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Fyodor Maveyevich Ohlopkov

Discussion in 'Russian WWII Medals and Awards' started by Jim, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    In the remote snow-covered regions of the Soviet Far East, hardy men became famous for their big game sharpshooting skills. One such man was a Yakut hunter named Fyodor Ohlopkov, who was born in March 1908 in a remote area of Yakut ASSR. He left the collective farm with his younger brother Vasily, and it took them almost a week to reach the nearest train station. They enlisted in September 1941 and were assigned to the 234th Rifle Regiment. As soon as they arrived in Moscow, they were shipped off to the frontlines. A few days after the two entered battle, Fyodor's brother was cut down by a sniper's bullet and died in his brother's arms. Vowing revenge, Fyodor took up a sniping rifle. As a skilled hunter before the war, he needed no training. By March 14, 1943, his personal score stood at 147. Sgt. Ohlopkov was often called upon to eliminate German snipers, a most dangerous task. It was a human chess game requiring patience, cunning, quick reflexes, and nerves of steel. The loser was rewarded with a bullet and instant death. The Yakut sniper was victorious every time. In the last week of October 1943, he felled 27 Germans. On January 13, 1944, his score reached 309. As his victims continued to mount, Sgt. Ohlopkov's exploits were prominently featured in military newspapers.

    Yakut sniper Fyodor Ohlopkov in snow camouflage, winter 1943, He preferred headshots, claiming they were 100 percent fatal. An expert machine gunner, he slew hundreds of enemy soldiers.

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    With his keen hunting sense, Ohlopkov was in a position to instruct young snipers, and he often took one along with him to teach the art of killing from afar. He cautioned the rookies to adopt their own techniques and not imitate others, master the art of camouflage, and never enter an area unless they knew the terrain and had an exit plan. On June 23, 1944, Sgt. Ohlopkov participated in the assault on Vitebsk. He was hit in the chest and nearly killed. This, his twelfth major wound in combat, ended his career. He spent months recovering in hospital and was demobilized at the end of the war. Sgt. Fyodor Ohlopkov's official wartime biography credits him with 429 individual kills. However, he was equally skilled with automatic weapons, and his commander would sometimes send him out alone to repulse enemy attacks: the Yakut cut down the Germans like a farmer cutting grass with a scythe. It would be fair to say that Ohlopkov accounted for well over 1,000 enemy dead.

    Despite being one of the top Red Army snipers, the highest honor escaped him for some time. However, on May 6, 1965, this oversight was corrected, and he received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. He died on May 28, 1968.

    Medal of the Gold Star (Hero of the Soviet Union)

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