Sniper Origins and Terminology
– The term ‘sniper’ originated from the verb ‘to snipe,’ which referred to shooting snipes, a challenging game bird.
– It evolved from the term ‘snipe shooting’ to ‘sniping’ and eventually became the agent noun ‘sniper.’
– The term ‘sharpshooter’ comes from the German word ‘Scharfschütze’ and refers to good marksmanship.
– The Italian term ‘cecchino’ is derived from the nickname for the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I.
– Snipers are also called hunters in many languages, such as ‘caçadores,’ ‘chasseurs,’ and ‘Jäger.’

Role and Importance of Snipers in Modern Warfare
– Snipers play a crucial role in modern warfare, providing overwatch and surveillance from concealed positions.
– Their primary function is to neutralize high-value targets and disrupt the enemy’s combat ability.
– Snipers gather intelligence, provide fire support, and assist in counter-sniper tactics.
– Anti-materiel rifles like the Barrett M82 are used for destroying military equipment.
– Snipers are deployed in two-man teams, consisting of a shooter and a spotter.

Military Doctrine and Influence of Snipers
– Different countries have different military doctrines regarding snipers.
– Snipers aim to stay concealed, provide surveillance, and neutralize high-value targets.
– Soviet and Russian doctrines include squad-level snipers.
– US and UK forces have found snipers useful in urban areas during the Iraq campaign.
– German doctrine, emphasizing concealment and independent snipers, has influenced modern tactics.

Sniper Teams and Training
– Sniper teams consist of a primary weapon operator (shooter) and support personnel.
– The shooter is trained to fulfill multiple roles and operates with a backup shooter.
– Support personnel may include a spotter or a flanker.
– Sniper rifles are classified as crew-served in the US military.
– In urban environments, two sniper teams may be deployed together for increased security and effectiveness.
– Snipers undergo specialized training in marksmanship, reconnaissance, and special operations techniques.

Historical Significance and Tactics of Snipers
– Rifling improved firearm accuracy over long distances.
– Early forms of sniping were used before the American Revolutionary War.
– Snipers targeted senior British officers during the Battles of Saratoga.
– Special unit of marksmen established in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars.
– Snipers played a significant role in World War II, halting the German advance and denting morale.
– German snipers had specialized training, equipment, and tactics.
– Soviet snipers were present in various units and played a crucial role in defense.
– US sniper training initially focused on long-range shooting, with limited instruction in blending into the environment.
– Japanese snipers in the Pacific War used the environment for concealment and were known for their patience.Sources: