Allied Snipers

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts.' started by canuck, May 16, 2009.

  1. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Shore's With British Sniper's to the Reich gives details of sniper training ran for Battalions during the advance into Germany as well as details of the rifles used.
  2. chick42-46

    chick42-46 Senior Member

    Just a quick post on British snipers in WW2.

    Came across this story on the BBC People's War website about an RAF Regiment sniper.

    BBC - WW2 People's War - R.A.F. Regiment sniper on the front line

    The story, which is based on contemporary newspaper reports, doesn't say where the action took place or which RAF Regiment squadron was involved. I recall reading somewhere else about RAF Regiment squadrons mortaring German positions and will try to track that down.

    From the BBC article, it's not clear that the two men were dedicated snipers as such, or just happened to snipe when the opportunity arose. I've not heard of sniper training being part of the normal training of RAF Regiment squadrons. However, Shore's book (mentioned in a couple of posts) is interesting, as I understand he was an officer in the RAF Regiment.
  3. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Strangely the British were trained by a small group of shootists, there C. Shore's book With British Sniper's to the Reich gives a good account of sniper operations and training from Normandy onwards. I would suggest that individual Commanding Officers were loath to release soldiers for training as snipers or spotters till they needed people to perate in a counter-sniper role, the personality required by a sniper is that of an independent thinking soldier with a superb degree of fieldcraft - the very men who would be good NCO material. For a CO to lose 12 men for a training period to set up a sniper section is one which might have been resisted by some COs.
  4. Timbtrucker

    Timbtrucker Junior Member

    Hi my dad was a sniper in the 5th Battalion Coldstream Guards.he says there were originally 16 snipers in the Battalion 4 in each company. The were ‘Struck off’ which meant they did not have to guard duty or other things like that. They had to be ready immediately for training or lectures etc.

    He did some of his training at loch Etive in Scotland dear stalking. My dads battalion suffered heavy casualties and the number for snipers soon got reduced although they usually went forward in 1 and 2s sometimes escorting an officer.

    Dad says that replacement officers did not how to get the best out of the snipers- they did not know really what they could and could not do.

    Dad got shot in the end himself in – not a very pleasant experience he tells me.

    dbf likes this.
  5. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Here's this link, a good intel source:

    WW2 Snipers
  6. Combover

    Combover Guest


    I was just thinking the same and have been comparing the photos. They are two different soldiers.

    Is it more than a coincidence?


    Sorry to drag this up but it was common practice for a sniper to fire his rifle in the most expedient way which often meant left handed shots as well as right handed. It was better to be proficient with both hands than to move from a good position to fire right-handed. It is taught as such in training manuals.
  7. Foley

    Foley Junior Member

    Interesting read!
    Ive looked into the U.S. Army snipers of World war 2,there were some mixed feeling among the snipers,for instance this fellow in the picture thought sniping brought too much attention to him and his buddy told years later that the 1903A4 with a 4X weaver scope and no iron sights was a waste. (Though in fact it used a m73b1 2.5X scope) - I'll find the article and post the full here.

    Another U.S. Army Paratrooper told he wouldn't shoot at a German past 200 yards with the 03A4...

    Then their was Frank Kviatek who was one of the army's best snipers,He was offered an m1-Garand but refused being he loved his scoped 03A4,Frank told he was able to hit a German in the heart at 500 yards. By the time he was captured in the Bulge Frank killed 56 Germans,mostly snipers.

    In the book "one shot one kill" the author interviewed William Jones another sniper,Jones told that with the 1903A4 he felt he was a match for the Germans,he kept his rifle spotless for when he needed it,it was some smooth piece of machinery he said "I could hit anything I wanted too-I was slower than the boys with their Garands but I was a great deal more accurate" Jones 03A4 was destroyed during a shelling,He said "I felt like i lost my best buddy,I could have cried..... Now I was just another dog faced GI with an M1 Garand in the hedgerows"

    A nice photo of 19 year old Douglas Dillard a paratrooper sniper in France 1944

    I read another account in a book some time back,group of U.S. Army snipers in Italy nicknamed "sioux" or something similar after native Americans,When they killed a German,they went and scalped him. I'll do some searching for these articles,I believe there on google books
    Best regards
  8. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron


    Canadian snipers training in England. No other details. I didn't realize that they used Ghillie suits that far back.
  9. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  10. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  11. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Scouts sniper team
    Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada.
    Camp de Brasschaet, Belgium,
    9 October 1944
    Photo by Lieut. Ken Bell
    Source: LAC

    Note:L-R): Corporal G.E. Mallery, Private J. Gray, Corporal B.B. Arnold, Sergeant P.A. Rylaasden. These snipers reported to have killed a total of 101 men since D-Day.

    17thDYRCH, redtop and Tricky Dicky like this.
  12. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

  13. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Sniper Cpl J Fortain R22R near Rimini Italy
    31 kills
    “This is Cpl. G. B. Fortain of Montreal in one of the forward positions taken by his regiment, the Royal 22nds, in their push to the west of Rimini in Italy. Cpl. Fortain joined the sniping section of his regiment at Ortona, and while Canadians held a static position last winter he came to know the German defensive positions so intimately that he could wander through the enemy lines almost at will. During this period he chalked up 31 kills. He he is watching the enemy front from a shell battered house, his deadly rifle ready across his knees. (CANADIAN ARMY OVERSEAS PHOTO) UN 262-1” th rifle appears to be a standard No. 4 Mk.I (T) Lee-Enfield snioer rifle with a No. 32 scope and M1907 sling. Canadian snipers in WWII overseas were issued sniper rifles out of British stores. Most Canadian made sniper rifles went into this British pool of rifles. This man appears to have survived the war as he is not listed in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.


    Photographs of Snipers

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