Snipers are the people who can do things with a rifle that no one else can. Since time immemorial, the history of this planet has witnessed numerous warfares and in that, a number of efficient warriors. Some demonstrated their skills in the form of ancient weapons while some, in the modern ages, the extreme marksmanship has been a part of war ever since firearms became the tools of choice. The 10 deadliest snipers in history have engraved their names forever.
1 – Major Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Soviet Red Army
Born in 1916 in a small town in Ukraine, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a history student, became one of the best snipers of all time, credited with 309 confirmed kills, 36 of which were German snipers. She apparently looked like a model, with well-manicured nails, fashionable clothes, and hairstyle. She rushed to join the Soviet army and defend her homeland when Hitler broke ties with Joseph Stalin and German troops poured into the Soviet Union, but she was initially denied entry into the army due to gender.
Even after she had a sharp shooter badge and marksman certificate, the officials still urged her to work as a nurse. Eventually, she was accepted into the Red Army’s 25th Chapayev Rifle Division and in a very little time, she distinguished herself as a fearsome sniper, killing 187 Germans in her first 75 days at war. Pavlichenko became a sniper instructor and was soon invited to the White House. Pavlichenko was one of 2,000 female snipers who fought for the Red Army in World War II.
2 – Senior Sergeant Roza Shanina, Soviet Red Army
Awarded the Orders of Glory and Medal of Courage, Shanina joined the Soviet Army, and as a marksman she amassed 59 confirmed kills in her very short career (she died at the age of 20 in 1945).
3 – Sergeant Fyodor Okhlopkov, Soviet Red Army
Credited as being one of the most effective Soviet snipers during World War II, with 429 kills, Okhlopkov’s service earned him the Hero of the Soviet Union in 1965 as well as an Order of Lenin.
4 – Billy Dixon, American Civilian
One of only eight American civilians to receive the Medal of Honor, Billy Dixon, in a battle, used 50-90 Sharps rifle to shoot and kill the chief of the attackers nearly a mile away. Later he became a civilian Army Scout during which four Army Cavalrymen were surrounded during the Battle of Buffalo Wallow. He held the army for three days until weather forced them to end their attack and because of this he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
5 – Staff Sergeant Adelbert Waldron, United States Army
Waldron served in the Vietnam War and racked up 109 confirmed kills, which was the most of any marksman during the conflict. Adrian Gilbert described how when everyone else were strained to find the antagonist firing from the shoreline over 900 meters away, Sergeant Waldron took up his sniper rifle and with one shot, picked off the Vietcong.
6 – Master Corporal Rob Furlong, Canadian Forces
Furlong, held the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in military history at 2,657 yd. He participated in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan’s Shah-i-Kot Valley and apparently a group of three Al-Qaeda fighters were moving into a mountainside position when Furlong took aim with his Long Range Sniper Weapon, killing him in the 3rd shot, according to Wikipedia.
7 – Captain Vasily Zaytsev, Soviet Red Army
Zaytsev, during the Battle of Stalingrad, racked up 225 of his 400+ confirmed kills. Many of them are credited at distances of greater than 1,000 meters. He was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union award as well as the Four Orders of Lenin award for his service.
8 – Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, United States Navy SEAL
Kyle received two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and is credited with being the deadliest sniper in United States history with 160 confirmed kills and also various other unconfirmed kills.
9 – Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathcock, United States Marines
Carlos Hathcock is regarded as one of the most prolific US snipers in history and even Kyle considers him better than him. Hathcock record a confirmed kill at 2,500 yd, the 5th longest confirmed sniper kill in history and amassed 93 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War.
10 – Second Lieutenant Simo Häyhä, Finnish Army
Simo Häyhä was nicknamed “White Death” for his totally white camouflage and eerie white mask. He was the single most successful sniper in military history with at least 505 confirmed sniper kills during the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union and an additional 200 kills with a submachine gun.