From the Inside Flap
Definitive biographies of the top marksmen of the Second World War Detailed and complete picture of sniper warfare Dramatic firsthand accounts of the most daring missions of the war Revered by some as the ultimate warrior and condemned by others as ruthless assassins, the combat sniper is more than just a crack shot. They are highly disciplined, calm professionals skilled in marksmanship, reconnaissance, and camouflage. During World War II, these lethal fighters were deployed by both sides to deadly effect. This new collection of biographies-written by leading military historians-explores the careers of the top snipers of the war. Each author supplies full details of their subject-drawing on remarkable firsthand accounts that have never been published before-to give graphic insight into a sniper's skill. As well as providing incisive technical information, each author offers a glimpse of the character and personality of their chosen snipers, giving them a human face that is missing in standard portrayals. These gripping, in-depth narratives go beyond the cursory treatment in existing histories and are essential reading for anyone wanting to learn about the role and technique of the sniper during the Second World War. The impressive list of contributors include Tom C. McKenney writing on Bert Kemp, Mark Spicer writing on Harry M. Furness, Martin Pegler on the famous Soviet sniper Vassili Zaitsev, Charles W. Sasser on the Soviet markswoman Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Adrian Gilbert on the Werhmacht sharpshooter and "lone wolf" Sepp Allerberger, Leroy Thompson on the British sniper Capt. Charles Shore, and Roger Moorhouse on Simo Häyhä, the man with the most confirmed kills in any major war. THE CONTRIBUTORS Lt. Col. Tom C. McKenney is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He is the author of the best-selling Jack Hinson's One-Man War. Adrian Gilbert has written extensively on military history in the twentieth century. He has a special interest in sniping and sharpshooting. Dan Mills joined the British Army at sixteen. He was awarded Britain's oldest award, a Mention in Dispatches, for gallantry in March 2005 for his actions in Iraq. Roger Moorhouse is a historian and author. He is a regular contributor and reviewer for several British publications. Tim Newark is the former editor of Military Illustrated. He has worked as a historical consultant on TV documentaries for BBC Worldwide and the History Channel. Martin Pegler was curator of firearms at the Royal Armouries for twenty years. He specializes in the development and technology of sniping. He appears regularly as a militaria specialist on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow. Charles W. Sasser is a respected military writer and combat veteran who served with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army Special Forces. Mark Spicer is a twenty-five-year veteran of the British Army, having served as a sniper and sniper platoon commander. During his military service, he wrote the British Army's field manual for snipers. Leroy Thompson has trained tactical units, including snipers, for more than thirty years. He writes articles on tactical weapons including new sniping rifles and optics. John B. Tonkin served in the Marine Corps and later in the security unit of a top-secret installation. Now retired, he is an avid historian, life member of the Marine Corps League, and a member of the Marine Corps Association.
From the Back Cover
Snipers have been condemned as cold-hearted killers who took lives without risking their own. World War II sniper veterans often concealed their wartime duties, reluctant to disclose their experiences, and faded into the background much as they did during the war. In more recent years, the public has come to respect snipers and their craft as highly skilled and daring heroes fighting to wrest justice from an oppressive invader. Modern snipers-and those of the past-are properly recognized today as representing the peak of combat skills, a worthy elite offering indispensable capabilities. The remarkable stories of ten combat snipers of the Second World War, with details never before disclosed, are told by military men aptly skilled to do so. The list of snipers includes World War II's most accomplished fighting figures often combating in anonymity, such as Finland's Simo Häyhä; Germany's finest shooter, Sepp Allerberger; Russia's famed Vassili Zaitsev and Lyudmila Pavlichenko; and America's Bert Kemp. Their stories offer fascinating details, and wartime accounts provide a rare glimpse into the world of the sniper. There are firsthand accounts of the bitter cold in which Eastern Front snipers Zaitsev and Allerberger often fought and the stinking, steaming jungles where Japanese snipers lost their lives atop palm trees. Personal revenge drove Pavlichenko, and Häyhä applied his skills as a moose hunter and skier to become World War II's deadliest sniper. Lt. Col. Tom C. McKenney describes how a West Tennessee farmer used his amazing ability for precision and almost supernatural marksmanship along with exceptional vision and depth perception to become one of America's unsung heroes. The authors are as impressive as their subjects-a collaboration that includes some of today's greatest sniping authorities-including Sgt. Maj. Mark Spicer, a retired British sniper instructor who is considered one of the world's top sniping experts; Adrian Gilbert, who has authored several major books about snipers and sniping; and Lt. Col. Tom C. McKenney, a combat veteran and author of the best-selling book Jack Hinson's One-Man War, the story of a Civil War sniper. Their personal experiences enable them to empathize and understand these snipers as only fellow snipers and combat veterans can. Their insights disclose the characters and personalities of their subjects, putting a human face to the otherwise one-dimensional snipers portrayed in modern media.