Ultimate Weapon: The Sniper Unit Was Perfected in World War II

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October 11, 2020 Topic: History Region: World Blog Brand: The Reboot Tags: World War IISnipersPacific WarEastern FrontMilitary Tactics

Ultimate Weapon: The Sniper Unit Was Perfected in World War II

When World War II began, a new style of warfare was introduced; it was capable of swift and extensive movement and created very different battlefield conditions in a variety of theaters worldwide. In these conditions, the art of the sniper could be adapted to produce an effective weapon.

Australians made excellent snipers, the best being those who had been kangaroo hunters. A ’roo hunter must be a superb shot since a clean kill preserves the pelt and will not disturb the other ’roos. Most of them were already experienced with the heavy .303 Lee-Enfield rifle. One such hunter turned sniper accounted for 47 Japanese on Timor but only claimed 25, on the basis that “you can’t count a ’roo unless you saw him drop and know exactly where to skin him.” The Australians fought a guerrilla campaign against the Japanese on Timor, killing some 1,500 for the loss of 40 and forcing the Japanese to divert large reinforcements.

This article first appeared on the Warfare History Network.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.