Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Three Of The Best Snipers In History

Snipers are known to be stealthy marksmen that kill from long range, beyond the standard range of most personnel. Although modern games portray snipers as "camping around" and doing 360 degrees no-scope headshots, real life snipers require large amounts of skill and precision. Respecting that some games attempt to make snipers more realistic by accounting for bullet drop, wind resistance, and the concept that bullets don't travel completely straight all the time, they still miss the little things that still play a large role in what the bullet will hit, such as the air moisture, the amount/direction of wind between themselves and the target, bullet resistance, air density, target speed and direction, and even earth's gravity depending on how high or low they are to the earth. After all of that is accounted for, can the sniper (you?) still take the shot and remain hidden/alive?

Considering that I have this helicopter, I can make as many mistakes as I want.

I've chosen 3 individuals from history that are the best snipers, ever. Why only three? Well, obviously I can't account for every single sniper in history, and everyone has a different opinion on who's the best. So try to keep it in mind if you suddenly feel that you have been betrayed that your favorite sniper wasn't on this short list.

Carlos Hathcock, 93 confirmed kills. This man is responsible for the major development of the United States Marine Corps Sniper training program.

Hathcock was born in Arkansas on May 20, 1942. He grew up with his grandparents and even at the start of his life, he loved hunting, which in some manner helped feed his family. He used a rifle that his father brought back from World War 2, and would go to the woods to pretend to be a soldier hunting Nazis in a imaginary  Germany. Since a young age, he wanted to join the Marine Corps and thankfully, he pulled it off on the same day he turned 17, May 20th, 1962.

Unsurprisingly, Hathcock wasn't an underdog at any point of his military career, in fact he won many shooting championships back at home in Camp Perry and even won the prestigious Wimbledon Cup. After extensive training, he was sent over to Vietnam.

At first, he wanted to join the standard "scout" patrols, but he later changed his mind because his fellow Marines didn't have the hardcore, awesome woodmen skills that he had; he decided to hunt alone. However, many Marines questioned if a lone sniper would prove useful whatsoever. After 6 months and 14 confirmed kills, the Marines finally shut up. But wait! "Why so few kills?" Because the Marine Corps required a third party that had to be an Officer to confirm the kill and  since Vietnam wasn't known for being an jolly-happy dance contest all the time, it was difficult to actually confirm any kill; especially if the "kill" was behind enemy lines as it often was. (Because I don't think you would want to call a "time-out" during a raid to see if Sniper Joe killed Vietnamese Tim inside of a building full of other Vietnamese soldiers just waiting to shoot you.)

The Vietnamese army on the other hand, wasn't really happy about all their men falling like goats on a freeway, so they placed a $30,000 bounty on his life. (Usually, when the Vietnamese army wasn't happy about certain U.S. snipers, they usually put a bounty ranging from 8-2,000 dollar. Obviously, they thought that they could make a special exception for Hathcock.)

But Imagine that, if the Vietnamese army put you at 8$ per head?

Thanks to the bounty, Vietnamese soldiers were practically ecstatic about  hunting down Hathcock. At one point, they sent an entire platoon of snipers (about 16-50 snipers) after Hathcock. He gained his nickname "White Feather" because he always wore a white feather on his bush hat and probably because the name "Hardcore Hathcock" was probably a bit too much. After they figured out that the Vietnamese snipers would shoot at anyone donning a white feather on their cap, the other Marines decided to all wear a white feather, in order to confuse the counter-snipers

One of his most famous accomplishments would have been the one time he killed an enemy sniper, by shooting the poor guy through his own scope. On this special occasion, the enemy sniper had already killed several Marines nearby Hathcock and it was later believed that the sniper was sent to hunt down Hathcock himself. Obviously, Hathcock wasn't going to have any of this dying stuff, so he patiently waited for the enemy sniper to reveal their position, which was kindly complied by a flashing bullet in a bush. Without hesitation, Hathcock put a bullet into the bush, killing the enemy sniper through his own scope. It would have meant that both snipers would have had \ to be on the same level of height, looking directly at each other, at the same time, in order for it to be feasible. They could have easily killed each other if it wasn't for Hathcocks quicker reflexes of hardcoreness.

On a different occasion, Hathcock spent four days and three nights, crawling 1,500 yards into enemy territory, in order to take out an enemy general. He crawled inch by inch, day and night without any sleep. A few times, he was almost stepped on thanks to his near-perfect camouflage. As he crawled and crawled, he was suddenly faced by a Bamboo Viper on a bad day. The problem was, the Bamboo Viper's bite was known for being extremely painful and the flesh around the bite was known to quickly die and rot, and as you know, it's usually not a good idea to grasp/scream in pain while carrying out a covert assassination mission. Hathcock was bit the by Viper various times, which was met by enduring 'covertness' as Hathcock bit the bullet and kept on crawling to his destiny.

Eventually, he spotted the general leave his tent and took a single shot. He slowly crawled back home inch by inch as enemy soldiers ran around in confusion, and most likely pissed their pants as they began to cry and go into the fetal position started searching the area. However, it was a short-lived victory; after the general was killed, the North Vietnam Army doubled their attacks in the area as revenge for their general being killed.

After the mission, he was discharged and lived happily ever after. Just kidding, he missed the Marine Corps and Vietnam so much, he decided to go back to good ol' Vietnam after two years in the United States, and took command of a platoon of snipers.

Sadly, Hathcock's golden career ended short, after a anti-tank mine exploded a Amphibious vehicle he was riding in. Hathcock and the Marines with him died a untimely death in Vietnam. Just kidding, Hathcock bit the bullet again, and pulled seven marines out of the flaming vehicle in the middle of Vietnam. He was repeatedly severely burned as he jumped in and out of the vehicle, pulling marines out of ticking time bomb. Only after saving what could, he jumped out of the flaming vehicle for the last time.

It took 30 years for him to recieve a Silver Star for that action, presumably because it was so unbelievably hardcore. All of the marines Hathcock saved that day lived on, but Hathcock had second to third degree burns on at least more than 40% of his entire body. He had 13 skin graft operations, which aren't as dandy and fun as they sound. The injuries left him unable to return to the field and continue to operate as a effective sniper,

Despite daily pain, he pushed on and helped build the Marine Corps Scout Sniper School in Virginia.  Sadly, after surviving the constant agony, his health didn't improve. In fact, his health declined to the point that the Marine Corps forced him to retire 55 days short of the 20 years that would have given him full retirement pay. He ended up getting only 50% of the amount he would have got, if stayed for 55 more days.

Hathcock fell into depression, which almost led to a divorce from his wife Jo, but she decided that Hathcock was just  too hardcore to leave.* He eventually found hobbies that weren't related to shooting, such as shark fishing, because he wasn't going to settle for little girl hobbies such as knitting or dancing. He visited the sniper training facility at Quantico often, in which everyone would cry themselves silly being in the presence of the famed Hathcock, which had gained much fame among the shooting community.

Carlos Hathcock died on February 23, 1999, after a long battle with multiple sclerosis after the explosion.

*This may or may not have been the reason she ended up staying, and is only speculation, a very possible speculation nonetheless.

Lyudmila Pavlichenko is known to be the most successful female sniper in human history. She is credited with 309 confirmed kills under the Soviet Union.

Pavlichenko was born in a Ukrainian town of modern day Bila Tserkva on July12, 1916. She moved to Kiev with her family at the age of fourteen. She joined some knitting clubs and did schoolwork. Just kidding, she joined a shooting club, and quickly became a dedicated, hardcore sharpshooter. (I'll be "kidding" all day.)

On June 1941, she was 24-years old and while she was still on her fourth year studying history at the Kiev University, Nazi Germany decided to mess with the wrong ally, and began its invasion on the Soviet Union.

Pavlichenko was one of the first volunteers at the recruiting offcer, because nobody messes with the Soviet Union under her watch.

She requested to join infantry, because she already knew that she could out-hunt and our-kill all of her fellow untrained friends.She was assigned to the Red Army's 25th Rifle Division. Surprisingly, due to fact that she was a woman, she was asked if she wanted to become a nurse instead of the one of the world's best snipers. She stuck with division.

The division she was assigned to, made her one of the 2,000 female snipers in the Red Army. With such large amounts of people in the Soviet Union, only 2,000 had the guts to do it. Sadly, only about 500 survived.

She made her first two kills near Belyayevka using a Mosin-Nagent bolt action rifle. As a private, she fought for two and a half months near Odessa, where she got 187 confirmed kills. Clearly, she was just warming up at Belyayevka.

Sadly, her fellow soldiers failed to hold off the German invasion, and Odessa was captured by the Germans. They were moved to Sevastopol, where she fought for 8 more months. By 1942, she was a Lieutenant, and was cited by the Southern Army Council for killing 257 German Soldiers. During World War 2, she had 309 total confirmed kills, including 36 enemy Snipers that just couldn't handle the heat.

In 1932, she was wounded by mortar fire, and thanks to her growing status, she was pulled out of combat less then a month after recovering from the wound. The Soviets weren't going to have a National Treasure die this easily.

She was sent to Canada and the United States for a publicity visit and became the first Soviet citizens to be received by the U.S. President, when Franklin Roosevelt welcomed her to the White House. After that, they were so darned impressed, the first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt invited her to tour America while relating to her experiences.

During one interview in D.C, she was offended by the questions she was asked. One reported criticized the length of the skirt in her uniform, saying that American women wear shorter skirts, and her uniform makes her fat. He was never heard from again.

During her stay, she made many appearances and speeches in NYC. In fact, the United States liked her so much, they gave her a Colt automatic pistol. In Canada, she was given a Winchester rifle. As we can see, both countries were trying to "woo" her.


While visiting Canada with a fellow sniper, and Moscow's Fuel Commissioner, they were greeted by thousands at the Toronto's Union Station.

She never returned back to combat, most likely because she was "stealing all the kills". She ended up training Soviet snipers until the war ended. The Soviet Union commemorated her by putting her on Soviet postage stamps.

Although our previous sniper was unable to re-adjust back to normal life, Pavlichenko returned to Kiev University, and finished her education. She began a career as a historian and was later active in the Soviet Committee of Veterans of War. She died on October 10, 1974 at the age of 58. On the same year, a second stamp was issued featuring her portrait.

Simo Hayha. That's all you need to know. He is known to have the largest number of kills in any major war. 505 confirmed kills. What does that mean? Not only is he one of the most effective snipers, but he was the most effective soldier in any war.

He was born near the present day border of Finland and Russia on December 17, 1905. Before starting his military service in 1925, he was a humble hunter and farmer. At the age 17, he joined the Finnish militia, and was already starting to get noticed by his shooting skills. It's said that his farmhouse was full of trophies for his marksmanship.

When the Soviets decided that Finland was ripe and ready for the picking and decided in invade it. They threw 2 million soldiers into Finland in hopes of being able to capture it. Sadly, Hayha wasn't going to take this lying down. (Well, figuratively.)

He joined the army, and after finishing one year of mandatory military training, the previously small-town farmer was going to take things into his hands.

Strong, masculine hands...

He was placed in environments between 20-40 degrees below zero, in which he would lay in for days. He brought some food and water, and camped in the woods all day waiting for unsuspecting Soviet Soldiers to wander by. He was so hardcore that he refused to use telescopic sights; he preferred using his iron sights in order to make himself a smaller target (Because in order to use the scope you would have to raise one's head up to see through it.) and because he found it more reliable since the glass of a scope can fog easily in such cold weathers, plus it helped him in concealment, since sunlight is known to create bright glares off the lenses that can reveal ones position. His gun was a old Russian "Mosin-Nagat", which is an understatement since he still managed to catch 505 Soviets under its net.

It's been said that he compacted the snow in front of him, so there wouldn't be any loose snow flying around revealing his position. But that wasn't the hardcore part, the hardcore part was that he kept snow in his mouth to prevent the vapor of his breath from revealing his position. Now that's pretty darn hardcore.

He was nicknamed the "White Death" due to large of people he's killed, and his completely white camo he wore. The Soviets heard of rumors of men getting shot in the open, but none of them was able to locate the sniper. The Soviets had enough and were out for vengeance.

The Soviets sent teams professional counter-snipers, men trained to locate and kill other snipers, just to take out the famed "White Death". Simo killed them all.

The Soviets decided that that he was some type of demi-god, and decided to send artillery strikes/carpet bombs randomly into the forest in attempt to take this one man out. After tens if not hundreds of them missing, one of them hit the location right, and Simo was caught in a cloud of sharp shrapnel. Simo simply brushed it off; however, his coat was ruined, which only made him angrier about the invasion stuff.

Simo eventually ranked up 505 confirmed kills with his trusty sniper, plus 200 with his sub-machine gun, which he used when someone got too close. That's 700 kills. (Although the other 200 were un-confirmed) that's practically a thousand people. In modern FPS gaming terms, his kill to death ratio is 705/0. He was literally a one man army.

Sadly, on March 6th, 1940, a Russian soldier got lucky, and shot Simo in the jaw with a explosive bullet. Some people said that they saw half his head get blown off. He fell unconscious and later into a coma. He was brought back to home base by some fellow soldiers, and was later burried. Just kidding, he woke up by himself 11 days later, probably more pissed than ever. As you can see, not even a coma can stop Simo Hayha.

The same day he woke up, peace was declared, doubtlessly because they heard that Simo woke up and was was probably slightly annoyed about the bullet thing.

Simo was promoted straight from Corporal to Second Lieutenant, which made Simo the fastest promoted man than any other man/woman in the entire Finnish Military.

Disappointed, he continued to go and fully recover from his battle wounds. He went back to become a extremely successful moose hunter and dog breeder. He even hunted with the Finnish President Urho Kekkonen once, possibly because he thought that Simo couldn't have possibly existed due to his hardcoreness. He was wrong. 

In 1998, when asked how he became such a good shot, he said "practice." When he was asked if he regretted killing all those people he replied, "I did what I was told to as well as I could."

Despite being outnumbered 100:1 throughout the entire war, he stepped out victorious. He later died at a old age of 96 on April 1st, 2002. He died as one of the most successful sniper/solider in history.


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