Hollywood has dramatically influenced the way most people perceive the sniper. The militants demonstrate a somewhat distorted sniper’s work and do not convey the accurate scale of the tasks, the level of training of this adequate military man. Our article will allow you to look at the actual state of affairs without the romantic flair of modern blockbusters.
Snipers in war history
The very concept of “Sniper” appeared in the 70s of the 18th century among soldiers in British India. The servicemen hunted the snipe-bird with an unpredictable flight, excellent camouflage, and a very cautious character. Only the most skilled and patient shooters with excellent camouflage skills could snipe. Accurate shooting at the jack-snipe in flight was called “sniper shooting,” The shooters themselves were called “snipers.”
The primitive forms of sniper work can be seen since the 1770s during the American Revolutionary War. There is evidence of covert shooting by colonists at British officers from a distance of 400m. During the Battle of Brandywine, information about an attempt to shoot at George Washington was preserved a little later. He was saved because the sniper did not want to shoot an unknown officer in the back.
Colonel D. Davidson equipped his rifles with the Chance Brothers’ scope during the Crimean War. The sight could not be adjusted but gave advantages at long distances. However, Britain did not adopt this system. A Whitworth rifle with a scope was sold to the Confederation during the American Civil War. Snipers on both sides used the weapon extensively to shoot at 1000 yards, which was incredible at the time.
The first significant sniper division was organized in 1899 by the American intelligence officer Frederick Russell Burnham. Snipers used a camouflage suit for the first time and had outstanding tracker and hunter and scout skills.
During World War I, the Germans equipped their sniper rifles with superior telescopic sights and had an edge. Britain did not lag and organized its school of snipers, in 1916, in the village of Lingham.
One of the most influential snipers’ works is the damage of 505 people inflicted on the Soviet army by Finnish snipers in 1939, during the Winter War.
The next significant milestone is the Battle of Stalingrad. Soviet snipers had advantages in destroying buildings and could inflict considerable damage. The Wehrmacht has seriously taken up the professional training of its snipers. They received excellent optics, weapons, ammunition, and an active infrared sight. The USSR responded by training tens of thousands of snipers concisely. The first anti-material sniper rifles were adopted.
Some of the most skilled in history were Japanese snipers during the Pacific War. The Allies opposed them with their snipers, but the US Marines worked in the vast majority of cases. They blended well with their surroundings, were incredibly patient and resilient.
Specific of a sniper job
The specifics of sniper work include an accurate fire at long distances, gathering information about the battlefield, the art of camouflage, underground movement, improvised means, mastery of weapons, optics, and technology. The sniper must shoot accurately from any position, at a moving and stationary target, while making adjustments for changes in weather conditions. The quality of shooting should not be affected by poor visibility and twilight. A sniper must master combat tactics, reconnaissance, work in a team, and carry out commander’s assignments without compromise. In addition, a sniper must have good psychology skills, remarkable endurance, an analytical mindset, a stable psyche, and impeccable health. A good sniper must quickly adapt to changing conditions and be creative in solving tasks for all these outstanding qualities.
The films have created the mistaken impression that the sniper is working alone. In reality, this is a group of 4-8 people, including a gunner, a spotter, a radio operator, and a security team.
A fighter’s stable psyche, his rational and logical thinking play one of the most critical roles for a successful operation. The sniper must disable the enemy’s key positions and command forces concisely. At the same time, you need to choose the right moment and wait for hours and days, sometimes in harsh conditions, without food and sleep.
Snipers are power amplifiers for their jewelers work at a distance, leading to significant superiority on the battlefield.
A modern sniper is an intelligent, educated, physically developed professionally with a very stable psyche. He kills people he has been watching for a long time. He sees them as individuals. This leaves a remarkable imprint on the fact of the murder. First of all, a person must cope with his own relatively humane feelings. The sniper is not a soulless monster that hates all people and therefore kills. No, on the contrary. These fighters are not aggressive, reasonable, and have a sober outlook on life. They protect people and clearly understand that there will be more deaths if the task is completed.
The professional qualities of snipers will be indicated by the fact that cadets undergo shooting training, even during a hurricane. But accurate shooting is not the only discipline that a sniper is fluent in. Reconnaissance, penetration into enemy territory, collection and transmission of data, well-coordinated work in a group with constantly changing factors, the ability to quickly identify key targets and promptly disable them are no less critical and in demand.
Personnel is not always the target. Communication centers, equipment, fuel depots, logistic routes – all this can be within the sphere of influence of a modern sniper. They can coordinate the fire of artillery, aircraft, and tanks, even being in the enemy’s rear.
As you can see, summary orientation on the terrain, possession of communications, equipment, hand-to-hand combat techniques are also part of the sniper’s responsibilities.
But no matter how perfect a sniper’s skills are, a stable psyche plays a primary role. If the fighter cannot endure prolonged isolation and physical deprivation, the entire operation may be in jeopardy. Therefore, a modern sniper is about grit, rational thinking, and the ability to look beyond the edge of one’s capabilities, and not about an assassin with a first-class weapon.
The modern sniper is a specialty for a very narrow circle of people. They must have natural inclinations, be physically fit, and constantly improve themselves. The sniper perfectly understands the value of human life and is always ready to share his experience. If you are lucky enough to have snipers in your environment, appreciate them highly, and they will reward you a hundredfold and even more.