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The Sterling Years: Small-Arms and the Men

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The Sterling Years: Small-Arms and the Men by Edmiston, James, 9780850523430
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  • ISBN: 9780850523430 | 0850523435
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 5/1/1992
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Almost by accident, James Edmiston became involved in owning and running the Sterling Armament Company for twelve years. The Company's products sold in around a hundred countries, and the 'battleship' engineering of the Mark 4 sub-machine gun won that product the reputation of being probably the world's most reliable automatic weapon of all time.
Sterling was engaged almost entirely in export, and there is probably no other (British) defence company that can boast a similar record of success.
The product, designed and developed for ruthless efficiency in the support of the armies of friendly governments and their forces of law and order, was primarily a killing machine, and secondarily, a deterrent. Its manufacture (carried out entirely in-house) was under private control, but the sales and their ultimate moral responsibility were the domain of the British Government. But even the foreign policy experts advising a government cannot accurately predict the future.
This is an account initially of the lighter side of selling and marketing such equipment. As time progressed however, the very success and efficiency of a small private concern generated hostility and near impossible trading conditions, not from foreign competition, but from elements of that nebulous concern the British Government itself. In spite of strong encouragement and support from various quarters, the exposure of some Governmental inefficiency led to deeds of apparant [sic] deceit and perfidy. This is a chilling suggestion of conduct by authority that most Britons would not deem possible in a Western democracy.

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