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Snipers at War (Hardback)

An Equipment and Operations History

WWII All Greenhill Books Snipers Weapons

By John Walter
Greenhill Books
Pages: 294
ISBN: 9781784381844
Published: 3rd October 2017


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Snipers at War is a detailed history and analysis of the equipment, tactics and personalities of the ‘sniping world’, from the pursuit of accuracy to the latest electronic aids to observation and ranging.

Technology and marksmanship from the Crimean War to the present day is examined in detail. The role of the sniper was largely ignored until the Winter War of 1939-40 between Finland and the USSR showed what could be achieved by specialist marksmen: Finn Simo Häyhä amassed 505 kills in less than a hundred days, a lesson learned by the Red Army to its cost.

By the Germans' invasion of 1941 the Russians were prepared: when the war ended, in addition to men such as Vasiliy Zaytsev, a Stalingrad hero with 242 accredited kills, the USSR had trained more than 2000 women as snipers.

After 1945, the sniper’s reputation declined again. However, the Vietnam War, seemingly unending Middle Eastern conflict, internal strife in Sri Lanka, and ever-present urban threats have given new impetus not only to sniping but also to the development of new and more effective weaponry.

★★★★ If you are looking for a general, well written book about sniping history to present day and the development of sniping weapons look no further. The amount of details are impressive, but for the unseasoned reader they may be overwhelming at times. Given the extend of the subject you would expect few details of the snipers involved. This book includes many personal experiences which makes it an interesting book to read, I would however have loved to read more of these stories though.

If you are interested in the subject in detail (including calibre used), manufacturers, you’ve got the right book. Also, if you are interested in ‘story telling’ you may like the book as well. John Walker must have done massive research in order to be able to write this book. For this reason a five star rating would have been well deserved. Often, I read a personal story and wanted to read more about the person but then the story stopped. Since I would have liked to read more of these stories, I’ll rate the book with four stars only, but other readers may believe five stars would be fair.

Read the complete review here.

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About John Walter

John Walter is the acclaimed author of a number of books including Military Rifles of Two World Wars, Military Handguns of Two World Wars, The Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers, Guns of the Third Reich and The Luger Story.

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