- Series: General Military
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Osprey Publishing; 1st Edition Thus. edition (February 17, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846034957
- ISBN-13: 978-1846034954
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,432,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sniper: A History of the US Marksman (General Military) Paperback – February 17, 2009
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"Martin Pegler's Sniper: A History of the US Marksman provides an in-depth survey of sniper history, from early revolution times to sharpshooets in wars and in both global and world war scenarios. Chapters blend history with source material quotes for insights." -California Bookwatch (May 2009)
"Martin Pegler's Sniper is an engrossing history of U.S. military snipers spanning more than two hundreds years. This careful assessment of the rationale behind and the motivation that drives snipers dispels the idea that snipers are no more than assassins. Instead Pegler shows how snipers are all about protection, and their main job is to protect their fellow squad members." -Dan Danbom, TimeOut for Entertainment (October/November 2007)
"... Sniper is more than a survey of modern military strategy; it covers military marksmanship history in America from Revolutionary War days to modern times, considering the first usage of marksmen and their strategic evolution. Chapters chronicle over 200 years of sniper history and developments, from training to weaponry, and make for an excellent addition to any military library." -The Bookwatch (October 2007)
"Overall, a fascinating look at a subject that is somewhat shrouded in mystery. It makes for a great read and is one that I believe you will thoroughly enjoy reading." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (March 2009)
About the Author
Martin Pegler has a BA Hons in Medieval and Modern History and an MA in Museum Studies, both from University College, London, and was for many years the Senior Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds. He now lives in the Somme, France, where he and his wife run a small bed and breakfast, which is situated on top of the old German front line! Martin has established The Somme Historical Centre (www.martinpegler.com), where visitors can see the technology used in the 1914-18 trench warfare. Martin enjoys shooting historic firearms, and has participated in many shooting competitions. He is currently an author and firearms consultant and he also lectures at local Great War museums. In his spare time Martin runs motorcycle tours of the battlefield. He is the author of a number of books including The Military Sniper since 1914 (Osprey, 2001), Firearms in the American West 1700-1900 (The Crowood Press, 2002), and the highly acclaimed Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military Sniper (Osprey, 2004), and he has also contributed to a number of magazines. In the 1980s he had the privilege of interviewing many World War I veterans about their wartime experiences, and the recordings are now part of the sound archives of the Imperial War Museum, London The author lives in France.
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Unfortunately, the writing is choppy and, in some places, moves back and forth in time in a way that makes the story had to follow. The editing of the text is probably the worst I've experienced on any professionally published books, with a few typos and many grammatical errors.
Additionally, the technical detail presented is of questionable quality and completeness. In particular areas where I have considerable expertise (e.g., night vision devices and optics in general), many of the details are wrong and/or misleading. The descriptions of the operation of early firearms were interesting, but hard to follow, and would have benefitted significantly by including either annotated photos or drawings of the various lock/firing mechanisms and sighting scope mounts.
While there was significant detail regarding rifle design and utilization, the discussions of modern ammunition design (i.e., in the era after the Minie ball was developed) were very brief. A discussion of the divergence of assault rifle and sniper rifle ammunition would have been welcome, particularly because of the controversy which existed in the Vietnam and post-Vietnam era regarding the efficacy of high velocity/energy small caliber rounds vs. larger caliber bullets. In this respect, the topic of ammunition was treated a bit as an aside from that of the rifles firing them when, in fact, they developed and succeeded or failed together because of their inherent codependence.
Overall, I'm glad I read the book but was disappointed that it didn't provide a satisfying level of accurate detail. This is very unlike the The Gun, which provided tons of backup and collateral detail that provides the reader with a feeling of really understanding how the modern semi-automatic and automatic service rifle (and its ammunition) evolved... and even motivated this reader to search through Wikipedia to understand more about the tradeoffs among the ammunition that competed for usage on the modern battlefield.