Snipers have always been the elite of any country's armed forces, as they possessed a whole set of qualities that had to be either innate or acquired through years of training. We will tell you about five of the best marksmen in history.
Carlos Hescock was a famous American sniper during the Vietnam War. When he joined the army at the age of 17, he was greeted by his future fellow soldiers with great reluctance. Everyone doubted whether the boy in the hat was capable of anything, but their doubts came to an end after the first shooting on the range. The young man didn't miss a single shot. The command could not miss such talent, and in 1966 Carlos went to Vietnam, where his bullets killed at least 300 enemy soldiers. Eventually, North Vietnam put up a huge bounty on his head. A notable characteristic of Hescock was the white feather he always wore in his hat, despite his fellow soldiers' concerns about camouflage.
One of Carlos' most famous shots was the killing of a Vietnamese sniper when a bullet went through the scope of his own rifle. This case has been the basis of many Hollywood blockbusters. In addition, Hescock was able to set the record for the distance of a successful shot - 2250 meters, which was broken only in 2002.
But the war came to an end, and Carlos returned home without a single wound. He died in his bed, just short of his 57th birthday. Hescock is considered one of the most famous servicemen in the U.S. Army
Next on our list is the sniper from snow-covered Finland. Simo Häyuhä became not just a soldier, but a real symbol for Finland itself and for the Soviet Union. During the few months of the Winter War, which lasted from 1939 to 1940, Häyuhä killed between 500 and 750 Soviet soldiers. A peculiarity of the "White Death" (that was the nickname Simo was given to Soviet soldiers) was the use of weapons without telescopic sights. History knows few examples of snipers using such rifles. The reliable distance at which the Finnish sniper's bullets reached his enemies was 450 meters.
The name of Simo Hääuh raised the morale of Finnish soldiers even in the most difficult situations, and he himself quickly became a national hero of Finland. In addition to his short stature (152 cm), which helped him with his camouflage, Häyuha had various tricks, such as keeping snow in his mouth so that the steam from his breath would not betray him to the enemy, or freezing the water in front of the barrel of his rifle so that the snow would not rise up when he fired.
The famous Finnish sniper lived a long life and died in 2002 at the age of 96.
The list could not fail to include the sniper who frightened the Germans during World War II as much as the "White Death" once frightened Soviet soldiers. We are talking about Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the most successful female sniper in world history. From the early days of the war she was eager to go into battle and, after taking sniper courses, found herself in the ranks of a rifle company.
As Pavlichenko herself admitted, the hardest to kill for the first time. In total on the account of the legendary "Lady Death" - 309 destroyed soldiers and officers.
The name of another Soviet sniper terrified German soldiers. We are talking, of course, about Vasily Zaitsev. He, like many Soviet soldiers, mercilessly destroyed enemy soldiers, but the most famous battle was a sniper duel with a German sniper ace who was tasked with destroying Zaitsev. After many hours of strenuous waiting, Vasiliy was able to calculate the sniper's location by the shine of his telescopic sight and make one precise shot. The murdered man was a major of the Third Reich army.
Zaitsev, who headed the school of masters, made a significant contribution to the development of the sniper art, writing several books on combat and developing new tactics for sniper hunting.
One of the best snipers of our time who has proven this title in real combat is Texas native Chris Kyle, who from the age of 8 decided that accurate shooting was his life's work. By 2003, the young man had experience in special operations, and the command decided to send him to Iraq. There he proved to be a real master. A year later, when he had more than 150 men on his payroll, he was nicknamed "the shaitan of Ramadi," and a $20,000 bounty was placed on his head. The American sniper is famous for his 1,920-meter shot, when a bullet caught an Iraqi militiaman threatening the advance of American tanks.
Chris Kyle was killed in 2013 by another Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD. During his service, Chris Kyle shot down 255 adversaries.