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Fry The Brain: The Art of Urban Sniping and its Role in Modern Guerrilla Warfare Paperback – October 27, 2008
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Fry the Brain is a long book that really takes an extensive look at the role and impact of the urban sniper through the lens of numerous urban conflicts from Stalingrad in World War II, to the current conflict in Iraq. His historical analysis are absolutely outstanding in general, and provide an excellent foundation for his subsequent discussion concerning the role of the sniper in each battle. West's examination of each conflict is accomplished through an examination of the tactics, and equipment employed by the urban sniper in each of the contingencies, usually through an analysis of a specific sniper or sniper operation. In each case study West focuses on the challenges of infiltration, signature minimization, exfiltration, and the psychological impact of the sniper after the target(s) were serviced. Where ever possible West quantifies the number of sniper related casualties, and subsequently works to extrapolate through various indicators their ultimate impact at the operational level of the conflict.
West expands his examination of the urban sniper by also reviewing the snipers tools of the trade, and modern counter sniper tactics, and technology.Read more ›
Fry the Brain is a comprehensive and revealing look at urban guerrilla sniping, one of the most notorious and least understood disciplines of insurgent warfare. Sniping is a precision tool used by insurgents to surgically target individuals without causing collateral damage. As West notes, "the embodiment of urban guerrilla warfare is the sniper, a lone individual who moves among the people." Snipers use their surroundings to their advantage, taking their shot, then disappearing into the population. Resistance movements and insurgencies of all shades and stripes have made use of the guerrilla sniper.
For many, the quintessential image of a sniper is a young, fit male who is professionally trained, wears a ghillie suit and fires from extreme distances with a high-powered rifle that has an equally high-powered scope. West proves, in case-study after case-study, that not only is this caricature an inaccurate portrayal of the most predominant sniping campaigns and the most prolific snipers, but also that this conventional, rural-centric mindset is often a poor fit and even counterproductive for applications in modern urban guerrilla warfare.
West breaks the mold of the conventionally-minded construct of a sniper and offers a paradigm-shifting perspective on the insurgent tactic of sniping. Fry the Brain shows that some of the most effective snipers had no formal equipment or training and were self-taught. Vassili Zaitsev, World War II's most famous sniper, began his career as a payroll clerk in the Russian navy before he learned how to shoot while fighting the German army in Stalingrad.Read more ›
John West is an ex Army Special Forces Soldier who, as best as I can tell, was not a sniper himself but became fascinated with the reality of urban guerrilla sniping when his Team patrolled in vehicles up on an Iraqi traffic Checkpoint and he and another soldier saw a bullet impact on the fortification of the checkpoint, but no one, even the Iraqis at the checkpoint heard a gun shot. This incident set Mr West off on a personal quest to learn all that he could about the art of urban sniping and document it in this book.
I am incredibly grateful that he did this. I wish I and my fellow Army Infantrymen had this book while we served in SW Baghdad in 2006. We suffered from a minor but consistent urban sniper threat. Fortunately our Company didn't receive any KIAs because of this sniper problem, though we did have 3 soldiers wounded from it. I'm pretty much positive that we were not dealing with the "Juba" group of snipers that shot mostly from ground level vehicles at mostly stationary checkpoints and guard towers. Instead our 3 WIAs were from high angle shots from upper story buildings that were most likely done from within 75 yards and without scopes. At the time we tried to be as aware as we could of the circumstances, and we utilized both our company snipers and a special detachment of SF Counter-snipers, but after reading this book I now realize how much I hadn't been aware of at the time about the art of urban guerrilla sniping and how potentially limited the big Army's concept of sniping was on our ability to deal with this threat. Not to bad mouth our counter sniping capabilities, as the SF and even our Company Snipers, led by my former Squad Leader, were all very capable and striving for adaptation and evolution within the needs of the fight.
This book should be the definitive urban sniping and counter sniping source book for years to come.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative read! I am in the Infantry and I love reading books on different aspects of warfare. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ryan Witkowski
This book was a real eye opener for me - It is both scary yet liberating at the same time.
If you are unsure of whether to buy this book: You should buy this book! Read more
I really enjoyed and appreciate this book,it gives good insite into the mentality and approaches of guerilla warfare i.e. unconventional sniper tactics etc.. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Darrell james lupara
An intriguing history of the evolution of modern sniper warfare. It may never be something you do, but if you're ever in a war zone, you might want to understand what you could be... Read morePublished 8 months ago by J. Finder
I've never read a book in my life that prompted me so much to do a review on here right away.
The book unfortunately suffers from the "kid who cried wolf"... Read more
As the title states, this is about the politics and mind bending uses of snipers in warfare. My two favorite chapters were the Serbs/Bosnians and the Washington DC details.Published 10 months ago by Carlos Kerley
as an ex-Army designated marksmen in Afghanistan i found the book to be extremely informative and interesting.Published 10 months ago by patrick kahn