Polish Resistance Sten Copy

Polish Resistance Sten Gun

To wrap up our week of semi-mystery guns, we have today a Sten gun copy made by the Polish Resistance. The gun’s owner didn’t have any details about its origin, and I have been unable to find any reference to it either. The gun is marked on the trigger housing and receiver endcap “BATHAU 19412 TDM”, and has no other visible markings.

Polish resistance Sten markings
Crude markings on trigger housing

Despite a different outward appearance, the gun is mechanically a copy of the Sten – the bolt in particular looks like a very close copy. The stock, grip, and trigger housing differ from the standard Sten design, suggesting that this was probably one of a small number of guns made by a small shop.

Polish Resistance Sten copy bolt

The stock is fairly well thought out – a folding design like this is much more effective for clandestine activities than the military stock, as it allows the gun to be concealed more easily.

Polish Resistance Sten stock folded

You can see all the other photos of this weapon in the gallery below, and download the whole batch at high resolution in this zip archive.

[nggallery id=187]


  1. I find this STEN variation very interesting, in that without major deviation from the initial design, the ergonomics and portability appear to far surpass that of the STEN itself without greatly complicating ease of manufacture or cost of materials involved. It almost seems to predict the evolution of the Sterling minus the vented barrel jacket. A couple of questions, one, is this chambered in 9mm or 7.62 Tokarev, and two, does it feed from Sten mags, MP40 mags, PPSH stick mags, or a mag design of its own? Fascinating find, thank you for sharing this!

  2. Looks like a very neat handy gun for insurgents. In my humble opinion I’d add a barrel shroud, and make the mag-well vertical, but it’s still an excellent gun for what it is.

  3. This looks like a very well-made gun in spite of ( or perhaps because of ) its small shop production roots. How did it stack up for reliability and general performance vis-a-vis the original Sten design?

  4. Hmm, and what makes you think it is Polish after all? The receiver is clearly a dead ringer on German Volkssturm MP3008, which was a late 1944 design, well after Polish clandestine manufacture ceased after the called-off Operation Tempest national uprising. None Polish copy known to me so far ever made use of this type of receiver – and I have seen most of the known survivors and photos of these not so fortunate. The confirmed Polish copies were all (more or less) copies of the Mk II Sten with a screw-in barrel jacket. The magazine well was either rotating or fixed, but never that type of a front plug receiver was used (especially assembled with a front sight pointing south…)
    This word stamped on it is not in Polish, at any rate. I don’t know who made it, but Polish origin is VERY unlikely.

      • I think Leszek Erenfeicht is right, this doesn’t seem to be Polish. Of course, there is ever so little chance that this is just a one-off made gun, someone’s attempt to make an SMG (just like those chinese mystery guns)and, since many decades passed since WW2, who knows who had this gun and if that person didn’t add that “BATHAU” line. But yes, this is extremely unlikely.
        This SMG very loosely resembles other great Polish WW2 era submachine gun: Błyskawica (from Polish – lightning).

  5. I have some crudely made STEN parts that were thought by the seller to be resistance parts. I bought them because I’m deeply interested in clandestine warfare. Now, where did I put the GD things?

  6. It looks to me like the stamping is:
    1941.2. BATHAU

    That suggests a date of February 1941, long before the Gauleiters were trying to organuse MP 3008 production. But as a date it makes no sense, because the original prototype Sten was only completed in January 1941… too early for anybody overseas to copy.

    BATHAU sounds like a German place name, but it’s not in my gazetteer. It might be a former German place name of someplace that’s now known by a Polish, Czech or Russian name. There is a Bathau Farm in Denmark that breeds cows. There is a German trailer manuacturer called BaRthau, that German-speaking natives seem to occasionally type as Bathau.

    It could be some forgotten Resistance or Nazi acronym?

    • You have pretty much hit the nail on the head. I tried researching the “Bathau” name shortly after Ian posted this article and came up with the same results ( I noticed other contributors to this site also ended up like this ). The case may be that the manufacture of this gun was so limited in its scope and quantity that few, if any, records of it survive to this day, especially when one takes into account wartime exigencies. Just a thought.

  7. Ah. I hadn’t seen the markings on the receiver cap — identical to the markings on the trigger housing, and the marks on the trigger housing I took for periods are not duplicated on the receiver cap, suggesting they’re probably not periods.

  8. Polish Sten producers – for obvious conspiracy-related reasons – tried to ‘mimic’ the British originals down to the marks and serial numbers, to create illusion (in a case a gun was seized by Germans) that it came from one of parachute supply drops. The only thing they did not manage to copy, was the rifle – Polish Stens were rifled in a different direction compared to the British ones. They were also designed to accommodate both English and German ammunition, due to subtle differences in sizing of crucial bits and pieces.

    The Germans never figured out these details…

    I support the view expressed above – that’s not a Polish Sten.
    It’s some sort of German last-ditch/desperation ‘gerat’.

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