The Sniper Encyclopaedia
An A-Z Guide to World Sniping
By John Walter
Published by Big Sky Publishing
RRP $39.99 in hardcover
A year ago I was writing about the companion volume to this book – Snipers at War: An equipment and operations history – also by John Walter.
You can read that review by clicking here
This latest book from John Walter* is beautifully illustrated and comprehensive. It covers virtually every aspect of sniping, including the stories of well-known snipers and those whom history generally has overlooked.
Among them are some of more than a thousand Red Army snipers, which included a surprising number of women, who amassed dozens and even hundreds of kills in the ferocious fighting of World War II’s Eastern Front. Some of the likely victims of snipers are identified (although in some cases there is doubt as to whether the snipers were actually responsible).
Mind you, you would not want to have been in the sights of Russian Mikhail Llich Surkov who is credited with 702 kills and heads the list of male snipers.
The book pays special attention to the history and development of the many specialist sniper rifles – some more successful than others – that have served the world’s armies since the American wars of the nineteenth century to today’s technology-based conflicts. The progress made with the development of ammunition is discussed too. The development of aids and accessories, from optical sights to laser rangefinders, is also considered.
I’m sure the technical detail of the development of the snipers’ tools of trade will interest readers who are fascinated by firearms and how these weapons have developed over the years.
This can’t have been an easy project to bring to the publisher, given the vast range of information that has been distilled down to the 306 pages of this book, which is published in the form of a Directory – A-Z – which means that entries for individual snipers sit alongside entries for weapons manufacturers and rifle types.
This book has required an author with a vast – one might say ‘encyclopaedic’ – knowledge of the topic.
It is a quality publication and if you already have Snipers at War: An equipment and operations history then this is the companion volume that should be sitting alongside it on your bookshelf.
* A note about John Walter – he is eminently qualified to write on this topic, having published 70 books on weapons (rifles, handguns etc).