There are many psychological affects one goes through during combat. A troubling one regardless of military size is the Sniper that brings death from afar. Due to the unpredictability and lethal surgical marksmanship and the inability to locate the shooter, snipers play a significant role on morale to any unit and add to the psychological aspect and stress of battle for the enemy.
“Kill one, terrify one thousand”
In many of my deployments, snipers became a vital tool in countering IED emplacers and being where the enemy didn’t think you were. A notorious group was continuously emplacing IEDs against American forces during blinding sandstorms as they didn’t think coalition forces would be out in the storm conditions, thought they would be alone and took advantage of the concealment to attempt to plant their attacks, or so they thought they were alone. There are equally counter sniper tactics that the enemy uses however if one sniper gets the edge on the other, the counter sniper tactics may be for not. The phrase “Kill one, terrify one thousand” from the (Art of War) is very accurate when implementing the sniper.
Sniper legends include the ever famous Carlos Hathcock Marine Sniper to the Medal of Honor recipients, Master Sergeant Gordon & Sergeant First Class Shughart in Somalia. Unfortunately, hundreds more that conducted precise, surgical marksmanship will most likely never be recognized or awarded any more publicly than from inside their unit and that’s how we like to keep it. The sniper is a vital weapon that when tactically positioned and used can be one of the most dangerous weapons on the battlefield.
Time for a Cgar!
HERE is a interesting article about a couple British snipers.