Most Notorious Snipers That Have Ever Lived (Number One Would Blow Your Mind)

The history is contoured by bloody wars. Some useful, others completely shapeless. The handiness and gross stupidity of some the battles which claimed valuable lives is quite appalling but that is a story for another day. Today we would be looking at the art of the war itself.

War is not just about throwing deadly darts at the opponent but also involves intelligence, tactics and skills. One of the most valuable tactics used by great war-heads all through time has been snipers. By snipers, I mean that lone guy that is so good and accurate at shooting that he can take out a battalion of 50 men with exactly 50 shots from a jaw-breaking distance comfortably and without blinking. Yes! There have been and are still men and even women like that…….

Some of them are so good that  missions and bounties are even organised to capture them. I mean a single soldier can be more dangerous than a whole army. Today we would be looking at the top 14 most deadly snipers that has ever lived.

Thomas Plunkett, 2 kills, Britain

What other way do we start our list than by paying tribute to an Irishman who did the unthinkable. Plunkett is not on this list because of the number of kills to his hat. He’s here because he did something relatively unheard of in his day. In 1809, using a Baker rifle which the British Army trained its soldiers to shoot at a range of 50 metres, Plunkett killed a French General at a range of 600 metres!!!
 Given the horrible accuracy of the rifles of the time, it was an incredible achievement. After shooting the General, Plunkett, not wanting his comrades to think he was plain lucky, decided to make another shot again before returning to his line. So he reloaded his gun and took aim once again, this time at a major who had come to the General’s aid. The major dropped dead.

If not Jaw-breaking, what would you call that? 

Carlos Norman Hathcock, 93 kills, USA

One of the most feared American snipers in the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese even put a bounty of $30,000 on his head. In fact, they were so scared of him that they sent out missions just to hunt him down. He once attached a scope to an M2 browning machine gun, and recorded the longest confirmed kill in history (2,500 yards), a record that stood until 2002.

He also once scoped an area of operation for days, keeping track of the enemy’s movement before taking out the North Vietnamese army general there. He was a fearless soldier too, pulling out seven soldiers off of a burning track after being hit by an anti-tank mine. He was seriously injured while doing this

Adelbert Waldron, 109 kills, USA

One of the most accurate and shots America has ever had.
This man was a sniper at heart. As a boy, he would stalk up rabbits for evening supper for his family. This obsession grew to be stalking for men as he would go out to scout for enemy soldiers and eliminate them just for fun even to the extent of going after other snipers. In fact, his commanders often sent solders to look for him after he was out killing for too long. Waldron had the highest number of kills in the Vietnam War.
It is said that once he and his fellow soldiers, while riding along the Mekong river, were attacked by an enemy sniper from the shore 900 metres away. While the rest of the soldiers looked hard to spot the sniper, Waldron picked up his rifle and killed the perpetrator sitting on top of a coconut tree with a single shot. That this was done from a moving platform is an incredible feat in itself.
By the end of the war, he had amassed some 109 confirmed kills.
He finally retired to a life of shark-fishing (for the fun, never for the food).  He died in 1999

Corporal in British Royal Marines, 173 kills, British

The British Royal Marines won’t release the name of the most prolific of snipers who is said to have notched up 173 confirmed kills in Afghanistan. It is said that the actual number of kills may actually be higher. One of the most mind boggling stats is 90 kills in a single day!
And the dude is still alive!
….and yes, very much in active service!!!!!!

Ranjith Premasiri Madalana, 180 kills, Sri Lanka

Not much is known about this Sri Lankan soldier, except that he had 180 confirmed kills against LTTE. He would later be killed by an enemy sniper in 2009.

Zhang Taofang, 214 kills, China

He served in the Chinese Army for only two years during the Korean War and managed to kill no less than 214 enemy soldiers in a span of 32 days! Yes, I mean just 32 twenty four-hour days!!
What’s more incredible is the fact that he started his career with no sniper training at all. He once fired 12 shots and missed every single one of them attracting enemy attention. He learnt quickly though and averaged a massive 6.7 kills per day.
Approximately 7 human lives a day!!

Vasily Zaytsev, 242 kills, Soviet Union

People only learnt of the guy form the movie “Enemy at the gates”. Before notching up enemy kills in the Battle of Stalingrad, Vasily was a humble clerk in the Soviet Navy. After reading about the fighting in the city, he volunteered to be on the front lines, serving with the 1047th Rifle Regiment. Between October and January 1943 he had made 242 confirmed kills. Unbelievable right? But yes, he was human! 

A counter sniper operation from the German side was immediately set up. However, in his memoirs, Zaytsev claims that he killed a German sniper, with whom his duel went on for three days, and claimed his scope as most valued trophy.
You can agree with me that for a man as good as Zaytsev to value the counter-sniper to that extent. Imagine how razor-sharp the counter sniper would have been!

Chris Kyle, 255 kills, USA

This is one of the most successful American snipers. “The devil of Ramadi” as he was nicknamed ran riot through insurgents in Afghanistan. Yes! This dude can shoot off a needle from a rabbits mouth without injuring the rabbit. His most legendary shot came outside the Sadr City in Afghanistan in 2008 when he spotted an insurgent with a rocket launcher near an Army convoy - 2,100 yards away. That’s more than 2 kms far. He let just one loose from his .338 Lapua Magnum rifle to knock the guy dead. Such was his reputation that when the enemy nicknamed him 'Al-Shaitan Ramad', they were every bit very right. Kyle died in 2013 in a shooting range incident along with his friend Chad Littlefield.

Lyudmila Pavlichenko, 309 kills, Soviet Union

One of the most prolific female snipers in history. Quiet and gentle looking, this lady was one the world most lethal silver snakes.
Lyudmila had a torrid time the first time she faced the enemy. She just couldn’t bring herself to kill the German soldiers in her sights. It was only when a young soldier next to her was killed that she went lost. According to her, “…I never looked back”. She killed two enemy soldiers that day.
She would later add 307 more to the tally. She also killed 36 enemy snipers including one of whom already amassed 500 kills. After the war ended, she was retired and became a historian and an ammunition legend. 

Francis Pegahmagabow, 378 kills, Canada

A Canadian soldier of native American origin and a German nightmare. He was the First Nations most highly decorated soldier and one of the most effective snipers of world war 1. 
This man was solely responsible for the death of almost 400 Germans the capture of 300 enemy soldiers. He was unfortunately though, seriously wounded twice while fighting the Germans but  that’s not all. This guy also ran through enemy fire to get more ammo when his unit was running low at a time when his commanding officer was also awarded medals for running messages through very heavy enemy fire. 

 Fyodor Okhlopkov, 429 kills, Soviet Union

This was another Soviet sniper who fought in World War 2. He first started out as a machine-gunner, then became a sub-machine gun group commander, and in 1942 became a sniper.
Since the contributions of indigenous population were not recognised in these days, his 429 kills were only acknowledged 20 years after the war was over. A newspaper in Russia wrote this about him, “He has the keen eye of a hunter, the hard hand of a miner, and a big, warm heart.”
Yes, a big warm heart…….for blood. 

Ivan Sidorenko, 500 plus kills, Soviet Union

Ivan was a school dropout and very bored young man who enrolled in the army to while away his time.
 As a young officer, Sidorenko fought in the Battle of Moscow. The mortar team he was assigned to didn’t seem exciting enough, so he taught himself to snipe. This was the worst thing he could ever do to the Germans.
One by one he hunted the German soldiers from his Mosin-Nagant rifle. In retaliation, the Germans too posted their snipers in Sidorenko’s area, but failed to kill him. The young man’s aim was so accurate and clinical that his superiors called him to train more snipers. The result was a complete annihilation of the German troops at the 1st Baltic Front. 

Simo Hayha, 505 kills, Finland

A hero among heroes. Unarguably the most deadly killing machine the world has ever seen. This man was a simply death walking.
Simo Hayha was never a trouble maker. He was quietly leading a very peaceful life in rural Finland after having completed his compulsory training in the Finnish Army when he was called up to serve the nation during The Soviet Union 1939 invasion of  Finland.
 ‘The White Death’ as he was nicknamed racked up 505 confirmed kills using his M/28-30 rifle. When the Soviets initially found out that their soldiers were being killed, they thought that since it was war, casualties must abound. But the casualties kept increasing mysteriously. In time, they got wind of The White Death and immediately sent a counter sniper. The dude was killed by Hayha.
In return, the Soviets sent in more snipers; none returned! Next, they sent in a whole battalion; this still were sized-down by the magical machine. The soviets finally sent in the artillery to bomb him to death, but to no avail.

Hayha was so successful at hunting down the enemy because of a white camouflage that he usually wore and hid in the snow with, despite the terrible winters. So dedicated was he that he stayed in position without moving with snow in his mouth so that his breath didn’t condense and give away his position. He also preferred to use a smaller weapon to suit his compact frame and used the iron sights on his gun rather than a scope so that he couldn’t be spotted.
Towards the end of the war, he was hit in the jaw by a stray bullet and was later picked up by a fellow soldier. He didn’t die, but regained consciousness only on the 13th day. By then, peace had been declared and his tally remained at 505.


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