“We have been trekking hard all these last days. Heat and dust terrible… We got in a wood and were
surrounded by Germans. The Germans are very fond of wood fighting and
detail snipers to get up trees. We lost considerably including nine
officers.” Letter from Lt. Neville Woodroffe during the Mons Retreat, 1914.
Snipers can trace their lineage to hunters who began using rifled firearms that could fire accurately at longer rangers. In the North American colonies, settlers adapted the rifle to warfare, and riflemen were used as snipers by both sides during the American Revolutionary War, and by the British in the Napoleonic Wars. During the Second Boer War, Boer marksman with accurate Mauser rifles took a heavy toll on regular British forces. In response, the British formed the first professional unit of trained snipers, the Lovat Scouts, using telescopic rifles and wearing camouflage suits. Their commander said of them that they were “half wolf and half jackrabbit.“
A British officer shoots from a camouflaged position.
The trench warfare of the First World War suited the sniper perfectly. At the beginning of the war, sniping was an amateur affair, practiced mostly by officers used to hunting from before the war. Armed with personal hunting rifles, sharpshooters spent their spare time trying to pick off enemy soldiers. Only the Imperial German Army issued out telescopic sites, and soon the trained German snipers developed a fearsome reputation in the Entente armies.
In response, the British and French set about professionalizing their own marksmen. Big-game hunters like Hesketh Hesketh-Prichard worked hard to develop sniper tactics to counter the Germans. All armies set up training schools, and following in the Germans’ wake the British and French began issuing standard-issue scoped rifles. Optics underwent significant development; a major example was the “periscope” rifle that used sloped mirrors to allow soldiers to fire without revealing themselves above the trench parapet.
A British soldier at Gallipoli tries to lure Turkish snipers into firing; his friends don’t seem amused.
As snipers improved in quality, the danger they posed increased. Working in pairs, snipers were expected to memorize the layout of the land in front of them, noticing any subtle change. They wore camouflage and shot from disguised or armored positions to remain safe themselves while they watched for any sudden enemy movement. Even a man who exposed himself for a fraction of a second might become a casualty. The most valuable targets were officers, signalers trying to lay communication lines, and soldiers bringing up rations from field kitchens.
A camouflaged British marksman next to a fake tree he used as a platform.
The sniper war became a daily feature of life on the front line. Soldiers developed methods to cope. Robert Graves remembered being troubled by one particular German sniper, but he found a response: “Later we secured an elephant-gun that could send a bullet through enemy
loopholes and if we failed to locate the loop-hole of a persistent
sniper, we tried to dislodge him with a volley of rifle-grenades, or
even by ringing up the artillery.”
The randomness of death scared troops. It even created one superstition - never light a cigarette three times from the same match. “The sniper sees the first light, he hones in on the second, and when he sees the third he takes the shot.”
Anzac troops use a periscope rifle on Gallipoli.
Soldiers hated snipers and a captured one could expect no mercy. Nevertheless, sniping had a mental toll of its own. Some treated it like hunting, but others were disturbed by its oddly personal nature. R. A. Chell remembered feeling so during his first try at it:
“After about fifteen minutes quiet watching - with my rifle in a ready
position - I saw a capless bald head come up behind the plate. The day
was bright and clear and I hadn’t the slightest difficulty in taking a
most deliberate aim at the very centre of that bright and shiny plate -
but somehow I couldn’t press the trigger: to shoot such a ‘sitter’ so
deliberately in cold blood required more real courage than I possessed.
After a good look round he went down and I argued with myself about my
duty. My bald-headed opponent had been given a very sporting chance and
if he were fool enough to come up again I must shoot him unflinchingly. I
considered it my duty to be absolutely ready for that contingency.
After about two minutes he came up again with added boldness and I did
my duty. I had been a marksman before the war and so had no doubt about
the instantaneousness of that man’s death. I felt funny for days and the
shooting of another German at 'stand-to’ the next morning did nothing
to remove those horrid feelings I had.”
Smart, beautiful and deadly, 19 year old Russian sniper Roza Shanina had 54 confirmed kills during World War II.
<<OK so I know for a fact I’ve blogged most of these photos before but I sincerely don’t give a rat’s ass. I have no qualms about reblogging Ms. Shanina 100 times a day if it suits me…hell, no doubt I could devote a blog entirely to her remarkable accomplishments. I am totally intrigued and mesmerized by her. And not simply because she is amazingly beautiful and modest and bold, but also because of the unequivocal expertise she displayed in her “trade”. Maybe it’s also because she has that certain look about her like she might be just a little too shy to come up and talk to you…and yet have zero reservations about calmly dispatching your ass from 1000 meters.>>
Shanina volunteered for the military after the death of her brother in 1941 and chose to be a marksman on the front line. Praised for her shooting accuracy, Shanina was capable of precisely hitting moving enemy personnel and making doublets (two target hits by two rounds fired in quick succession).
Allied newspapers described Shanina as “the unseen terror of East Prussia”. She became the first Soviet female sniper to be awarded the Order of Glory and was the first servicewoman of the 3rd Belorussian Front to receive it. Shanina was killed in action during the East Prussian Offensive while shielding the severely wounded commander of an artillery unit. Shanina’s bravery received praise already during her lifetime, but came at odds with the Soviet policy of sparing snipers from heavy fights. Her combat diary was first published in 1965.
The Soviets found that sniper duties fit women well, since good snipers are patient, deliberate, have a high level of aerobic conditioning, and normally avoid hand-to-hand combat. They found the same with women as bomber crews, very fine adjustments and intense technical expertise actually gave them a better reputation than most all male bomber squadrons.
“In your life there will always be opposition. Sometimes it’s in the form of an enemy. With a simple equation of hard work, determination, training harder & smarter than your opponent, you will be able to vanquish them. Every once in a while, you will have a worthy opponent. Somebody that you deserve to be in there with; somebody that deserves to have a real fight, a real battle. And win or lose, you are going to come out of that battle all the better for it. Having fought a hard fight, you will have a glimpse into what it’s like inside of you when you have to fight hard.
The most challenging of all resistance comes from within. The similarity with all warriors is that they are always battling with the demons within themselves. It’s a constant battle (a relentless one) that has to be fought nonstop: of wanting to quit, wanting to sit on the couch, wanting to hit the snooze bar. Those small battles have to be fought over and over again. Once you start winning those battles, and overcoming them, more often than not you start being able to see something be forced within you. You start being able to see the potential for greatness, to be epic, to be unique, original, and perhaps to do something that’s never been done before.” -Tim Kennedy
Roza Georgiyevna Shanina was born on 3 April 1924 in the Russian village of Yedma (Arkhangelsk Oblast) to Anna Alexeyevna Shanina, a kolkhoz milkmaid, and Georgiy (Yegor) Mikhailovich Shanin, a logger who had been disabled by a wound received during World War I. Roza was reportedly named after the Marxist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg and had six siblings: one sister Yuliya and five brothers: Mikhail, Fyodor, Sergei, Pavel and Marat. The Shanins also raised three orphans. After finishing four classes of elementary school in Yedma, Shanina continued her education in the village of Bereznik. At the age of fourteen, Shanina, against her parents’ wishes, walked 200 kilometres across the taiga to the rail station and travelled to Arkhangelsk to study at the college there. In 1938, Shanina became a member of the Soviet youth movement Komsomol. Shanina received little financial support from home and on 11 September 1941, she took a job in kindergarten No. 2 (lately known as Beryozka) in Arkhangelsk, with which she was offered a free apartment. She studied in the evenings and worked in the kindergarten during the daytime. Shanina graduated from college in the 1941–42 academic year, when the Soviet Union was in the grip of World War II.
Shanina’s two elder brothers had volunteered for the military. In December 1941, a death notification was received for her 19-year-old brother Mikhail, who had died during the Siege of Leningrad. In response, Shanina went to the military commissariat to ask for permission to serve. On 22 June 1943, while still living in the dormitory, Shanina was accepted into the Vsevobuch program for universal military training. After Shanina’s several applications, the military commissariat finally allowed her to enrol in the Central Female Sniper Academy, where she met Aleksandra “Sasha” Yekimova and Kaleriya “Kalya” Petrova, who became her closest friends. On 2 April 1944 joined the 184th Rifle Division, where a separate female sniper platoon had been formed. Shanina was appointed a commander of that platoon. Three days later, southeast of Vitebsk, Shanina killed her first German soldier. For her actions in the battle for the village of Kozyi Gory (Smolensk Oblast), Shanina was awarded her first military distinction, the Order of Glory 3rd Class on 17 April 1944. By May 1944, her sniper tally increased to 17 confirmed enemy kills. When Operation Bagration commenced in the Vitebsk region on 22 June 1944, it was decided that female snipers would be withdrawn. They voluntarily continued to support the advancing infantry anyway, and despite the Soviet policy of sparing snipers, Shanina asked to be sent to the front line. Although her request was refused, she went anyway. Shanina was later sanctioned for going to the front line without permission, but did not face a court martial. Shanina and her sisters-in-arms took part in the struggle for Vilnius, which had been under German occupation since 24 June 1941.
During the fights in Eastern Prussia, Shanina was hit by a bullet in the shoulder on 12 December 1944. On 27 January Shanina was severely injured while shielding a wounded artillery officer. She was found by two soldiers disemboweled, with her chest torn open by a shell fragment. Despite attempts to save her, Shanina died the following day.
Roza Shanina’s diary and several letters were published after her death. She was credited with fifty-nine confirmed kills, and recieved three different orders during her lifetime (Orders of Glory 3rd and 2nd Class, Medal for Courage) which makes her one of the most sucessful and most famous female snipers of World War Two.
My partner is set to deploy next month. This will be our 3rd deployment since we got together. It has me thinking about Sterek Military fics. Marines, Army, Navy, Navy Seal, Spec Ops, whatever I will take them all. Bless you and this blog for getting me through many lonely nights.
Awwww, sending your partner good vibes and well wishes! Tried to find you some completed fics with happy endings bb, hope they help <3 -Emmy
Prompt from Tumblr: I’m not sure if your still doing prompts… but
if you are I would love you forever if you could write a Military!AU,
where Stiles surprises Derek be coming back early!! Very FLUFFY!!!
When Stiles woke at ten the next morning, Derek was
curled tight around him, Erica’s head in the dip of Derek’s waist, and
Isaac’s thin form thrown over their legs, Scott lying around both Stiles
and Isaac while Lydia slept in as small a ball as possible on Stiles’s
chest, Boyd’s hand on her head as if she’d had a nightmare. Stiles
smiled to himself, going back to staring at Derek’s sleeping features.
The curve of his eyelashes and the relaxed shape of his mouth. He wanted
to trace his finger over the line of Derek’s nose, leave hickies over
the straight edge of Derek’s jaw. It was new and old and so good Stiles
wanted to cry.
(1,780 I General I Complete) *soldier!Derek, married!sterek
Stiles was trying to be the best dad he could be for his little girl
after Derek was drafted into the military 3 months ago. That doesn’t
mean he doesn’t feel like crying when Alex tells him that all she wants
for Christmas is for Santa to bring her papa back home.
Derek is struggling not to feel lonely this Valentine’s Day, but he does
his best to put on a brave and happy face for his daughter. Both their
days take a turn for the better when they get an unexpected surprise.
Derek leave the Marines due to an injury, and finds himself in a small
town in California, Beacon Hills. Not being able to stop helping others,
he joins the police, where he meets 18-year-old Stiles Stilinski. A
year of dating later, they moved to NY for Stiles to go to college.
After dating for two years, Derek get’s an unexpected visitor.
It’s been three hundred and seventy six days since he left and Stiles
has been living each day as it comes but all that is about to change.
Non werewolf AU. Army AU, Sterek, Slash. Other pairings Scisaac, Dethan
Stiles works in a diner when one day a soldier walks in, dressed in army
greens and sits down at one of Stiles’s booths. They end up talking and
soon enough Stiles is sending letters off to one Sergeant Derek Hale,
until one day, the letters stop.
Stiles has been bullied for years and it gets worse when the Sheriff is
deployed one last time. One day, in the middle of the daily beating, a
Marine comes to his rescue. A very hot and muscular Marine who also
happens to be in uniform. And unbeknownst to Stiles, they’ve met before.
Stiles can’t remember but Derek remembers it all.
(7,234 I Explicit I Complete) *marine!Derek, teacher!Stiles
“Honey! I’m home!” Stiles shouted into the empty apartment as he moved
quickly through to the kitchen, dumping his backpack onto bench before
crossing to the fridge and crossing off another day on the calendar. A
month and a half. That was how long was left until Derek came home,
until he was safe. Everyday felt like a lifetime to Stiles.
(9,655 I Explicit I Complete) *historical au, WWII au, soldier!Derek, doctor!Stiles
Twoshot - Prologue (Complete) . It is the 1939, the world is on the
brink of a second World War. Stiles is the son of a wealthy high ranking
ministry official. His friend and childhood protector Derek Hale is off
to the same medical school as he is, with the financial help of his own
father, something Stiles is not too happy about, though he won’t admit
it to himself that there might be feelings involved. Yet.
(17,338 I Mature I Complete) *historical au, Soldier!Derek
Lydia Martin was the Queen Bee of Beacon Hills so it was her job to
welcome her husband’s nephew, Derek, and his new wife into the
neighbourhood. Derek has returned home after service in Korea to settle
down and marry his sweetheart, Gen, who Lydia becomes fast friends with.
But after stumbling upon Derek cheating on Gen, she isn’t sure what to
think. But who was the man she saw him with? Who is Stiles?
(38,400 I Mature I Complete) *soldier!Stiles, Teacher!Derek
Stiles Stilinski is now an ex-army sniper and engaged
to kindergarten teacher Derek Hale. All he wants is to leave his
military service and experiences behind him so he can move on and build
his life with Derek.
But it isn’t always easy when the battlefield follows you home.