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Video: Here are 8 of history’s deadliest snipers

Carlos Hathcock (Youtube - Origins Explained)
May 17, 2021

The span of expert marksmen throughout history is expansive and covers the entire globe. Snipers have gained their fame from being stealthy, silent professionals capable of delivering a lethal kill shot from hundreds of yards away.

The 2017 Origins Explained video below breaks down eight of the top snipers of all time. Watch it here:

#8 Billy Dixon

Billy Dixon was famous in the 1800s for being a skilled buffalo hunter, outdoorsmen, and Indian fighter. He is one of only eight U.S. civilians to earn the Medal of Honor, a medal commonly reserved for military service members. He moved from Europe to Texas to work and live at a well-established buffalo hunting trading post in Hutchenson County. The local Indian tribe realized the threat this posed to their way of life and organized a hostile resistance to Dixon’s post. In 1874 over 700 Indian fighters attacked only 28 men and 1 woman at the Second Battle of Adobe Walls, where Billy Dixon killed an Indian chief from almost one mile away with a “Big Fifty” Sharps rifle.

Billy Dixon (Youtube – Origins Explained)

#7 Roza Shanina

Roza Shanina joined the Soviet army and was credited with fifty-nine confirmed kills. Although eager to join, she spent eighteen months convincing the Soviet Army to allow her to join their ranks. She entered a female sniper academy, and quickly gained fame for being able to engage multiple targets rapidly. She was killed by an advancing German force at the young age of 20, but was able to make a significant impact during her short life.

Roza Shanina (Youtube – Origins Explained)

#6 Carlos Hathcock

Carlos Hathcock was a United States Marine during the Vietnam war. His confirmed kill count was ninety-three, but his unofficial count was over three hundred. The North Vietnamese put a bounty on his head that was well above the standard amount, and even nicknamed him “White Feather” for the white feather that Carlos wore in his hat. After returning to the United States after suffering from burn wounds, he established the Scout Sniper School in Quantico, Virginia.

Carlos Hathcock (Youtube – Origins Explained)

#5 Chris Kyle

Chris Kyle is the most accomplished sniper in American history after serving four tours in Iraq as part of SEAL Team 3. His longest shot was at 1,920 meters away from an enemy sniper that he called a “straight-up luck shot.” He earned the nickname “the Devil of Ramadi” for his effectiveness in the area. He was unfortunately killed in 2013 by a veteran who was suffering from mental health issues at a shooting range.

Chris Kyle (Youtube – Origins Explained)

#4 Craig Harrison

Craig Harrison is believed to hold the record for the longest confirmed kill in combat. He served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Bosnia. When his convoy was ambushed in Afghanistan, his unit because suppressed by an enemy machine-gun nest. He quickly calculated that the bullet would take six seconds to travel and made his necessary adjustments. He missed his first shot, but struck his target the second time.

Craig Harrison (Youtube – Origins Explained)

#3 Adelbert Waldron

Waldron served during the Vietnam war and for a long time held the record for the most confirmed kills at one hundred and nine. He deployed with the 9th Infantry Division to Vietnam and racked up his record kill count in only eight months of service. Some of his feats include killing an enemy fighter from nine hundred meters on a moving boat and going five for five from over eight hundred meters away on five separate targets. He became known as Daniel Boone and left the army in 1970. He earned multiple Bronze Stars and a Silver Star for his service.

Walderon (Youtube – Origins Explained)

#2 Fyodor Okhlopkov

Fyodor served in the Soviet Union’s Red Army and became famous for his four hundred and twenty-nine confirmed kills. When war broke out with Germany, he became a sniper in 1942. He taught many younger snipers in the ranks and was injured twelve different times. He came from the Yakutia region of Russia.

Fyodor Okhlopkov (Youtube – Origins Explained)

#1 Simo Hayha

Simo Hayha served in the Finnish Army and holds the record for the most confirmed kills in history as a sniper.  He gained his fame during the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II. Finnish soldiers would traverse the wooded mountainous terrain along the border with Russia and take advantage of the Soviet commanders who were not familiar with their area of the world. The Finnish soldiers moved faster on skis and could set up multiple ambushes, while quickly exiting the area. He reached his count of five hundred and five kills in as little as one hundred days of combat.

Simo Hayha (Youtube – Origins Explained)

These famous snipers displayed extreme amounts of patience, discipline, and field skills to reach their level of effectiveness. Snipers throughout history have become a force multiplier for military units, not just for their offensive deadliness, but for the psychological impact they make on the enemy.