The wealth of technical aircraft sites on the Internet, and the many and varied publications on the subject, will hopefully satisfy those 'techie's' with a need for such information as wing spar construction, electrical wiring diagrams, and how the Elsan chemical toilet worked (if you really need to know that), but for the rest of us I hope this provides a brief glimpse (on an easy to follow, none 'techie' basis) of the basics of the Short Stirling. Where possible I've tried to use pictures below to illustrate various points raised.
The Stirling was born because of a need by the RAF to introduce a long range heavy bomber, capable of carrying up to 14,000lb bomb loads, and being able to strike deep into enemy territory. No other aircraft before it was capable of satisfying this requirement, and left the country exposed as war seemed inevitable in the second half of the 1930's. Of the companies invited to tender specification for such an aircraft, Short Brothers submitted a design (based around their successful Sunderland flying boat) that was to become the Stirling.