Snipers are exceptional warriors, and some of the most legendary stories of war are woven around them. They leave everyone intrigued by their impressive combination of perseverance, resilience, and unbelievable shooting skills. Military history has repeatedly shown that a single sniper can change the entire war’s entire outcome, even under the most challenging circumstances. Here are the five top snipers in history:
Second Lieutenant Simo Hayha of the Finnish Army
Simo Hayha was so deadly that he got the nickname of ‘White Death.’ With 505 kills under his belt, he is at the top of any prominent war list. He gunned down Red Army combatants of the Soviet Union in an astonishing period of fewer than 100 days, translating to an average of more than five kills every day.
It is even more impressive when one realizes that he did this in areas with just one or two hours of daylight. He also sustained an injury in the process when a Soviet soldier lobbed an explosive bullet at him, ripping off the lower section of his left jaw. But the tough soldier would survive the explosion and he lived up to 96 years old upon his death in 2002. He stated very clearly that he had no regrets doing his work.
Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathcock of the US Marine Corps
The story of the Vietnam War cannot be complete without mentioning war hero Hathcock with his 93 authenticated kills of Viet Cong fighters and North Vietnamese soldiers. An officer was present alongside his spotter, and they confirmed all his shots.
The sniper is so good that he approximated his unconfirmed kills to be over 400. The warrior ended his career when he sustained an injury in 1969 following an anti-tank mine attack, and he had to be returned home. Upon getting home, he swung into action again by helping in the creation of the USMC Sniper School, where he trained another generation of lethal snipers.
Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle of the United States Navy
This amiable sniper was on four tours during the war in Iraq. While on the mission, he racked up his record as the most dangerous sniper in the history of the United States military as he had more than 160 kills, all confirmed by the Department of Defense.
The brilliant soldier would go-ahead to write a bestselling publication on his experiences and it was made into a movie with Clint Eastwood as the director. He came to a brutal end in February 2013 when Eddie Ray Routh was shot dead at a shooting range in Texas. He had been out having some good time with his friend. The killer was later sentenced to life imprisonment without any option of parole.
Captain Vasily Zaytsev of the Soviet Red Army
During the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942, Zaytsev shone like a billion stars when he mowed down 225 officers and soldiers of the Axis forces and the Nazi Wehrmacht. Some of those he shot dead included 11 snipers from the enemy camp. Before this encounter, he had cut down a total of 32 Axis soldiers, and this he did with just a regular rifle. From late 1942 to early 1943, he made approximately 400 kills, and some of these he did at a shocking distance of over 1100 yards.
There is a movie that immortalizes his legendary actions. The flick is titled ”Enemy at the Gates,” It features how he tackled a sniper from the Wehrmacht. He remains a role model for many snipers in different parts of the world.
Staff Sergeant Adelbert Waldron of the United States Army
He was part of the 9th Infantry Division, and he was assigned to one of the Mekong Delta patrol boats. While on duty, he made an incredible kill from a moving vessel at 900 yards. He also set a record of 109 kills in less than a year, and that record remained intact until Chris Kyle smashed it in Iraq. Waldron’s record is even more impressive because he worked in a thick jungle where visibility is not easy.