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Much of his time was spent in No Man's Land, the dreaded area between opposing forces. As well, Norwest and his observer often slipped behind enemy lines. Although previous Allied attempts to take it had failed, the elaborately planned Canadian assault succeeded. Most of the Ridge was taken on the first day, April 9. Three days later, the two remaining enemy positions, including the Pimple, were conquered. According to his award citation, Norwest showed "great bravery, skill and initiative in sniping the enemy after the capture of the Pimple. By his activity he saved a great number of our men's lives.

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The following year, Norwest was awarded a bar to his MM. It is not known why, and in August , his bravery was again evident. During the Battle of Amiens, in France, Allied forces advanced 19 kilometres in three days. For his part, Norwest destroyed several enemy machine-gun posts and achieved a sniping record that was a battalion high. A week later, the 50th Battalion was moving into position for its next assignment when the sharpshooter held his final post.

On August 18, three months before the war ended, Norwest and two others were looking for a nest of troublesome enemy snipers. For the members of his battalion, a genuine hero had been lost. He estimated the enemy sniper to be about yards away — so well within range. However, as he lined up his target, Allerberger was seized by nerves. His heart was racing and the rifle shook. He knew the cause: it would be the first time he had killed in cold blood. This, he thought, felt more like murder than combat. He squeezed the trigger and fired — hitting the Russian right between the eyes.

The Marine Corps' first new sniper rifle since the Vietnam War is finally ready for combat

Despite earning many pats on his back from his comrades, Allerberger still felt a sense of revulsion at what he had done. Austrian sniper Sepp Allerberger, who was sent to the Eastern Front as a fresh-faced year-old and went on to kill men. However, none of his kills can match what was achieved in Afghanistan last year by an unnamed lance corporal in the Coldstream Guards.

On December 14, British troops in Central Helmand had spotted a suspected Taliban suicide bomber on the move and were sent to intercept him.

A firefight ensued, during which the British sniper observed a Taliban fighter armed with an AK47 climbing out of a ditch. The sniper that killed six Taliban with one shot was on one of the last missions carried out by UK troops in Afghanistan. Unknown to the marksman, the terrorist was wearing a suicide vest, which was detonated by the high-velocity round.

Not only was the bomber vaporised, but so, too, were five of his fellow Taliban. With just one shot, the British sniper had killed six of the enemy.

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Yesterday, when news of this shot broke, it made headlines around the world, revealing our enduring fascination with snipers. The role of the sniper is very different to that of most military men. While the majority of soldiers work in units, the sniper usually works alone. Camouflaged American snipers during World War One. For the first year of the war, German snipers, equipped with weapons with advanced sights, wrought havoc in the trenches.

It is this notion of the sniper as the deadly lone wolf, clinically picking off the enemy from his hiding place, that so fires our imagination. However, the sniper has not always been held in such high regard. Though the British had raised a sniper unit, the Lovat Scouts, during the Second Boer War, there were many in the Army who saw sniping as underhand.

It took the horrors of World War I to make the top brass realise that it was an essential part of modern warfare.

His life in the beginning

For the first year of the war, German snipers, equipped with weapons with advanced sights, had wrought havoc in the trenches. American soldier Private Charles P. Red Army sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko was the most successful of many female World War Two snipers with confirmed kills.

After the Great War, nearly every army in the world developed specialist sniper schools. Marksmanship is just one of the skills that is taught, as snipers also have to perfect the art of concealment. They also act as scouts and can learn much about enemy formations through their telescopic sights. However, despite their obvious usefulness, by the outbreak of World War II, snipers were still poorly regarded by all sides. The most successful sniper ever was a Finn called Simo Hayha, who shot Russians during days of the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union from to His achievement is all the more extraordinary because he did not use telescopic sights.

The most celebrated was Lyudmila Pavlichenko, with confirmed kills. Killing did not come easily to her. As with many snipers, she appeared to hesitate before her first kill.


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Those such as Pavlichenko, Allerberger and Hayha were lucky to have survived. On the Eastern Front, the average sniper managed to fire his rifle no more than 15 to 20 times before being killed. Thanks to the astonishing range of their rifles, they can be more than a mile from their target and still have a chance of making a kill. With state-of-the art weaponry like the British-made LA3 rifle which can kill from well over a mile, snipers are much less likely to die in today's wars.

WW1 sharpshooters used primitive kit to shoot enemy | Daily Mail Online

British Army front line sniper holding his armour piercing LA. The longest sniper kill on record was made by a British corporal in the Blues and Royals called Craig Harrison, who in November killed two Taliban machine gunners at a range of just over one-and-a-half miles 2,m. To make a kill at such a range requires more than just a steady hand and a good eye. Of course, as many snipers would tell you, some kills also require luck. Craig Harrison acknowledges that the weather conditions were near perfect for his long-range shot, with little or no wind and a lack of haze.


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Despite their transformation from hate figures to heroes, sniping remains a tough role for any soldier. Through their sights, snipers can see all too clearly the gory results of their work.