10 OCTOBER 1981, Page 19

The versatile sten gun

Sir: Auberon Waugh writes (19 September) that Nicosian rioters, who had no terror of armoured cars 'knowing that we would never use machine guns', nevertheless 'for some reason ran like hares at the sight of the sten gun'.

Any infantryman would have acted like the sensible Nicosians knowing that sten guns were capable not only of firing themselves without any human assistance whatever but also of firing sideways and backwards, sometimes simultaneously. John Griffith

The Close, Spring Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire