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Allied sniper's role in European conflict

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by bigiceman, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. bigiceman

    bigiceman Member

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    What does everyone think of the roll of the allied sniper's role in the Battle for Europe?

    I think that they were a much under-rated and under utilized resourse. The American program in particular was never really organized. It mostly just consisted of giving the best shot in a company a bolt action scoped rifle.

    We all know about the famous Russian theater sniper stories. How about in Europe?
     
  2. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Snipers and sniping seem to have romantic connotations, particularly since the popular film 'Enemy At The Gates'.

    IMHO snipers only have particular value in static defensive situations ( eg WW1 trench warfare, Stalingrad ). As the Allies' role was primarily offensive, I'm not so sure that greater use of sniping would have been so useful. As was seen to great effect at Arnhem, highly-trained troops using standard iron sights could be lethal enough at ranges up to 400yds.

    A very good book on the subject - in fact, the only first-hand Allied sniping account I've come across - is Captain C. Shore's 'With British Snipers To The Reich' ( Greenhill, 1997 ).
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    As a defensive measure I think snipers have a distinct place as well as mines in slowing down the enemy offensive. In "Blitzkrieg" type of situation the snipers probably cannot slow down the movement at all but otherwise elimination of the officers if possible should cause problems in leading the troops.

    I believe also that being a sniper in a defensive situation means that you´re sacrificing your life while the others are retreating. Even if you manage to surrender I think chances are not good to stay alive because of what you are.

    A different kind of warfare that gets my respect is the Red Army method of sending tanks deep into the enemy´s rear during attacks. Just think how awful it is to know there are some 3-4 T-34´s travelling and blowing up everything behind your lines. Of course it´s a suicide mission almost 100% but the destruction, fear and binding of troops from the line is quite worth it.
     

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