Some people join the army because they have too. Some of them join the army because they are bad-ass. This article is about that last one.
Although history is always written by the winners and might not give us the full story, these are the ones we know that happened. These people have made a lot of lives miserable for the enemy side, shivering complete army’s. Made possible by just one person. Here are some of those people.
#10 Thomas Plunkett.
Was an Irish soldier in the British 95th Rifles. What makes him on of the greats is that he shot a very impressive French general, Auguste-Marie-François Colbert. During the battle at Cacabelos during Monroes retreat in 1809, Plunkett, using a Baker Rifle, shot the French general at a range of about 600 meters.
#9 Sgt Grace.
The date was May 9th 1864, when Sgt Grace, a Confederate sniper, achieved what was considered to be an incredible shot at the time, and what is definitely the most ironic demise of a target in history. It was during the battle of Spotsylvania when Grace took aim with his British Whitworth Rifle. His target was General John Sedgwick (pictured above) and the distance was 1,000 yards. An extremely long distance for the time.
During the beginning of the skirmish, the confederate sharpshooters were causing Sedgwick’s men to duck for cover. Sedgwick refused to duck and was quoted saying “What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn’t hit Elephants at this distance.” His men persisted in taking cover. Seconds Later Grace’s shot hits Sedgwick just under his left eye.
#8 Charles ‘Chuck’ Mawhinney.
103 Confirmed Kills.
An avid hunter as a kid and joined the Marines in 1967. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Vietnam and holds the record for number of confirmed kills for Marine snipers, exceeding that of legendary Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock. In just 16 months he killed 103 enemies and another 216 kills were listed as probable’s by the military, only because it was too risky at the time to search the bodies for documents. When he left the Marines he told no-one of his of his role during the conflict and only a few fellow Marines knew of his assignments. It was nearly 20 years before somebody wrote a book detailing his amazing skills as a sniper.
#7 Rob Furlong.
A former corporal of the Canadian Forces, he holds the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in history at 1.51 miles or 2,430 meters. That’s the length of about 26 football pitches. This amazing feat occurred in 2002, when he was involved in Operation Anaconda. His Sniper Team consisted of 2 Corporals and 3 Master Corporals.
When a three man Al-Qaeda weapons team moved into a mountainside position he took aim. Furlong was armed with a .50-caliber McMillan Brothers Tac-50 Rifle and loaded with A-MAX very low drag bullets. He fired and missed. His second shot hit the enemies knapsack on his back. He had already fired his third shot by the time the second hit, but now the enemy knew he was under attack. The airtime for each bullet was about 3 seconds due to the immense distance, enough time for an enemy to take cover. However the dumbfounded militant realized what was happening just in time to take the third shot in the chest.
#6 Vasily Zaytsev.
242 Confirmed Kills.
Zaytsev was born in Yeleninskoye and grew up in the Ural Mountains. Before Stalingrad, he served as a clerk in the Soviet Navy But after reading about the conflict in the city he volunteered for the front line. he served in the 1047th Rifle Regiment.
Zaytsev ran a sniper school in the Metiz factory. This was the start of the sniper movement in the 62nd army. It is estimated that the snipers he trained killed more than 3,000 enemy soldiers Zaytsev himself made 242 confirmed kills between October 1942 and January 1943, but the real number is probably closer to 500.
#5 Lyudmila Pavlichenko.
309 Confirmed Kills.
Her first 2 kills were made near Belyayevka using a Mosin-Nagant bolt action rifle with a P.E. 4-power scope. The first action she saw was during the conflict in Odessa. She was there for 2 and a half months and notched 187 kills. When they were forced to relocate, she spent the next 8 months fighting in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. There she recorded 257 kills and for this feat she was cited by the Southern Army Council. Pavlichenkos’ total confirmed kills during WW2 was 309. 36 of those were enemy snipers.
#4 Corporal Francis Pegahmagabow.
378 Confirmed Kills.
300+ Captures Three times awarded the military medal and twice seriously wounded, he was an expert marksman and scout, credited with 378 German kills and capturing 300+ more. He was an Ojibwa warrior with the Canadians in battles like those at Mount Sorrel.
#3 Adelbert F. Waldron.
109 Confirmed Kills.
He holds the record for the highest number of confirmed kills for any American sniper in history. However it is not just his impressive kill record that makes him one of the best, but also his incredible accuracy.
This excerpt from ‘Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam’ by Col. Michael Lee Lanning, describes just what he was capable of: “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 Vietcong out of the top of a coconut tree with one shot. Such was the capability of our best sniper.”
#2 Carlos Norman Hathcock II.
93 Confirmed Kills.
Hathcock has one of the most impressive mission records of any sniper in the Marine corps. It was Hathcock who fired the most famous shot in sniper history. He fired a round, over a very long distance, which went through the scope of an enemy sniper, hit him in the eye, and killed him.
Hathcock and Roland Burke his spotter were stalking the enemy sniper, which they believed was sent to kill him specifically. When Hathcock saw a flash of light reflecting off the enemies scope he fired at it in a split second pulling off one of the most precise shots in history. Hathcock reasoned that the only way that this was possible, would have been if both snipers were aiming at each others scopes at the same time, and he fired first. However, although the distance was never confirmed, Hathcock knew that because of the flight time, it would have been easy for both snipers to kill each other. The white feather was synonymous with Hathcock and he removed it only once for a mission.
#1 Simo Häyhä.
705 confirmed kills (505 with rifle, 200 with submachine gun).
A Finnish soldier who, using an iron sighted bolt action rifle, amassed the highest recorded confirmed kills as a sniper in any war. Häyhä was born in the municipality of Rautjärvi near the present-day border of Finland and Russia, and started his military service in 1925. His duties as a sniper began during the ‘winter war’ (1939-1940) between Russia and Finland.
During the conflict Häyhä endured freezing temperatures up to -40 degrees Celsius. In less than 100 days he was credited with 505 confirmed kills, 542 if including unconfirmed kills, however the unofficial front-line figures from the battlefield places the number of sniper kills at over 800. Besides his sniper kills he was also credited with 200 from a Suomi KP/31 Sub-machine gun, topping off his total confirmed kills at 705.
Simo Häyhä was a force of nature. They had to shell entire sections of the forest just to eventually catch him. He still survived and lived to be dirt old. Serious badass.