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10. Origin of the Sniper
You might hear the word sniper and not even think too much about where the word comes from. Back in the 18th century when great britain was occupying India, hunting competitions would often take place to see who had the best aim and to see who was able to shoot a bird known as a snipe. They didn’t use scopes or really any enhancing aiming tools and the term sniper basically was similar to today term of being a sharpshooter. The bird known as a snipe is often difficult to find and they often remain undetected to hunters. Not only that, but they were some of the hardest birds to shoot because of their irregular flight patterns and their ability to remain hidden in the marshlands of india or in dense forestation. Being able to shoot a snipe brought great honor to your reputation and being called a sniper meant you were a highly skilled hunter. Letters home to great britain would describe the tough work the hunters went to and eventually it was used in the form a of verb
9. Snipers in Combat
One of the advantages of sniping is that you can take out a high value target from the safety of your hiding spot. Sniping during combat was often considered to be very ungentleman-like since troops were more used to lining up and mowing eachother down with cannons and volleys of musket fire. When the British were fighting against the americans on our own home soil during the revolutionary war, sniping and guerilla tactics would prove to be a good way to wreak total chaos. It left high ranking officers in constant fear that they would be the next victim, so it obvious plays a part in psychological warfare as well. While the British would march their troops through heavily wooded areas, american patriots would hide and shoot the person with the best looking uniform which indicated high rank.
8. Sniper Decoys
Once the bolt action rifle was manufactured and put to use during WWI, it had become a serious force to recon with. Not only could the shots be fired effectively, bolt-action designs are still in use in modern times, even with all the new cool technology we have today. It’s a simple design and Germany had to put together some of the best scoped rifles available. Since most of the fighting during this time was done in trenches, just barely sticking your head out to see what’s going on in no man’s land, could prove to be the last thing you ever did. British soldiers were eventually getting tired of getting sniped and came up wit a tricky plan in order to find out where the sniper was shooting from. They’d make a decoy head with a helmet like we see in the illustration made from papier mache and stick them out of the trench. A trick such as this allows for the sniper to take the shot and realize they basically shot a pinata instead. Once they hear the gun go off, they can tell where the sniping was coming from.