I am a gunsmith and former curator arms and armour at the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum i Oslo.

At the moment I'm doing a research trying to establish how the acronym STEN in Sten gun is to be interpreted. S is for Shepherd and T is for Turpin. EN is interpreted Enfiled or England.

The inventor og the gun, senior draughtsman Harold J. Turpin RSAF Enfield, was a dedicatd model engineer who wrote articles in model engineer magazine in the inter war years. In june 1943, he was interviewed anonymously about the invention of the Sten gun. Here he states EN is for England.

In Norway it's not possible getting hold of a copy of the june 43 volume.

My question is if someone amongst you collect back issues og this magazine and are willing to help me out with a pdf of the article from june 1943?

Cordialy

Askild Antonsen

Please PM for e.mail address (edited by JasonB)

Edited By JasonB on 26/02/2015 12:23:17

John Stevenson26/02/2015 13:14:49
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According to this EN stands for Enfield Lock where it originated, Enfield Lock being a Royal Ordnance Factory.

**LINK**

Askild Antonsen26/02/2015 13:24:33
9 forum posts

This is what I'm trying to find out. I do belive Mr. Turpin states EN is for England in det article mentioned.

Nick_G26/02/2015 13:30:46
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.

Maybe not applicable to the 'Sten' but I do know the 'Bren' gun stood for that it was designed by the Czech company Bruno and originally manufactured in the Enfield facility.

Nick

Askild Antonsen26/02/2015 13:43:33
9 forum posts

Exactly Nick. EN in BREN is for Enfield, but it exists documentation for Shepherd and Turpin that EN in STEN is for England. Now I try finding documentation for this. Amongst others, I'm looking for this 1943 article.

Ady126/02/2015 14:13:04
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I don't have the 1943 article but I have this snippet

sten1.jpg

Roderick Jenkins26/02/2015 14:29:02
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Askild,

I can confirm that Mr Turpin states that the EN stands for England. I have sent you a personal message with a link to JPEGS of the relevant pages. I hope this is useful.

best wishes,

Rod

Askild Antonsen26/02/2015 15:23:29
9 forum posts

I'm verry impressed with the quick responce to my query. @Ady1 and @Rod provided me with what I was looking for. Thank you for all your help on this matter.

And the answer is: EN is for England. In Turpins own words from June 1943.

Gordon W26/02/2015 16:43:28
2011 forum posts

All the references I have state " EN for Enfield" Might it be Vulcan who mis-quoted ?

John Stevenson26/02/2015 16:48:49
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Makes you wonder.

Military web sites say Enfield, the BREN stands for Enfield and we will never know what Mr Turpin actually said, only what was written at a later date when the article was written.

Askild Antonsen26/02/2015 17:09:36
9 forum posts

II have investigated the sources stating EN for Enfiled. Noke is older than 1949. I have also made an inquiry to the RSAF Enfield apprentices assosiacion in Enfiled. They too confirm RN is for England, not Enfield. I'm convinced, but I'm not intereseted in further argument concerning this in this forum. I'm just finished arguing the same theme in a Norwegian facebok group. Wich, in the first place is why I started looking into this.

I once again send my regards to you for your help looking up the source I was looking for. Thank you verry mucg for your assistance!!!

Roderick Jenkins26/02/2015 17:12:33
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This is the first page from the 1943 article.

sten 1.jpg

This article was contemporary with the design and early production of the STEN. I'll leave to others the problems of disentangling the problems of secondary sources in historical research. But, if the editor at the time (Westbury?) knew Turpin then that could maybe be considered as primary source.

The rest of the article goes into some detail, with drawings, of the design of the STEN gun. In this day and age I'm reluctant to take responsibility for re-publishing but I'll gladly pass the scans onto to a moderator if so requested.

Rod

Askild Antonsen26/02/2015 17:19:18
9 forum posts

This article isn't the only source stating this. Col Shepherd is also cited stating the same ting. Both oraly and in writing. And this article is the oldest reference and the one closest to Mr. Turpin himself. The oldest Enfield description is in a book by Gen. maj. Hay in 1949. In adition RSAF Enfield did not invent the Sten as they did with the Bren. That's also an argument for not namin it after the factory. As I said, I'm convinced EN is for England

Neil Wyatt26/02/2015 20:56:25
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Just to add some spice, Leslie Hore-Belisha is he to whom we owe the Belisha Beacon.

Neil

Ian S C27/02/2015 11:50:20
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From all the information I can find, the EN stands for Enfield in both the Sten Gun, and the Bren Gun, Enfield did not "invent" the Bren Gun, but modified the Bruno design to take the rimmed .303" cartridge. The Sten gun was designed by Turins and Sheperd who both worked for Enfield.

Ian S C

Nick_G27/02/2015 12:40:10
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Posted by Ian S C on 27/02/2015 11:50:20:

but modified the Bruno design to take the rimmed .303" cartridge.

.

And after the war given another few tweaks and chambered for NATO 7.62

This was in service until quite recently as the LMG

Nick

Roderick Jenkins27/02/2015 13:12:07
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Posted by Ian S C on 27/02/2015 11:50:20:

From all the information I can find, the EN stands for Enfield in both the Sten Gun...

However illogical it may seem to us in 2015 that the BREN and STEN guns had differing derivations for their names, Askild has gone back as far as he can to find some primary and contemporary sources - some serious scholarship there.

It's amazing how difficult it can be to shift entrenched ideas (possibly just assumptions) with new researchsmiley

Rod

JohnF27/02/2015 17:32:54
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Askild, there are several articles in Wikipedia and both solutions are mentioned but it also mentions that much of the production was done in a great many small workshops such as we all use today then shipped to an assembly point so it would seem more logical that the EN does in this instance stand for England ?

You may already know but I saw a wooden rifling maching made by the Norwegian resistant ( the Ling ?) in a museum in either Bergan or Tromso , I think it was Bergan but can't be sure.

John

Neil Wyatt27/02/2015 18:00:23
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Congratulations to Askild and Rod, I've amended the Wikipedia article as a contemporary article by Turpin himself is a primary source and six-years nearer the event than the other sources being quoted.

Well done team!

Neil

Ian S C01/03/2015 01:26:13
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You wonder why the Stengun looks like a toy? It was in a large degree made by Line Bros Ltd, who made Tri-Ang toys. Have a read here;

www.vincelewis.net/stengun.htm

I think that may answer some questions.

Ian S C My vote is for Enfield

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