Book Review
The Sniper Anthology
The Sniper Anthology Snipers of the Second World War
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


The following introduction is provided by Pen and Sword:
Revered by some as the ultimate warrior, and condemned by others as ruthless assassins, the combat sniper is more than just a crack shot. These are highly disciplined individuals, calm professionals skilled in marksmanship, reconnaissance and camouflage. During the Second World War these lethal fighters were deployed by all sides to deadly effect.

This collection of biographies written by sniper experts from around the world explores the careers of the top marksmen between 1939 and 1945. As well as providing incisive technical information, each author offers a glimpse of the character and personality of their chosen sniper, giving them a human face that is often missing in standard portrayals.

These gripping, in-depth narratives go beyond the cursory treatment in existing histories and will be essential reading for anyone wanting to learn about the role and technique of the sniper during the Second World War.

The impressive list of contributors to The Sniper Anthology includes Mark Spicer writing on Harry M. Furness, the last surviving British sniper who went ashore on D-Day; Martin Pegler, who details the famous Soviet sniper Vassili Zaitsev; Adrian Gilbert on the Wehrmacht sharpshooter and lone wolf Sepp Allerberger; and Roger Moorhouse on Simo Hayha, the man with the most confirmed kills in any major war.


This book is provided by Pen and Sword and listed as a Frontline book. The authors who have contributed to the contents are many and listed in the contents below. This is a soft backed book with 206 pages of matt paper; there are a small number of images on gloss paper in the middle of the book which is a nice inclusion in a book of this type.

The snipers and author covering them are:
Simo Hayha - The White Death by Roger Morrrhouse
Lyudmila Pavlichenko- Most Dangerous Woman on Earth by Charles W Sasser
Bert Kemp - A Reluctant Warrior with a Deadly Gift by Tom C McKenney
Operation Foxley - British Sniping and the Hunt for Hitler by Tim Newark
Japanese Sniper - A Long Walk to a Short Life by John B Tonkin
Vassili Zaisev - The Sailor of Stalingrad by Martin Pegler
Clifford Shore - British Sniper, Trainer, Theorist and Historian by Leroy Thompson
Sepp Allerberger - Wehrmacht Scharfshutzen by Adrian Gilbert
Patrick Devlin - Fighting Irishman by Dan Mills
Harry M Furness - Fieldcraft Expert by Mark Spicer

The sniper is the master of not being seen and who takes the shot that can alter the course of a battle and sometimes the war, as such they can be considered the scalpel of military forces. Used against ground forces generally had the effect of making every man keep their heads down and so slow down the movement and effectives of enemy troops. With that said there are many books that cover the actions of these men and woman in combat such as getting into position and taking the shot, but very little about the person themselves or their live beyond taking that shot.

This book looks at various aspects of snipers from World War 2 and provides a background to the lives of characters such as Simo Hayho and his life before the war in his native Finland to the very well known Vassili Zaitsev and his life before becoming a sniper and life after fighting in Stalingrad.


This is one of those books that you just pick up and read and keep going due to the compressed nature of each chapter, you will find time passing quickly without having noticed. The text is a little on the small size for my old eyes, but the font chosen helps to keep it clear. The authors have written in their own styles and in some cases that fact is obvious. This is a nice book to pick up as its very affordable and perhaps read on the bus, train, plane or just to while away a couple of hours in quiet thought.
Darren Baker takes a look at a Frontline Books offering courtesy of Pen and Sword titled 'The Sniper Anthology Snipers of the Second World War'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526760692
  Suggested Retail: £8.00
  PUBLISHED: May 25, 2020

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

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