From the American Revolution to World War Two, the history of the military combat marksman is one of indifference, unpreparedness and cost cutting. Despite the proven effectiveness of the rifleman in battle, the sniper in the 20th century has been regarded as little more than a paid assassin, whose life if captured was forfeit. However, since the Vietnam War the undeniably effective use of such men in combat means that the value of the sniper has gradually become more appreciated by the military, and their prominence on the modern battlefield has increased significantly. In the 21st century they are now regarded as one of the most vital battlefield specialists.
Illustrated throughout with colour and black and white photographs, this is a chronological study of snipers, detailing their evolution, training, weaponry and actions. There are also unique contributions from the men and women whose skill and extraordinary courage have made them the most greatly feared specialist in warfare.
From the Foreword by Harry Furness, decorated Sniper-Sergeant, British Army Wold War II
We will always need to deploy our new age warrior, that highly trained specialist, the military sniper....
Factual books on snipers are few and far between, so I find it refreshing and timely that this new book has been published which will provide the reader with the true facts about these unique soldiers; and readers of this excellent, deeply researched book will now be more knowledgeable about a rarely discussed subject. You have to dig deep to bypass the many half truths in order to reach any conclusion as to why manking continues to wage wars that kill off the cream of our young society, but it might be said that if it is the fate of a soldier to die in battle, then a sniper's swift killing bullet must be preferable to dying from devastating wounds.
Chapter Heads The sniper in perspective. The rifleman emerges 1500-1854. The American Civil War and European wars 1854-1914. The First World War, the watershed 1914-16. The First World War, the fight back 1916-18. Russian sniping 1936-45. The German sniper and the war with Russia 1941-45. The war against Japan 1941-45. The war in Western Europe 1940-45. Limited wars 1945-85. Vietnam, America's nemesis. Into the 21st century.