Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Soviet snipers, also referred to as Russian snipers, played an important role during World War II (known as Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union, in Russia, and in some other post-Soviet states). It is estimated that these snipers killed or wounded over 40,000 German soldiers during the war. While this number
Soviet, Russian, and derived military doctrines include squad-level snipers, which may be called "sharpshooters" or "designated riflemen" in other doctrines (see "Sniper" article). They do so because this ability was lost to ordinary troops when assault rifles (which are optimized for close-in, rapid-fire combat) were adopted.
Soviet and Russian military doctrine uses snipers for long-distance suppressive fire and targets of opportunity, especially leaders. During World War II the Soviets found that military organizations find it hard to replace experienced non-commissioned officers and field officers in a war. They also found that the more expensive and delicate sniper rifles could match the cost-effectiveness of a cheaper assault rifle given good personnel selection, training, and adherence to doctrine. Additionally, they found that sniper duties fit women well, since good snipers are patient, careful, deliberate, can avoid hand-to-hand combat, and need higher levels of aerobic conditioning than other troops.
A film was made about Vasily Grigoryevich Zaitsev, a sniper who fought in the Battle of Stalingrad, called Enemy at the Gates, based on a section in the eponymous book by William Craig which allegedly fictionalizes a duel between Zaitsev and a German sniper. During the battle, Zaitsev killed 242 Germans. While he is arguably the most famous Russian sniper, there were thousands of snipers in the Russian Army. The battle between the German sniper and Zaitsev was not documented in any reference from the Soviet army.
Many women fought as snipers, including Mila Mikhailovna Pavichenko (who killed over 300 German soldiers) and Nina Alexeyevna Lobkovskaya .
Famous Soviet snipers
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