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DDilegge
10-06-2005, 07:14 AM
Moderator's Note

There is an open thread Are snipers and recon still valid in infantry battalions? (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=8165) which maybe of interest. If required this thread can be re-opened; it was closed in March 2015. A small number of threads were merged, in particular a thread from Iraq (OIF) on the insurgents using a US veteran's knowledge (ends).


"The maker of a track-wheeled robot used in Iraq and Afghanistan is developing a version designed to locate the source of sniper fire."

"IRobot Corp.'s joint project with Boston University's Photonics Center could protect soldiers by helping them quickly locate snipers and either steer clear of them or fire back...."

Source: Associated Press (5 Oct 05) at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/05/AR2005100502001.html

Note: I remember the USMC working a similar program several years ago during its Project Metropolis experiments. Not sure if this is a related technology, a new effort, or associated with the acoustic counter-sniper system (Boomerang) mentioned towards the end of the article.

SWJED
01-16-2006, 01:31 PM
15 Jan. London Daily Telegraph (via Washington Times) - U.S. Army Sniper Nails Record Shot (http://www.washtimes.com/world/20060115-111618-6393r.htm).


Gazing through the telescopic sight of his M-24 rifle, Army Staff Sgt. Jim Gilliland, leader of Shadow sniper team, fixed his eye on the Iraqi insurgent who had just killed an American soldier.

His quarry stood nonchalantly in the fourth-floor bay window of a hospital in battle-torn Ramadi, still clasping a long-barreled Kalashnikov. Instinctively allowing for wind speed and bullet drop, Shadow's commander aimed 12 feet high.

A single shot hit the Iraqi in the chest and killed him instantly. It had been fired from a range of more than three-quarters of a mile, well beyond the capacity of the powerful Leupold sight, accurate to 3,300 feet.

"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Sgt. Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Ala., from the age of 5 before progressing to deer -- and then to insurgents and terrorists.

"He was visible only from the waist up. It was a one-in-a-million shot. I could probably shoot a whole box of ammunition and never hit him again."

Later that day, Sgt. Gilliland found out that the American soldier who had been killed by the Iraqi was Staff Sgt. Jason Benford, 30, a good friend.

The insurgent was one of between 55 and 65 Sgt. Gilliland estimates that he has shot dead in less than five months, putting him within striking distance of sniper legends such as Carlos Hathcock, a Marine who recorded 93 confirmed kills in Vietnam...

SWJED
01-20-2006, 12:53 PM
An item in today's Washington Times Inside the Ring (http://www.washtimes.com/national/inring.htm).


Sniper Rounds

An Army judge advocate general (JAG) temporarily banned Army and Marine Corps snipers from using a highly accurate open-tip bullet.

... mistakenly thought the open-tip round was the same as hollow-point ammunition, which is banned. The original open-tip was known as Sierra MatchKing and broke all records for accuracy in the past 30 years.

The difference between the open-tip and the hollow point is that the open tip is a design feature that improves accuracy while the hollow point is designed for increasing damage when it hits a target.

About 10 days ago, the Army JAG in Iraq ordered all snipers to stop using the open-tip 175-grain M118LR bullet, claiming, falsely, it was prohibited. Instead of the open-tip, snipers were forced to take M-60 machine gun rounds out of belts and use them instead.

The order upset quite a few people here and in Iraq who said the JAG ignored the basic principle of every military lawyer that there is a presumption of legality for all issued weapons or ammunition that are made at the military service level at the time they are acquired.

"She forced snipers to use less accurate ammunition, thereby placing U.S. forces and Iraqi civilians at greater risk," a Pentagon official said of the JAG, who was not identified by name. "And she incorrectly issued an order. JAGs may advise a commander, but they cannot issue orders."

After Army lawyers were finally alerted to the JAG's action, the order was lifted and the JAG was notified that the open tip was perfectly legal for use by snipers. However, the reversal was followed by the Army officials' taking retaliation against a sniper who blew the whistle on the bogus order. The sniper lost his job over a security infraction in reporting the JAG.

NDD
02-15-2006, 01:47 AM
This was a huge deal. I hope the young shooter gets squared away by the powers that be.

SWJED
07-16-2006, 04:59 PM
July issue of Army Magazine - XM110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (http://www.ausa.org/webpub/DeptArmyMagazine.nsf/byid/KHYL-6QLPVR) by Scott Gourley.


Representatives for Army Test and Evaluation Command are conducting operational testing on the newest addition to the U.S. Army arsenal: the XM110 7.62 mm semi-automatic sniper system (SASS). As that testing is under way, there is a high likelihood that small numbers of the new system will begin entering the field in response to urgent need requirements.

According to Lt. Col. Kevin P. Stoddard, U.S. Army product manager (PM) for Crew-Served Weapons, the XM110 program evolved in response to a field requirement from some U.S. Army sniper teams. Those teams are currently equipped with the M24 7.62 mm sniper weapon system and the M107 .50-caliber semi-automatic long-range sniper rifle. Because snipers operate in teams, their equipment requirements fall under the PM for crew-served weapons.

“Right now the Army has an M24, which is bolt action,” Stoddard explained. “Then we came along with the .50-caliber, the M107, which is a .50-caliber semi-automatic. It’s designed to reach out beyond 1,000 meters [to engage] anti-materiel targets. Then units came along with a new requirement. They were looking for [the ability to engage] light-skinned materiel as well as personnel with 7.62 mm. They were also looking for a weapon that would be good in a close urban fight as well.”

The requirement for a new semi-automatic sniper system was released at the end of 2004. The Army called for “a 7.62 mm semi-automatic sniper system capable of delivering precision fire primarily on anti-personnel targets out to a range of 1,000 meters. This system must be a man portable, shoulder-fired system using military standard 7.62 x 51 mm caliber ammunition but optimized for the open-tip M118LR long-range ammunition. In addition, M993 armor piercing (AP) ammunition will be fired based on specific mission requirements. Compatibility with the existing family of military 7.62 x 51 mm caliber ammunition is also required. The primary components of the system include a rifle, detachable bipod, hard transport/storage case(s), soft carrying case(s), cleaning/maintenance equipment and manuals. The weapon will have a flash/sound suppressor, high capacity (up to 20-round) detachable box magazines; rails/mounting surfaces for mounting fire control (optics, backup iron sights and aim-light) systems; variable power optics/electro-optics (in order to engage targets between 50 and 1,000 meters); and an accompanying spotting scope with range estimation reticle(s) and a night vision interface.”...

SWJED
10-29-2006, 01:59 AM
29 October London Daily Telegraph - Iraqi Rebels Learn From U.S. Sniper Guru (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/10/29/wirq29.xml) by Robert Watson.


Iraqi insurgents have formed a special sniper brigade which is drawing its inspiration from a US training manual by one of America's most revered snipers.

A new insurgent propaganda video shows how guerrillas have dramatically upped their kill rate of US soldiers with the help of The Ultimate Sniper, written by a retired US Marines major, John Plaster.

The tactics they have gleaned from the book, which is available on the internet along with an accompanying DVD, are thought to be behind a steep rise in the level of sniper fire on US troops in recent months.

A total of 36 such attacks have been recorded by the US military in Baghdad alone this month, of which at least eight are believed to have been fatal. In January, by contrast, sniper fire incidents were barely above single figures, and deaths relatively rare.

The video is thought to have been made by the Islamic Army of Iraq, whose followers are drawn largely from the 400,000 former Iraqi army soldiers who were dismissed by the US...

bismark17
10-29-2006, 05:04 AM
Major Plaster was in the Army not the Marine Corps and when he was in MACV/SOG he was in a SF slot. This article seems like a propaganda piece to me.

SWJED
10-29-2006, 08:33 AM
Major Plaster was in the Army not the Marine Corps and when he was in MACV/SOG he was in a SF slot. This article seems like a propaganda piece to me.

Here is his Ultimate Sniper (http://www.ultimatesniper.com/) web page.

SWJED
10-29-2006, 09:17 AM
29 October Reuters - U.S. Military Probes Sniper Threat in Baghdad (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/29/AR2006102900098.html) by Paul Holmes.


The U.S. military has begun looking more closely at shooting attacks on troops in Iraq to establish whether they are carried out by snipers, according to a spokesman.

The change reflects concern over an insurgent video-CD that appears to show a series of shooting attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad by a purported sniper brigade from the Sunni militant Islamic Army.

The video, which Reuters has seen, was handed out in Sunni parts of western Baghdad last week as a "gift" to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. It shows 28 separate attacks, several of them involving precision shots to the head.

Narrated by a man described as the brigade "commander" and subtitled in English, it claims the marksmen use a training manual written by a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer.

"Ultimate Sniper," written in 1993 by Major John L. Plaster, is freely available through online bookstores. It was updated this year "for today's Global War on Terror," according to www.ultimatesniper.com, which calls it the bible of sniping...

aktarian
10-29-2006, 04:29 PM
Makes sense. Urban terrain is perfect for snipers. They are small so they can hide, buildings give them lots of oportunities for positions....

It is right to learn, even from the enemy - Ovid ;)

Rob Thornton
10-29-2006, 05:12 PM
The IA have rolled up a few of these guys here. When you catch them they do not look like Tom Berringer. Some are pretty good, or at least claim to be. Most of their equipment is a modified SVD. The Iraqi Islamic Army is real, they are a learning enemy, and moderately tactically and technically proficient - they can improvise. There numbers are not as great as they imply either, but they can mass a reasonable ammount of guys. However, the IA are better equipped, receiving better traning, and in most cases they are better led; and they are gettng better all the time - at least from my perch. The AIF (Anti-Iraq Forces) are also fairly good at IO, but the results are far less then the claims, but like the sniper, even the myth has an influence. If the press would do a little analysis they might figure out that they'd been made an instrument of an AIF IO campaign, but the proper place for a horse is behind the cart isn't it?

Bill Moore
10-29-2006, 11:13 PM
John Plaster is a true American hero who has walked his talk and then some. If you haven't read his book SOG, I highly recommend it simply for inspiration. The exploits of these men read like fiction, but they're not. I'm not arguing they were strategically important in the long run, that is open to debate. I have no doubt that John is seriously disappointed that the terrorists/ insurgents are using his book; however, if you looked at the number of books on Paladin press that could be, and are, used my terrorists, anarchists, etc., it is somewhat alarming. I don't think there is any feasible way to prevent this spread of technical and tactical knowledge, it is simply an aspect of our environment we have to be aware of. Our enemy will learn and improve over time, and he can learn from us through many different venues to include books like John's on sniping and assorted others, or unclassified military texts, various history books, various movies/documentaries, hot washes after fighting us, sharing experiences and TTP on the web, etc.....

I doubt there is an effective method to disrupt this type of learning, but there are methods for poisoning the well.

selil
10-29-2006, 11:23 PM
.... if you looked at the number of books on Paladin press that could be, and are, used my terrorists, anarchists, etc., it is somewhat alarming. I don't think there is any feasible way to prevent this spread of technical and tactical knowledge, it is simply an aspect of our environment we have to be aware of. ...

There is nothing that effects the evolution and acquisition of knowledge more than the predator to prey relationship --- me

Rob Thornton
10-30-2006, 08:53 AM
There was a study (I think RAND did it) on the exponential increase of knowledge. The gist was that becasuse of new knowledge sharing technologies and techniques, knowledge could be modified and exploited to make new information at exponential rates as never before. The study offered up an almost unfathomable estimate of how much knowledge had been added between the years of 2000 & 2005. Of course the internet as mentioned, has taken on a life of its own. It is the multi-billion headed hydra with outlets all over. The questions are how to use it to maximimum advantage, and how will the enemy attempt to use it to his? Max Boot did an interesting piece on the Information Revolution in Sunday's Early Bird.

SWJED
10-30-2006, 09:04 AM
Here is a link to Max Boot's commentary Are We the Mongols of the Information Age? (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-boot29oct29,0,4082775.column?coll=la-opinion-rightrail) that appeared in yesterday's Los Angeles Times.

Jedburgh
10-30-2006, 08:16 PM
There was a study (I think RAND did it) on the exponential increase of knowledge. The gist was that becasuse of new knowledge sharing technologies and techniques, knowledge could be modified and exploited to make new information at exponential rates as never before...
Not sure if this is the exact study that you're referring to, but the two-volume study, Aptitude for Destruction, from RAND published last year is definitely worth the read:

Organizational Learning in Terrorist Groups and Its Implications for Combating Terrorism (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG331.pdf)

Case Studies of Organizational Learning in Five Terrorist Groups (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG332.pdf)

(Note: The 5 case studies are of Aum Shinrikyo, Hezballah, Jema'ah Islamiyya, PIRA and ELF/ALF)

Culpeper
11-04-2006, 04:23 AM
It is not just this particular book and/or DVD. They have learned the hard way about how effective a single sniper team can be. On the other hand, Coalition snipers are breaking records because these morons still send their kids out in the middle of the street with an RPG or rifle. It is fairly terrorizing to be standing in an alley and watch one of your jihadist buddies run out into the street to send off an RPG only to see him blow apart from a single .50 caliber round before he hears the report of the rifle. So, they leave that particular alley and some other dumb group comes along and occupies it with the same results. Later on, word around the campfire puts the pieces together. No pun intended. They're learning.

SWJED
11-18-2006, 07:08 AM
17 November Washington Times - Inside the Ring (http://www.washtimes.com/national/inring.htm):


Military officials often say the insurgents in Iraq are a "learning enemy" — able to adapt to tactics and defenses used by U.S. and allied troops.

As defenses against improvised explosive devices improve, insurgents are turning to sniper attacks.

One technique they apparently learned from the United States is the method used by murderers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who terrorized the Washington, D.C., area in 2002. Muhammad and Malvo killed 10 persons and wounded several others by firing rifle shots through a hole in the trunk of their 1990 Chevrolet Caprice.

Now the insurgents in Baghdad are using the same technique. Military officials recently discovered 40 vehicles modified for sniper attacks. The vehicles had holes drilled through the sockets for two taillight bulbs. "One hole was for the scope and one was for the barrel," a defense official tells us, who noted that they appear to have picked up the technique from the D.C. snipers...

Culpeper
11-18-2006, 06:45 PM
40 vehicles? That's a lot of vehicles. Nevertheless, and a little off subject, but I have heard that some snipers in-country have exceeded Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin's record. The combination of a .308 and .50 sniper nest is very effective against insurgents, whom actually provide easy targets. Insurgents that are planners aren't dumb I can see them adapting and returning fire in the same genre. I also suspect that snipers are nothing new to the insurgency since many are ex soldiers of the old Iraqi Army as well as trained mercenaries from countries such as Syria. The enemy has been using snipers all along. Another deal is that we have plenty of armorned vehicles with sharpshooters. Something, no doubt, the insurgents have suffered great loss from and counter adapted with added stealth to live another day and do it again.

pattonnyfg
11-28-2006, 04:48 PM
Hello -

In the past this forum has been a great resource in regards to sniper information and Iraq. I am interested in any of the latest lessons learned or presentations on the Iraqi sniper threat or anything regarding sniper campaigns and urban areas, or where would be a good place to look. I'm looking at this from a local law enforcement perspective.

Thanks,

Pete

jcustis
11-28-2006, 08:13 PM
Patton,

I moved this here because it falls in better as a request for information. If you haven't visited there before, snipercountry.com has several pieces on the history of sniping through the years.

For all response posts: Be careful of drifting into specific discussions of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), both friendly and enemy, that can compromise security for current ops.

pattonnyfg
11-28-2006, 08:57 PM
Thanks - my mistake for putting it in the wrong spot. If folks are leery of posting things they can contact me at ppatton@nypd.org.

Thanks,

Pete

Jedburgh
12-08-2006, 02:40 PM
The guys over at the LASD put together a good presentation titled Covert Vehicle Sniper Platforms that looks in depth at a couple of domestic incidents, then compares them with TTPs observed in Iraq. However, its too big for e-mail - but it is available on the FPS portal. If you don't have access, you'll need to contact someone over at LASD.

Jedburgh
02-01-2007, 04:24 AM
On the BCKS COIN forum (AKO log-in required), there has been a brief unclass/FOUO discussion of Countersniper TTPs (https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=325409), with some POCs and an available download of the AWG Countersniper GTA.

Rifleman
02-11-2007, 04:23 AM
Kind of vague about the details isn't it? Bert Waldron made 109 confirmed kills as a sniper in the Mekong Delta area.....in five months.

WALDRON, ADELBERT F.
(First Award)
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division
Date of Action: January 16 - February 4, 1969
Synopsis:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Adelbert F. Waldron, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Sergeant Waldron distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period 16 January 1969 to 4 February 1969. His extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 1068 (1969)
Other Award: Distinguished Service Cross w/OLC (Vietnam)

WALDRON, ADELBERT F.
(Second Award)
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division
Date of Action: February 5 - March 29, 1969
Synopsis:
The Distinguished Service Cross (First Oak Leaf Cluster) is presented to Adelbert F. Waldron, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Sergeant Waldron distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions during the period 5 February 1969 to 29 March 1969. His extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 2904 (1969)
Other Award: Distinguished Service Cross (Vietnam)

Jedburgh
02-11-2007, 04:43 AM
Waldron is mentioned in passing in the book Sharpening the Combat Edge: The Use of Analysis to Reinforce Military Judgment (http://www.army.mil/CMH/books/Vietnam/Sharpen/index.htm#contents)

...As an interesting war story, our most successful sniper was Sergeant Adelbert F. Waldron, III, who had 109 confirmed kills to his credit. One afternoon he was riding along the Mekong River on a Tango boat when an enemy sniper on shore pecked away at the boat. While everyone else on board strained to find the antagonist, who was firing from the shoreline over 900 meters away, Sergeant Waldron took up his sniper rifle and picked off the Viet Cong out of the top of a coconut tree with one shot (this from a moving platform). Such was the capability of our best sniper. We had others, too, with his matchless vision and expert marksmanship. Sergeant Waldron earned two Distinguished Service Crosses for his outstanding skill and bravery...

Jedburgh
02-16-2007, 05:15 PM
The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Focus, 14 Feb 07:

Baghdad Sniper Gains Legendary Status (http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2370246)

....sniper attacks have encouraged jihadis to train and participate in the insurgency. The new terrorism drive is obvious from jihadi forum postings on the subject, such as the posting entitled "How to Become a Sniper" (http://harp.jconserv.net, December 22, 2006).

In "How to Become a Sniper," jihadi forum contributors discuss the importance of sniper attacks, camouflage, casing the target, cover and concealment techniques, target approach and proper breathing while executing the shot. The training also covers different sniper positions, rifle support methods and rifle tripods. One interesting point in the training that correlates with the sniper video is the instructions to work in groups in target reconnaissance. Close scrutiny of the videos reveals that some attacks are videotaped by a separate camera and not by the rifle mounted lens....

kaur
02-16-2007, 05:51 PM
www.stratfor.com has written following story, but I'm still wondering what are they doing with those rifles in urban environment (at least 2 man for transportation or mobile platform, huge shot signature etc). I do understand Al Qaeda who got Barrets for Afganistan mountainous terrain. In Iraqi hostile environment (Coalition's ROE, firepower etc) those .50 would have even shorter tactical life span that IRA's Barrets. This kind of Iranian sponsoring reminds what Soviet did for Palestinians, teaching unappropriate tactics.

Iraq: Ominous Signs of a Looming Sniper Threat
Feb 14, 2007

Summary

In a series of raids across Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi forces seized more than 100 Austrian-manufactured sniper rifles in a 24-hour period Feb. 12-13. The .50-caliber weapons, which were legally exported to Iran in 2006, represent a grave danger to coalition troops......

My additions.

Here is photo about IRA's position from "Bandit Country."
http://www.image-upload.net/files/2451/IRA.jpg

Here is photo about Washington sniper.
http://www.image-upload.net/files/2451/POSITS%7E1.JPG

wierdbeard
02-16-2007, 06:41 PM
If there were only a particluar number of .50 cal rifles purchased, wouldn't it be a rational reason to expect that wherever the rifles orginated within Iran, (I would surmise that its either VEVAK or Qods) they are supporting the operation with training for the snipers, if so how would the trainees be chosen, how long and where is the training taking place. at what rate are they producing snipers? From a logistics point of view it would be easier to have the rifles already in country than to have the sniper smuggle it themselves.

kaur
02-16-2007, 07:50 PM
Jedburgh, before I posted to your PM i didn't Googel. Here is full story.

http://worlddefensereview.com/Stratfor-intellbrief.shtml

Rifleman
03-04-2007, 08:59 PM
A little more about the little known Bert Waldron, pieced together from different sources:

The 9th Division started training snipers in December of 1968. The division started to withdraw from Vietnam in the summer of 1969. That means Waldron made his 109 confirmed kills in about six months. Michael Lee Lanning says in "Inside the Crosshairs" that Waldron made 92 confirmed kills in the first five months of 9th Division sniper employment.

Waldron made 9 of his kills in one night from the same hide site. He was shooting a suppressed M-14 with a starlight scope at ranges averaging 400 meters, according to a 9th Divison after action report quoted in "Stalk and Kill" by Adrian Gilbert.

Some sources credit Waldron with 113 confirmed kills. This appears to stem from an offhand quote from the sometimes famous, more often infamous, late Colonel Mitchell WerBell. Waldron was Werbell's marksmanship instructor at the SIONICS mercenary training camp in Georgia in the 1970s. The story goes that WerBell knew that Waldron had something over 100 confirmed kills but not the exact number. Werbell pulled 113 off the top of his head to sound good during an interview and that number is still quoted in some sources. 109 is the number seen in 9th Infantry Divison after action reports.

There was a barracks rumor floating around Ft. Bragg in the 1980s that said Waldron was doing some time on a Federal firearms charge. If he was, one has to wonder if it had something to do with his employment with WerBell, who was frequently being investigated for one thng or another. Unconfirmed rumor, but given Waldron's association with WerBell it doesn't sound improbable. If true, this may explain why he never became well known or wrote a book.

I got an email from one source that knew a little about Waldron. The source said Waldron was pretty much estranged from most people when he died. Perhaps bitterness from the way things turned out? Again, unconfirmed, but not improbable if the prison time is true.

Adelbert F. Waldron III is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Riverside, California. The listed dates are: B. March 14, 1933 - D. October 18, 1995. That means Waldron was 36 years old during the peak of his combat effectiveness in early 1969.

He was a superb rifleman correctly employed in a target rich environment.

Ender
04-04-2007, 12:11 AM
Narrated by a man described as the brigade "commander" and subtitled in English, it claims the marksmen use a training manual written by a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer.

Here is the subtitled video of the brigade commander who interestingly enough, purports to be "Juba." (A thread of Jedburgh's also mentions him above) http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e536c3bebc&p=1 Juba has been on the net posting his attacks for at least six months that I know of, so he at least is not new. I must admit his productions have gotten snazzier. What is interesting is that if he is in fact Juba and the commander of this "brigade" (it is difficult to determine whether he is referring to himself in the third person or not) he has been promoted relatively recently because when I first heard about him even the people (non Westerners) posting his videos didn't even know who he was.

My gut tells me after watching him, studying his "methods" and reading about the D.C. style tactics used in Iraq, that this guy happened to come across the book, had some success with it and is now spreading the good word. I was given Plaster's book 14 years ago and I can not imagine a trained sniper cadre in the world that wouldn't have access to their own user friendly manuals. That they are using ours suggests to me that they are late to the game and are once again evolving their tactics in response to the ass kicking they are receiving. They may be adapting but they can't come close to how fast we adapt to them. I am not a school trained sniper and would be very interested to hear what one would say after watching this dude but my professional evaluation of the methods he uses is that he is not nearly as trained as he would have us believe. It does not take an inordinate amount of skill to implement the D.C. sniper method and while this is scary because anyone can do it, it should also be reassuring. If there were 30+ attacks in Baghdad from trained snipers there would also be 30+ fatalities and not just 8.

Not trying to minimize or trivialize the subject, only highlight a possible hype/threat disparity.

Jedburgh
04-08-2007, 02:41 AM
From the Apr 07 Guns & Ammo: Insurgent Sniping in Iraq (http://www.gunsandammomag.com/long_guns/insurgentga_033007/)

...As Americans, we have our own opinions on what constitutes both a sniper and sniping. Our Western view demands that a real sniper be school trained in the classical sense. Equipped with a heavy-barreled, bolt-action precision rifle topped with a high-magnification optic, he has the ability to reach 1,000 yards or more. He is trained to estimate distances, read wind/mirage and drills hitting targets far beyond the range of an ordinary rifleman. In addition, his stealth and fieldcraft skills are carefully honed to the point that, properly “ghillied up,” he can move virtually unseen. The end result is a warrior with the ability to spot and engage targets at astonishing distances while remaining undetected. In the Western mind, the longer the successful shot, the more impressive the sniper.

While there is nothing wrong with this now-traditional Western view, in reality it is just one take on sniping. Keep in mind, the nuts and bolts of sniping is to merely eliminate key targets and/or demoralize and drive fear into the enemy through the use of a rifle. While sniping equipment has changed drastically over the years, the art itself is the same as it was 100 years ago. Its crux is to locate a target without being seen, eliminate it with a single well-placed shot that seems to come from nowhere, then disappear, leaving a frustrated enemy behind who does not know where/when you will strike next. The insurgents in Iraq, despite their deficiencies in equipment and training, have learned to do just that....

kaur
04-09-2007, 10:36 AM
If insurgents don't have credit card to shop in Amazon, they can download counter-sniper chapter from Plaster's website.

http://www.ultimatesniper.com/Docs/Utlimate_Sniper_chapter_20_US2.pdf

SWJED
04-16-2007, 10:00 AM
14 April Daily Mail - The Super Snipers Who Will Target Terrorists ... From Three-quarters of a Mile (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=448604&in_page_id=1770&in_a_source=) by Christopher Leake and with a Hat Tip to Council member Merv Benson at his Prairie Pundit (http://prairiepundit.blogspot.com/) blog.


The [British] Army is creating a new breed of super-sniper to take on insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan who use innocent women and children for cover.

Until recently the Army's regiments had an average of just four snipers each and they were taught the basics of their role within their units.

But now senior officers have decided to double the number of snipers - and to train them to a far higher standard on an intensive eight-week course at the Army's weapons training ground in Brecon, Mid Wales, where they will learn the kind of advanced skills previously limited to units such as the SAS.

To complete their transformation into super-snipers, they will be trained to use a devastating new weapon - the British-made L115A1 rifle which can bring down an enemy target nearly three-quarters of a mile away with remarkable accuracy.

Army insiders say its great advantage is that snipers will be able to kill with a single shot, avoiding the "collateral damage" of hitting innocent bystanders.

Although the L115A1 will not officially be used by regular soldiers until next year, Army sources admitted last night that a small number would probably be trialled in the two war zones in the next few months...

goesh
04-16-2007, 02:38 PM
Innovate and advance - sounds like a winning program to me

Stan
04-16-2007, 02:55 PM
we (both Americans and Canadians) have some excellent .338 rounds and rifles that bring down grizzlies at 500 yards.

I have nothing against our forces getting the best available, however...
Exactly why do we need to buy a weapon system from another country ?

The 338 Ultra, A poor man's Lapua: Check out any hunting magazine or American Rifleman's latest. The Lapua requires lots of modification to work in a Remington action and that means high cost. The Ultra round is a factory available chambering and requires no modification to the Remington. These can be built for almost the same cost as a .308 sniper rifle.

The British Army says:
http://home.swipnet.se/longrange/british_army_338.htm


“It had to convince us that it had a 70 per cent chance of hitting the frontal aspect of a Land Rover at 1,500m – that’s seven out of ten shots on target – and it will. And there’s enough energy in the round to do disabling damage at that range.”

I have to admit, I have never shot a Land Rover at 1,500 meters :cool:

Sorry, but smells of politics to me :mad:

Culpeper
04-17-2007, 03:48 AM
I think some US Army dude was awarded a Silver Star for shooting some jackass with a RPG climbing a water tower at a range of over a half a mile using a .50 sniper rig during dusk hours. Half the jackass stayed up on the ladder and the other half fell to ground. Long range high caliber sniper systems have huge physcial and psychological impact. Unfortunately, these same types of weapons can also be made available to the other side on the open market. It's the type of round that makes the big difference here. The commercially available rounds don't make quite the same impact as the military version. I have a lot of respect for the .30 variety but the .50 is a monster with the right ammunition.

bismark17
04-17-2007, 05:21 AM
That video of the snipers using the Barret in Afghanistan was just amazing. I just found that again the other day.

Stan
04-17-2007, 06:29 AM
We had a real good thread herein on sniper's weapons beginning with a Canadian Soldier breaking the current distance/kill record (1.5 miles!). Sadly, no footage after the TAC-50 dropped the insurgent inside of a window frame !

Apparently, some do not like the relatively heavy .50's report, recoil and muzzle flash. We use frangible .50 rounds on suspect articles and IEDs, but nothing like a trusty 12-ga. watercanon round :cool:

Perhaps we should go back to the days without recoilpads, and the ol' man's Winchester 45.70...talk about recoil and report :D

Bismark, I'd love to see that video :) Link (s) Please ?

kaur
04-24-2007, 06:29 AM
Here is good reading about calibres.

http://www.remingtonmilitary.com/articles/DA%202005.05MH.pdf

and about Hard Target Interdiction.

http://www.remingtonmilitary.com/articles/DA%202005.03MH.pdf

Stan
04-24-2007, 07:47 AM
Kaur,
Thanks for the links. Chief Warrant Officer Haugen is very well known in SF circles. His bio and indepth knowledge of firearms can be found here:
http://www.boomershoot.org/general/mikebio.htm

BTW, the boomershoot folks add a whole new meaning to long distance marksmanship (Precision rifle shooting at exploding targets) :eek:


The typically tranquil community of Teakean-Cavendish will be shaken up as nearly 200 people gather in North Central Idaho for a weekend of explosives and guns at the 9th annual Boomershoot, April 28 - 30, 2006.

Diverse shooters and spectators from throughout the world are expected to attend Boomershoot, including law enforcement officers, scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and members of the Boeing Pistol & Rifle Club. Others are gun rights activists, such as Stephanie Sailor, three-time Illinois U.S. Congressional candidate (Independent), known for running cyber campaigns on a $0 budget.

SGTMILLS
07-24-2007, 05:52 PM
We were asking for sniper training only weeks into our rotation because by the time our intel got up and down the chain of command, the infantry snipers would show up on the wrong day, or wrong time, etc. etc. engineers asking for sniper training was too off the wall for 101st, i guess. this is a def. improvement to the system. who doesn't need more accurate snipers on their side? :D

sgmgrumpy
07-25-2007, 11:45 AM
Barrett Arms hopes to raise the bar even higher with the introduction of its new XM-109 25mm payload rifle.:rolleyes:


The centerpiece of the XM-109 system is the 25mm HEDP ammunition it fires. A scaled down derivative of the low velocity 30mm HEDP M789 ammunition fired by the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the MX-109's 25mm ammunition has been judged to be 2.5 times more effective at destroying targets than a .50 caliber armor-piercing round. It is expected that this ammunition can penetrate nearly 40mm (an inch and a half) of armor plating at 500 meters, or blast open doors from around the corner. In other words, it gives the Soldier breaching capability on fortified positions, while minimizing exposure to enemy fire, thanks to its effectiveness at greater distances. Also in the works are a number of specialized rounds, ranging from solid core AP ammunition to non-lethal/ crowd control munitions utilizing inert rubber balls, and RC agents.


XM-109 (http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_XM109,,00.html)

researcher
07-30-2007, 05:20 PM
I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who knew Waldron. I've been trying to find out more about this somewhat mysterious individual.

Waldron was from Syracuse, N.Y. On January 25, 1953 he joined the navy, which he left on July 27, 1965.

He enlisted in the Army on May 7, 1968, and was discharged March 16, 1970. For the last 9 months of his enlistment he was a Sniper Instructor at the Sniper School at Ft. Benning, GA.

LTC. Robert K. Brown, editor/publisher of Soldier of Fortune, wrote an article on Waldron called "Silent Death in Vietnam," which includes some after-action reports describing Waldron's activities. I believe this was published in the mid 1980s. For actions within the 3-month period of January 1969-March 1969, Waldron was not only awarded two DSCs but a Bronze Star and a Silver Star.

Steve Blair
07-30-2007, 06:13 PM
One reason he may have faded from sight is the record of the 9th ID in that region during that time. Now, let's be VERY clear that I'm not saying Waldron did this, but the 9th under Ewell (the division commander at the time who also wrote "Sharpening the Combat Edge") had something of a history of padding its body counts (very out of balance ratios of weapons to bodies tends to raise an eyebrow...and it's interesting that in "Sharpening the Combat Edge" Ewell talks about KIA 'exchange ratios' as a measure of combat effectiveness but remains fairly silent about weapons captured). They did a lot of night operations which seemed to boil down to shooting anything that moved after dark (again, this is something of a generalization, but it is commented on in many sources including Krepenevitch's book on Vietnam and "Self Destruction"). I think John Paul Vann had some sharp words about the 9th ID's combat operations.

If he was being used to pad body counts, I could see where that might contribute to his estrangement.

Rifleman
12-21-2007, 08:17 PM
Sharpshooters or designated marksmen: riflemen trained and equipped to engage with precision rifle fire at distances past the effective range of the average troop with the issue rifle; however, not trained or equipped (or experienced enough?) for true sniper operations.

How many are needed and where do they belong?

One per rifle squad? In a platoon weapons squad? In a company weapons platoon to be to be employed at company level or attached out as needed?

At one time I would have said one per rifle squad but this assumed squad fire and maneuver. That would have allowed the squad's DM to stay with the squad's fire element. But in an understrength squad, a squad that probably has to fire or maneuver, a DM at squad level doesn't seem like a good idea.

I don't think you would want a DM at squad level if that squad has to conduct an envelopment, would you?

Norfolk
12-21-2007, 10:02 PM
Good thread Rifleman.

Yeah, I've been thinking about this for a while since I saw the Brits switch their LSWs from the LMG to the DM roles. I rather agree with you Rifleman; I doubt that DM's are very good at Squad or Section level under normal circumstances. If you want people to deal with long-range targets or "special" targets like enemy heavy weapons crews, then you want those people to be as free as possible from having to deal directly with the enemy to the immediate front; that's what the guys in the Squads and the Sections are there for. That said, there will be circumstances where attaching them out to the Squads and Sections may be necessary.

I suspect that if you were to have about 4 DM's, normally held at Platoon level, the Platoon Commander or 2 i/c would be able to coordinate their fires better, and the DM's could operate in pairs, with one pair able to keep fire on the enemy's heavy weapons crews and depth targets if the other has to displace. Alternatively, the DM's could also functiona little more in the classic Rifleman role by skirmishing ahead or to the flanks of the Platoon under certain circumstances, and really causing the enemy some consternation even before the Platoon attacks; or in the defence, the DM's again acting as classic Riflemen could be used to cover the Platoon's withdrawal by slowing the enemy down.

This brings me to another point about DM's. I think that they should probably be called Riflemen, not Designated Marksmen or Shaprshooters. If they are armed with a Rifle with a full-length barrel and an optical sight, and preferably with a bipod as well, coupled with a little advanced Marksmanship training and some Scout training, I think that they might be rather close in tactical concept to the Riflemen of old, and just as useful. When you think about it, the "Riflemen" in the Squads and Sections aren't really Riflemen any more, they're classic Carbineers, armed with short-barrelled rifles and used to win the Firefight and then to Assault in Close-Quarter Combat.

Call me a Traditionalist (and I am) :D, but I think that bringing back classic Riflemen, in a modern form, would be a very good way to go.

William F. Owen
12-22-2007, 02:34 AM
@ Sharpshooters or designated marksmen: riflemen trained and equipped to engage with precision rifle fire at distances past the effective range of the average troop with the issue rifle; however, not trained or equipped (or experienced enough?) for true sniper operations.


@ I don't think you would want a DM at squad level if that squad has to conduct an envelopment, would you?

This discussion may be somewhat fruitless unless we have a shared understanding of terms.

To my mind, and that of the British Army and IDF an "Marksman is merely member of a fire team equipped with a 5.56mm weapon with a 20-inch barrel, optic sight, and bipod. He should be able to consistently hit targets out to 6-800m. This is part of the current fad for fire teams with a 5.56mm LMG, Sharpshooter and a 40mm UGL.

I don't think this makes sense. I'd have 2 x 8.6mm or 7.62mm bolt action rifles at the platoon level and train 4-5 men how to use them out to 1,000m for the 7.62mm and 1,800m for the 8.6mm. I estimate, the 8.6mm takes about twice as long to train, and probably cost 5 times as much overall.

These men would be Long Range Rifleman, not snipers. They would have all the normal infantry skills, but be expert at getting the best out of the weapon. I would put them with the Platoon Recce Teams. They would carry the rifle and an IW.

Rifleman
12-22-2007, 05:55 AM
This brings me to another point about DM's. I think that they should probably be called Riflemen, not Designated Marksmen or Shaprshooters. If they are armed with a Rifle with a full-length barrel and an optical sight, and preferably with a bipod as well, coupled with a little advanced Marksmanship training and some Scout training, I think that they might be rather close in tactical concept to the Riflemen of old, and just as useful. When you think about it, the "Riflemen" in the Squads and Sections aren't really Riflemen any more, they're classic Carbineers, armed with short-barrelled rifles and used to win the Firefight and then to Assault in Close-Quarter Combat.

Call me a Traditionalist (and I am) :D, but I think that bringing back classic Riflemen, in a modern form, would be a very good way to go.

Interesting to me, given my interest in frontier history. :cool: The 71st of Foot, Frasier's Highlanders, didn't encounter designated marksmen when they hit Daniel Morgan's skirmishline at Cowpens. They encountered Riflemen with a capital "R."

Of course it's also historically accurate that by The Late Unpleasantness of 1861-65 (;)) the term sharpshooter had started to gain broad usage for special skirmishing units. Most line infantry units had rifles by then but only a few men got the weapon's full capability out of it. Evidently they thought another term was needed for distinction.

Incidentally, it's a myth that frontier America was a nation of riflemen; the good'uns were always the minority. A farmer with a fowling piece was far more common than a longhunter.

The longrifle on the early American frontier seems to have been sort of like the longbow in medieval England; you almost had to be bred to the weapon culturally. It shouldn't have to be that way, of course, since the fundamentals of marksmanship aren't that hard. But even today you see some troops that can never seem to "get it" no matter how much instruction they receive.

Rifleman
12-22-2007, 05:58 AM
Okay, two folks so far for keeping them at platoon level. Slightly different ways of going about it but both agreed that the DM should not be a member of a standard squad or fire team.

Uboat509
12-22-2007, 08:25 AM
I see no reason not have DMs at the squad level. They are still available to the platoon if needed but they are also available to the squad leader during decentralized ops. DMs aren't snipers. They don't have bolt-action sniper rifles. They are ordinary infantrymen who may or may not have a more accurate version of the weapon that the rest of them carry but who does have more training/skill in engaging targets at longer ranges. He still fights as a regular infantryman but he has an additional skill-set (and possibly weapons system) that the squad/platoon leader can tap into if needed. At least that is how I understand the concept and that is how it makes the most sense to me.

SFC W

Norfolk
12-22-2007, 03:12 PM
I see no reason not have DMs at the squad level. They are still available to the platoon if needed but they are also available to the squad leader during decentralized ops. DMs aren't snipers. They don't have bolt-action sniper rifles. They are ordinary infantrymen who may or may not have a more accurate version of the weapon that the rest of them carry but who does have more training/skill in engaging targets at longer ranges. He still fights as a regular infantryman but he has an additional skill-set (and possibly weapons system) that the squad/platoon leader can tap into if needed. At least that is how I understand the concept and that is how it makes the most sense to me.

SFC W

What we are envisioning here is a Rifleman equipped with something more along the lines of the LSW, which is too long for quick handling in Close-Combat. Furthermore, in a Firefight, the Rifleman so armed in a Squad or Section may be too busy trying to beat down the enemy immediately to his front to be free to deal with enemies at long range. If he is normally held at Platoon, he has a rather better chance of being free to deal with the enemy in-depth, as the Squads and Sections will be dealing with the enemy to the immediate front. Having a few guys in the Platoon HQ that can lay down fires out to 800m or so with single shots or 2-3 round bursts against heavy weapons crews and depth-targets is probably easier to do than one guy in each Squad or Section trying to do so with the enemy right in front. That at least, is the general idea that we seem to have in mind.

jcustis
12-22-2007, 07:52 PM
The Marine Corps' current rifleman, armed with a rifle combat optic, M16A4, and Gripod combination VFG/bipod closely approximates what a squad designated marksman needs to be capable of, if we ever had a need for one. No need to fancy Harris bipods or free-floating barrels. Enhanced training is the key for guys like that, but sustaining their training will always be the toughest part.

What if they are all fresh out of a DM course and the platoon commander and platoon sergeant aren't good marksmen, or are more concerned with fire and maneuver? Slapping a more powerful or variable scope on the rifle would not necessarily mean that they are training to a higher standard, but perhaps simply carrying more weight.

A DM or two at the platoon level would be more appropriate in my mind. DMs are great for static security/defensive ops, but less so for dismounted offensive operations. However, even if he is not going to be out on the stalk, I strongly believe that he needs a trained spotter. The spotter could be another equally capable DM, with his own weapon that is zero'd to his requirements. Two teams of two DMs apiece and (4) rifles would permit continuous operations from a static position for somewhere around 12-24 hours. Again, the emphasis is on continuous observation operations. I was a DM with a match-grade bedded M-14 in my early enlisted days, and the business of glassing an area with binos is one of the most mind-numbing and tiring tasks around.

As for the weapon, if we want good effects against light material and considerable range, it would need to be something in the 6.8mm - 7.62mm range of calibers. There is something to be said for simply sticking with a 5.56mm, given the state of urbanization that is projecte in just about every strategic doctrinal pub out there, or the range of concept papers churned out each fisal year. What's a good range requirement in an urbanized area? 800m...1,000m? We'd have to take a hard look at whether or not firing windows are posible out that far first, methinks.

selil
12-22-2007, 08:07 PM
Don't forget that it's not all distance it is also sub 1 inch accuracy. The ability to peel a bad guy off a good guy in the close confines of urban territory and ranged from 25 meters to 300 meters as an operational space is imperative. Another also under appreciated element is penetration and sustained velocity of a round through at least some type of material. Whether it be glass, or plaster sustained effectiveness beyond the first surface for urbanized terrain is important.

kaur
12-22-2007, 08:32 PM
I think that Wilf's point about .338 rifles at platoon level (used by marksmen, not snipers) is very good idea. In Afganistan, were a lot of patrols are carried out by company-sized units, the contact demands (often) long range precision fire, that even .50 MG's are not able to provide.

Uboat509
12-23-2007, 01:15 AM
Don't forget that it's not all distance it is also sub 1 inch accuracy. The ability to peel a bad guy off a good guy in the close confines of urban territory and ranged from 25 meters to 300 meters as an operational space is imperative.

With this you are leaving the realm of the DM and moving firmly into the realm of the sniper. This type of training requires specialized weapons with highly specialized training. I don't know about the Marines but the Army does not do this type training with its snipers, at least not big Army snipers. In any case, the situations where this type of precision shooting in close proximity to friendlies is fairly rare.

SFC W

William F. Owen
12-23-2007, 02:16 AM
A Designated Marksman is "Designated." Having a M16A4 with an optic sight and bipod or L86A2, is relatively cheap and simple to do, but you are still limited by the fire team organisation, and weapons characteristics.

Having two large calibre bolt action rifles available to the platoon and training the best shots in the platoon to use them is nothing to do with sniping.

I just call it Long Range Rifles. The UK issued the 8.6mm L-115A1 to Para and Marine platoons for that reason. The new 8.6mm L-115A3 will soon become the issue rifle to the sniper platoons.

It takes no more time to teach someone to use a long range rifle with a good scope than it does to train them to use a guided weapon or SF GPMG.

Modern sniping is far more about qualification than operational role.

selil
12-23-2007, 04:08 AM
I was thinking of a marine with upgraded optics package on something chambered in Lapua .338 or similar. Good for penetration, but necessarily giving up the capability as a regular grunt. Definitely not scout/sniper quality, but better than average, and hopefully average is still pretty darn good.

jcustis
12-23-2007, 05:31 AM
It takes no more time to teach someone to use a long range rifle with a good scope than it does to train them to use a guided weapon or SF GPMG.

Modern sniping is far more about qualification than operational role.

Could you provide a little more detail as to why you believe those two statements?

William F. Owen
12-23-2007, 06:33 AM
It takes no more time to teach someone to use a long range rifle with a good scope than it does to train them to use a guided weapon or SF GPMG.

Modern sniping is far more about qualification than operational role.


Could you provide a little more detail as to why you believe those two statements?

Happy to. When the UK ran the Platoon Manoeuvre Support Gun Controllers Course it was mandated as 20 days - 4 working weeks.

I don't know about Javelin but I know the IDFs Spike MRs instructors course is 10 days. - 2 working weeks.

In order to effectively employ a 8.6mm rifle all you have to know is how to use the weapon and the sight, plus the basics of application within platoon tactics. That can be taught in 10 working days, especially when assisted with modern PC training programs, to show how the mil-dot sighting system is used.

Snipers have to not only learn but also qualify in a whole range of other skills.

Schuld
12-23-2007, 06:37 AM
The Marine Corps' current rifleman, armed with a rifle combat optic, M16A4, and Gripod combination VFG/bipod closely approximates what a squad designated marksman needs to be capable of, if we ever had a need for one. No need to fancy Harris bipods or free-floating barrels. Enhanced training is the key for guys like that, but sustaining their training will always be the toughest part.


...I strongly believe that he needs a trained spotter. The spotter could be another equally capable DM, with his own weapon that is zero'd to his requirements.


To my mind, and that of the British Army and IDF an "Marksman is merely member of a fire team equipped with a 5.56mm weapon with a 20-inch barrel, optic sight, and bipod. He should be able to consistently hit targets out to 6-800m.

It seems that the current US experience is that a DM is as valued for observation skills as riflery skills, as in the example of Lance Cpl Wilson:

http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,107872,00.html?ESRC=dod.nl



What's a good range requirement in an urbanized area? 800m...1,000m? We'd have to take a hard look at whether or not firing windows are posible out that far first, methinks.

Snipers are making those kind of urban shots, but then again one of the USMC advanced sniper courses is urban sniping. I know of a major school that reports lots of requests for training in making shots at fleeting targets at 400-600m -- so this would be the critical consideration for DM training.

To play the Devil's advocate, what are the advantages of a DM over an expert LMG gunner with a low-powered optic, the ability to squeeze off an accurate 3-5 round burst, and an assistant gunner acting as observer?



Slightly different ways of going about it but both agreed that the DM should not be a member of a standard squad or fire team.


As a historical footnote, one-per-squad was the plan in 1st Raiders. In each squad "Red Mike" had one "scout" who was supposed to be equipped with a scoped springfield in the original TO&E in the beginning of 1942. I've not found much on the Raider DM program, other than "Red Mike" dispatched Claude Harris back to set up the USMC West Coast sniping school in 1943. Lt Harris sent the top 5 graduates on to the Raider Training Center for 3 weeks of training (RTC was normally 8 weeks long). I don't know how many of the RTC-trained snipers went on to a Raider bn.



In Afganistan, were a lot of patrols are carried out by company-sized units, the contact demands (often) long range precision fire, that even .50 MG's are not able to provide.

The .338 Lapua is good out to roughly 1300 meters for an oxymoronic "average expert"-- this per a SOTIC plank holder -- just remember that snipers wish each other luck with "no wind, brother" for a reason! I know everyone wants to talk about amazing shots, but the attempts/successes formula has to be applied here.



Modern sniping is far more about qualification than operational role.


We might be wise to avoid thread drift into sniping!

I believe I understand what you're saying -- the historical evolution of sniping in the UK has led to the identification of a cluster of basic skill sets (scout-sniper-observer) that are infused into a soldier who then applies those to circumstances. American sniping has been hugely influenced by the UK -- the real, practical, and mostly unknown historical evolution of modern sniping, avoiding the confusion caused by history's broken threads.

I would like to say that the various current American military sniping programs do have slightly different qualifications depending upon perceived operational roles -- regular Army, USMC, and AF all currently run sniper programs here, and various commands within SOCOM run separate programs as well. In terms of comparison and contrast, for example, when the SEALs transitioned from dependence on the USMC basic course to their own (with SBS input), they created an 11-week course that included 2 weeks of photographic reconnaissance training. The Air Force school, on the other hand, gears itself largely to counter-terrorism/police SWAT-style operations and counter-sniper operations. In the American private sector I would describe the McMillan program as the most British, since they hired Mark Spicer to help run it!

William F. Owen
12-23-2007, 06:59 AM
I believe I understand what you're saying -- the historical evolution of sniping in the UK has led to the identification of a cluster of basic skill sets (scout-sniper-observer) that are infused into a soldier who then applies those to circumstances. American sniping has been hugely influenced by the UK -- the real, practical, and mostly unknown historical evolution of modern sniping, avoiding the confusion caused by history's broken threads.

In the American private sector I would describe the McMillan program as the most British, since they hired Mark Spicer to help run it!

I'm impressed! Yes you are right! :eek:

I may want you on my side when I get into a huge bug fight with the Sniper Wing up at Brecon!

Mark Spicer as in the Sniper Instructor who wrote the book? Really? Good for him.

Rifleman
12-24-2007, 05:03 AM
So, several folks have advocated four long range Riflemen per platoon as being about right. That's twelve for a company.

Now, if you put all twelve Riflemen in one squad under an experienced squad leader for administration and training, and made that squad part of a company weapons platoon, and attached four Riflemen out to each rifle platoon for operations..... :)

And if the company weapons platoon was led by a warrant officer weapons specialist who had once been an NCO, something similar to the Marine Gunners..... :cool:

Just thoughts, just thoughts. ;)

Rifleman
12-24-2007, 05:12 AM
What if they are all fresh out of a DM course and the platoon commander and platoon sergeant aren't good marksmen, or are more concerned with fire and maneuver? Slapping a more powerful or variable scope on the rifle would not necessarily mean that they are training to a higher standard, but perhaps simply carrying more weight.

I think my proposal would guard against that.


A DM or two at the platoon level would be more appropriate in my mind. DMs are great for static security/defensive ops, but less so for dismounted offensive operations. However, even if he is not going to be out on the stalk, I strongly believe that he needs a trained spotter. The spotter could be another equally capable DM, with his own weapon that is zero'd to his requirements. Two teams of two DMs apiece and (4) rifles would permit continuous operations from a static position for somewhere around 12-24 hours.


Again, four long range Riflemen per platoon, but only for operations. I think having them live with the rest of the Riflemen in a single squad in a company weapons platoon is the best option. That way they can be mentored by an experienced squad leader and, in an ideal world, a weapons platoon leader who is a warrant officer.

Norfolk
12-24-2007, 05:46 PM
So, several folks have advocated four long range Riflemen per platoon as being about right. That's twelve for a company.

Now, if you put all twelve Riflemen in one squad under an experienced squad leader for administration and training, and made that squad part of a company weapons platoon, and attached four Riflemen out to each rifle platoon for operations.....

And if the company weapons platoon was led by a warrant officer weapons specialist who had once been an NCO, something similar to the Marine Gunners.....

Just thoughts, just thoughts.

While we're at it, how 'bout we call them Jaegars?:eek:;):)

jcustis
12-24-2007, 08:27 PM
And if the company weapons platoon was led by a warrant officer weapons specialist who had once been an NCO, something similar to the Marine Gunners.....

My, my, my. That would be a splendid idea given the inherent complexity of heavier weapons. The difficulty lies in that it isn't easy to grow Marine Gunners. At least in the Corps, there would have to be a significant T/O shift to bring about that manpower change, and I don't know if the computer models could find a way to do it without tearing a hole in the fabric of the infantry. The selection of Marine Gunners is a carefully managed process, from what I know. No room for slackers or grunts who have been "faking the funk," along the way. I imagine there is still a sufficient pool to screen from.

One of the limiting factors is that this Wpns Plt commander would have to complete our Infantry Officer Course (unless a separate course was built up and out of the current Small Arms Weapons Instructor Cource [SAWIC]). Definitely an interesting idea, but the manpower tables are almost too much inertia.

Back to the DM issue, I think retaining this squad or so at the Wpns Plt level indeed makes sense. Keep the weapon something of the 7.62x51mm variety. It keeps another caliber out of the logistics grinder, and in a pinch, straight ball ammunition can be employed. We certainly did so with our M-14s, although every now and then the special "white box" ammo would show up and it was considered a gem to have it due to its ballistic consistency.

If we could go back a bit to what Schuld spoke of, what would we have DMs do? What sort of enabler do we want them to be? It is an important question b/c it means a lot to say that you want a basically-trained grunt to receive additional training on a heavier-caliber weapon and precision optic for the purpose of engagin targets beyond normal riflemen range, and means something considerable different to say you want him to be a keen observer, supporting arms controller, etc.

In order to complete the in-house DM package that FAST Co was running back in the '91-'95 timeframe, I underwent something on the order of a week training in scouting skills (classroom), followed by another 10 days of actual patrolling exercises with a section of DMs, and eventually a 10 day shooting package that included unknown/known distance shooting and field stalks. Considering our employment envelope, I considered myself well-trained.

slapout9
12-24-2007, 11:20 PM
Back to the DM issue, I think retaining this squad or so at the Wpns Plt level indeed makes sense. Keep the weapon something of the 7.62x51mm variety. It keeps another caliber out of the logistics grinder, and in a pinch, straight ball ammunition can be employed. We certainly did so with our M-14s, although every now and then the special "white box" ammo would show up and it was considered a gem to have it due to its ballistic consistency.

If we could go back a bit to what Schuld spoke of, what would we have DMs do? What sort of enabler do we want them to be? It is an important question b/c it means a lot to say that you want a basically-trained grunt to receive additional training on a heavier-caliber weapon and precision optic for the purpose of engaging targets beyond normal riflemen range, and means something considerable different to say you want him to be a keen observer, supporting arms controller, etc.



I think this is a better direction to go. If we could create better marksman of all rifleman you would always have a personnel pool to choose from..you-you-you are designated marksman for this mission afterwords you revert back to your original job.

Rifleman
12-25-2007, 02:21 AM
While we're at it, how 'bout we call them Jaegars?:eek:;):)

Noooo! Few of the son's of the son's of Ulster who killed Patrick Ferguson at Kings Mountain would have identified with that word. I liked your first idea better: Riflemen, since the men with M4s are really modern Carbineers.

Now, what's the matter? Is my signature getting to you again? You know, I could always change it to this for you and Wilf:

"If all else fails, I will retreat up the valley of Virginia, plant my flag on the Blue Ridge, rally around the Scotch-Irish of that region, and make my last stand for liberty amongst a people who will never submit to British tyranny whilst there is a man left to draw a trigger" - George Washington at Valley Forge

Merry Christmas and no taxation without representation! :p

William F. Owen
12-25-2007, 02:43 AM
Now, what's the matter? Is my signature getting to you again? You know, I could always change it to this for you and Wilf:


Hey buddy, don't touch nothing. My wife's grand parents both served time in British jails as terrorists. In fact, her grand parents organisation made several attempts on my grand fathers life!

selil
12-25-2007, 03:50 AM
Now, what's the matter? Is my signature getting to you again?

It should be Scots Irish. You drink Scotch.

Rifleman
12-25-2007, 04:13 AM
Yes, I've heard that and I understand that Scots or Scottish is the accepted term for people in Scotland. I'm certainly willing to acknowledge the Scots by whatever they want to be called.

But on the North American frontier the Ulster immigrants and their descendants called themselves Scotch-Irish, or "Scotch-Arsh" as my Appalachian grandpa would have said. It's an established term in those circles that goes back a ways:

http://www.scotchirish.net/What%20about%20the%20name.php4

Besides, they started making liquor out of corn almost as soon as they landed so they certainly didn't need to reserve the term Scotch for whiskey. :wry:

I reckon we've gone off course a ways, haven't we?

selil
12-25-2007, 05:31 AM
I reckon we've gone off course a ways, haven't we?

Yes we have but it was welcome on this cold evening. And, if you had my last name you'd understand the issue.

Norfolk
12-26-2007, 04:26 PM
Noooo! Few of the son's of the son's of Ulster who killed Patrick Ferguson at Kings Mountain would have identified with that word. I liked your first idea better: Riflemen, since the men with M4s are really modern Carbineers.

Now, what's the matter? Is my signature getting to you again? You know, I could always change it to this for you and Wilf:

"If all else fails, I will retreat up the valley of Virginia, plant my flag on the Blue Ridge, rally around the Scotch-Irish of that region, and make my last stand for liberty amongst a people who will never submit to British tyranny whilst there is a man left to draw a trigger" - George Washington at Valley Forge

Merry Christmas and no taxation without representation!

Quite agreed on the "Rifleman" title for DMs - "Jaeger" (hehe) was a bit of a wind-up...and it worked! [Norfolk grins to self]

Ahhh, now I know where your true loyalities lie Rifleman...and I have been known to haunt the forests, mountains, and Bourbon distilleries of Appalacha'...but not necessarily in that order - and Bardstown!
I have Scots-Irish (Scotch-Arsh, just for you Rifleman) on my mother's American side - they came to the US rather late, in the 18th century.

I have never had the pleasure of traversing the fair Valley of the Shenandoah, nor the Blue Ridge, but I will take Phil Sheridan at his word that it makes for a rich and quite pleasant foraging ground...;)

And I do protest your implied assertion, Sir, that the denizens of Westminster are somehow less preferable to their upstart counterparts situated adjacent to Georgetown in handling matters of Public Taxation and Finance. I can discern no benefit to be had by having their lot so close at hand; indeed, had it not been for that Tax Revolt you fellows refer to as a "War of Independence", you might still possess the benefits of a lower tax rate, as what was levied in the Colonies was only a fraction of what was levied in the Mother Country...They after all, had Westminster resident amongst them, and had to pay for their immediate wants.

You see, "Taxation Without Representation" was actually a ticket to a lower Tax Burden than what you have now - with the added benefit of having the leviers of said Burden resident Over There. Hah! Now what do you say of your little Revolution now, eh whot?:eek:;):D

But in all fairness, if it wasn't for my 1/8th Scots-Irish ancestry, I wouldn't be the Redneck Country Boy that I am today.

I do have a question for Wilf re the .338 Lapua/8.6 mm: A fine cartridge to be sure, but would the benefits of such a powerful round be unnecessary for a true Rifleman, even in the Skirmishing and Marksman roles - would not something in the 6.5 to 7.62 mm range be quite sufficient? I am concerned because the .338 is not suited for rapid-fire if that were needed, or is there another reason besides range and AP performance for considering the .338 in the Rifleman role?

William F. Owen
12-27-2007, 01:39 AM
I do have a question for Wilf re the .338 Lapua/8.6 mm: A fine cartridge to be sure, but would the benefits of such a powerful round be unnecessary for a true Rifleman, even in the Skirmishing and Marksman roles - would not something in the 6.5 to 7.62 mm range be quite sufficient? I am concerned because the .338 is not suited for rapid-fire if that were needed, or is there another reason besides range and AP performance for considering the .338 in the Rifleman role?

All good questions.

a.) 8.6mm has a very flat trajectory. Even I can hit 1 x 0.5m boards at 1,000m.

b.) As concerns "skirmishing" the LRR operator has the same status as a GPMG gunner, except he can sling the thing on his back and carry a carbine. In an Owen Fire Team Group / Platoon, they would replace LMG gunners in the Recce teams.

c.) Unlike a .50, it can be fired from one knee, which becomes an issue in places that have terrain like Cyprus or the Lebanon, or that have long grass.

The reason I have studied the 8.6mm a fair bit is that it gives the platoon a measurable increase in performance for little added weight compared to other systems.

Rifleman
12-27-2007, 06:50 AM
You see, "Taxation Without Representation" was actually a ticket to a lower Tax Burden than what you have now - with the added benefit of having the leviers of said Burden resident Over There. Hah! Now what do you say of your little Revolution now, eh whot?

Y'know, I think he's implying that if George III and Cornwallis hadn't been such wankers that I'd be proud to still be a subject instead of a citizen. ;)


But in all fairness, if it wasn't for my 1/8th Scots-Irish ancestry, I wouldn't be the Redneck Country Boy that I am today.

There's hope for you! :cool:

Back on topic. I'm interested in hearing what others think about having a single squad of long range Riflemen in a company weapons platoon and attaching them to rifle platoons for operations.

Edson's squad sharpshooters in the 1st Raider Battalion didn't become standardized throughout the Marine Corps. There must be a reason for that.

William F. Owen
12-27-2007, 09:38 AM
@ Back on topic. I'm interested in hearing what others think about having a single squad of long range Riflemen in a company weapons platoon and attaching them to rifle platoons for operations.

@ Edson's squad sharpshooters in the 1st Raider Battalion didn't become standardized throughout the Marine Corps. There must be a reason for that.

@ I do see some merit in having different organisations for skills training and operations. The problem is that the unreflective always come out with the train as you fight gibberish - like that's even possible!

@ and it may not have been a good reason. Armies, especially infantry, rarely ever do stuff for good reasons. Emotion and opinion are VERY powerful.

Norfolk
12-27-2007, 05:34 PM
QUOTE=Rifleman:


There's hope for you! :cool:

The Redneck International (REDINTERN) knows no borders!;)


Back on topic. I'm interested in hearing what others think about having a single squad of long range Riflemen in a company weapons platoon and attaching them to rifle platoons for operations.

Edson's squad sharpshooters in the 1st Raider Battalion didn't become standardized throughout the Marine Corps. There must be a reason for that.

I suspect that the reason for Raider Squad Sharpshooters not becoming standard in the rest of the USMC may have been the preference to pool specialists at Company level, especially when so much of the regular USMC was involved in frontal-attacks during the Island-Hopping Campaigns. The constant close-combat conditions of Guadalcanal were not quite the same elsewhere I imagine - Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Okinawa, etc.

I think that it is an interesting idea Rifleman, having a Squad of Sharpshooters at Coy level, and attaching them out as needed. Normally I woul say that it would make training and coordination better and easier, and it would be. Now, I'm not certain that would be necessary, or even desirable because the main role of said Sharpshooters as it occurrs to me is to support Platoons and especially Squads during the Firefight. My main concern here is that the Sharpshooters might become distracted from that if held at Company level and attached out from there. I think that I am of two minds on this.

As I seem to understand it, while the Squads are dealing with the close-in enemy (within 200-400 m, or even less), the Sharpshooters are dealing with the enemy behind said close-in enemy (out to 600-800 m, or even more if using the .338 Lapua that Wilf recommends), and that is usually a Platoon fight, but in direct support of the Squads. At times, cover and visibility restrictions will require the Sharpshooters to be attached directly to the Squads. Beyond 800 m really is a Company fight most of the time (and in some cases, much less than that).

But if a Squad of Sharpshooters were held at Coy level, they could form not only a potent Sharpshooting element, but also a very potent Skirmishing and Scouting element as well. In the hands of a skilled Coy Cmdr, they could really ruin an enemy's day (unless that enemy were Mech Infantry or Armour), and only using a fraction of the Coy's forces to do so. Just imagine, for a moment, what trouble a single skillful Sniper can raise for a Company or even a Battalion in some cases. Now just imagine what a dozen or so Sharpshooters (albeit obviously not of Sniper-calibre) could do, especially if their Rifles were capable of automatic fire as well as single-shot. Small teams of expert Markmen with good rifles (heavy barrel, optical sights, and bipod) and unsocial manners harassing an enemy Rifle Company or Battalion a few clicks in front of one's positions, or scouting ahead and to the flanks on the advance, could cause the enemy some consternation. And particularly if said Sharpshooters were able to distract the enemy's attention while our own Company moved to accord them an even warmer reception.

This seems to me to be something a little along the lines of what Ken might thing of (I think that I may be beginning to understand how the Old Dinosaur's mind works, and that frightens me a little!).;) Great idea Rifleman.:D

Tom Odom
12-27-2007, 06:03 PM
The Redneck International (REDINTERN) knows no borders!

That's why we have mobile homes! :D

Seriously we did some work on this issue in the Company-level SOSO series of newsletters. CALL Newsletter 06-16 VOL 6 Tactical Marksmanship and Counter Sniper Ops. As it is FOUO you will have to look for it on the CALL gateway. Note also that we made use of a USMC X-File on desgnated Marksmen as well.

Best

Tom

J.C.
12-27-2007, 08:19 PM
Interesting post, so here's my two cents.

As a PL in Iraq (TST PLT for 502nd IN CMD GRP), I already have DM. Usually, but not universally all line companies (no idea about heavy units) are MTOE at least 4-6 M14s. They usually distribute those over the Co. In most cases they are given to the best shots or preferable shooters who have gone through sniper classes. At Campbell SF units will regularly run advanced shooting classes.

In Plt. you will then take those shooters and put them on patrol with that weapons system with either an scope 3x9x30 or an ACOG. Depending on your mission you can form Small Kill Teams to over watch ASRs or MSRs for IED emplacement or to catch insurgents at POO sites or as over watch elements.

Your imagination is limit less to what you can use them for. As far as having them in a Sqd. in a PLT or attachment at Co is a bad idea. Control and supply/maintenance issues would suck. Everybody would want to play that's not my soldier game, except when they wanted them. Further, having 1 or 2 of them built in a platoon gives the PL flexibility to have them on a patrol in the streets, over watch, or be put in a hide site.

I think its just best to have them integrated through out the company apart of platoons instead of forming some special section.

Ken White
12-28-2007, 04:36 AM
Interesting post, so here's my two cents.

As a PL in Iraq (TST PLT for 502nd IN CMD GRP), I already have DM. Usually, but not universally all line companies (no idea about heavy units) are MTOE at least 4-6 M14s. They usually distribute those over the Co. In most cases they are given to the best shots or preferable shooters who have gone through sniper classes. At Campbell SF units will regularly run advanced shooting classes.

In Plt. you will then take those shooters and put them on patrol with that weapons system with either an scope 3x9x30 or an ACOG. Depending on your mission you can form Small Kill Teams to over watch ASRs or MSRs for IED emplacement or to catch insurgents at POO sites or as over watch elements.

Your imagination is limit less to what you can use them for. As far as having them in a Sqd. in a PLT or attachment at Co is a bad idea. Control and supply/maintenance issues would suck. Everybody would want to play that's not my soldier game, except when they wanted them. Further, having 1 or 2 of them built in a platoon gives the PL flexibility to have them on a patrol in the streets, over watch, or be put in a hide site.

I think its just best to have them integrated through out the company apart of platoons instead of forming some special section.

worked in Korea, worked in Viet Nam and it's working in Afghanistan and Iraq. Company weapons at 5.56 are the norm other than a few 7.62s for the DM when the terrain calls for it -- as it does on the latter two and did not in the former two.

Lot of things sound good in theory but when you put 'em into practice with live humans and human fallibility gets involved, it's not so neat. Giving the PL team to worry about is unnecessary and a distraction.

Snipers (as opposed to DM -- and contrary to UBoat's statement the Army does train 'em) need to be at Bn level as they are now and can be farmed out as required (seldom will be) and they can normally use 7.62 going to .338 only if the terrain suggests the added range is necessary. 1,000m shots are neat but rare and those missed aren't usually going to affect the war.

Uboat509
12-28-2007, 07:40 AM
Snipers (as opposed to DM -- and contrary to UBoat's statement the Army does train 'em)


I didn't say that the Army does not train snipers. I was responding to someone's post about the necessity of having DMs available in a platoon for high precision urban sniping in close proximity to friendlies. That is a highly specialized type of sniping that is not taught in the conventional sniper school, as far as I know. I fully agree with your statement about keeping snipers at battalion level and keeping 7.62.

SFC W

Ken White
12-28-2007, 04:09 PM
I didn't say that the Army does not train snipers. I was responding to someone's post about the necessity of having DMs available in a platoon for high precision urban sniping in close proximity to friendlies. That is a highly specialized type of sniping that is not taught in the conventional sniper school, as far as I know. I fully agree with your statement about keeping snipers at battalion level and keeping 7.62.

SFC W

No excuse, just got lazy -- I think (but am not sure) the 82d is running a course???

Don't know about anyone else but I'd be really surprised if no one was -- to include in theater...

Uboat509
12-28-2007, 04:55 PM
Benning, of course, is still running their course. I think that most of the divisions have some sort of internal course although I don't know what specifically they are teaching. I imagine it is more of an advanced marksmanship class than a sniper course, which is fine. Somebody here said that 5th Group is running some advanced marksmanship classes for their big Army counterparts at Cambell. I would not be surprised if 1st Group was doing the same for the 25th ID at Lewis. Of course, most senior officers in the 82nd would rather hack off a limb with a rusty butter knife than ask Group for anything.

SFC W

Rifleman
12-28-2007, 05:57 PM
Benning, of course, is still running their course. I think that most of the divisions have some sort of internal course although I don't know what specifically they are teaching. I imagine it is more of an advanced marksmanship class than a sniper course, which is fine.

The internal course at Ft. Bragg in the '80s was the XVIII Airborne Corps AMTU school. It was five weeks long and was a true sniper course at that time, although I think it might have started out more or less as an advanced marksmanship course and developed into a sniper course over a period of years.

The POI contained a considerable amount of fieldcraft in addition to marksmanship. The marksmanship instruction was good but we were limited to a 600 yard KD range facility. We used M21s. Mine had the first generation Leatherwood ART.

I believe the school closed it's doors when the official Army program started at Ft. Benning in the late '80s. IIRC, the last NCOIC of the AMTU school at Bragg was one of the first instructors at the Benning school. I believe he was SSG (SFC?) Raitt (sp?).

Ken White
12-28-2007, 08:59 PM
. . . Of course, most senior officers in the 82nd would rather hack off a limb with a rusty butter knife than ask Group for anything.

SFC W

During the build of the Groups in the early 60s, the 82d provided about half the people to form 3d, 5th and 6th Groups, the other half came from the 101st and the rest of the Army. Needless to say, since the Groups had priority, the Division lost about 35% of their NCOs (some of the best and some of the worst, few mediocre) over a two year period. Later, requests to the Hill for any support for the Div were -- and I hear, are still -- met with a "Sorry, too busy on real stuff..." answer. Yet, when the Hill asks for Division support, they generally get it

A Beret is a good weapon if you sew a silver dollar behind the flash, without that addition, just waving it around does not endear one to others. There's a tendency among the younger tigers in the Groups at Bragg to do that. At other posts with earthling populations, one can be super cool Supertrooper-- doesn't work nearly as well at Bragg, too many old guys around who've been in the Groups -- or other units (and some of those guys can be really dismissive of excessive swagger).

Plus the Div has been deployed in both theaters recently and most of the Officers and NCOs have seen up close what other elements really do and some of the minor boo-boos made by said other elements. I have one fascinating story about an abandoned Suburban and a bunch of goodies... :wry:

As I've said, plenty of errors on both sides...

Excessive parochialism by too many in the Army is a disease and is dangerous. It does no one any favors.

Schuld
12-29-2007, 06:54 PM
Benning, of course, is still running their course. I think that most of the divisions have some sort of internal course although I don't know what specifically they are teaching. I imagine it is more of an advanced marksmanship class than a sniper course, which is fine. Somebody here said that 5th Group is running some advanced marksmanship classes for their big Army counterparts at Cambell. I would not be surprised if 1st Group was doing the same for the 25th ID at Lewis.

To my knowledge, the current major Army programs are:

US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center School (USAJFKSWCS) Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC) Level 1

US Army Sniper School

National Guard Marksmanship Training Unit Scout-Sniper School

The DM programs are a hodge-podge, some generated in-house (often informally run by qualified snipers or, if USAR/NG unit run someone whose regular job is as a police marksman), other COI have been run by US Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), by US Army Sniper School's parent command, and by various major police SWAT units for geographically collocated deploying military units. I believe some SFG(A) have made SOTIC Level II courses available to other units, in the tradition of 10th running the SHAPE International Special Training Centre Sniper for NATO. Assistance with both materiel and POI have been provided by many and various unit-contracted private-sector firms.

Many M-14s have had the cosmoline scrubbed off and an ACOG slapped on. Other units have paid to have completely remanufactured M-14s equipped with HSLD stocks and scopes.


XVIII Airborne Corps AMTU

I think AMTU Ft. Bragg sniper school went through 2 iterations, first in '76-'78 under Emerson, and then from about '82 to '87 between the revival of interest in sniping by the exploits of the Rangers in Grenada/USMC in Beirut and the centralization of AMU people at Ft. Benning/creation of US Army Sniper School? Something like that.


what would we have DMs do

First: who you are infusing those skills into? Are they already 19D/scouts or 11B/regular infantry?

Second: what do they need to do? Precision shooting, observational skills, penetration skills (stalking/infil/exfil methods), generalized scouting skills, intelligence-gathering skills, eclectic and wide-ranging sniper-specific skill sets (i.e.: anti-tracking, how can you use only glass and not dial? if you have M80 and not Lake City ammo how do you sort-select or even improve the issued rounds, where do you find the patterns to construct armored loophole plates and what are the methods of disguising loopholes in long-term hides, who makes the best trench periscopes, etc., etc.)....

Probably Occam's Razor is: will the DMs always be in the role of supporting the squad/platoon/company, or will the squad/platoon expect to occasionally support the DM in specialist activity? If the first, then shooting/observing, and if the second, then a low-attrition mini-scout-sniper course might be required.


Keep the weapon something of the 7.62x51mm variety.

depends what you want to accomplish. Run small kill teams? Engage enemy HMG/LM teams? Different weapons for different situations... The 7.62 and 12.5 regular issue are handy when things go to hell, but the problem is also that because they're handy supply can't be bothered to stock the good stuff and M33 is going to render that 12.5's long-range potential ineffective.

Consider the recent Vanity Fair article via AM. ROE requires only the armed may be engaged. Said shooter only engages from house that withstands 30mm cannon fire and of a sort of construction that has withstood 500 pound bombs in the past. Start dropping the really big bombs and you'll have lots of civilian casualties. Another situation: soldier killed at half-mile with HMG fire and LR HMG fire common:

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/01/afghanistan200801

Time to STFU/STFD :wry: I can just see that I'm not going to win anyone over to the idea that if it was my full moon hangin' in the breeze scouting I'd much prefer the HK-21E 7.62 LMG fitted with optic to an XM-110 SWS, and as long as I'm dreaming freely give my spotter a suppressed krinkov with a tishina low-noise-signature grenade launcher so we can look kewl plus he'll needs to be able to hump my extra ammo :p

http://www.world.guns.ru/assault/aks74u-ts.jpg

Ken White
12-29-2007, 07:42 PM
...

The DM programs are a hodge-podge, some generated in-house (often informally run by qualified snipers or, if USAR/NG unit run someone whose regular job is as a police marksman), other COI have been run by US Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), by US Army Sniper School's parent command, and by various major police SWAT units for geographically collocated deploying military units. I believe some SFG(A) have made SOTIC Level II courses available to other units, in the tradition of 10th running the SHAPE International Special Training Centre Sniper for NATO. Assistance with both materiel and POI have been provided by many and various unit-contracted private-sector firms.

Hodge podge is good; no one has all the right answers. Many units also use contract training at Blackwater, Gunsite and so forth.


Many M-14s have had the cosmoline scrubbed off and an ACOG slapped on. Other units have paid to have completely remanufactured M-14s equipped with HSLD stocks and scopes.

Which is more than adequate -- most of those are used far more for their range and penetrating power rather than for their accuracy.

A Designated Marksman is nothing more than a particularly good shooter in a Squad; he is NOT a Sniper and there should be no attempt to make him one and / or to burden him with exotic gear.


I think AMTU Ft. Bragg sniper school went through 2 iterations, first in '76-'78 under Emerson,...

Who had little to do with it. Emerson, I mean. Hatchet Hank was many things, a good, much less superlative, tactical and technical guy was not one of them.


First: who you are infusing those skills into? Are they already 19D/scouts or 11B/regular infantry?

By definition.


Second: what do they need to do? Precision shooting, observational skills, penetration skills (stalking/infil/exfil methods), generalized scouting skills, intelligence-gathering skills, eclectic and wide-ranging sniper-specific skill sets (i.e.: anti-tracking, how can you use only glass and not dial? if you have M80 and not Lake City ammo how do you sort-select or even improve the issued rounds, where do you find the patterns to construct armored loophole plates and what are the methods of disguising loopholes in long-term hides, who makes the best trench periscopes, etc., etc.)....

Probably Occam's Razor is: will the DMs always be in the role of supporting the squad/platoon/company, or will the squad/platoon expect to occasionally support the DM in specialist activity? If the first, then shooting/observing, and if the second, then a low-attrition mini-scout-sniper course might be required.

They support the Squad. Period. The other things are sniper tasks.

Schuld
12-30-2007, 12:16 AM
Who had little to do with it. Emerson, I mean. Hatchet Hank was many things, a good, much less superlative, tactical and technical guy was not one of them.


It's thread-drift, but I vaugely recall someone telling me he backed the program as Corps commander because of Hackworth's snipers' success in Vietnam. My memory is shot -- I just re-read my post and realized I was thinking 12.5x99 (versus 12.7x108), but they're both 12.7 (.50 cal).

Norfolk
12-30-2007, 12:50 AM
Ken White wrote:


A Designated Marksman is nothing more than a particularly good shooter in a Squad; he is NOT a Sniper and there should be no attempt to make him one and / or to burden him with exotic gear.

and:



They support the Squad. Period. The other things are sniper tasks.


The DM/LRR/Sharpshooter/Rifleman concept has morphed over the course of this thread into something much too close to the role of the Sniper. As Ken says, the DM's are there to support the Squad, and I'll add to provide longer-range fires against enemy Heavy Weapons and depth targets while the lads in the Squad deal with the enemy immediately to the front. An automatic rifle with heavy barrel, regular ACOG-type scope, and bipod is all the special equipment he needs; a slightly glorified assault rifle. Maybe not even that. If he can put single shots or even short bursts out to maybe 800 m, that should be quite sufficient I imagine.

William F. Owen
12-30-2007, 01:43 AM
They support the Squad. Period. The other things are sniper tasks.

Ken, it seems like you do not think this discussion is useful. If we subscribe to your view then we accept the status quo.

The legitimate and interesting argument here is, as I see it, how do you improve the platoons close precision attack capability?

@ What weapon and why?
@ What training is required to employ it effectively in support of platoon operations? (...and squads are part of platoons :wry: )

Ken White
12-30-2007, 02:54 AM
Ken, it seems like you do not think this discussion is useful. If we subscribe to your view then we accept the status quo.

it as mixing missions or terms. You call often for a common lexicon -- Designated Marksman as a term is, IMO, pretty well established as I have described it. I suggest that the DM is and should be capable of highly accurate aimed fire -- not precision fire; there is a difference

Most terminology variances come from a person deciding that a given usage is not the way he would say it -- so he corrupts a well used term or invents a new term for an old well understood function. That, it seems to me is what's happening here.


The legitimate and interesting argument here is, as I see it, how do you improve the platoons close precision attack capability?

@ What weapon and why?
@ What training is required to employ it effectively in support of platoon operations? (...and squads are part of platoons :wry: )

Why didn't you say that? You started the thread with "Sharpshooter (archaic but acceptable term) / DM" (a current usage and well defined IMO term)...

A DM is a DM. Thus I suggest clarity was lacking... ;)

Seems to me the question is


"Does the Platoon need an improved close precision attack capability?

If so, what weapon and why?

What training is required to employ it effectively in support of platoon operations?"

If that's the case, my answers would be:

Rarely -- but METT-T always applies; Generally a 7.62x51 should be adequate but a .338 or even a .50 might be occasionally desirable or necessary; Such support should come from the Battalion sniper squad on a mission basis; both PL and PSgt training should include employment of supporting weapons to include sniper teams.


Your thoughts?

William F. Owen
12-30-2007, 03:20 AM
This discussion may be somewhat fruitless unless we have a shared understanding of terms.


Well i did start off with this condition.




..it as mixing missions or terms. You call often for a common lexicon --

Your thoughts?

It's not just common definitions, but also a common understanding of operational requirements. - which is pretty impossible to arrive at.

My starting point for all of these discussions has been, "if we do X or Y, does it make things better." This may be very simplistic language, but I use it deliberately. The problem, as I always say, is that there is little in the way of matrices for showing improvement.

IMO, it is fairly easy to measure the effectiveness of DM, v LRR, or how both improve a platoons performance for relative trade offs.

Ken White
12-30-2007, 05:09 AM
Well i did start off with this condition.

True but many have wandered off elsewhere...


It's not just common definitions, but also a common understanding of operational requirements. - which is pretty impossible to arrive at.

Agree on the operational requirements being impossible. That, of course, is true due to the infinite number of situations that have arisen, do and can arise. Which is why flexibility and adaptability far outweigh doctrinal or prescriptive approaches.


My starting point for all of these discussions has been, "if we do X or Y, does it make things better." This may be very simplistic language, but I use it deliberately. The problem, as I always say, is that there is little in the way of matrices for showing improvement.

IMO, it is fairly easy to measure the effectiveness of DM, v LRR, or how both improve a platoons performance for relative trade offs.

That, I think is our -- your and my -- disconnect. The words matrices and measure are, IMO, largely inimical to any really meaningful use in discussing the conduct of warfare other than in logistic efforts. I have watched literally hundreds of approaches to mathematical modeling, the application of metrics to warfare (in many ways) and attempts to make an art into a science. Virtually all have produced small gain for excessive effort and a number have been failures and /or even counterproductive.

Your approach is not simplistic, not at all. However I do believe you're trying to codify a combination of chaos and human fallibility into an orderly and logical set of parameters and I strongly doubt that's possible other than in a very general way. I think one can derive some general rules and practices but I think you're searching for a degree of precision in a very messy amalgamation of people and events that cannot be obtained. I say all that not in a critical mode but just to point out that we apply differing thought processes to the problems. I hope that does not perturb you, it certainly is no bother to me and while I can and do respect your opinions and your efforts, it would take a great deal to convince me that any significant or universal benefit might be found in codification of most aspects of combat

Which is a long way of getting to the point. Yes, it is "...fairly easy to measure the effectiveness of DM, v LRR, or how both improve a platoons performance for relative trade offs." for any given situation; the problem is there are entirely too many potential situations to come up with more than a very broad rule of thumb. Be too prescriptive and you tie hands...

selil
12-30-2007, 05:26 AM
I know this is way far outside the scope of the discussion, but as a point of experience when I got out of the Marine Corps I spent several months working as an Indian Tribal Policeman. Within the department the officer on the contract were required to qualify with the sidearm (9mm, .357, 44 magnum, or 45 magnum), 30-30 lever action rifle, and pump shotgun. Those who qualified at the highest level with the 30-30 had the option to "upgrade" to a AR15S2, semi automatic with a scope. In our hostage rescue scenarios (we had council chambers, small school, etc.) the designated marksman (NOT SNIPER), was given the role of providing A) covering fire for troops on the move, B) selective target removal, C) Sustained high volume covering fire. I look at this from the military perspective as not meeting the sniper requirements, not really being a machine-gunner, and not really being a regular trooper. But, the position if employed would provide several enhanced capabilities. It was a force multiplier based on current skills and simple equipment upgrades. In a force restricted by funds, and hampered by politics that was a good thing.

Ken White
12-30-2007, 06:03 AM
... But, the position if employed would provide several enhanced capabilities. It was a force multiplier based on current skills and simple equipment upgrades. In a force restricted by funds, and hampered by politics that was a good thing.

Who also suffer from the same constraints (funds available for the effort and politics... :D).

It works there as well.

jcustis
12-31-2007, 03:32 AM
An automatic rifle with heavy barrel, regular ACOG-type scope, and bipod is all the special equipment he needs; a slightly glorified assault rifle. Maybe not even that. If he can put single shots or even short bursts out to maybe 800 m, that should be quite sufficient I imagine.

For me, Ken has broken this issue down into a basic capabilities statement, which is an excellent jumping off point.

-What would we have a DM (or sharpshooter if you like) do in the performance of his duties? We've kicked this can around, but I rather prefer the simple ability to fire single shots or shots in rapid sequence (requiring a semi-auto) out to 800m with a 1/2 value wind blowing, and to have all shots impact within a 12-inch circle. The 12-inch circle equation has two components: a weapon that can hold all the rounds within that circumference once fired from a stable bipod or expedient benchrest position; and a shooter who is mentally and physically capable of wresting that performance out of the weapon.

These two components of capable weapon and the dude capable of using it are inextricable. If you can't call wind and either employ a hold-off or adjust the dope on the weapon, you do not belong behind the weapon. I concur with Ken that we do not need to imbue a DM with the full range of sniping skills when all we want is for him to be capable of that 12-inch shot. I will offer, however, that in order to positively ID the target, the DM does need solid training in observation, range estimation and range card construction, engagement sequence techniquences, and a few others that don't exactly come to mind right now. Call these basic rifleman skills if you wish, but the DM must have them down cold.

-Where does he need to be within an infantry organization to be useful? Ideas abound within this thread, but even if we each have our own burning desire to see DMs put HERE, or HERE, I think the beauty of modern military organization is that both the Army, the Marine Corps, and most friendly nations have the wherewithal to task-organize where appropriate. We could start off a particular type of campaign with DMs at the wrong level, but we are generally smart enough to figure out when we need to make a change.

-What caliber weapon does he need? I still stick to the thought that 7.62x51 is fine. Even if there are "better" calibers out there, to what degree do we get an increase in capability? Is it so significant that we pour funding into the tests, re-tooling, re-packaging, etc., for a new round that may in fact offer only marginal increases? Give me a laser beam with a millisecond time of flight, and then you have my attention.

Within a light armored reconnaissance company, there are (2) Barrett .50 semi-autos. Why not three since there are three line platoons with 4 scout teams apiece? I don't know, but I suspect that they made their way into the T/O&E at some point because a number of subject matter experts went to a conference or steering board and all agreed that having a light-weight, anti-materiel capability for employment by scouts in dismounted OPs was a good thing. Are they sniper weapons? In the hands of a sniper, I suppose they are. In the hands of an LAR scout, I prefer to simply call it by its official name, the Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR). Do we need SASRs within a rifle company? I dunno, but I like to believe that an attachment from the battalion scout sniper platoon would do nicely an negate the need for the ordnance to be resident at the company level. LAR doesn't have a scout sniper platoon, but by T/E it would rate (10) SASRs.

-There is somewhat of a sideline truism to this discussion that I think impacts what folks believe is the right fit. At some point, TOO MANY WEAPONS is a bad thing, even if they mean you've covered all of the capability spectrum and can hit a wider array of targets at a longer range, and have better effects. We can easily reach some sort of capability saturation because we simply don't have the time to train our warriors to the training and readiness standards we have in place right now...what about all of the new-fangled stuff? A spin-off problem is that we eventually have untrained but well-intentioned Soldiers and Marines attempting operator-level maintenance on a system they are not proficient with. The result is that no one gets to check the better toy out of the armory because the company doesn't have a trained guy on deck. I grit my teeth about it, but that's one of the reasons why a new equipment training team has to provide training before a particular piece of gear is fielded to a unit. Them's the rules and they are there to protect ourselves from...ourselves.

William F. Owen
12-31-2007, 05:39 AM
@ -Where does he need to be within an infantry organization to be useful? Ideas abound within this thread, but even if we each have our own burning desire to see DMs put HERE, or HERE, I think the beauty of modern military organization is that both the Army, the Marine Corps, and most friendly nations have the wherewithal to task-organize where appropriate. We could start off a particular type of campaign with DMs at the wrong level, but we are generally smart enough to figure out when we need to make a change.

@ -What caliber weapon does he need? I still stick to the thought that 7.62x51 is fine. Even if there are "better" calibers out there, to what degree do we get an increase in capability? Is it so significant that we pour funding into the tests, re-tooling, re-packaging, etc., for a new round that may in fact offer only marginal increases? Give me a laser beam with a millisecond time of flight, and then you have my attention.
.

@ So how many rifles do you purchase on the initial buy? If you are a force developer, you have to justify the cost outlay based on some form of analysis. It's the untested, arbitrary, data free, opinion based analysis that I am always arguing against!

@ So equip with a n HK417 or the M110 SASS. Good starting point. If you have men that can group 5cm at 100m then you have men who can hit targets at 1000m providing for correct wind and range estimation. Not hard to do!

arty8
02-04-2008, 01:37 PM
I think that the army has addressed the DM issue by issuing more optics. The active duty unit that replaced my company in Iraq in Oct-every single NCO had an ACOG. I used an aimpoint the entire tour and there were times when I would have given everything I owned for a scope that magnifies. Even mounted on an M4 I think that an ACOG gives some capability past 300M.

Jedburgh
04-11-2008, 03:20 PM
Times Online, 9 Apr 08: Same sniper rifle killed six British soldiers in Basra (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article3714598.ece)

Six British soldiers have been picked off on the streets of Basra by an enemy sniper using the same rifle, an inquest heard today.

Between the months of March and June last year, six soldiers were shot using high velocity bullets fired from exactly the same gun.....

William F. Owen
04-11-2008, 06:45 PM
A new insurgent propaganda video shows how guerrillas have dramatically upped their kill rate of US soldiers with the help of The Ultimate Sniper, written by a retired US Marines major, John Plaster.

I have purchased 12 different sniper manuals over the last 5-6 years, and anyone one of them would have sufficed as the basis of some type of sniper training.

The problem/success with John's book (who is a personal friend) is that it was uniquely user friendly, and somewhat idiot proof. It demystified sniping and made it accessible, which is what it should not be, and not some "dark art" for the selected few.... which is why he had to put up with so much BS from the US Sniper community who all ran around say "but this guy wasn't a sniper."

Jedburgh
10-09-2008, 02:22 PM
For those with access (AKO log-in + BCKS forum registration) the BCKS Sniper Defeat forum (https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/communitybrowser.aspx?id=329139) has posted the new GTA 90-01-13 Joint Sniper Defeat Handbook (https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/communitybrowser.aspx?id=673372)

Tom Odom
10-09-2008, 02:28 PM
For those with access (AKO log-in + BCKS forum registration) the BCKS Sniper Defeat forum (https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/communitybrowser.aspx?id=329139) has posted the new GTA 90-01-13 Joint Sniper Defeat Handbook (https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/communitybrowser.aspx?id=673372)

It is a good piece of work, well recieved here.

Tom

Houng.Lee
02-26-2009, 04:08 PM
I'm the asst S3 at a training battalion and I've been tasked to find information regarding c-sniper operations. I need everything from c-sniper defeat principles to tactical recommendations. If you have anything, please help as I searched fruitlessly on google and I don't want to reinvent the wheel. Thank you in advance for all your support

selil
02-26-2009, 04:55 PM
Though not military there used to be a lot of law enforcement training in counter sniper tactics. The same with fire departments. Most of that kind of material though is not going to be available through Google. The FBI used to have an entire class on counter sniper operations for law enforcement. I have a couple of books sitting on my bookshelf from classes but they are all 15 years out of date.

Ken White
02-26-2009, 07:53 PM
I'm the asst S3 at a training battalion and I've been tasked to find information regarding c-sniper operations. I need everything from c-sniper defeat principles to tactical recommendations. If you have anything, please help as I searched fruitlessly on google and I don't want to reinvent the wheel. Thank you in advance for all your supportAKO Access required.

LINK (https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=329139)

LINK (https://www.us.army.mil/suite/portal/index.jsp;jsessionid=81B6D430DB85C0E5BB0FB16114B90 A51.appd05_2)

patmc
02-26-2009, 08:16 PM
Have you looked in Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL)? I remember from a trainup that we found counter-sniper training aides like pocket cards. There is probably other info there too. You could also look at the Fort Benning site and go into the Infantry School. They may have POCs or resources in the sniper school (Target Interdiction?) page.

Cavguy
02-27-2009, 03:46 PM
I'm the asst S3 at a training battalion and I've been tasked to find information regarding c-sniper operations. I need everything from c-sniper defeat principles to tactical recommendations. If you have anything, please help as I searched fruitlessly on google and I don't want to reinvent the wheel. Thank you in advance for all your support

Houng,

The army is paying a gazillion dollars to contractors to do all the data mining work for you.

Simply head to the below URL and submit your request. Operators are standing by.

https://call-rfi.leavenworth.army.mil/rfisystem/NewRequest.aspx

Houng.Lee
02-27-2009, 06:38 PM
Thank you all for the help. They were all great assets. Especially you Cav Guy... sir. I was in your COIN class (18-20 Feb at Ft. Meade). I knew there was a site like that, but I just couldn't remember. Thanks again sir

Hacksaw
02-27-2009, 09:13 PM
As I recall...

CAC and Benning were tasked to form a C-sniper integrated capability development team (ICDT)...

I think this is the home of most of what they developed in cooperation with CALL

https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=329139

Ken White
02-27-2009, 09:28 PM
the two I gave him yesterday... ;)

Whoops, that got truncated somehow.Thought all the below was there/here.

I did forget to suggest that if he has SIPR he can and should go JFCOM's KnIFE site, which is the JF CALL.

Here are some other links:

LINK. (http://www.geocities.com/pentagon/6453/moutpoi.html)
LINK. (http://www.smallwars.quantico.usmc.mil/search/References/index.asp)
LINK. (https://www.infantry.army.mil/197th/courses/sniper/index.htm)

Cavguy
02-27-2009, 09:53 PM
Thank you all for the help. They were all great assets. Especially you Cav Guy... sir. I was in your COIN class (18-20 Feb at Ft. Meade). I knew there was a site like that, but I just couldn't remember. Thanks again sir

Thanks,

Hope you enjoyed the class. All our stuff is posted @ http://coin.army.mil in the knowledge center - including those videos we used.

Teufel
02-28-2009, 10:46 PM
What kind of counter sniper operations are you thinking about? Snipers are like submarines, the best way to kill a sniper is with another sniper. Is this what you are after or are you looking for a way to mitigate the sniper threat in country?

RJ
03-03-2009, 08:06 PM
Hey Ken,

When I was new to the Corps and going thru a Regimental Scout/Sniper School there was a legend about a Marine Buck Sgt. sniper who was using a Cpl. Friday as bait to lure NK or ChiCom snipers in to revealing their positon by having him walk and run, bob and weave his way down the hill to a water point and and back up.

The story was that he killed several enemy snipers using this method and a story in Stars and Stirpes killed the baiting of enemy snipers because the brass or the mothers back in the states were horrified.

This wa supposed to have happened in the static war after the Frozen Chosin fight.

:wry: Recall that legend?

Ken White
03-03-2009, 08:50 PM
the Shooter was SSgt John Boitnott, Kentucky boy, 3/5. After the story hit S&S they told him to quit using PFC Friday for a decoy and gave him a meritorious promotion to TSgt, the 1946-58 version of a Gunnery sergeant. Last I heard, he was a MGySgt working in the Pentagon -- obviously he's long retired now. He was about 7 or 8 years older than me, I think...

There also about the same time was the Hershey Bar Kid, a Cpl in 2/5 (IIRC) who'd put a dozen Hershey's Tropical Chocolate Bars in his pockets and take off alone on three and four day scouting trips behind the Chinese lines. He alway brought back good intel and occasionally a, uh, 'souvenir' if some poor Chinese soldat had been unfortunate enough to be caught alone. He made the paper also -- and the word came down to have him stop; no individual forays... :eek:

No guts, no glory...:D

RJ
03-03-2009, 09:49 PM
SSgt John Boitnott's legend was alive and well in 1960.

M/3/5 was one of my most favorite outfits.

We didn't hear about the Hershybar Kid but there was an Amerindian, (Comanche or Apache) who liked to take a stroll and and he liked to find a occupied bunker and worm his way into it and kill the last man in it and leave his head with the first Chinese asleep at the door.

We took the story with a grain of salt, but I have seen Marines who could move that easily in and out of tight places.

I had a farmer in my squad from a ranch in S.D. who would go on night recons barefooted and never make a sound.

I'm sure we all have heard similar war stories about individuals who were almost invisible.

Valin
08-11-2009, 05:23 AM
Daily Express (http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/119427/Scots-sniper-kills-Taliban-leader-with-longest-shot/)
8/9/09

A SCOTTISH soldier has been praised for making the longest recorded kill in Afghanistan after shooting a top Taliban fighter from almost a mile away.
Corporal Christopher Reynolds took out the Afghan drug lord during some of the hardest fighting of the war so far.

The 25-year-old, of 3 Scots, The Black Watch, kept watch on a shop rooftop for three days to eliminate the target.
But he admitted the top-level Taliban fighter – known as Musa – was so far away it took him a couple of attempts to get the aim right.

Initially Musa, who was with four men, did not even realise he was being shot at........

goesh
08-11-2009, 01:43 PM
- Scot, Scotch-Irish, not surprising:)

Greyhawk
08-11-2009, 04:15 PM
...of the scope to identify a drug lord as such at that distance. :rolleyes:

As for the shooter eliminating an obvious immediate threat, well done.

TheCurmudgeon
08-11-2009, 05:50 PM
Cpl Reynolds, who has killed 32 Taliban fighters, said: “I was quite proud of that shot. It is the longest recorded kill in Afghanistan. I am going to use that fact as a chat-up line in the pub when I get back home.”

I just gotta ask what kinda girl your likely to get:D

goesh
08-11-2009, 06:16 PM
- I recall reading 'bout a year ago or so where a Canadian had the record for a while, but can't reference that

Jedburgh
08-11-2009, 06:32 PM
- I recall reading 'bout a year ago or so where a Canadian had the record for a while, but can't reference that

....Cpl Reynolds, of Dalgety Bay, in Fife, together with his spotter Lance Corporal David Hatton, worked out different factors such as wind speed and the trajectory of the bullet to hit the target. Musa, who was more than 1,500 metres away, was taken out with a single shot to the chest.....
The Canadian sniper was Cpl Rob Furlong, who took out his target at a distance of 2,430 meters in 2003 during Anaconda. A bit before that, a member of the same team, MCpl Arron Perry, took out his target at 2,380. Both were confirmed, and both broke Hathcock's long-standing record, so they were discussed a lot on the 'net at the time, including debate over which one fired which shot. Both hits were at distances that were quite a bit more than 1,500 meters that Cpl Reynolds reportedly exceeded, so lacking more precise information, it doesn't appear that he has definitively taken the record.

Rank amateur
08-11-2009, 06:45 PM
I just gotta ask what kinda girl your likely to get:D

Obviously, one who doesn't read The Small Wars Journal.

frank
08-14-2009, 02:02 PM
1 Mile = 1600 meter,
2400 meter = 1.5 Miles.

Stan
08-14-2009, 03:28 PM
- I recall reading 'bout a year ago or so where a Canadian had the record for a while, but can't reference that

Hey Goesh,
You actually were the author of Kentucky Windage and you are once again quoted herein for memory :D


It's hats-off to our Canadian allies currently engaging taliban and al qaidah forces in Afghanistan. Taken from the VFW March 07 edtion, we are informed of some down right impressive shooting:

Canadians set two (2) new world records for the farthest combat kill with a rifle. Gunny Hatchcock, USMC, held the record from a kill made in Viet Nam registered at 1.39 miles but Master Cpl. Arron Perry whacked an al qaidah fighter at 1.43 miles. The rifle and scope used were not specified. Not to be outdone by a mate, Cpl. Rob Furlong then dropped his man using a McMillan Tac-50, sending him to the promised land at a whopping distance of 1.5 miles! Ooooo-Rahhh! Let's hear it for the Kanucks and them awesome .50s.

When the chips are down, we can always count on the Canadians. In Operation Apollo, Canada dispatched 850 troops of the PPCLI to Afghanistan. They arrived with " I Love NY" stickers on their Coyote recon vehicles. During Operation Anaconda in March of 02', 5 Canadian snipers linked up with elements of the 101st Airborne in the Shahikot Valley. For 10 days, the snipers killed the enemy with amazing professional precision. In the words of one GI, "Thank God the Canadians were there."

Regards, Stan

Fuchs
08-15-2009, 12:33 PM
...of the scope to identify a drug lord as such at that distance. :rolleyes:

As for the shooter eliminating an obvious immediate threat, well done.

Sniper observers often use 30x spotting scopes.


The 1,500 m shot seems to have been done with .338LapMag cartridge, and it was apparently a first shot hit unlike some hits at longer distances.

frank
08-15-2009, 03:49 PM
if it was with an .338 Lapua it IS/was a good shot.

Uboat509
08-15-2009, 04:05 PM
I just gotta ask what kinda girl your likely to get:D

A scottish one. In my experience they tend not to be the fragile flower type. ;)

SFC W

Ken White
08-15-2009, 07:22 PM
I've met too many who can outshoot me.

Won't even go into the wrestling... :D

Schmedlap
08-15-2009, 07:40 PM
This seems very appropriate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgzC-l_lmUU

Kiwigrunt
08-15-2009, 09:31 PM
I've met too many who can outshoot me.


You're about to shoot a score of 5000 though; next one....;)

Rifleman
08-16-2009, 09:17 PM
I just gotta ask what kinda girl your likely to get:D

Hopefully, one who inherited a Highland "stalking estate!"

"Honey, can I use your rifle this evening while you're at PTA?"

jmm99
08-17-2009, 02:10 AM
has been defined for all time by Ken (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=79699&postcount=7):


The Scotch Irish in early America were noted for their wanton ways -- loud, rowdy and very tough girls, and the genre itself for the huge numbers of kids they had and their willingness ... to hop in bed with or marry outside the clan or sept ...

leaving out the parentheticals (which he may re-insert, since it is his quote).

Perfect match for any Scottish gilly-suiter, I should think. :)

Rifleman
11-01-2009, 02:48 AM
I just picked up a book called More of the Deadliest Men Who Ever Lived by Paul Kirchner. The book has 33 chapters, each one devoted to a different person - often a cop or soldier - who proved deadly.

One of the chapters was devoted to Bert Waldron. This is the most extensive information I've seen yet on Waldron and it appears to be the most objective. Kirchner interviewed a former wife of Waldron, plus several people who served with Waldron.

In a nutshell: Waldron was an enigmatic man of contrasts. He appears to have been a good combat soldier, yet he had some disciplinary problems stateside and his chain of command asked him to accept an honorable discharge after one enlistment because they didn't want to discipline such a decorated soldier.

Waldron often lied and his habit of lying made some who encountered him think that everything about him must be BS. The odd thing was that he often lied even though the truth was impressive enough. For example, Waldron was the recipient of two DSCs, one Silver Star and three bronze stars; yet, Waldron once told someone that he had four Silver Stars and was going to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Kirchner wasn't able to come up with a hard yea or nay on Waldron's official 109 confirmed kills. Kirchner interviewed one officer who served with Waldron who said that he "suspected" that kills made by Waldron's security element were sometimes added to Waldron's total. Yet there is quite a bit of credible informantion in the form of 9th ID after action reports and interviews with soldiers who served with him that Waldron was indeed an effective sniper who made quite a few legitimate confirmed kills and some impressive individual shots. Or, as I said in a previous post: He was a superb rifleman correctly empoyed in a target rich environment. At least that much does appear to be true even if it's impossible to be certain about the 109 confirmed kills at this point.

Kirchner never mentions Waldron doing time, so evidently the rumor that I'd heard and mentioned in my previous post isn't true; however, Kirchner says that the FBI was indeed keeping an eye on Waldron during the time he worked for WerBell.

Anyway, the book is an interesting read and not just for the chapter on Bert Waldron.

Jones_RE
03-11-2010, 05:17 AM
I read the paper. It seems to me that with a combination of 'battle zero' and the fundamentals of marksmanship (stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, breath control, trigger control and follow through) you can hit a man sized target at 300m. If you are only training to hit anywhere on a 20" target at that range then you don't even need to be very good at the fundamentals - a 6" group at 100m is good enough. Because the bullet's trajectory with the rifle's basic setup will always be somewhere close enough the soldier never needs to worry about estimating range.

If you want to have a chance at hitting at 500m then not only do you need to be better at the fundamentals - a 4" group at 100m is necessary, you also need to be able to estimate the range to the target, understand the trajectory of the bullet and adjust accordingly. Also, you're going to have to learn to take into account wind and elevation - and this is with a stationary target!

I read the author as recommending a weapon with better long range capability and teaching soldiers to use more than the most basic fundamentals. I can't think of a sufficient reason not to do both immediately.

kaur
03-11-2010, 07:13 AM
Jones RE said:


I read the author as recommending a weapon with better long range capability and teaching soldiers to use more than the most basic fundamentals. I can't think of a sufficient reason not to do both immediately.

I think that US military knows how to train sharpshooters. To improve situation this means that every soldier must pass Squad Sharpshooter program. This adds 1 week to training if I understand correctly.
For a long time there was available "Squad Sharpshooter Concept" in internet by Michael R Harris http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/smallarms/Harris.pdf It has disappeared now :)

About ammo and calibre. For some period I used very often Soviet ammo 5,45x39 (brain child of Soviet engineers that figured out that US new M-16 is "better" than AK-47) and 7,62x39. You can make just one test to compare the effectiveness. Arrange night shooting with tracers on the filed where grass is above the waist. With 5,45x39 you can see nice vertical rocket show in the sky with few holes. With 7,62 the picture is much more horizontal. I presume that you can see the same picture if you test 5,56x45 vs 6,5/6,8.

Firn
03-12-2010, 01:06 PM
I looked a bit around and found this concerning optics, weapons etc. This is of course about snipers in WWII, and rather good ones at that, but I think it is telling about the challenges of accurate rifle fire under "difficult" situations.



Interview von Hans Widhofner (1976) an drei deutsche Scharfschützen (Hetzenauer, Allerberger und Wirnsberger), erschienen in Truppendienst (Autor: Hauptmann WIDHOFNER H., Scharfschützen (I-III); TRUPPENDIENST Ausgabe 1967 Teil I: Seite 109 bis 113, Teil II: Seite 224 bis 229, Teil III: Seite 297 bis 299) - ENGLISH (http://www.snipersparadise.com/history/german.htm)




Widhofner questioned three seasoned snipers individually. They are designated in the order A, B and C. All three were members of the Third Mountain Division of the former German Army. With respect to their person please note the following:

A. Matthäus Hetzenauer of Tyrol fought at the Eastern Front from 1943 to the end of the war, and with 345 certified hits is the most successful German sniper.

B. Sepp Allerberg of Salzburg fought at the Eastern Front from December 1942, to the end of the war, and with 257 certified hits is the second-best German sniper.

C. Helmut Wirnsberger of Styria fought at the Eastern Front from September 1942, to the end of the war and scored 64 certified hits (after being wounded he served for some time as instructor on a sniper training course).



1. Weapons used?

A. K98 with six-power telescopic sights. G43 with four-power telescopic sights.

B. Captured Russian sniper rifle with telescopic sight; I cannot remember power. K98 with six-power telescopic sights.

C. K98 with 1.5-power sights. K98 with four-power telescopic sights. G43 with four-power telescopic sights.


2. Telescopic sights used?

A. Four-power telescopic sight was sufficient up to a range of approximately 400 meters, Six-power telescopic sight was good up to 1,000 meters.

B. Used for two years a captured Russian rifle with telescopic sight; yielded good results, Six-power telescopic sight mounted on K98 was good.

C. 1.5-power telescopic sight was not sufficient; four-power telescopic sight was sufficient and proved good.


3. What is your opinion on increasing the magnification of your telescopic sights?

A. & B. Six-power was sufficient. There was no need for stronger scope. No experience with greater magnification.

C. Four-power is sufficient in both cases.


4. At what range could you hit the following targets without fail?

A. Head up to 400 meters. Breast up to 600 meters. Standing Man up to 700-800 meters.

B. Head up to 400 meters. Breast up to 400 meters. Standing up to 600 meters.

C. Head up to 400 meters. Breast up to 400 meters. Standing Man up to 600 meters.


5. Do the ranges indicated by you apply only to you, i.e. the best snipers, or also to the majority of snipers?

A. & B. Only to the best snipers.

C. To me personally as well as to the majority of snipers. A few outstanding snipers could hit also at longer ranges.

B added: Absolutely positive hitting is possible only up to about 600 meters.


6. What was the range of the furthest target you ever fired at, and what kind of target, size?

A. About 1,000 meters. Standing soldier. Positive hitting not possible, but necessary under the circumstances in order to show enemy that he is not safe even at that distance! Or superior wanted to satisfy himself about capability.

B. 400 to 700 meters.

C. About 600 meters, rarely more. I usually waited until target approached further for better chance of hitting. Also confirmation of successful hit was easier. Used G43 only to about 500 meters because of poor ballistics.


7. How many second shots / Additional shots were necessary per ten hits?

A. Almost never.

B. One to two. Second shot is very dangerous when enemy snipers are in the area.

C. One to two at the most.



The percentage under "realistic" circumstances in a Great war. See also question 4.



13. Percentage of successful hits at various ranges?

Up to 400 meters A. 65 percent C. 80 percent

Up to 600 meters A. 30 percent C. 20 percent

Additional information: A. This is why about 65 percent of my successful hits were made below 400 meters.


B. Do not remember. Mass of hits were below the range of 600 meters.

C. Shot mainly within range of 400 meters due to great possibility of successful hit. Beyond this limit hits could not be confirmed without difficulty.


14. Do these percentages and ranges apply to you personally or are they valid for the majority of snipers?

A. This information is applicable to the majority of snipers as well as to the beat snipers, for: the majority of snipers could hit with absolute certainty only within a range of 400 meters due to their limited skills, the best snipers could hit with reasonable certainty at longer ranges; they in most cases, however, waited until enemy was closer or approaching the enemy in order to better choose the target with respect to its merit


More about optics and their importance:


19. Was it advisable to equip the sniper with a double telescope (binos)? What magnification did the double telescope have?

A. 6 x 30 enlargement was insufficient for longer distances. Later I had a 10 x 50 telescope which was satisfactory.

B. Double telescope was equally important as rifle. No further information.

C. Every sniper was equipped with a double telescope. This was useful and necessary. An enlargement of 6 x 30 was sufficient up to a range of about 500 meters.


20. Would you prefer a periscope which allows observation under full cover?

A. Was very useful as supplement (Russian trench telescope).

B. No.

C. Was used when captured.


21. Were scissor stereo telescopes (positional warfare) used?

A, C. Yes, when available. Was used mutually by sniper and artillery observer.

B. No.


Wind and moving targets.



27. How did you overcome side wind?

A. By my own judgment and experience. When necessary, I used tracer ammunition to determine wind drift. I was well prepared for side wind by my training at Seetaleralpe where we practiced often in strong winds.

B. By own judgment. We did not shoot when side wind was too heavy.

C. No explanation since snipers do not shoot with strong winds.


28. Can you recall the rules pertaining to your behavior when shooting at moving targets?

A, B, C: No; importance is own judgment and experience as well as fast aiming and fast firing.


TO&E and "designated marksmen"


10. Were you incorporated into a troop unit?

All three belonged to the sniper group of the battalion. C was the commander of this group. They numbered up to 22 men; six of them usually stayed with battalion, the rest were assigned to the companies. Observations and use of ammunition as well as successful hits had to be reported daily to the battalion staff. In the beginning, the snipers were called up cut of the battalion, as the war continued and the number of highly-skilled snipers decreased, they were often assigned and given their orders by the division. In addition, a few marksmen in each company were equipped with telescopic sights. These men did not have special training but were able to hit accurately up to about 400 meters and carried out a great deal of the work to be done by "actual snipers". These specially equipped riflemen served in the company as regular soldiers. This is why they could not achieve such high scores as the "snipers".


Recruitment:



17. From what group of persons were snipers selected?

A. Only people born for individual fighting such as hunters, even poachers, forest rangers, etc without taking into consideration their time of service.

B. Do not remember. I had scored 27 successful hits with Russian sniper rifle before I was ordered to participate in sniper training course.

C. Only soldiers with experience at the front who were excellent riflemen; usually after second year of service; had to comply with various shooting requirements to be accepted in the sniper training courses.


To be continued...


Firn

Firn
03-12-2010, 01:19 PM
Interviews with soviet soldiers (http://www.iremember.ru/content/view/52/74/lang,en/) in this case snipers.


Initially the exercises were easy. The size of a target – full-length, half-length, and running targets. Then they complicated the exercises gradually. The most difficult thing was to fire at a “head” target that suddenly appeared for several seconds at a distance about 300-400 meters.




More about distances.


There was another episode when we executed a specific task. A German sniper appeared at our sector of defense and started troubling us. Volodia and I used the same tactics of hunting. There was, however, only one difference: the day was sunny, therefore I slightly rocked my rifle with the optical sight over the parapet to motivate the German to fire.

As a rule, sniper's position lay a bit into the no man's zone. The best distance to fire was some 300–500 meters. We took our positions in the dark. We were allowed to leave them in the daytime only if it was possible to do it imperceptibly. If not – we sat until dark.

To execute a specific order we spent as long time as needed to liquidate the appointed target. More frequently we had free daily hunting and we liked it. You continue fighting from the same position as long as you are sure that it hasn't been discovered. Otherwise you should make off quickly.

Another interview by a female sniper:


But the Germans also put a sniper to watch us. And so I was watching, observing during my shift (because the eyes would get tired), and Marusia said: "Let me take the watch now." She got up, it was a sunny day, and she apparently moved the lens. As soon as she got up, there was a shot, and she fell. Oh, how I cried! The German was 200 meters away from us. I screamed so loud it could be heard all over the trenches, soldiers ran out: "Quiet, quiet, or they'll open mortar fire!" But how could I be quiet? She was my best friend. We sat until the evening, and I kept crying all that time. Then we buried her. I remember there were many wildflowers. It was at Orsha, at the 3rd Belorussian Front. Later her grave was moved to Mogilev, that's where she had been born. Later Nadia Lugina was also wounded from among us. My second partner was also named Marusia, last name Guliakina.


A.D. What were you taught at the school?

They taught us tactics, how to shoot, how to camouflage. Also ballistics, how the bullet flies. Here it flies, here it hits -- I forgot everything already.

A.D. Sniping partner couples were formed at the school?

At the school. When we came as civilians, Marusia Chikhvintseva and I stood next to each other, so we remained partners with her.

A.D. And did you train as partners?

Yes.

A.D. So it seems that the entire group was sent to one sector of the front?

No. Many of us graduated, I couldn't say how many now, but they sent us to all fronts.

A.D. But your group was constant? You had six pairs, right?

About 12 of us, six pairs. Simultaneously. A squad was 10 soldiers, but there were more of us.

A.D. What was the total number of Germans you killed?

I don't remember, Germans killed in battle weren't counted, only in the defense.

A.D. How did you count the kills?

The commander in whose trench we were would write a note. And we would return with it.

A.D. Then it's not clear, what if you only wounded him?

Yes, it could be, but we counted as killed.

A.D. So if he fell, that's a kill?

Yes. How would you check?

A.D. What was the usual distance you fired from?

At the school or at the front?

A.D. At the front.

1200 meters, and 200 meters. Our lines were close. Once Germans attacked our trench and took some girls prisoner, and killed them there. They killed Klava Monakhova. Only one soldier survived, there was an abandoned dug-out, simply a hole in the soil covered with a ground-sheet with snow on top, he hid there. Germans held out for a day, so he spent the day there.

A.D. What was the standard distance from which you fired? Or an optimal one?

Well, what's there to say? The rifle could shoot two kilometers in a straight line. But you could observe up to 800 meters. At the school we fired at 200, and 300. There was night target practice. Different kinds of shooting.

A.D. Even at night?

Even at night. How else?

A.D. Did you shoot at night at the front?

No.

A.D. And in the moonlight?

No. As soon as it dawned we went to our position, as soon as it got dark we returned. We stayed not in the trenches, but at the regiment commander's command post.

A.D. How many shots did you fire from one position?

One. You couldn't do two.

A.D. Or else you'd get killed?

Of course!

A.D. So, in practice that would amount to one shot per day?

Yes, if you kill, otherwise you might not have even one.

A.D. And partners were always next to each other?

Yes, at arm's length. Together all the time. Some went outside the defenses, but we didn't. Why? Because minefields had to be cleared, and that was very difficult and dangerous for the sappers. Then again, we stood as soldiers in the daytime, while the soldiers were resting. There were fifty soldiers in a trench. Ten of them, no more, stood watch at night

...



A.D. Did you use binoculars?

No, only the optical sight.

A.D. But the sight doesn't have a good field of view?

You could see 800 meters very well. You would sit there without moving, and if you moved, then you were noticed. A sniper would lie there quietly and see to the distance of two kilometers, 800 meters wide. He would observe everything. When I got tired, I would say "Marusia, I'm done," -- she would start observing. Because sniper's task was to eliminate commanders, machine gun emplacements, messengers that would be running around. They also had to be eliminated. Soldiers were not necessary, mostly -- officers, commanders. You would fire one shot, let go of the rifle, and lie there. You would wait until your partner fired her shot. When it became dark, we left our position. During the day we walked around, looked for a good spot to lie in wait. Sometimes picked a spot in front of our trenches. After picking a spot, took up the position when it was dark. Then we lay there without moving a muscle until the next evening, because you couldn't crawl away in the daylight. If there was an attack, that was different, then you would get up and run. Otherwise, you would lie in that spot to the end.

A.D. Did you have hand grenades?

Yes. We carried two hand grenades on our belt. One for the fascists, one for yourself, so you wouldn't be captured by the fascists. It was necessary.

A.D. Did you fire in the crosswind?

Yes, we were trained to do that. And firing at moving targets as well. Different things. Some fired, others spun those targets. At our school, there was one good trench, and one small one. God save you from being sent there, you would spend the entire day in the snow. After you returned, you would literally tear your foot bindings off your feet. Everyone's feet hurt.

A.D. Because you had to lie in the snow?

Yes. At the front we also lay in the swamps. Near Leningrad, there were only swamps. If a horse passed by, there was water under the hoofs. You would wash yourself with it, and even drink from that hoof print.

A.D. Did you have a regular Mosin rifle?

Yes, a three-line rifle (line=1/10 inch, 3 lines=7.62 mm - trans.) with a bayonet. Regular one. Always with a bayonet and an optical sight.

A.D. Why the bayonet?

Just in case, if you go on the attack. An entrenching tool, a mess tin, two grenades, ammo, first aid kit.

A.D. What was the farthest target you hit?

Near the Dnieper, a machine gunner and a sniper.

A.D. What was the distance there?

Across a field, they were sitting in a shed. Probably a kilometer, if not more. A target could be hit up to two kilometers.

A.D. You were attached to a regiment? A sniper squad was attached to a regiment?

To a regiment. A trench was given to us. That was the place we went until the offensive began. In a designated area.

A.D. What was the sense in that? If you couldn't occupy the same position?

There was a lot of room there. We had 500 meters, and there were two of us.

..



A.D. Maybe there were some incidents you could talk about in detail?

How I killed? It was horrible. Better not. I told you, Olga and I lay at arm's length from each other. We spoke quietly because the German would be there not far in front of us. They were listening to everything. Their outposts were better organized, after all. We tried not to move, to say something quietly, find a target. Everything would grow so numb! For example, I would say: "Olia, mine." She would already know -- she wouldn't kill that one. After the shot I would only help her observe. I would say, for example: "There, behind that house, behind that bush", and she would already know where to look. We took turns shooting. During the daytime we were always in position, came and left at night. Every day. No days off.

A.D. So you're saying, you couldn't move the rifle?

Absolutely no!

A.D. So how did it lie? Simply against the shoulder?

Against the shoulder and your finger was always on the trigger. Because you might've had to pull it at any moment. The sector of fire was 800 m. And so you would look, and suddenly a target would appear. When the target reached the crosshairs, then I fired. This means that the target walked into the shot on its own. And, of course, that spot would've been ranged.


There is certainly far more to good shooting in war than markmanship...


Firn

Firn
03-12-2010, 01:20 PM
The "Finnish view on sniping (http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt09/finnish.html)" raises some other points, but mostly reinforces the older ones.


The Russian snipers seem to execute their tasks with extraordinary patience and tenacity and seem to have excellent material at their disposal. This can be concluded from the fact that they were able to discern even the least movement at great distances and that they concentrated their efforts only upon well-selected, sure and visible targets. Generally speaking, they were interested only in sure targets. Also the cooperation between several snipers seems to be smooth and the allocation of the different phases of the work well-organized.

It seems that once in a while two snipers go after the same target, for it happened that two men walking side by side were hit almost at the same time. On another occasion, one of our [Finnish] snipers was taking aim at his opponent when another enemy sniper shot his rifle to pieces. The sniper's mate not only takes care of the observation, but also the deception of the enemy. He tries by all conceivable means to lure lookouts and guards from their protective cover.

Enemy snipers have used "dum-dum" ammunition, which made it more difficult to locate the spot from which the shot was fired but easier for the enemy to observe a hit.



(4) Ranges and Performances

Depending upon the distance between the lines, the ranges run from 100 to 900 yards, but occasionally enemy snipers have tried shots up to 1,400 yards. The usual and most effective distance is 200 to 400 yards, but even at 600 to 700 yards the accuracy of fire has been fairly satisfactory.

The fire readiness and speed of fire have been good even on moving targets, a proof on the one hand of thorough training, and on the other of the indispensability of the telescopic sight.

The speed and accuracy of fire gave rise to the suspicion that snipers posted in buildings made use of special aids. The accuracy of the fire may be illustrated by the following examples:

At 200 to 400 yards several scissors telescopes and periscopes were smashed to pieces. One sniper shot down a small rock which had been placed in an observation slit three times in rapid succession.

When one of our MG platoon commanders lifted his hand just once above the snow-wall to repair the alarm wire a Russian sniper scored a hit on his hand at 100 yards. A sniper was hit several times through an observation slit fashioned into the snow-wall with a stick. Various objects lifted by our men above the parapet, as a trial, were generally hit. It also happened that Finnish observers behind periscopes, were shot at through the snow wall.


To sum it, at least in my humble opinion:

If facing a competent enemy, only an unseen and/or unsuppressed, well-trained and suited soldier with good equipment can kill well at longer ranges with individual rifle-fire.


Firn


P.S: The "scoring system" differed considerably between the Germans and Soviets but there were also similar approaches:


A.D. What was the total number of Germans you killed?

I don't remember, Germans killed in battle weren't counted, only in the defense.

A.D. How did you count the kills?

The commander in whose trench we were would write a note. And we would return with it.

A.D. Then it's not clear, what if you only wounded him?

Yes, it could be, but we counted as killed.

A.D. So if he fell, that's a kill?

Yes. How would you check?






12. In what warfare could the sniper be most successful?

A. The best success for snipers did not reside in the number of hits, but in the damage caused the enemy by shooting commanders or other important men. As to the merit of individual hits, the snipers best results could be obtained in defense since the target could be best recognized with respect to merit by careful observation. Also with respect the numbers, best results could be obtained in defense since the enemy attacked several times during a the day.

B. Defense. Other hits were not certified.

C. Best results during extended positional warfare and during enemy attacks; good results also during delaying action.


30. What was the method by which your hits were certified?

A, B, C, By observation and confirmation by an officer, non-commissioned officer or two soldiers. This is why the number of certified hits is smaller than the actual score.

Both sides didn't "score" during attacks or battles. But the Germans had far more stringent certification requirements. One can easily see that given an equal amount of "success" the overall numbers of certified hits had to be considerably lower for a German sniper compared to a Soviet one.

kaur
03-13-2010, 12:15 PM
About Finnish snipers. According to 21th century definition, those guys were more like marksmen. The irony is that most of them fought without optical sights. Simo Häyhä, the soldier who is on the top of world sniper kills list, had rifle without optical sight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_H%C3%A4yh%C3%A4

PS I'd like to ask also advice from you. How sharphooters became snipers during I WW? Their tasks were the same (sharp shooting), but they got new name. Is this just flirt with words by Englishmen? I can't find no explanation to this :(

This is funny picture. Upper picture says that those guys are snipers, but lower picture talks about scharfscütze (which means sharposhooter in German).

http://books.google.ee/books?id=qLCm7-E9DmEC&pg=PA34&lpg=PA34&dq=scharfschutze+1914&source=bl&ots=vLLG24KDyd&sig=tHsayLFkNqan4R_NgV5ELaAhf8Q&hl=ru&ei=QIGbS9i_DoHc-QbU45DPAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CB4Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Firn
03-13-2010, 02:05 PM
If we look at the fundamentals I think we can draw several conclusions concerning effective long-range combat shooting against competent opponents.


Some tentative insight:


1) Only men which are not effectively suppressed can kill effectively over long distances (tautology alert)

2) Only tactical skill, care, patience and camouflage can make detection and thus suppression or death difficult enough, but fierce battles and firefights help the sharpshooters to conceal themselves in the fury of battle (but put them at high HE risk).

3) Only optics allow for effective observation and shooting at longer ranges and under difficult light situations. Binoculars are considered by experienced users essential (as well as NV for night combat). A good spotting scope can be of the greatest value and a periscopes a very useful supplement. (Thermal sights could greatly facilitate observation.)

4) Only one or at the very most two shots are advisable (or possible before death) outside a (major) firefight when good true enemy snipers are on the battlefield. (Modern sound suppressors should make a huge difference. Mitigation of the thermal signature could also be of great importance)

5) Only independent positioning and action allows for truly effective observation and rifle fire during "calm" periods and firefights. (This is linked to camouflage, detection and suppression. Sharpshooters who bunches up with a squad which blasts away can be suppressed with far greater ease than somebody working in front, the rear or on the flanks. )

6) Only a team of sharpshooters can keep up a constant, high standard of observation and readiness over a long period of time and deliver effective rifle fire out to extreme ranges and in adverse conditions (changing side winds, etc.)

... Last but not least ...

7) Only well trained and suited men and women with suitable equipment can be effective sharpshooters. Not too many can be trained for this task(s).


Thoughts:

For the reasons mentioned above, accurate long-range shooting might be delivered better by an independent section at platoon level or even company level or higher than by soldiers in a normal rifle squad. This doesn't mean that a "designated marksman" with a versatile weapon is futile at the squad level. Both the cost of the equipment and the training should be prohibitive...



Firn

Firn
03-14-2010, 05:30 PM
For me, Ken has broken this issue down into a basic capabilities statement, which is an excellent jumping off point.

-What would we have a DM (or sharpshooter if you like) do in the performance of his duties? We've kicked this can around, but I rather prefer the simple ability to fire single shots or shots in rapid sequence (requiring a semi-auto) out to 800m with a 1/2 value wind blowing, and to have all shots impact within a 12-inch circle. The 12-inch circle equation has two components: a weapon that can hold all the rounds within that circumference once fired from a stable bipod or expedient benchrest position; and a shooter who is mentally and physically capable of wresting that performance out of the weapon.

These two components of capable weapon and the dude capable of using it are inextricable. If you can't call wind and either employ a hold-off or adjust the dope on the weapon, you do not belong behind the weapon. I concur with Ken that we do not need to imbue a DM with the full range of sniping skills when all we want is for him to be capable of that 12-inch shot. I will offer, however, that in order to positively ID the target, the DM does need solid training in observation, range estimation and range card construction, engagement sequence techniquences, and a few others that don't exactly come to mind right now. Call these basic rifleman skills if you wish, but the DM must have them down cold.


Against a competent enemy he needs to be also adept a camouflage (or not exposing himself) and be a patient observer.


-Where does he need to be within an infantry organization to be useful? Ideas abound within this thread, but even if we each have our own burning desire to see DMs put HERE, or HERE, I think the beauty of modern military organization is that both the Army, the Marine Corps, and most friendly nations have the wherewithal to task-organize where appropriate. We could start off a particular type of campaign with DMs at the wrong level, but we are generally smart enough to figure out when we need to make a change.


Agreed. Both the platoon and the squad can make sense in the current fight. In a long-range engagement it might make more sense that the squad supports the DM (and the heavier weapons) than the other other way around as well as the DM/LRR support the platoon.


-What caliber weapon does he need? I still stick to the thought that 7.62x51 is fine. Even if there are "better" calibers out there, to what degree do we get an increase in capability? Is it so significant that we pour funding into the tests, re-tooling, re-packaging, etc., for a new round that may in fact offer only marginal increases? Give me a laser beam with a millisecond time of flight, and then you have my attention.


-There is somewhat of a sideline truism to this discussion that I think impacts what folks believe is the right fit. At some point, TOO MANY WEAPONS is a bad thing, even if they mean you've covered all of the capability spectrum and can hit a wider array of targets at a longer range, and have better effects. We can easily reach some sort of capability saturation because we simply don't have the time to train our warriors to the training and readiness standards we have in place right now...what about all of the new-fangled stuff? A spin-off problem is that we eventually have untrained but well-intentioned Soldiers and Marines attempting operator-level maintenance on a system they are not proficient with. The result is that no one gets to check the better toy out of the armory because the company doesn't have a trained guy on deck. I grit my teeth about it, but that's one of the reasons why a new equipment training team has to provide training before a particular piece of gear is fielded to a unit. Them's the rules and they are there to protect ourselves from...ourselves.

I think that there are very good arguments for an accurate, semi-automatic DM rifle in a decent caliber. The 7.62 is a good choice, very well supported and is available in many good potential DM rifles. A good, rugged scope, perhaps variable (3-9, 3-12, something like that), a good sound suppressor, a good, partly adjustable stock and cheek-rest and a good, practical bipod are much more important than pure bench-rest accuracy.

Especially the sound suppressor seems to me of the greatest importances when having skilled enemy marksmen at the other side, at least this is what I take from the lessons learned by the interviews of the German, Russian and Finnish snipers of WWII. Masking the position was key to survival and the signature of the shot ( flash, sound, debris) were clear give-aways and made very often a second shot very risky or deadly. It strikes me as stupid to get highly skilled and valuable men killed because a relative cheap solution to a big problem was not purchased.


Firn

davidbfpo
03-14-2010, 07:42 PM
Moderator's Note

I have copied some of Firn's posts on sniping to this thread, as they are appropriate here and had originally been posted on an Afghan-related tactics thread: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=9942

Firn
03-15-2010, 09:22 AM
@david: I'm perfectly fine with that.

Going through the articles and some other works I tried to find out what else compromised a sharpshooter's or sniper's location or cost him his live. Some give-aways are easily greatly mitigated.



Eliminating the optic's shining or glare


Modern optics provide many big advantages but they can easily give away the position of very well camouflaged soldier by the tell-tale glare.


But the Germans also put a sniper to watch us. And so I was watching, observing during my shift (because the eyes would get tired), and Marusia said: "Let me take the watch now." She got up, it was a sunny day, and she apparently moved the lens. As soon as she got up, there was a shot, and she fell. Oh, how I cried! The German was 200 meters away from us. I screamed so loud it could be heard all over the trenches, soldiers ran out: "Quiet, quiet, or they'll open mortar fire!" But how could I be quiet? She was my best friend. We sat until the evening, and I kept crying all that time. Then we buried her. I remember there were many wildflowers. It was at Orsha, at the 3rd Belorussian Front. Later her grave was moved to Mogilev, that's where she had been born. Later Nadia Lugina was also wounded from among us. My second partner was also named Marusia, last name Guliakina.

Glare often meant a sniper's death - they are often both hunter and hunted.




There was another episode when we executed a specific task. A German sniper appeared at our sector of defense and started troubling us. Volodia and I used the same tactics of hunting. There was, however, only one difference (a helmet was used to bait a very skilled German machine-gunner who was the terror of the whole company): the day was sunny, therefore I slightly rocked my rifle with the optical sight over the parapet to motivate the German to fire.

(In the last episode the second sniper of the "hunter pair" spotted the enemy MG gunner due to the shot (muzzle flash, movement, ..) and killed him. )


Of course the very valuable periscopes and scissor telescopes were subject to close observation and targeting.


At 200 to 400 yards several scissors telescopes and periscopes were smashed to pieces. One sniper shot down a small rock which had been placed in an observation slit three times in rapid succession.

A very interesting episode of WWI (From sniping in France (http://www.archive.org/details/snipinginfrancew00pricrich))


Once the Germans startled a new and large form of periscope and we ceased destroying them at once the moment a clever observer found that with the telescope he could read the reflection of the numbers on the shoulder straps of the Germans who used them, thereby allowing us to identify the opposing unit with both comfort and ease.


Interestingly rule 1 in the use of spotting scopes (telescopes) of the same book is:


Rules for uses

1. Always extend the sun-shade (more O.P. have been given away by the light shining upon the object-glass of telescopes than in any other way)

... also

6. When looking into the sun make a sun-shade nine inches or a foot long to fit on the short sun-shade of the telescope. This will give you great assistance when the sun is over the German lines. This trick is borrowed from the chamois-hunters of the Pyrenees


What can be done about it?

- (Very) long sunshades
- Little honey-combed "kill flash" covers
- Using both togheter or separate, according to the specific needs

Both solutions are pretty cheap (http://www.opticswarehouse.co.uk/products.asp?cat=247). There should be easily money enough to prevent 95% of all shining reflections upon the ever more widely used optical devices. Every optic and every soldier behind it should protected by such a cheap and yet very effective solution.


Firn


P.S: Not only optics revealed the important targets:


No, I didn't tell everything. That hill. We attacked. Then we got pinned down by that machine gun and the sniper. The regiment chief of staff Aleksei Kitaev was next to me. He had a cap with a bright band. They shot him from the beginning.

William F. Owen
03-15-2010, 10:47 AM
Going through the articles and some other works I tried to find out what else compromised a sharpshooter's or sniper's location or cost him his live. Some give-aways are easily greatly mitigated.

While this is all good stuff, and not to be forgotten, I think the performance of modern Electro-optics does need to be considered. Thermal Imagery and the much higher magnifications are all very real dangers when it comes to being detected.

Tukhachevskii
03-15-2010, 10:48 AM
I have always thought that the sniper section (www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-21-21/chap1.htm#1-10) attached to the Stryker Battalions adds a unique capability which would be better employed at coy level as precision HVT/long range engagement assets rather than as specialised "snipers". Each three man team includes an M24, a 12.7mm M107 and an M4/M203 combo. pool three or four such teams under a section leader and attached to the coy wpns platoon would be force multipliers to be reconed with especially in SBF situations or on defensive operations. They would even be valuable in patrols (assigned to recon elements) with their specialised observation skils as well as providing direct precision fires in MOUT/FIBUA (or FISH & CHIPS) situations esp. the M107 against machine gun/sniper positions for instance.

Uboat509
03-15-2010, 11:10 AM
Just my take on a few things, first of all, I am more than a little skeptical of anything that the Russian said. Much of it was vague but a few things stood out as extremely unlikely. The first has to do with range. When asked what range she engaged from in combat, she listed 1200 meters and 200 meters. She also stated that the rifles that they were standard issue rifles with optical sights. 1200 meters is a tough shot with modern purpose build sniper rifles with top of the line optics. I find it hard to believe that they were continuously, effectively engaging targets at this range with production rifles with what were likely substandard optics. In another part of the interview she also mentions that here first kill was at 1000 meters and that shot could be made at 2000 meters. 2000 meters? Really? I am not buying that one at all. I have serious trouble believing that a Russian wartime production rifle was that accurate, never mind the optics or the skills of the sniper.
The other thing that gets my BS senses tingling is this


A.D. So you're saying, you couldn't move the rifle?

Absolutely no!

A.D. So how did it lie? Simply against the shoulder?

Against the shoulder and your finger was always on the trigger. Because you might've had to pull it at any moment. The sector of fire was 800 m. And so you would look, and suddenly a target would appear. When the target reached the crosshairs, then I fired. This means that the target walked into the shot on its own. And, of course, that spot would've been ranged.

According to this she moved into position at night and placed the cross-hairs on a target that she could not see upwards of 800 meters away and then stayed there with the rifle on her shoulder and her finger on the trigger, not moving for the entire day? Plus she had to wait until the target moved in front of her sights before she engaged. Oh, and she could not fire two shots because the second one would give her position away and get her killed yet her partner, who was arms length away could fire. There are just too many questions raised by her story to take it seriously.

The Germans, on the other hand, were much more believable.

Another thing that I noticed, at least from my perspective, was how these snipers were employed. They are referred to as snipers throughout but they were actually being used more in the designated marksman type role. There is an important distinction to be made there, at least according to our doctrine as I understand it. When most people hear the word sniper, they automatically think of some guy in a guilly suit with a rifle making kills at extreme ranges. While that is part of what a sniper does, it is important to note that a sniper's ability to access a denied area and accurately observe and report on it is of much greater value than the ability to engage one target at range. I can remember, some years ago, when I was with the 25th ID in Hawaii, we were training to work with OH-58D helicopters. The majority of the training revolved around calling in targets for the OH-58s to engage and I can remember thinking that that was a waste of the asset. The OH-58D is lightly armed at best. Its real value lays its ability to spot targets with its thermals and also to call for accurate indirect fires. It is the same with a sniper. Certainly there are times when one well placed shot can wreck havoc with the enemy but more often I believe that greater value can be derived by having the sniper observe and report on enemy activity in an area where the enemy believes that they are safe from observation.

kaur
03-15-2010, 11:49 AM
One comment, to Uboat509 "calling in targets". I speculate that using snipers ability to shoot sharpliy depends a lot of tactics of your unit and principle of "economy of force". If you can't call in targets because you just don't have anyone in the sky or behind the mountains, you use your rifle. If someone is answering your calls, you can bring in B-52. Other question is price of ordnance. Bad thing is that snipers are mostly associated with ability to destroy tiny targets, but they can scout and observe too. Already this book was called "With Notes on the Scientific Training of Scouts, Observers, and Snipers"

http://www.archive.org/details/snipinginfrancew00pricrich

And this scouting/sniping/observing thread is already here:

http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=8165

82redleg
03-15-2010, 02:37 PM
I have always thought that the sniper section (www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-21-21/chap1.htm#1-10) attached to the Stryker Battalions adds a unique capability which would be better employed at coy level as precision HVT/long range engagement assets rather than as specialised "snipers". Each three man team includes an M24, a 12.7mm M107 and an M4/M203 combo. pool three or four such teams under a section leader and attached to the coy wpns platoon would be force multipliers to be reconed with especially in SBF situations or on defensive operations. They would even be valuable in patrols (assigned to recon elements) with their specialised observation skils as well as providing direct precision fires in MOUT/FIBUA (or FISH & CHIPS) situations esp. the M107 against machine gun/sniper positions for instance.

In addition to the sniper squad in the battalion, each SBCT rifle company has a sniper team (the same 3-man team as in the battalion).

Firn
03-15-2010, 06:07 PM
While this is all good stuff, and not to be forgotten, I think the performance of modern Electro-optics does need to be considered. Thermal Imagery and the much higher magnifications are all very real dangers when it comes to being detected.

Indeed, but it cuts of course both ways. Take for example magnification. The interview of the German snipers, among them the two guys with the highest certified kills certainly appreciated the optics with higher magnification used by them in the field. Prichard does too, and the telescopes they used had often considerably higher ones. Modern quality spotting scopes offer a far superior picture even at very high (60x65) magnification and under difficult conditions and are available at decent prices. Said that both fixed 20 or 30x and variable (15-45, 20-60) eypieces have their values, but variables have become perhaps the better overall choices.

Prichard has one example where two observers could distinguish French women cutting corn some 7000 yards away from German soldiers, but also underlines the importance of being able to observe minute details at much shorter ranges. Good spotting scopes make in my opinion in quite some environments a lot of sense for DM sections.


Thermals open up a whole new world due to the new EO spectrum, and could be very valuable additions to sections . I think it is difficult to gauge already their effects on the whole observing and sniping game.


Firn

Firn
03-16-2010, 05:41 AM
Just my take on a few things, first of all, I am more than a little skeptical of anything that the Russian said. Much of it was vague but a few things stood out as extremely unlikely. The first has to do with range. When asked what range she engaged from in combat, she listed 1200 meters and 200 meters. She also stated that the rifles that they were standard issue rifles with optical sights. 1200 meters is a tough shot with modern purpose build sniper rifles with top of the line optics. I find it hard to believe that they were continuously, effectively engaging targets at this range with production rifles with what were likely substandard optics. In another part of the interview she also mentions that here first kill was at 1000 meters and that shot could be made at 2000 meters. 2000 meters? Really? I am not buying that one at all. I have serious trouble believing that a Russian wartime production rifle was that accurate, never mind the optics or the skills of the sniper.


A.D. What was the standard distance from which you fired? Or an optimal one?

Well, what's there to say? ]The rifle could shoot two kilometers in a straight line. But you could observe up to 800 meters. At the school we fired at 200, and 300. There was night target practice. Different kinds of shooting.

I think this part is pretty consistent with the Finnish view on the Soviet snipers and the what the Germans said. The 2000 m are just theory, 1400 m was the highest range recorded by the Finns.



A.D. But the sight doesn't have a good field of view?

You could see 800 meters very well. You would sit there without moving, and if you moved, then you were noticed. A sniper would lie there quietly and see to the distance of two kilometers, 800 meters wide. He would observe everything. When I got tired, I would say "Marusia, I'm done," -- she would start observing. Because sniper's task was to eliminate commanders, machine gun emplacements, messengers that would be running around. They also had to be eliminated. Soldiers were not necessary, mostly -- officers, commanders.

The part you quoted does indeed sound as it would make little sense, something could have been lost in translation and other things added. So for example the first phrase could simply mean that generally moving your rifle was a very bad thing, just as the other Soviets said. The "Field of fire/view" of 800 m seems to be the breath of the field of view at 2000 m.



A.D. What was the usual distance you fired from?

At the school or at the front?

A.D. At the front.

1200 meters, and 200 meters. Our lines were close. Once Germans attacked our trench and took some girls prisoner, and killed them there. They killed Klava Monakhova. Only one soldier survived, there was an abandoned dug-out, simply a hole in the soil covered with a ground-sheet with snow on top, he hid there. Germans held out for a day, so he spent the day there.


See the Finnish view on the Soviet snipers:


(4) Ranges and Performances

Depending upon the distance between the lines, the ranges run from 100 to 900 yards, but occasionally enemy snipers have tried shots up to 1,400 yards. The usual and most effective distance is 200 to 400 yards, but even at 600 to 700 yards the accuracy of fire has been fairly satisfactory.

The fire readiness and speed of fire have been good even on moving targets, a proof on the one hand of thorough training, and on the other of the indispensability of the telescopic sight.

The speed and accuracy of fire gave rise to the suspicion that snipers posted in buildings made use of special aids. The accuracy of the fire may be illustrated by the following examples:

A sniper was hit several times through an observation slit fashioned into the snow-wall with a stick. Various objects lifted by our men above the parapet, as a trial, were generally hit. It also happened that Finnish observers behind periscopes, were shot at through the snow wall


The Germans


B added: Absolutely positive hitting is possible only up to about 600 meters.


6. What was the range of the furthest target you ever fired at, and what kind of target, size?

A. About 1,000 meters. Standing soldier. Positive hitting not possible, but necessary under the circumstances in order to show enemy that he is not safe even at that distance! Or superior wanted to satisfy himself about capability.

Her partner was usually roughly 20 m away and the importance of a single shot during sniper duels was underscored by the Germans too. I do think that the "hunting" in pairs had also the advantage that if the enemy sniper got one, he could have fallen to the bullet of the second Soviet which saw the signature.



It seems that once in a while two snipers go after the same target, for it happened that two men walking side by side were hit almost at the same time. On another occasion, one of our [Finnish] snipers was taking aim at his opponent when another enemy sniper shot his rifle to pieces.

This Finnish observation one is also interesting and consistent with the hunting methods of the male sniping pair.



The sniper's mate not only takes care of the observation, but also the deception of the enemy. He tries by all conceivable means to lure lookouts and guards from their protective cover.


A quick googling in youtube yielded some results:

The counter-sniping and luring starts at 9:20 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe-PVjm9vsk)

This fits with what the German (Austrian mountain division) would say.


16. What else is especially important in addition to excellent marksmanship?

A: Besides the generally known quality of a sniper it is especially important to be able to outsit the enemy. The better "Tactician at detail" wins in combat against enemy snipes. The exemption from commitment to any other duties contributes essentially to the achievement of high scores.


Firn

Firn
03-16-2010, 06:08 AM
Another thing that I noticed, at least from my perspective, was how these snipers were employed. They are referred to as snipers throughout but they were actually being used more in the designated marksman type role. There is an important distinction to be made there, at least according to our doctrine as I understand it. When most people hear the word sniper, they automatically think of some guy in a guilly suit with a rifle making kills at extreme ranges. While that is part of what a sniper does, it is important to note that a sniper's ability to access a denied area and accurately observe and report on it is of much greater value than the ability to engage one target at range.

It is the same with a sniper. Certainly there are times when one well placed shot can wreck havoc with the enemy but more often I believe that greater value can be derived by having the sniper observe and report on enemy activity in an area where the enemy believes that they are safe from observation.

Interesting thoughts.

It seems to me that this deep infiltration thing was not often done, at least not where those snipers served. This is the only thing I could find about it. Perhaps troop concentration was too high and one said had no technology advantage to better use the night.


A added: In a few cases, I had to penetrate the enemies main line of resistance at night before our own attack. When our own artillery had opened fire, I had to shoot at enemy commanders and gunners because our own forces would have been too weak in number and ammunition without this support.[/U]

The general rule on all sides was that the "true" snipers were simply too valuable to risk them easily (look at night fighting).

Modern technology could have changed that, as calling in fire has certainly become far easier than during WWII.

The invaluable value of the observation done by the snipers and spotters has already been testified during WWI, you just have to take a look at the "Sniping in France" of the archive.org. The author, who organized a great deal of the sniping and observation efforts of the BEF really liked to drive that point home. All in all to dominate the sniper's battle was highly benificial for excellent observation and the blinding of the enemy.


Firn

Firn
05-02-2010, 06:45 PM
I recently looked at some wartime manuals from the first and second world wars in respect to snipers/sharpshooters/designated marksmen. I will start with a German one.

The German Manual "Vorläufige Richtlinien für Ausbilduvg und Kampf von Skitruppen (1942)" (Tentative Instructions for the Training and Tactics of Ski Troops) writes that it is desirable for raiding parties (Jagdkommandos?) to have as many telescopic sights as possible. The scopes should be mounted on semiautomatic rifles. Other than that:


Weapons


Maximum fire power and mobility are decisive factors in determining the type and number of weapons with which the individual ski trooper should be equipped. Therefore, the men must be equipped with the largest possible number of automatic weapons, rifles with telescopic sights, and a correspondingly large supply of ammunition. Half of the total personnel will be equipped with submachine guns and semiautomatic rifles.

The number of heavy weapons to be taken along depends on the facilities for carrying sufficient ammunition. Fewer arms and plenty of ammunition should be the rule.

The three large Jaeger squads (at least 1 scoped rifle each) should be supported by a heavy mortar squad and an pioneer detachment - the latter armed only with submachine guns and plenty of handgrenades.

About the isolated firefight:


Increasing the allotment of telescopic sights to riflemen strengthens the fire power of the squad and favors the more frequent firing of single shots. Concentration of the fire of all rifles with telescopic sights to overpower important single targets (enemy lead-
ers, observation posts, and machine guns) can be of particular advantage before and during an attack, and also in defense. Because of the limitations of transportation in ski warfare the platoon or squad leader must control the use of ammunition.

...

Training


In training the individual rifleman, the most important thing is marksmanship. The various firing positions will be practiced with and without skis. Training as sharpshooters with rifles equipped with telescopic sights, and with semiautomatic rifles, will be particularly stressed. Every man must be trained in the use of the light machine gun and the submachine gun. A knowledge of the most common infantry weapons of the enemy is desirable.


...

It seems that a great deal of German and Finnish (and likely indirect Soviet) experience went into this manual. It is interesting to see how the desirable "standard" squad was tweaked. The "ideal" strenght or equipment was in times of war usually just that, ideal.

"Standard" Squad of 10:

1 SQL, SMG, Field glasses
1 MG Gunner, MG, Pistol
1 MG Assistent, Pistol
1 MG Ammunition-carrier, Pistol
1 SIC, rifle
4 Riflemen, rifle


"Raiding Skisquad" (Jagdtrupp/Jagdgruppe) of 12:

1 SQL, SMG, Field glasses
1 SIC, SMG,
1 MG Gunner, MG, Pistol
1 MG Assistent, Pistol, Field Glasses (on of the three)
1 MG Ammun.-carrier, Rifle
3 Sharpshooter/Riflemen, Semiautomatic rifles with scopes
2 Grenadiers, bolt-action rifle with grenade discharger - (the manual says "at least one")
2 Riflemen, bolt-action rifles.

(Two persons are needed to pull the weapon akja (handsled) with the GPMG)


The mortar squad of 13 should also have a group of four sharpshooter/riflemen with scoped semi-automatic rifles, the crew of the mortar has pistols and 4 riflemen helping to draw the 5 akjas/sledges. The engineer/pioneer detachment has only submachine guns, special (explosive) equipment and many handgrenades.


Changes in strength, composition, and equipment of the squad may be ordered to meet the requirements of the situation.

Firn


Original foreword:

The manual Tentative Instructions for the Training and Tacties of Ski Troops is based on the experience gained from organizing, training, and employing ski battalions, raiding detachments, and improvised ski companies on the Eastern Front, as well as on knowledge gained from the Finnish Army.

William F. Owen
05-03-2010, 04:07 AM
I recently looked at some wartime manuals from the first and second world wars in respect to snipers/sharpshooters/designated marksmen. I will start with a German one.

The German Manual "Vorläufige Richtlinien für Ausbilduvg und Kampf von Skitruppen (1942)" (Tentative Instructions for the Training and Tactics of Ski Troops) writes that it is desirable for raiding parties (Jagdkommandos?) to have as many telescopic sights as possible. The scopes should be mounted on semiautomatic rifles.
Good job. Keep it coming

GI Zhou
05-03-2010, 06:11 AM
I have a couple of opinions which may or not stand the test of time or criticism but occurred on air farce exercises I was involved with.

Generally the best shots are your most valuable people and there being taking away to become a DM when pre-deployment training is about to start, can occur. This is an issue that needs to be looked at before a deployment but the best made plans.... Just in time training often isn't.

Secondly being given a special weapon, different to the rest of the section whilst good for the individual does leave them singled out, making them a target if the other side has marksmen as well.

Thirdly because of their skills they could be employed as a body guard for the OIC and not used in their proper role.

In my case I was the most skilled and best shot with pistol or rifle out of three squads, so was used with the SNCO to provide fire as required. I had not done DM training but was the most experienced NCO. This is of course what the DM should be used for. I was strong enough in those days to shoot an L2 heavy barrel SLR (FN-HBAR) from the shoulder unassisted but was employed to fire single shots accurately with its bipod at longer ranges and on full automatic as a surprise.

Later on everyone was issued the Steyr AUG. The Steyr AUG is easier and more accurate for the ladies to carry but not my preferred weapon.

Firn
05-03-2010, 10:12 AM
I forgot to add the link (http://carl.army.mil/wwIIspec/number20.pdf), the very words led also to this one. (http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=37295&start=30)

Chances are high that a great deal of the German experience and writing came from the Austrian/German mountain divisions/training centers. The German mountain jaeger were also at least partly skimobile due to basic training in the Alpine environment and fought often in close cooperation with the Finns along the Northern Front (see also the second link). The password "Garmisch-Partenkirchen" denotes a town in the Bavarian Alps with one of the most important training centers of the Mountain Jaeger. Of course the Karelian forests were just one of the environments in which Skitroops fought. The Taiga for example also forced specific adaptions.

The rifles:

While the manual prefers to have the sights on semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles and scoped ones are often treated as different entities. This makes sense as most German and captured Soviet scoped rifles were operated by bolt-action. The preference to scope the semi-automatic rifles is interesting, perhaps they were simply in many circumstances the better compromise between accuracy and quick shooting (See also the interview of the Austrian snipers, which served also mostly in Mountain divisions IIRC).

The training:


In training the individual rifleman, the most important thingis marksmanship. The various firing positions will be practiced with and without skis. Training as sharpshooters with rifles equipped with telescopic sights, and with semiautomatic rifles, will
be particularly stressed. Every man must be trained in the use of the light machine gun and the submachine gun. A knowledge of the most common infantry weapons of the enemy is desirable.

I quoted this again as I missed the part which seems to indicate the better shots of the riflemen should get sharpshooter training and prefer (unscoped) semi-automatic rifles over (unscoped) standard ones. But there something might have been lost in translation as the Germans might have used different terms for the K98k ("Karabiner") and the Gewehr 43 ("Gewehr"). Anyway both would fit at the maxim to get most firepower with good mobility.


The guiding factors in selecting personnel for these ski groups are aggressiveness, marksmanship, and proficiency in skiing.

There are also many other interesting aspects detailed in this manual, from the importance of radio to the high need of much fieldcraft. To remain in the realm of firepower the light mortar often seems to have not been worth the weight - a single 81mm mortar with plenty of ammunition (4 akjas à 18 rounds, air-bursting grenades were often desirable, smoke was also carried) was prefered by larger raiding parties (roughly 60 men).

I also forgot to add the second akja of the Squad, which was often pulled behind the rest of the squad (with the SIC tail). The weapons akja was in front. While rifle grenades are clearly included in the first part ("at least one grenade discharger per squad") they are not detailed in the second part. Maybe simply forgotten or sacrificed in larger raining parties for more heavy mortar bombs. With a sighting device with a small spirit bubble and new war-time fuzes the grenadier could engage indirect targets at 300 m (500 m with better quality HE-grenades which allowed for more propellant. The light German 2-inch mortar was of course a better indirect fire choice, but lacked the semidirect firepower of the rifle grenades and was overshadowed by the attached 81 cm.)


Firn

P.S: Of course weight was a big issue even back then - the worth of modern vehicles like the Bandvagn or the Nasu can not be overestimated. Who had the experiences of a long ski march uphill and a nice drive will know why :D


In selecting equipment to be taken along, the aim must be to achieve the greatest possible economy in weight. The equipment which will permit the individual soldier to maintain his fighting strength must be based on the tactical requirements of the contemplated action.


For the first time in our life we (7. mountain division) saw the Finns' so-called Sissi combat and reconnaissance patrol food supplies which consisted - that being for us at that time completely new - to a large extent of concentrated food, which were easy to handle and also transport. Nescafe dried egg pulver, Special chocolate and similar things were given us by the Finns and the weight of our backpack was reduced at least around 2/3. It was interesting, that this food supply was almost exclusively of American origin.

Additional German, British and Japanese WWII manuals are available here (http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/wwIIspec/index.asp)

Firn
05-03-2010, 10:17 AM
From the manual „British commandos (1942) (http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/wwIIspec/number01.pdf)“. The quotes are from the Vaagso raid.

The ANZAC independent company should have had according to this paper at that time 1 sniper rifle per section, in all 9. Of course this document alone gives as just a little hint on how they were organized. Binos and telescopes were also issued, and there was a special training session for use of the telescope.



45. Group 2, from the start, encountered very stiff opposition, both from German infantry who fought to the last man in the buildings in which they were established, and from snipers, armed often with automatic rifles, who took up positions on the hillside west of the town where they were ery difficult to locate owing to the excellent natural cover.

It must be emphasized that the opposition in South Vaagso was severe in degree and skillful in quality. It appears from the interrogation of prisoners that the garrison had been augmented by a detachment who had been moved into the town for Christmas, but, however that may be, there is no doubt that the fighting spirit, marksmanship, and efficiency of the enemy in this area was of a high order.


The original troops of Group 2 had suffered heavy casualties and were operating in small parlties, very determinedly and
often under the leadership of junior N. C. O.'s, but making only slow progress against the German infantry posts and snipers from the hillside.



88. During this period Boarding Parties came under fire from snipers ashore and it is regretted that the stroke oar of Destroyer A's whaler was killed. The background of snow and black rock enabled the snipers to conceal their positions most successfully. Destroyer A, however, used her main armament, pom-porn and Oerlikons, at intervals to keep down the fire.


93. While No. 5 Group were being re-embarked snipers were very troublesome. Their stronghold was bombarded and sprayed with all armaments from both destroyers, and as a result no further trouble was experienced from that quarter.

Lessons learned in the Vaagso raid


2. It is considered that where H. M. Ships are likely to enter fiords, snipers should be provided on the scale of two per destroyer, who should be marksmen and should be equipped with sniper's rifles (a long Lee-Enfield with telescopic sight is suggested). These ratings should have full authority to open fire without further orders whenever a target.

Kiwigrunt
05-04-2010, 09:02 AM
New record (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/afghanistan/article7113916.ece)

Chris jM
05-04-2010, 09:22 AM
From kiwigrunts link -


News of Harrison’s success comes amid concern over a rival insurgent sharpshooter who in a five-month spree has killed up to seven British soldiers, including a sniper, in and around the Taliban stronghold of Sangin.

Sounds ominous. Apart from Valin's first link on the subject that mentioned an enemy 'sniper' being killed by a Jav, I haven't heard anything about the Taleban fielding snipers. To the contrary, all open source reports seem to indicate that the competent marksman is an exception amongst the insurgents. Hopefully the report is either erroneous or mistaken.

William F. Owen
05-04-2010, 09:38 AM
New record (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/afghanistan/article7113916.ece)

Sorry, I just do not believe it. Two shots a 2,470m+ with an 8.59mm round, using the L-115A3 setup? Confirmed?
Considering how few British Army snipers believed the Canadian claim, this one stretching credibility almost too far.
About a year ago, a very experienced Recce Platoon Colour Sergeant who was back from theatre told me that in his opinion 90% of the claimed Sniper kills were spurious.

Kiwigrunt
05-04-2010, 09:53 AM
But.....but....but...its in a newspaper....it must be true.

I don't know whether to believe it or not. It does appear a bit too good to be true.

Oh, and you forgot the third shot, where he kills the gun.

Firn
05-04-2010, 03:56 PM
I won't secondguess it from my save desk, but just post some interesting bits.

1) It is possible that the shooter had a 5-25x56 scope (http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Templates/LargeImageTemplate.aspx?img=/NR/rdonlyres/2E8E470F-B782-4FAA-A258-F76ABE8D7CC8/0/SniperRifle2.jpg&alt=The%20new%20sniper%20rifle%20in%20detail%20[Picture:%20MOD]) on his L115A3. Keep in mind that you can count with a good 30x spotting scope a cock's tailfeathers 1800 m even on an overcast day. (Just did that 5 min ago ;)). So on this bright Afghan day the shooter could easily have got a lot of detail even at that range, even spotting the targets himself.

2) This link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_ballistics) has quite some detail about the external ballistics of the Lapua Scenar GB528 19.44 g coming out of a (standard barrel - 60 cm?) .338 LM rifle. At standard conditions the bullet would take almost 6 seconds to reach the targets and hit them with 260 m/s, the hot and high conditions of the specific area would have reduced the flight time somewhat. At this distances and with that bullet speed the second men could have no idea about what hit them. The total drop of the bullet should have been over 110 m (high and hot).

3) There must have been practically no wind along the whole path of the bullet as just the slightest breeze some 1500m away would have driven the bullet far away.

4) The MOA of the bullet-rifle combination must be truly excellent.

5) A lot still to add but I will leave it there.


Firn

JMA
05-05-2010, 09:41 AM
But.....but....but...its in a newspaper....it must be true.

I don't know whether to believe it or not. It does appear a bit too good to be true.

Oh, and you forgot the third shot, where he kills the gun.

It's like one man writing his own citation... put them on a polygraph!

JMA
05-05-2010, 09:48 AM
Daily Express (http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/119427/Scots-sniper-kills-Taliban-leader-with-longest-shot/)
8/9/09

A SCOTTISH soldier has been praised for making the longest recorded kill in Afghanistan after shooting a top Taliban fighter from almost a mile away.
Corporal Christopher Reynolds took out the Afghan drug lord during some of the hardest fighting of the war so far.

The 25-year-old, of 3 Scots, The Black Watch, kept watch on a shop rooftop for three days to eliminate the target.
But he admitted the top-level Taliban fighter – known as Musa – was so far away it took him a couple of attempts to get the aim right.

Initially Musa, who was with four men, did not even realise he was being shot at........

Why not take the guess work out of this and issue snipers with Laser Target pointers/designators for air strikes?

Oh silly me... by the time the 10 levels of authority for the air strike are obtained the Taliban would be long gone.

Soldier_X
05-16-2010, 07:35 PM
I've trained SDM's at a school house for a bit. In the US Army the proponent for all things marksmanship is the US Army Infantry School (USAIS). Our Program of Instruction (POI) was submitted to USAIS for approval as THE SDM POI. There are always things in the works. I suspect it wont be too long before the next Marksmanship FM comes out.

As we teach it, the SDM is responsible for those targets from 300 to 600 meters, at ranges beyond that the targets belong to Snipers (doctrinally speaking). Extensive research conducted by the USMC Warfighter Lab had other quantifiable and interesting findings on the efficacy, use, tactics, purpose and role of the DM. This research is referenced in current training.

The SDM program found in the back of the current FM, suggests a 5 day training plan. This is too short, simply because a great deal of US Army units do not follow the marksmanship training strategy as outlined by the USAIS. Conflicting reference materials directing army marksmanship training, have resulted in units choosing the path of least resistance (i.e., DA PAM 385-38 STRAC). The STRAC is a peacetime guide, we havent been at peace in quite some time, but that is the reference that nearly every unit uses.

We could effectively implement a 5 day SDM course if the Army instead followed the training strategy outlined by USAIS which is PMI (12hrs), Simulators 1 day, grouping fire 1 day, zero 1 day, KD fam fire & qual 1 day, Pop up fam fire & qual 1 day. This concludes BRM. This is supposed to happen at least twice a year.

********************
SDM Weapon.
95% of the time, if not more than that, the SDM is just another guy in the squad. So why would you issue him a special weapon when his primary mission and responsibility rest with the squad? His weapon must be suitable for his primary mission. Many are quick to say that that SDM needs an M14! Or some other such weapon... TRIPE. What we have suggested to the Army is to accurize the M16A4 with parts already in inventory.

These parts already on hand are:

Free Float Hanguards (either KAC or ARMS, both are NSN items)

Match Trigger (NSN)

New Barrel (NSN)

There are comments in this thread that SDM's don't need no fancy free float tube, or words to that effect. What information is that based off of? That is like saying the SDM needs to be only so accurate.

Do this for me; take an M16 or M4, put it in some sort of fabricated vise that securely holds the weapon, so long as NOTHING touches the weapon from the slip ring forward. With the weapon so secured, insert a laser borelight into the bore. Aim the weapon at a wall 10 m or so distant, turn on the laser, mark the wall where the laser strikes. Then "place" your hand anywhere along the weapon forward of the slip ring and watch the laser dot move off of the mark. Now imagine you were actually applying force on the weapon, like applying pressure with a sling, or holding firm with a sandbag. You get the idea.

This for the unschooled, is why you need a free floating handguard if you want to be accurate (head size accurate) to 600 meters. This is also why those in the know do not use those idiotic grip/bipods, Gucci kit to be sure; enhancing accuracy? Not so much.

The requirement for the SDM is to engage targets with well aimed fire to 600 meters. Keep that in mind.

*******************
AMMO.
The M855 62 gr. green tip does not perform as well as other 5.56 mm ammunition both in terms of external and terminal ballistics. Since the SDM is a member of the squad, there still exists in the squad the capability to penetrate barrier material with the SAW firing M855 ammo. The Mk 262 varieties are better choices for the SDM and frankly for all of the riflemen in the squad in terms of the ballistics, external and terminal.

***************

Additional pieces of kit:

SDM's can be task organized to peform supporting roles in defense and in UO. Studies have shown a significant decrease in the amount of casualties in terms of fratricide and enemy fire, when the SDM is in overwatch supporting the movement of the fire team or squad.

To aid the SDM in this role two pieces of kit will help, a light weight laser range finder, and the HBL-S bipod with ARMS #32 mount.

...

In closing, the SDM IS NOT a sniper. He is an assaulter, with a good deal of additional marksmanship training. How good he is depends upon the quality of the initial training, the frequency and quality of the sustainment training, and the character of the individual Soldier. In the counter insurgency fight, civilian casualties are especially a bad thing. With highly trained riflemen we can dramatically improve our first round hit probability and the decrease the use of supporting arms which are far more likely to produce unintended consequences.

Firn
05-19-2010, 05:00 PM
In closing, the SDM IS NOT a sniper. He is an assaulter, with a good deal of additional marksmanship training. How good he is depends upon the quality of the initial training, the frequency and quality of the sustainment training, and the character of the individual Soldier. In the counter insurgency fight, civilian casualties are especially a bad thing. With highly trained riflemen we can dramatically improve our first round hit probability and the decrease the use of supporting arms which are far more likely to produce unintended consequences.

The squad sharpshooters (trained as "sharpshooters") of this raiding parties on skies seem to have been based on a pretty intensive amount of German, Finnish and Soviet experience. In short according to the tentative doctrine the best shots of the units should have got the individual weapons with the highest degree of long-range firepower and the so important telescopic sights with considerable training on their use.

In this case the raiding parties could often not rely on supporting arms, albeight for different reasons, and had to win the firefight on their own, often against superior numbers. For this very reasons semi-automatic weapons were scoped instead of the usual bolt-action ones.

I will continue later.

Firn

Firn
05-24-2010, 10:36 AM
Sorry for delaying my response a bit.

I think we covered overall the training, doctrine, weapons and calibers pretty well. The different approaches have different merits, for example the US Army one seems to be pretty much low-risk training and doctrine wise, while it still reaps considerable benefits.

Perhaps we discussed optics in less detail. I already wrote that not just the author of the last paper does time and time again note the importance of good optics. The quantity and quality of them made quite an impact on the battlefields of WWII and nobody seemed to get enough of them. German plans to equip large numbers of semi-automatic and assault rifles with telescopic sights failed for obvious reasons. In the current conflicts this old idea has become pretty much standard in Western forces, even if in different forms.

--------------------------------

OPTICS


Telescopic Sights:

While the DM is not a sniper and often uses a modified version of the standard rifle he could make good use of a "sniper scope". A quality tactical, rugged, variable power scope with a good compromise between low (1.5 - 3?) and high (6-12) magnification could allow him to handle both the standard duties as "assaulter" and the additional ones as sharpshooter. Quality, high magnification facilitates especially at longer ranges target detection and identification. The choice of the reticle and the FP is of very considerable importance and not an easy one. The scope has of course to be compatible with the standard NV equipment.



Additional pieces of kit:

SDM's can be task organized to peform supporting roles in defense and in UO. Studies have shown a significant decrease in the amount of casualties in terms of fratricide and enemy fire, when the SDM is in overwatch supporting the movement of the fire team or squad.

To aid the SDM in this role two pieces of kit will help, a light weight laser range finder, and the HBL-S bipod with ARMS #32 mount.

An ever growing numbers of (for military standards) cheap but high quality, light range finders (http://www.bearbasin.com/leica-1600-rangefinder.htm) come with a ballistic calculator which covers more and more of the important variables for long-range shooting. Tools like that take a lot of science out of the art of war, as long as they work that is.




10 Years of the Leica CRF Rangefinder – Now with Integrated Measurement of Angle of Elevation/Declination, Temperature and Barometric Pressure. The new Leica Rangemaster 1600 offers:


In addition to the standard ballistic trajectory, its Leica microcomputer also integrates the angle of elevation/declination, the temperature and the barometric pressure in its calculations. This brings an invaluable benefit for hunters, as it displays the point of aim in less than 0.3 seconds without any need to study ballistic tables and without laborious measuring procedures. Hunters can react rapidly and accurately and get their shots right on target in even the most difficult situations.


A further improvement offered by the new Leica Rangefinder 1600 is its extended range of 1500 meters (1600 yards), and the rejection of measured distances below ten meters. This aspect of its measuring behavior is particularly important for hunters and makes the Leica Rangefinder ideal for use from cover Bushes, brush and grass at close range can now no longer influence its measuring performance. All measuring results are analyzed electronically and deliver only unambiguous and accurate values.


A light and compact 20-60 or 15-45 spotting scope with a light, low tripod and a light mount (the rucksack works or a bean bag work well too if one wants to reduce the load) could be a great addition at the squad/platoon level. Of course it is not essential for every mission and terrain, but it can greatly aid target detection and ID when used from the overwatch position.

For COIN operations and not only a commercial digiscoping equipment suitable for a commercial digital camera might make a lot of sense too.


Firn

jcustis
05-24-2010, 10:59 AM
Firn,

I don't recall you ever making the statement out loud, but are you a trained sniper or SDM? Your posts lead me to believe that you are.

Firn
05-27-2010, 07:14 PM
Firn,

I don't recall you ever making the statement out loud, but are you a trained sniper or SDM? Your posts lead me to believe that you are.

No, during my military service (Alpini) I did neither got trained as a SDM or sharpshooter nor I trained others in this regard. This is the very reason why I always tried to reference my comments in this thread and to provide links to the wartime sources from which I have drawn said tentative conclusions.

My paternal grandfather on the other hand worked as a forest guard in a small private hunting estate before he got drafted late 1943 into the German armed forces (4. mountain division) and served as one of those informal company/platoon sharpshooters the German snipers refered to. He considered himselve a very lucky man to make it back home. (My maternal grandfather had pretty much the full program with the 2. and later the 4. mountain division from 1939-1945, on of the very few NCO who served so long and got home in one piece. Ironically he was partly responsible of the skitraining behind the frontlines, as he was a very fine skier and mountaineer. They organized ski competitions too, I still have on of his invitational flyers. He was also shortly attached to Finnish units to get a deeper grasp of the Finnish way of war. From late 1943 and Kuban onwards he served in the 4. )

Currently I'm working for the forest departement (studied biology besides political science) with a focus on wildlife/predator management, which is a hot topic due to the new ever increasing presence of Bears and Wolves. (Even Golden Jackals, Enok and Raccoon are joining in. It isn't about shooting btw). Spotting scopes used now also for digiscoping have proven to be excellent ways to study wildlife (Chamoix, Ibex, also Eagles, even Lammergeiers :cool:) above the tree line, on openings and in the air. I'm also partly responsible ( it rotates) for the shooting part of the hunting exams which are held twice a year. (Worked as a hunting guard) Sadly most people (guys and girls) without military training (the conscription ended some years ago) are overall doing there almost as well as the guys with it. :rolleyes:


Firn

P.S: Maybe parts of it should get moved into my introduction post. The moderators should do what they deem best.

Kiwigrunt
05-28-2010, 10:36 AM
A high techno scope (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/05/25/darpas-new-sniper-rifle-offers-a-perfect-shot-across-12-football-fields/) is on its way. (Retrieved through this (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/category/rifles/) site.)

davidbfpo
07-16-2011, 12:42 PM
Bill Moore has posted this on SWJ and this thread has been created in response:
We need to resurface our counter sniper discussion to present our men and women dealing with this serious threat some viable options. The best defense against a sniper is a sniper, but we all know that only goes so far, and screening only works at fixed facilities, not when they're on patrol. We have a lot of experience (old and new) collectively, so let's start posting on this topic in the council.

Please note re-surface and I will try to identify previous thread(s) in a moment. A reminder: we are seeking experience to help those in the field, so OPSEC has some impact here and if necessary or demand requires it this thread can be moved to a secure place.

Possible, previous threads are:

Sharpshooter/DM employment:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=4575

Are snipers and recon still valid in infantry battalions?:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=8165

I know sniping appears in several historical threads and more recently their role in the Finnish context.

jcustis
07-16-2011, 06:46 PM
David, good to see you direct some traffic on this. Some of the practical things I've learned (old and new) are:

-You can assume that you are always under observation. That's the very first rule.
-Snipers, both ours and theirs are trained to "burn through" their concealment with the optics they apply. As a result, they often fire from more than one terrain feature or layer of concealment away. Patrols employing guardian angels would do well to direct their focus to these areas, not just the line of trees across the field.
-Patrols that employ travelling and/or bounding overwatch are less likely to be surprised. This is a basic TTP that I think has been allowed to go fallow because of the threat of IEDs and limited resources in terms of detection equipment and personnel.
-Patrols that pay attention to using angles, shadow, and other naturally occuring features fare better too.
-All around observation skills are so easy to be taught that it is laughable, but if not done, or not done to standard it limits every members ability to "scan wide and focus small" when tgt indicators are afoot.

I'll for sure think of a few more while I am looking at RVs today, but these come to mind the quickest.

Fuchs
07-16-2011, 07:09 PM
# Is the 'nervous' sniper 'dance' in use with sentries?

# Did PsyOps try to mislead OPFOR riflemen, trying things such as a rumour that body armour is weakest in centre, or horror rumours about retaliation against snipers?

# Are trench scopes in use?

# Why do things such as this (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/07/afghanistans-insane-fight/110105-m-6340o-124/) happen if OPFOR riflemen are to be taken seriously?

# Are periscopes in use?

jcustis
07-16-2011, 07:20 PM
Fuchs,

I don't know if your points are comments on my points, in part I think because of language misunderstanding.

I'm scratching my head about your periscope comment. I know you advocate them, but at least in the Afghanistan context, they aren't a player as one might think.

Fuchs
07-16-2011, 07:30 PM
Well, let's think about a typical rifleman contact (I don't call them "sniper") of a patrol. /afaik

They get shot at, they dash to cover. Now they need to gain orientation (and if there's anything like a mortar threat, get moving again).
The classic combination for this is AFAIK a decoy plus observation periscopes.

jcustis
07-16-2011, 07:33 PM
Well, let's think about a typical rifleman contact (I don't call them "sniper") of a patrol.

They get shot at, they dash to cover. Now they need to gain orientation (and if there's anything like a mortar threat, get moving again).
The classic combination for this is AFAIK a decoy plus observation periscopes.

The Afghans are typically gone, after having first their burt for Allah, by that point.

Conventional peer-to-peer combat?...er, maybe.

Chris jM
07-17-2011, 01:22 AM
I can't add anything more to specific anti-sniper techniques, but I think this is a symptom of a problem rather than a problem in itself. I would suggest a combined arms approach to the enemy is needed to deal with any enemy and tactical band-aids, such as MRAPs and EW at the tactical level for the IED case-study, will just force the enemy to evolve to the next most rewarding means of killing - in this case snipers/sharpshooters. To an extent this is inevitable and even desirable, as it shows we are adapting and defeating his last tactical iteration. The alarming thing I see personally is that everyone relies on the system to solve these problems rather than having the formations innovate and evolve themselves.

If your rifle section/platoon/company is properly trained, equipped and led (as well as being enabled by policy and doctrine) to patrol effectively then the appearance of an enemy 'trend' in targeting should be dealt with by tactical innovation and evolution as dictated by the situation and campaign objectives.

jcustis
07-17-2011, 02:13 AM
Chris, I really agree with your point re: symptom vs. problem. It is predominantly a training issue.

Ken White
07-17-2011, 02:26 AM
...I think this is a symptom of a problem rather than a problem in itself...The alarming thing I see personally is that everyone relies on the system to solve these problems rather than having the formations innovate and evolve themselves...then the appearance of an enemy 'trend' in targeting should be dealt with by tactical innovation and evolution as dictated by the situation and campaign objectives.All true.

Snipers, true, well trained and / or experienced snipers as opposed to the occasional better than average shots -- or lucky shots -- are really sort of rare. They can do great damage occasionally, usually they're only a minor impediment. Normal TTP are adequate for dealing with everything from the lucky shot to the true but rare 'deadly' sniper (Hollywood has much to answer for...).

The best way to deal with a really good opposing Sniper is to bring in one of your own who's better and turn him loose (without a Security Platoon along to make him nearly totally ineffective). Since those really good guys are rare, one should not have to do that often. The better than average marksman can best be handled by moving in on his position, however, as JCustis mentioned, many of those guys will pop a cap or two and depart just to make you waste the time and effort trying to work him out. Thus often its best to either pop a 40mm in or near the likely location or just ignore them and press on. Same old METT-TC stuff.

Don't waste ammunition, effort and time trying to do a Recon by Fire, it'll be ineffective against anyone with even a little experience and will only serve to show the bad guys that their effort is having an effect and we're excessively nervous. There's a place for Recon by Fire but this isn't it. There's no place for the 'Mad Minute' bit...

Hopefully, US elms are using their ANA and ANP counterparts who have local sensitivity and better eyes for spotting bad guys in the rocks but we do have the advantage of being able to do a map recon -- assuming enough folks know how -- and deducing likely sniper and ambush locations on a route so that actions and reactions can be anticipated. One can only do so much with a given piece of terrain and even in Afghanistan good, clear 300m or so fields of fire with decent concealment and / or cover plus a withdrawal route at the other end can usually be picked out with a good map search. Don't mark the map, that will psych you into believing the marked spots are the only danger areas and don't try to recon an entire route, just check from SP to the first CP, then to the next CP and so forth. Yes, that means not paying too much attention to your GPS which, neat though it is, cannot give you an appreciation for the terrain. A Map can...;)

Surely every elm in country is doing their best to avoid establishing ANY pattern, are using different routes out and back EVERY time and know that any habitation will contain observers who report our movements, as possibly will any otherwise innocent who happen to see us. We will never match the locals in terrain knowledge or in patience but we can use their terrain to our advantage and negate their patience advantage by doing the unexpected -- always.

I suspect that the rediscovery by the bad guys in the 'Stan that the SMLE / Dragunoiv or whatever is a good stand off effort is aimed precisely at doing what it appears to be doing -- make people excessively nervous for no real benefit. The Troops will work it out if their Bosses do not over worry it.

One of the likely problems, I'm inclined to believe, is that some current technology allows one to 'fix' the location of a distant shooter. That can and likely does cause target fixation on the part of the Boomerang or other techno gadget owner which can lead to a lot of effort being expended to chase a ghost.

OTOH, if you have a bad shooter nearby, one who fires at you but hits nothing, best to leave him alone lest he be replaced by someone who does better. Seriously. I've seen that happen several times, once to include Gunships and an air strike on a guy who had hit no one in two days. Go getters sometimes go and get the wrong things... :rolleyes:

Life is simpler in a conventional war, one just drops a round or two from nearby Arty or Mortars. :D

ADDED: Jcustis snuck in on me -- he and Chris are both right,the 'solution' is simply better training.

Bill Moore
07-17-2011, 05:05 AM
Chris M.

I agree with your points, and most of what Ken wrote, but if the article was accurate that described the sniper threat, I don't think we're dealing and father and son teams taking random pot shots at our guys. That has been going on since we first got there. However, if the article is correct the game is changing, and I don't think a squad/platoon firing back with M-4's at ghost they can't see will be that effective against the well trained/equipped sniper:


Toolan, who runs NATO’s Regional Command Southwest, said many of the snipers attacking his troops speak Farsi or Arabic, meaning that the fighters likely come from Iran and other neighboring countries. Other U.S. officials in Afghanistan say Iran has significantly escalated its support for militants there, providing long-range rockets, money, and technical assistance. Tehran denies the charges, but Toolan said some of the snipers appear to have been trained outside of Afghanistan.

Still agree that units must adjust their TTPs, which is why I asked folks to post their ideas here. It doesn't help the kids much telling them they weren't well trained, what they need now is some ideas that they can consider and adapt if they think it they're appropriate. Part of that adapting is equipping, and that may mean bring a couple of long guns per platoon, etc... I suspect we have enough snipers to present a credible counter sniper threat, but getting them to the right places (detaching and attaching) will take some effort, hopefully an effort no one is opposed to.

davidbfpo
07-17-2011, 11:34 AM
From Bill Moore:
I recommend posting helpful tips (that don't require links) for the guys who have limited bandwidth and/or time to read, and then post longer studies for those on staffs who need to develop a more comprehensive counter sniper strategy. Don't assume that all of our guys have been taught old school infantry tactics for countering a sniper, so even if it sounds basic to you please post it, it may be new to that 19 year old on point.

Taken from SWJ comment.

kaur
07-17-2011, 03:08 PM
There is a lot of talk about sniping in Afganistan ... long time ago :D

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/Skeen.pdf

Mod adds: this 2010 PDF takes awhile to download and is reprint of Skeen's experience in the Imperial Indian era; oddly similar to a UK published book in 2008.

Fuchs
07-17-2011, 03:58 PM
"well-aimed single shot rifle fire" ≠ "sniper fire"

Ken White
07-17-2011, 04:35 PM
Yep. Most often the case. Quite strong belief of son who recently returned and who also mentions that as 'new' units arrive in country, they have a learning curve and early (first 90 days or so) excessive excitability settles down to six months of slow, hard learning and then they only have 90 days of really competent productive effort before they rotate out. There are obvious exceptions in both directions, some units learn fast, METT-TC and unit character dependent, others seem to not learn at all. That in his observation over three tours there. It is also quite similar to my observations earlier and elsewhere. :wry:

Those lengthy adaptation periods are a function of the overall intensity of combat. When one is getting shot at, it's all intense... :D

Bill Moore
07-17-2011, 04:41 PM
Fuchs,

A school trained and well equipped sniper from Iran is not the same as a tribal militia member who can shoot straight. I suspect we're in agreement. I was hoping folks would share tactics and techniques for dealing with snipers, and not simply deny that the threat exists. Oh well, SWJ has its limits......, and TTPs shared on AKO are impossible to access when deployed....

slapout9
07-17-2011, 05:25 PM
Idea. If you have access to LE types have them give a quick class on how to look at a body(wound impact point) and tell the general direction from which the shot came from. Focus on the area the shot is likely to have come from.

jcustis
07-17-2011, 05:36 PM
There is a lot of talk about sniping in Afganistan ... long time ago :D

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/Skeen.pdf

Mod adds: this 2010 PDF takes awhile to download and is reprint of Skeen's experience in the Imperial Indian era; oddly similar to a UK published book in 2008.

Holy crap!!! Awesome post. I had never seen or heard of that document before, and seeing as how I am grinding through a compilation of Kipling's war stories and poetry, which has a lot on Afghanistan in it, this makes for a great companion.

jcustis
07-17-2011, 05:39 PM
Idea. If you have access to LE types have them give a quick class on how to look at a body(wound impact point) and tell the general direction from which the shot came from. Focus on the area the shot is likely to have come from.

Even more importantly, don't spazz out with the first crack of an errant round if the sniper has missed, but rather try to listen for the wump of the rifle's report, and note the direction it comes from. There lay your sniper.

How long he remains there is a separate matter. ;)

slapout9
07-17-2011, 06:11 PM
How long he remains there is a separate matter. ;)


Very true, with some poor mans geographic profiling that problem can be solved.

Granite_State
07-17-2011, 07:01 PM
Holy crap!!! Awesome post. I had never seen or heard of that document before, and seeing as how I am grinding through a compilation of Kipling's war stories and poetry, which has a lot on Afghanistan in it, this makes for a great companion.

Sir, Amazon also has the exact same book, under a different title, in a nice little hardcover:

http://www.amazon.com/LESSONS-IMPERIAL-RULE-Instructions-Infantrymen/dp/184832507X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310929199&sr=8-1

davidbfpo
07-17-2011, 07:30 PM
I did post on the 'What Are You Reading' in March 2009 (Post No.371) that the Skeen book had been republished. Alas did not post much more.

Please note the 2010 US Army edition has a different introduction.

Pete
07-17-2011, 08:55 PM
During the Ruhr Pocket Campaign in April 1945 a marksman shot at my Dad and a bullet whistled past his head. It was probably somewhere between Siegburg and Dusseldorf. Dad had driven the commander of his 105mm battery forward so fire support coordination measures could be worked out with the Infantry. The boundary between the sectors of two Infantry battalions and their fire support had to be better defined so they would not be shooting into each others' sectors.

While the battery commander talked to the supported Infantry officers Dad sat on a stone wall in the small village. A teenage boy walked up to him and began speaking to Dad in English. Dad complimented him on his English and the boy said it had been taught to him in school for the occupation of Britain.

Right after that had been said, BLAM, a Mauser bullet whistled past Dad's ear. Dad hit the dirt behind the wall and the German kid ran way. The U.S Infantrymen in the village, 97th ID, shot out all of the windows and doors in the town.

In hindsight I think it was a Hitler Jugend sucker-punch -- two teenage boys got together and made a plan. One said he'd start a conversation with a G.I. so the other one could have the opportunity to shoot him.

In April and May 1945 there was a real fear by G.I.s and Tommies of being killed in these last-ditch gestures by teenagers. When things like that happen in war it's the opposite of COIN -- you have to treat everyone in the occupied country with suspicion and be ready to blow them away without a moment's hesitation.

Bill Moore
07-17-2011, 08:55 PM
On a lighter note, a great quote from the book:


Officers should, of course, always carry a pistol when moving about, and by the way, if it is a revolver, never have more than five rounds in it, so that the striker may rest opposite an empty chamber. If it does not, as God made little apples, some day when you are slipping your belt off, the pistol and holster will slide off too, and if the hammer hits the ground first, one of your pals may “go west” in the rottenest possible way. In any case, you will get the devil and all of a fright and a first-class telling off. This is not far fetched. I have had a mule shot within a yard of me and a bullet between my legs another time, so be wise.

I knew I there had to be some reason I never bought a revolver. :D

jcustis
07-17-2011, 09:25 PM
Sir, Amazon also has the exact same book, under a different title, in a nice little hardcover:

http://www.amazon.com/LESSONS-IMPERIAL-RULE-Instructions-Infantrymen/dp/184832507X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310929199&sr=8-1

Eh, $30 is a little out there for something that is going to get added to my queue of a dozen other books...but just maybe.

What's your impression of it GS?

Pete
07-17-2011, 09:26 PM
The postscript to the above sniper story above is that when Dad and his battery commander drove back to their battery they decided to stop at a Gasthaus for a beer. The door of the Gasthaus was unlocked so they went inside and each had a beer. The place was deserted but beer was on tap and clean glasses were still in the rack.

When I told that story to a Guadalcanal and Okinawa veteran of the 72nd Seabees he looked at me with total incomprehension -- the idea of driving up to a bar for a drink after an engagement had not been any part of his experience of the the South Pacific and Pacific Theaters!

davidbfpo
07-18-2011, 04:08 PM
Hat tip to Fuchs who updated another thread which led to a 2009 thread called 'C-sniper help', which appears to be the old counter-sniper thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=6773

There are a number of links, some secure and referrals to places to ask.

Firn
07-18-2011, 05:37 PM
All true.

Don't waste ammunition, effort and time trying to do a Recon by Fire, it'll be ineffective against anyone with even a little experience and will only serve to show the bad guys that their effort is having an effect and we're excessively nervous. There's a place for Recon by Fire but this isn't it. There's no place for the 'Mad Minute' bit...

Hopefully, US elms are using their ANA and ANP counterparts who have local sensitivity and better eyes for spotting bad guys in the rocks but we do have the advantage of being able to do a map recon -- assuming enough folks know how -- and deducing likely sniper and ambush locations on a route so that actions and reactions can be anticipated.

Surely every elm in country is doing their best to avoid establishing ANY pattern, are using different routes out and back EVERY time and know that any habitation will contain observers who report our movements, as possibly will any otherwise innocent who happen to see us. We will never match the locals in terrain knowledge or in patience but we can use their terrain to our advantage and negate their patience advantage by doing the unexpected -- always.

I suspect that the rediscovery by the bad guys in the 'Stan that the SMLE / Dragunoiv or whatever is a good stand off effort is aimed precisely at doing what it appears to be doing -- make people excessively nervous for no real benefit. The Troops will work it out if their Bosses do not over worry it.

One of the likely problems, I'm inclined to believe, is that some current technology allows one to 'fix' the location of a distant shooter. That can and likely does cause target fixation on the part of the Boomerang or other techno gadget owner which can lead to a lot of effort being expended to chase a ghost.

OTOH, if you have a bad shooter nearby, one who fires at you but hits nothing, best to leave him alone lest he be replaced by someone who does better. Seriously. I've seen that happen several times, once to include Gunships and an air strike on a guy who had hit no one in two days. Go getters sometimes go and get the wrong things... :rolleyes:

Life is simpler in a conventional war, one just drops a round or two from nearby Arty or Mortars. :D

ADDED: Jcustis snuck in on me -- he and Chris are both right,the 'solution' is simply better training.

Well if anything the following snippets are good arguments for those you say that some things stay pretty much the same, that good training is key, and that Ken White did serve in 'stan around 1919. :wry:

(From Skeen's book:)

For several years there was a tendency to try to lessen losses by what some termed “prophylactic fire" consisting of bursts of fire loosed off at any point where the enemy was suspected to be. It meant a ghastly waste of ammunition and on more than one occasion I know that it led to the 150 rounds carried on the man being exhausted almost before the troops had closed with the enemy. In the attack it can be very useful if the enemy is known to be there, but otherwise it should be most sparingly used.

Abusing Recon by fire was certainly not unknown. The following citations appear to be from:
Skeen's experience in the Imperial Indian era And talking about the persistent bad "sniper":



In the old days anyone with a fask of powder and a percussion musket or “jezail” could have quite a cheery evening sniping into camp from a hundred yards off—gave the sniper a warm feeling of patriotism and did not worry us much if piquets were in the right places. There was a persistent old bird who accompanied our brigade up and down the Khar Plain in 1897, who had a duck gun and a bullet mould which turned out eight-bore bullets in pairs joined up by a little runnel of lead—just like a small dumb-bell, and made a noise like a bull roarer. We quite missed him when a chance bullet laid him out.

I guess that many will agree with the following one:


You will now want to know how you are to deal with this “patience” danger. The solution—never relax any precautions—is obvious and easy to state, but devilish hard to apply because it is not natural to keep nerves and imagination on the stretch when there is apparently nothing to justify it. That is the trouble—day after day, whether on baggage escort or convoy or covering dutiesof patrol or any of the duties on which a young offcer may be off on his own, you will see nothing but bare hills or rock or bush, quiet as the grave, and on your part nothing but a weary track or hillside to be trod.

It needs a great effort of will to keep yourself and your men alert, but if you are not, however empty the hillsides may be one minute, you may be paying the penalty the next. For remember the enemy is always there, and looking for you to make a mistake. I don’t say every mistake brings its punishment, but I do say that though you may make one mistake without paying for it, and if your luck is in two or three, all the time you are marked by unseen eyes as likely to give chances, and it will not be long before you know it. Conversely, if you are spotted as alert, and your battalion as one not to be monkeyed with, its reputation will spread behind the hills, and the raider will look for easier prey.

About the wisdom of traveling randomly and light and not staying at the same place for another night. If you read further you will know what happened to that particular floating platoon.


Here is another instance of the repeated mistake and its punishment. To give freedom in patrolling on one of the guarded sections of the Tochi road, to avoid the risk to weak patrols issuing from piquets, and to give those patrols a chance of effecting surprise and of varying their route each day, a system was started called “The Floating Platoon.” A quaint name, but the most descriptive to be found. A lightly equipped platoon moved up and down as the spirit moved it on the flanks of the road between the permanent piquets, and at nightfall billeted itself on any suitable piquet, resuming its work at dawn and moving back to a main camp at reasonable intervals for rest. The guiding principle was that on no two successive nights was the platoon to be at the same piquet. The system was most successful till this principle was abused, and one of the platoons for some reason spent three nights in one piquet. In fact the foating platoon ceased foating, and of course this was spotted by the enemy.

About the airforce and information:


You may say that one of the main diffculties of mountain operations should have disappeared, and that the blind column groping along a valley is a thing of the past. I doubt it. In 1919 at least, information was too deceptive to be useful, and practice did not improve matters. I remember so well after three months’ work and practice getting a report from the advanced aerodrome that the two planes up with us at the heaviest day’s fghting at Makinhad reported no sign of the enemy. I sympathized fully with their despair, good lads that they were, when ninety casualties were reported for the day. It was no fault of theirs—we had repeatedly to exhort them not to fly so low, for they were taking risks all the time in their efforts to help. But no one could have spotted those ragged grey-clothed fighters crouched among rock and grey ilex. From the ground it was hard; from the air it must have been impossible.

I will not enter into the bitter controversy which always arises as the power of the Air Force to deal with tribal areas on its own. My own view is that these people are really so invulnerable in their miserable property, and in their persons save from accurate close range use of ground weapons, and are moreover so scattered and so adept at cover and concealment that I doubt whether any tribe that has the will to resist will ever to be coerced by air action alone. I think the Haji of Turangzai and his Mohmand friends agree with me.

About good observation and the dropping of a few shells in the right place...


I have a memory of part of a famous frontier battalion held up on a ridge by snipers on the fank whom they could not locate, and of two guns coming up to help, spotting the snipers in less than twenty seconds, and dispersing them with a couple of rounds. This particular battery had a system of training which produced super look-outs, human wolves, red-eyed with watching for victims, but what they did, any troops can do. So when you go to India, take your first leave shooting in Chamba or Kulu, or some wild part of Kashmir, and learn to use your eyes and glasses in the hills.

And then use your knowledge to train your men in keeping their eyes moving whether halted or on the move. With many young eyes quartering the front [see jcustis first post] and watching every ridge and rock and bush, no enemy movement should escape you, and you will be ready for them.

Firn
07-18-2011, 05:38 PM
As the post grew too long, here the last bit from Skeen's experience in the Imperial Indian era:


And that brings me to the tribesman’s patience. These folks have nothing to do but to watch for an opportunity. If it doesn’t come one day, it is bound to come the next or the next, or, at any rate often enough to make it worth their while to watch for it. And if, when it comes, it looks like being too costly, they are perfectly ready to put it off till a better chance comes. Remember, they have had no work to do, no camp to get to, they have range upon range of hill to screen them for as long as they choose, and night has no terrors for them. They will return to the job day after day without anyone having an inkling of their presence, and then when the real chance comes they seize it like lightning.

You have the watches, we have the time...

Ken White
07-18-2011, 09:13 PM
Then as now if a unit looks alert and performs minor actions competently, most of the bad guys will leave them alone and await an easier target. Long time ago it was learned in such operations to never, ever do the same thing twice and never stay anyplace for more than 12-16 hours without modifiying your strength and positions. The basics aren't that hard -- we just do not teach them well.

And, like the Floating Platoon, sometimes even those that know just get lazy or sloppy -- always a killer...

Firn
07-19-2011, 06:14 PM
Then as now if a unit looks alert and performs minor actions competently, most of the bad guys will leave them alone and await an easier target. Long time ago it was learned in such operations to never, ever do the same thing twice and never stay anyplace for more than 12-16 hours without modifiying your strength and positions. The basics aren't that hard -- we just do not teach them well.

And, like the Floating Platoon, sometimes even those that know just get lazy or sloppy -- always a killer...


Skeen certainly was rather keen on that being prepared point, and repeated it many times. He also wrotethat you could far tell more about the leadership, moral and discipline about a unit from all those small details in the field than by it's performance on the parade square. I think it is hard to argue against that. Of course doing the basics right under often very difficult circumstances requires a lot from training to the leaders and troops.

Looking for the weak and lazy as targets must be part of our inner wolves, as this is just how many larger carnivores operate. A Lynx will operate just like that, hunt for a while in an certain area of his range until the roe deer becomes too wary and than move on to find less alerted prey. Signs of force and vitality tends to make predators look for easier prey, unless the disperation is too strong.

I wonder how much has changed in this regard (still from Skeen's book, the link is in this thread):


Be particularly alert in the rear guard work on the return journey. For the friendly tribesman, having collected payment, is by no means above chivvying the rear guard home. He can always blame the bad men from the next valley (who may be—probably will be—there also on their own), and the rear guard, though it may have an easy time, ought to behave as if it expected trouble. If it does not, the odds are on getting it. And that is another reason against delay in any part of the work. Every moment wasted means a closer approach of evening and of increasing numbers of the enemy intent on harrying the withdrawal.

Coming back to "sniping":


Another hint—do not halt your men on tracks or near conspicuous rocks, and so forth. These are always known ranging marks. And your men will not halt near you. “Officers and white stones”—the old soldier’s rule still holds.

This is not a thing to neglect. The accuracy of these people’s shooting is sometimes astounding. I have mentioned the case of the Ahnai Tangi, when I was warning you not to bunch your men on a crest. This was not an isolated fluke. At Makin I saw four men knocked out by one sniper, known to have been fifteen hundred yards off; and shortly before that, taking up camp at Marobi, one man, who was bagged before he could do more damage, got two men and two mules in five shots, at a range of not less than five hundred yards.

I certainly have a hard time believing that Makin incident, maybe they missed a man (or men) which shot from a closer range. The second one sounds certainly doable, by a (very) good shot with good eyes and a good enough weapon.

And at last:


Wherever and however you get into camp, there is a most important point to keep in mind, that, in an inexperienced push—that is, almost invariably at the first entry into hostile country—there will be more than a tendency—an irresistible urge—to reply to snipers’ fire and even to
blaze off at noises or fluttering papers. The Manual is emphatic on the idiocy of this, but no matter, your men will do it unless you yourself see to it that they do not.

bumperplate
07-20-2011, 02:49 AM
I realize the readers on this site don't reach a high number, when compared to the number we have in uniform. However, with this wisdom here, and these reminders about the basics - why are the basics constantly ignored? The comments about laziness and complacency are dead on. The lazy and the complacent are marked by the enemy, without fail.

I think the problem is this: the vigilant are seldom attacked. And, it's hard to validate a TTP by virtue of negative contact. Nevertheless, it seems we should have a mechanism for instilling and sustaining good TTPs.

Yes, I know, that mechanism is called leadership. Just bothers me that it so often seems to be missing.

jcustis
07-20-2011, 04:06 AM
I realize the readers on this site don't reach a high number, when compared to the number we have in uniform. However, with this wisdom here, and these reminders about the basics - why are the basics constantly ignored? The comments about laziness and complacency are dead on. The lazy and the complacent are marked by the enemy, without fail.

I think the problem is this: the vigilant are seldom attacked. And, it's hard to validate a TTP by virtue of negative contact. Nevertheless, it seems we should have a mechanism for instilling and sustaining good TTPs.

Yes, I know, that mechanism is called leadership. Just bothers me that it so often seems to be missing.

Knowing what "right" looks like is hard for a lot of folks, because in all honesty, they really don't know. To make matters worse, their idea of right can at times be very, very skewed. It is even further compounded by the fact that it's often human nature that folks try to do the least amount of work to get to that state of "right".

Fuchs
07-20-2011, 08:10 AM
I realize the readers on this site don't reach a high number, when compared to the number we have in uniform. However, with this wisdom here, and these reminders about the basics - why are the basics constantly ignored? The comments about laziness and complacency are dead on. The lazy and the complacent are marked by the enemy, without fail.

I think the problem is this: the vigilant are seldom attacked. And, it's hard to validate a TTP by virtue of negative contact. Nevertheless, it seems we should have a mechanism for instilling and sustaining good TTPs.

Yes, I know, that mechanism is called leadership. Just bothers me that it so often seems to be missing.

This is on of the times when I cannot resist the urge to point out that there's a discrepancy between the U.S. military self-image and reality.
The self-image of a professional, highly proficient force that faces undisciplined and incompetent opposing forces collides with repeated (likely systemic) symptoms of poor discipline.

A fighter-bomber pilot who bombs a wedding claiming it was self-defence because he saw muzzle fires is undisciplined. He uses an excuse that's ineligible because he was out of range anyway.

A NCO who returns fire in a firefight instead of ensuring that his team returns fire is undisciplined (or incompetent).

A (assistant) platoon leader who does not ensure that his platoon is fully disciplined and alert is himself undisciplined (or incompetent).

Soldiers who drive through Baghdad ramming every car that doesn't give way to their speeding are undisciplined (AND incompetent).


This sounds like anecdotes and can be explained with the sheer size of U.S. forces, but then again the overall picture doesn't inspire more confidence.


Not all that shines is gold.

JMA
07-21-2011, 10:34 AM
Skeen certainly was rather keen on that being prepared point, and repeated it many times. He also wrotethat you could far tell more about the leadership, moral and discipline about a unit from all those small details in the field than by it's performance on the parade square. I think it is hard to argue against that. Of course doing the basics right under often very difficult circumstances requires a lot from training to the leaders and troops.

I downloaded Skeen's book and read through it. He is right on the money.

I suggest that you can indeed form an accurate opinion about a unit through observation alone. Watching videos like the recent BBC series on Afghanistan and/or for example the movie Restrepo will give you a good idea. Weaknesses in fieldcraft, weapon handling, combat drills, combat leadership etc tend to jump out at you (and my my case often so vividly that I want to shout "you are going to get yourself killed you f**king idiot. Where is the sergeant? Where is the damn officer?") Often I can't bear to watch yet there are people who say they thought it was a great video/movie and saw nothing untoward... maybe that says something about them, I don't know.

Yes it is difficult to set a standard (and maintain it) until it becomes an ingrained part of unit culture because we tend to get lazy and slack off if there appears to be no immediate threat. It takes a great effort in a unit to achieve operational competence and no matter how good the CO and officers are if the Sergeants Mess (being the senior NCOs) are limited/weak you can go whistle into the wind it is not going to happen.

JMA
07-21-2011, 10:47 AM
This is on of the times when I cannot resist the urge to point out that there's a discrepancy between the U.S. military self-image and reality.
The self-image of a professional, highly proficient force that faces undisciplined and incompetent opposing forces collides with repeated (likely systemic) symptoms of poor discipline.

A fighter-bomber pilot who bombs a wedding claiming it was self-defence because he saw muzzle fires is undisciplined. He uses an excuse that's ineligible because he was out of range anyway.

A NCO who returns fire in a firefight instead of ensuring that his team returns fire is undisciplined (or incompetent).

A (assistant) platoon leader who does not ensure that his platoon is fully disciplined and alert is himself undisciplined (or incompetent).

Soldiers who drive through Baghdad ramming every car that doesn't give way to their speeding are undisciplined (AND incompetent).


This sounds like anecdotes and can be explained with the sheer size of U.S. forces, but then again the overall picture doesn't inspire more confidence.

I suggest your last sentence sums it up well.

First, what I see as competent or incompetent is based on my personal frame of reference.

I would say that it would all depend upon how that military reacts to undisciplined or incompetent actions. If they are shrugged off or a blind eye turned then there is a BIG problem, while if appropriate action is taken against the perpetrators then the overall reputation of that military could in fact be enhanced by the disciplinary process.

But if you are saying that we all need to be a little more humble than normal about just how good we are (or were) then you are absolutely correct.

ganulv
07-21-2011, 04:54 PM
Watching videos like the recent BBC series on Afghanistan and/or for example the movie Restrepo will give you a good idea. Weaknesses in fieldcraft, weapon handling, combat drills, combat leadership etc tend to jump out at you (and my my case often so vividly that I want to shout "you are going to get yourself killed you f**king idiot. Where is the sergeant? Where is the damn officer?") Often I can't bear to watch yet there are people who say they thought it was a great video/movie and saw nothing untoward... maybe that says something about them, I don't know.

I thought Restrepo was a very good movie but I know what you mean about wanting to shout during your viewing. I watched it with my better half, neither of us have any military background but both of us being anthropologists we still managed to be unpleasantly surprised a number of times—wearing shorts in a country with endemic leishmaniasis and malaria took me aback a bit, but not as much as the fact that none of the Americans seemed to be able to say anything as basic as “stop” or “remain calm” in the local language (not a criticism of any of the individual soldiers, mind you, but certainly of their employer).

Bill Moore
07-21-2011, 05:25 PM
JMA,

I agree with most of your comments about the demise of our infantry tactics and field discipline. Probably worth opening a separate forum for this needed discussion, but from my view I saw an immediate reduction in field craft when FM 7-8 was introduced and then enforced with a communist like reform movement. Many of the hard learned small unit tactics learnt during Vietnam, Korea, etc were discarded. Then we saw the rapid loss of basic field craft (movement techniques, tracking/counter tracking, camaflauge, observation, fighting positions, etc.). A pet pee of mine was all the sudden we were too good to drink muddy water treated with iodine tablets, so instead of self sustaining in the field soldiers carried excess purified water or had it air dropped/cached etc.. Besides weakening our ability to sustain in the field (which limits the tactics you can employ), it creates a mindset of dependency, and of course makes the companies that sell bottled water to the military quite rich (probably a conspiracy theory here). :-)

Back specifically to the sniper issue. Two enclosures below, the second addresses the traditional Afghanistan advanced marksmenship and sniping tacticcs, why they eroded, and now why they're making a come back. However, there is still a considerable difference between a well trained marksman and a specially trained and equipped sniper from Iran, especially if they're employing 50 cal sniper rifles.

http://globalcounterterror.com/?p=74


Some of the information in The Ultimate Sniper, might at first glance seem outdated (especially with historical references to wars that probably occurred before your great-grandfather was born), especially with all the advances in technology that occur every year. But, if you know the military the way I know the military, you’ll know that often skills and knowledge can be lost only to have to be relearned again in the next war (case in point with so many successful counterinsurgency tactics and strategies gained and used in Vietnam and Central America, but had to be relearned in the war in the Middle East).

http://www.indiandefence.com/forums/f13/sniping-taliban-tactics-off-late-7523/

A lot more at the post, which is worth the read:


The Taliban have been finding NATO troops too clever by half. An example occurred recently when a British base in the south was being hit by accurate sniper fire, but it was not immediately obvious exactly where the sniper was. The reason for this was a clever gambit by the sniper, who was firing from a nearby compound, via a small tunnel dug through the wall of the compound, terminating in a 30x15 cm (12x6 inch) opening to fire out of. To further conceal his position, he had some nearby associates fire assault rifles and a machine-gun just before he took his shot at the British. To further conceal himself, the sniper only fired three times a day. The British would not say how many soldiers the sniper hit, but the British quickly identified seven possible firing positions. The sniper was then tricked into firing again while the seven suspected sites were being observed, and this revealed the small hole in the wall as the location. A British Apache helicopter gunship was standing by, and it fired a Hellfire missile which, because of its laser guidance, hit the small firing hole, killing the sniper and one of his spotters.

Pete
07-21-2011, 06:05 PM
I saw an immediate reduction in field craft when FM 7-8 was introduced and then enforced with a communist like reform movement. Many of the hard learned small unit tactics learnt during Vietnam, Korea, etc were discarded. Then we saw the rapid loss of basic field craft (movement techniques, tracking/counter tracking, camaflauge, observation, fighting positions, etc.).
Bill DuPuy at TRADOC did a lot of things for the Army circa 1976, but a major downside was in not allowing combat experience to percolate up from the field. We focused on armor and mech infantry stuff in the Fulda Gap. Thus the other things were regarded as being off-topic or neither here nor there. Much of it was light infantry type of stuff, blending into the special ops types of things so important today. Light Infantry tactics.

During the 1980s the tendency of TRADOC and AMC to keep emphasizing the same points amounted to a willful self-delusion and self-blinding. I don't know whether this sort of thing goes on today, but tigers usually don't change their stripes.

Steve Blair
07-21-2011, 07:35 PM
Bill DuPuy at TRADOC did a lot of things for the Army circa 1976, but a major downside was in not allowing combat experience to percolate up from the field.

He showed the same tendency in Vietnam, actually. Interesting stuff.

JMA
07-21-2011, 11:12 PM
JMA,

I agree with most of your comments about the demise of our infantry tactics and field discipline. Probably worth opening a separate forum for this needed discussion, but from my view I saw an immediate reduction in field craft when FM 7-8 was introduced and then enforced with a communist like reform movement. Many of the hard learned small unit tactics learnt during Vietnam, Korea, etc were discarded. Then we saw the rapid loss of basic field craft (movement techniques, tracking/counter tracking, camaflauge, observation, fighting positions, etc.). A pet pee of mine was all the sudden we were too good to drink muddy water treated with iodine tablets, so instead of self sustaining in the field soldiers carried excess purified water or had it air dropped/cached etc.. Besides weakening our ability to sustain in the field (which limits the tactics you can employ), it creates a mindset of dependency, and of course makes the companies that sell bottled water to the military quite rich (probably a conspiracy theory here). :-)

Traditionally snipers have been considered to be experts in fieldcraft/stalking/camouflage. But it seems that in Afghanistan in many cases they can just lean on the parapet wall of their base and engage Taliban out to 1,200m or so. In the book Dead Men Risen (http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Men-Risen-Afghanistan-Harnden/dp/1849164215/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311289257&sr=1-1)(about the Welsh Guards on tour in 2009) the one sniper team got 75 confirmed kills in 40 days. Easy as pie.

Not sure what the US experience has been. Would like to know.

As to the water issue, yes we used to filter water through socks and shirts etc where necessary (then it was only palatable when drunk as tea - the Brit heritage you see) but the bottom line was that you had to find your own water "out there". I posted details about a water filter product last year some time which I believe is now on standard issue to the Brits in Afghanistan. LifeSaver (http://www.lifesaversystems.com/index.html) I understand that with this system you can drink your own urine (after passing it through the system) which would be a great help to those (like snipers or OPs) who need to lie-up/operate undetected from a static position some where for a few days.

Granite_State
07-22-2011, 04:31 AM
Eh, $30 is a little out there for something that is going to get added to my queue of a dozen other books...but just maybe.

What's your impression of it GS?

Great little book, as some of the quotes above illustrate, one of the classics of NW Frontier writing. But I'm a sucker for 19th and early 20th century British Army stuff. Looking through my copy just now though, I noticed it doesn't have the photos that were in the original Passing It On and in the Leavenworth PDF. Those are definitely a plus. I'd recommend either shelling out similar cash to print your own well-bound version of the latter, or trying to find a used copy of the original online ($94.95 from Australia is the only one a quick Google search turned up).

Fuchs
07-22-2011, 06:49 AM
In the book Dead Men Risen (http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Men-Risen-Afghanistan-Harnden/dp/1849164215/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311289257&sr=1-1)(about the Welsh Guards on tour in 2009) the one sniper team got 75 confirmed kills in 40 days. Easy as pie.

It should be noted that this is not comparable to most WW2 sniper kill counts.

During WW2 snipers of most nationalities did not count in-battle kills nor did they confirm them. The only kills counted were kills during calm phases.

Now if a sniper team killed many people in AFG during calm phases then I'd advise a criminal investigation.

ganulv
07-22-2011, 02:42 PM
I spent about five minutes trying to turn up an original copy of the Skeen work for sale with no luck but I did find Daniel Barton Mackenzie’s Mountain Warfare on the Sand Model (http://www.archive.org/details/mountainwarfareo031371mbp) if that is something anyone here is unaware of.


But I'm a sucker for 19th and early 20th century British Army stuff. While skimming the Skeen and Mackenzie works I quickly recognized a tone similar to the 18th century journals (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19877909/French%E2%80%94Journal%20of%20an%20expedition%20to %20South%20Carolina.pdf) I pore over in my research on Southeastern Indians.

Rifleman
07-22-2011, 03:41 PM
Bill DuPuy at TRADOC did a lot of things for the Army circa 1976, but a major downside was in not allowing combat experience to percolate up from the field.....During the 1980s the tendency of TRADOC and AMC to keep emphasizing the same points amounted to a willful self-delusion and self-blinding.

Did Donn Starry take TRADOC in a different direction or was he a continuation of DuPuy?

Ken White
07-22-2011, 04:31 PM
Did Donn Starry take TRADOC in a different direction or was he a continuation of DuPuy?Both epitomized the "Leadership is Showmanship" and get there first with the most schools of military dominatrixisity. Both operated in an era where AMC and Congress had more to do with what the Army might think and do than did the Army itself, much less the brand new TRADOC. DePuy started and Starry continued movement of TRADOC into the decision making realm and wrestliing with AMC over primacy in future systems (I think that resulted in a broad draw...). :rolleyes:

DePuy developed the concept of "Active Defense" (FM 100-5, 1976) It was badly flawed (created those dumb Battle Books among other things) and he had (probably unfortunately) won the battle with Jack Cushman at CAC who, surprisingly, had many much better ideas. Cushman was the first senior guy who pushed how to think, not what to think and who realized our training was marginal. When Starry took over at TRADOC, he kept up the push for info and Army dominance. He pushed and developed "Air Land Battle" (FM 100-5, 1981) an improvement over the active defense -- but still European and heavy forces oriented. Both concepts were very strong on WHAT to think (as is the whole Task, Condition and Standard process...)

Both of 'em were products of their time, responded to the Army's greatest threats (potential enemy AND domestic politics and budget) did probably more good than harm. They weren't perfect -- none of us are -- they did the best they could with what they had, I suppose... :cool:

Fortunately, Shy Meyer became Chief of Staff. He tried with little success to rein in the personnel bureaucracy but did curb some of Starry's wilder ideas and succeeded to an extent in fixing some of the damage and slowing the raging TRADOC monster created by two hard charging go-getters.

Interestingly, we are now approaching a period that will be broadly similar: Declining budget, end of long tedious wars, Army in flux, world in flux, prospects dim, much angst about everything. That happened post WW II with little effect, post Korea with good effect (though the inability of Congress and AMC to keep up with the Army doomed many good ideas) as well as in the Depuy and Starry post Viet Nam eras wiht mixed effect. Time for a good effect -- everything goes in cycles... :wry:

Pete
07-22-2011, 06:48 PM
DePuy developed the concept of "Active Defense" (FM 100-5, 1976) It was badly flawed (created those dumb Battle Books among other things) ...
When I was in 6/9th FA in Giessen, Germany in '78-'81 I remember when someone in 3rd Armored Division lost his Battle Book during a terrain walk. He left it on top of the winterization kit (canvas roof) of his M151A1 jeep when they drove off to look at the next position. Thanks to him an entire brigade of 3rd AD had to change its war plans. Stars & Stripes even had a story about it.

Didn't Simon & Garfunkel have a song entitled "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover?" Perhaps the Kitakidogo Social Club should add a thread on "Fifty Ways to End Your Military Career." Being the modest and self-effacing guy I am I could only add 12 or 15 suggestions, based of course on my extensive military experience . :o

Mod's Note: Pete's idea for 'Fifty Ways to End Your Military Career' is now a thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=13831

JMA
07-22-2011, 11:52 PM
I spent about five minutes trying to turn up an original copy of the Skeen work for sale with no luck but I did find Daniel Barton Mackenzie’s Mountain Warfare on the Sand Model (http://www.archive.org/details/mountainwarfareo031371mbp) if that is something anyone here is unaware of.

While skimming the Skeen and Mackenzie works I quickly recognized a tone similar to the 18th century journals (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19877909/French%E2%80%94Journal%20of%20an%20expedition%20to %20South%20Carolina.pdf) I pore over in my research on Southeastern Indians.

Thanks you for that... another gem.

That will take up a few hours this weekend.

Worthy of instant comment however are the following two passages:


The Tribesmen.
" A great many people have tried to describe Afghan character, and found it difficult, because it is a mass of contradictions. They are often recklessly brave, and nearly always brave, yet rather easily discouraged by failure. Very proud of their race and of their honour, yet often treacherous and faithless. Capable of extraordinary loyalty, yet capable of extreme vindictiveness against a friend on account of even an imaginary wrong. Observant and intelligent, yet credulous and superstitious. Paying little attention to their religion normally, they can easily be worked up to fanaticism. Inclined to be lazy, yet with immense reserves of energy, and power of endurance, and often at their best under the worst circumstances. Cheerful, sportsmanlike, and frugal, but excitable and lacking in self-control. A strange mixture. However you size them up, their virtues and vices are at least virile and those of men, and few Britishers are not attracted to them. Lastly, they are clever and plausible at arguing. But do remember that it is never, at any time, safe to rely on their faith to carry out a promise unless they know you have the power to enforce it. To Afghan mentality it is stupid to do something you don't want to, unless you must."
A quotation from "Letters of a once Punjab Frontier Force Officer'' by Colonel J. P. Villiers-Stuart, C.B., D.5.O., O.B.E.


And


The Principles of War:
" The Manual of Operations on the North-West Frontier of India" (referred to throughout the following pages as the " Manual ") Chapter I, Section i, states :
" While the Principles of War enunciated in Field Service Regulations, Vol. II, Sec. 2, remain unchanged, in campaigns in undeveloped and semi-civilized countries the armament, tactics and characteristics of the inhabitants and the nature of the theatre of operations may necessitate considerable modification in the methods of application of those principles."

Yes I know it is merely restating the obvious... but you'd be amazed at just how many people don't know this stuff ;)

JMA
08-20-2011, 05:15 PM
In response to my comment:



Originally Posted by JMA
In the book Dead Men Risen (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Men-Risen-Britains-Afghanistan/dp/1849164215/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313849383&sr=8-1) (about the Welsh Guards on tour in 2009) the one sniper team got 75 confirmed kills in 40 days. Easy as pie.


Fuchs responded such:


It should be noted that this is not comparable to most WW2 sniper kill counts.

During WW2 snipers of most nationalities did not count in-battle kills nor did they confirm them. The only kills counted were kills during calm phases.

Now if a sniper team killed many people in AFG during calm phases then I'd advise a criminal investigation.

With respect to your last sentence.

I assume that you are suggesting that maybe the 'kills' claimed by the snipers out of contact are in fact not Taliban?

It appears that the efforts of these three snipers (4 Rifles) pushed the Taliban back from the specific bases to beyond 1,500m where before they skulked around at ranges as close as 30m. Wonderful deterrent.

If you read the book what is repeated over and over again is that warning shots are fired, that even though the sniper team had an RPG, a RPK and an AK visual they still had to get clearance to engage, and this "sometimes they decided not to take a shot even though an insurgent was carrying a weapon judging that he did not pose an immanent threat." ... McChrystal has a lot to account for.

One sniper after getting nine kills in one day stated that he wondered whether it was all worth it as they just get replaced. WTF. There are plenty of snipers/marksmen out there who would just keep on 'working' and take them out ten-a-day, 20-a-day or as many as show their heads. (There must be 1,000s of 'hunter' types who would gladly pay good money to sit in a sangar in Helmand with a can of Coke in one hand and pick off Taliban out to 1,500m - no uncomfortable stalking required.)

So I don't have a real concern that given the number of legitimate targets on offer that the snipers would be keeping their eye in by taking out the odd farmer.

My concern rather is that the snipers are becoming blasé to the extent that they let legitimate targets pass by as they wait for a more challenging shot (thereby letting a Taliban live to maybe kill a soldier another day). I seem to remember Dereliction of Duty to be an immediate Court Martial offence.

Interesting that the three snipers accounted for 131 kills in the six months (which was 70% of the total of 187 4 Rifles kills). Not sure what the stats of the other battalion snipers were (or indeed the yanks) but should be interesting as an indicator.

Fuchs
08-20-2011, 05:50 PM
Criminal investigation doesn't necessitate a crime - it necessitates only that a crime is likely.

I think we all have heard and read enough about snipers lying in wait for a farmer picking up an AK that lies on his field and then shoot him when he gets curious...crap happens in war, and sometimes statistics lead to more unanswered questions than they do answer.


And nobody should ever trust reports that were filed 100%. Investigations in such claims do often discover outright lies.

An outstanding result always deserves scrutiny.

JMA
08-20-2011, 06:04 PM
Criminal investigation doesn't necessitate a crime - it necessitates only that a crime is likely.

I think we all have heard and read enough about snipers lying in wait for a farmer picking up an AK that lies on his field and then shoot him when he gets curious...crap happens in war, and sometimes statistics lead to more unanswered questions than they do answer.

And nobody should ever trust reports that were filed 100%. Investigations in such claims do often discover outright lies.

An outstanding result always deserves scrutiny.

OK, fair comment.

JMA
09-04-2011, 09:06 PM
There is a lot of talk about sniping in Afganistan ... long time ago :D

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/Skeen.pdf

Mod adds: this 2010 PDF takes awhile to download and is reprint of Skeen's experience in the Imperial Indian era; oddly similar to a UK published book in 2008.

Rats!

They have now put a username/password requirement on the site.

SWJ Blog
02-25-2013, 02:01 PM
Sniper Executes a Police Chief of Nuevo Leon with a .50 Caliber Rifle (Translation) (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/sniper-executes-a-police-chief-of-nuevo-leon-with-a-50-caliber-rifle-translation)

Entry Excerpt:



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Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/sniper-executes-a-police-chief-of-nuevo-leon-with-a-50-caliber-rifle-translation) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

SWJ Blog
08-29-2016, 08:06 PM
Terrorist and Insurgent Teleoperated Sniper Rifles and Machine Guns (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/terrorist-and-insurgent-teleoperated-sniper-rifles-and-machine-guns)

Entry Excerpt:



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This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

SWJ Blog
08-23-2017, 11:14 AM
Evolution of the Sniper Rifle (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/evolution-of-the-sniper-rifle)

Entry Excerpt:



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Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/evolution-of-the-sniper-rifle) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

davidbfpo
08-26-2017, 10:05 AM
I have merged a small number of threads into this main thread, the catalyst being a recent SWJ article.

There are a few threads which refer to sniping, on a review they refer to a recent film or books and do not fit here.

There is a related thread:Are snipers and recon still valid in infantry battalions? (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/Are snipers and recon still valid in infantry battalions?)