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Female (enemy) Sniper At D-Day?


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#1 At Home Dad

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:14 AM

Hallo all

Just watching They Were Not Divided and one character
makes mention of fearing one of the soldiers had been
killed "by that dreadful woman sniper" on the beaches.

I had heard stories of female snipers at Gallipoli in
Ww1, but not of anything like this regarding D-Day+

Has anyone any details of this D-Day Sniper, if true?
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#2 sapper

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:34 AM

Certainly was true. On more than one occasion we found ourselves being fired at from our rear. I recall, that one female sniper with a German husband who was caught and dealt with..... Killed.

Why do I recall so clearly? Well it was different world in those far off days, and the thought of shooting a women was thought to be a shocking thing to do. English men just did not shoot, or harm women!.

Sadly there were other occasions when the same thing happened.

It may come as a surprise to many here. But we were definitely not welcome in Normandy. The locals made their feelings plainly known. The farmers had done well selling their goods to the enemy.

The best way to describe the attitude of the locals was "Mixed" some disliked us. some took a different view.
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#3 sapper

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:46 AM

If I may, I will branch out on this subject. For Snipers were everywhere. I could never quite understand why a sniper that had stayed behind, and continued to kill our men was allowed to be captured....That is not on in my book... If you killed after the battle had moved on? Then there is no defence should you be captured.

A dear old friend Captain Jack of the Recce, had a sniper up in the bell tower of a church. He and his Sergeant tossed a coin to see who would go get him. The Sergeant lost, and had to go up and kill the enemy. The late Captain Jack was a dear friend. I recall home with some fond memories. Specially as we upset the serious Vets at the NVA meetings.
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#4 At Home Dad

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:01 PM

Thanks very much, Sapper.

I wasn't aware of the snipers, or to
be truthful about the 'mixed' reaction
from the French you mention.

You taught me two things today!
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#5 sapper

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:13 PM

Cheers The troops loved Calvados Brandy.... It was a "glass House" offence to have your water bottle full of brandy. Some of it was bloody awful. A Frenchman told me "We brewed it for the Germans, Someone has to drink it"....
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#6 canuck

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:27 PM

Sgt. Leo Gariepy


"Meanwhile the 1st Hussars were losing tanks and crew commanders during some intense street fighting. Sgt. Leo Gariepy learned a sniper had killed three commanders and was narrowly missed by a shot ringing from an attic. He and his driver dismounted and ran up to the house where an elderly couple waved them inside. Gariepy rushed up the stairs to the attic to find the sniper was a 19-year-old girl holding a Mauser rifle. Without hesitation he shot her dead.
Gariepy remarked later: "We learned from the old people that this girl's 'fiancé' had been shot by a Canadian tank that morning and she swore she would liquidate all crew commanders."
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#7 At Home Dad

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:02 PM

thanks Canuck. where did
this happen, do you know?
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#8 Goodygixxer

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:26 PM

Women...in charge of firearms! thats outragous..........they'll be allowed to drive cars next........doh!
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#9 Dave55

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:40 PM

Women...in charge of firearms! thats outragous..........they'll be allowed to drive cars next........doh!


Harry Enfield - Women, Don't Drive - YouTube :)
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#10 canuck

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:42 PM

thanks Canuck. where did
this happen, do you know?


It was June 6th but no precise position was indicated. From the description it appears to have been closer to Reviers on the Reviers-Fontaine-Henry road.

Here is the detailed excerpt:

Juno Beach: Canada's D-Day Victory ... - Google Books
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#11 At Home Dad

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:45 PM

thanks
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#12 izzy

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 02:54 PM

Liverpool Library has back copies of the Liverpool Echo and there was a couple of articles published after D-Day that mention a Female Sniper.
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#13 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 03:08 PM

Extremely interesting and very eye opening posts.

Regards
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#14 Verrieres

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 04:11 PM

Perhaps this refers to another?

http://www.oldmagazi...Lady Sniper.pdf


Jim
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#15 Steve Mac

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:46 PM

Just been researching a question about 50th (Northumbrian) Division on D-Day and came across this information about the 5th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, 69th Infantry Brigade, who were in the first wave to land on Gold Beach.

That's Private Roy Walker, 5th Bn East Yorkshire Regt. A driver of a Bren carrier, one of his mates had his thumb shot off as they hit the beach, so Walker drove along the beach to a Dressing Station, dropped off the wounded man and was making his way back to the carrier when he was 'snapped'.

Apparently there were a lot of troops being mowed down by MG fire and picked off "left, right and centre" by snipers.

The Beach Master bollocked him for drawing enemy artillery fire onto the beach where his carrier was situated.

On his way back in his carrier he picked up a Canadian Officer - this is on Gold Beach not Juno where the Officer should have been. The Officer's ship had been sunk. Roy had his wounded mates Lee Enfield and handed it to the Officer, who said "That's great I'll use that - I can't wait to get at those bastards."

Apparently two of the German snipers were in a church steeple and the Infantry couldn't winkle them out, so a tank was brought up and the top of the church tower was blown off. The two snipers were found to be women; this fits with another thread running currently and so I will cross reference...


Apparently, the two women were taken to the rear, but Private Walker did not know what happened to them.

Private interview with author B.S. Barnes 1992.

Best,

Steve.
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#16 Drew5233

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:10 PM

Thanks very much, Sapper.

I wasn't aware of the snipers, or to
be truthful about the 'mixed' reaction
from the French you mention.

You taught me two things today!



This was happening in France and Belgium in 1940 when the BEF was retreating. All that were captured that I've read about were either executed by British troops or the local Police.
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#17 Tom Canning

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 01:08 AM

We were often called by the Infantry to deal with snipers - which was no surprise to us as a few Tank commanders were killed including our own Troop Commander - the snipers were usually in the local Church bell tower and our Gunner Harry Grey was fond of hitting the bell with his first AP shot- which must have punctured the eardrums of the sniper - but the second shot was always HE which finished off the tower- we had more than a few of them

Cheers
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#18 brithm

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

The Winnipeg Evening Tribune 19-JUN-1944 : Digital Resources on Manitoba History
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#19 Dave55

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:12 PM

Certainly was true. On more than one occasion we found ourselves being fired at from our rear. I recall, that one female sniper with a German husband who was caught and dealt with..... Killed.

Why do I recall so clearly? Well it was different world in those far off days, and the thought of shooting a women was thought to be a shocking thing to do. English men just did not shoot, or harm women!.

Sadly there were other occasions when the same thing happened.

It may come as a surprise to many here. But we were definitely not welcome in Normandy. The locals made their feelings plainly known. The farmers had done well selling their goods to the enemy.

The best way to describe the attitude of the locals was "Mixed" some disliked us. some took a different view.
sapper


I recall reading about that. I think the account I read said that her husband had been killed earlier in the battle,
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#20 mapshooter

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:07 AM

The Red Army was notably keen on women snipers. I believe they had a dedicated school for them. The big attraction was that women had better control of their breathing than most men, this made them better shots.
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#21 sapper

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:13 AM

Not only did the Norman folk treat us with reserve, they did well dealing with the Germans. But it has to be said. We raised the towns and villages to the ground.

It was just as though a giant steam roller had traversed back and forth over the countryside. Complete devastation.
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#22 At Home Dad

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:34 PM

they're still alive and well!

Syria: the former English teacher turned Aleppo's female sniper - Telegraph
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#23 Steve Mac

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 07:21 PM

From Antony Beevor's D-Day, Page 31, Chapter 7: Omaha:

“One of the rangers at Pointe du Hoc reported just after the battle, ‘We came across civilians who were shooting at us with German rifles and serving as artillery observers. We shot them.’”

Doesn't say the snipers were women, but the same issue of French civilians shooting at Allied soldiers.
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#24 Swiper

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 07:37 PM

Treat Beevor with extreme caution.

 

[For clarification]
His book is rather misleading and downright wrong in places. He also gets dates and times very, very wrong.

The relationship with civilians was complex in Normandy, rumours of all-sorts abounded. Although it is clearly documented that the Germans were infiltrating agents through Allied lines posing as civilians as the campaign went on for int.


Edited by Swiper, 31 December 2015 - 07:39 PM.

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#25 Mr Jinks

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 07:48 PM

Here`s more in relation to Verriere`s old post ;-

Canberra Times

WOMEN SNIPERS
AMONG GERMAN
SOLDIERS
LONDON, Wednesday.
The correspondent of the "Daily
Express" reports that Canadians,
who had been persistently sniped in
a French town, raided a building and
found a heavy set woman with wild
eyes, holding a hot barrelled rifle.
"I have killed three of your com
rades," she boasted.
The sniper stated that she was
married to a German soldier who
was killed on the beaches. The
townsfolk had marked her out for
extermination, after which she de-
cided to fight it out on her own.
Myra, a German girl, 29, who was
captured at St. Mereglise, has arrived
at a port on the south coast of Brit-
ain.
The American guard said he was
told to be very wary of the prisoner
until he handed her over. Her
method was to smile to our soldiersFix this text
and when they came toward her to
"wing" them.

 

 

 

 

Kyle

 

 

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#26 Sheldrake

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 01:22 AM

I am skeptical of these incidents.  if some civilians fought for the Germans in Normandy, the names of these traitors and their stories would be well known in the communities which they betrayed.  But they don't feature in the local history. 

 

These incidents may well have resulted from some unfortunate misunderstandings of the kind all too familiar from modern wars.  Hyped up soldiers, a shot is fired - and fire returned to where someone thinks it came from.  A dead civilian and a weapon dropped by a retreating  German, (or even positioned by an embarrassed panicked soldier) lead to 2+2 = 5. 


Edited by Sheldrake, 02 January 2016 - 01:29 AM.

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#27 Mr Jinks

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 01:27 AM

`Myra` if she existed was German living in the area with her husband according to the article she had been marked for `extermination` by local people following her husbands death
 

 

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#28 Sheldrake

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 09:25 AM

`Myra` if she existed was German living in the area with her husband according to the article she had been marked for `extermination` by local people following her husbands death


Kyle

The article appears to mix two different incidents.

"Myra" Captured at St Mere Eglise, and taken to Britain as a PW is almost certainly not the woman taking pot shots at Canadian soldiers, who were no where near that town. There may well have been German women auxiliaries in Normandy, as German accounts mention female telephonists in Bayeux.

What is known about the woman who is claimed to have shot at Canadians? Was she taken prisoner? It sounds as if she wasn't. If she was marked down for extermination by the locals, there ought to be some documentation in French archives.

Edited by Sheldrake, 02 January 2016 - 12:14 PM.

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#29 Mr Jinks

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 12:46 PM

Yes it does refer to `another` incident rather than the one referred to in the opening post . I simply picked the `Myra` connection from post no 14 and expanded it a little but the original post did say;-
 

Verrieres Posted 30 August 2011 - 04:11 PM

Perhaps this refers to another?

http://www.oldmagazi...Lady Sniper.pdf


Jim

Would the French records record it ? It appears post liberation was a time to settle old personal scores :(


Kyle


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#30 Sheldrake

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 11:10 PM

Yes it does refer to `another` incident rather than the one referred to in the opening post . I simply picked the `Myra` connection from post no 14 and expanded it a little but the original post did say;-


Verrieres Posted 30 August 2011 - 04:11 PM

Perhaps this refers to another?

http://www.oldmagazi...Lady Sniper.pdf


Jim

Would the French records record it ? It appears post liberation was a time to settle old personal scores :(


Kyle
The immediate aftermath yes, but 70 years later the French take a more objective view.

Edited by Sheldrake, 03 January 2016 - 11:11 PM.

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