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  • In the eerie calm between battles  on World War 2's Eastern Front,  

  • two Soviet soldiers stealthily creep across  no-man's land and slip silently into a shell  

  • crater where they will wait for endless hours  in silent darkness.. One man is clearly the  

  • leader - the other man's eyes never stray from  him, and he follows his teacher's every move.  

  • Finally, the teacher signals to his student that  it's time, and the young man sights his target,  

  • slips the safety off of his rifle, and takessteadying breath as his teacher whispers a last  

  • bit of advice into his ear - “Remember”, he says  “One shot, one kill”. The trainee pauses, full  

  • of nervous energy - he desperately wants to live  up to the expectations of his legendary teacher,  

  • the self-taught Soviet Sniper with 500  confirmed kills - does he have what it takes?

  • The man who would go on to become one of  the Soviet Union's most prolific killing  

  • machines came from a very unlikely backgroundIvan Mikhaylovich Sidorenko was born in 1919  

  • in Smolensk Oblast in Russia, near Belarus, where  his parents were peasant farmers. Sidorenko was  

  • not a good student, and he dropped out of school  in the 10th grade. Young Ivan did have a gift,  

  • though - he was a talented artist, and he  eventually went on to enroll in Penza Art  

  • College. Little did he know then that his  greatest talent lay in the art of killing.

  • Before his artistic dreams could be realizedforces beyond his control cut Sidorenko's art  

  • school education short. World War 2 was  raging across Europe and the ill-prepared  

  • Soviet Union was fiercely battling to force  the formidable Nazis back from their borders.  

  • 21 year-old Sidorenko once again dropped out  of school and enlisted in the Soviet Army,  

  • determined to do his part to protect his homeland.

  • By 1941, Sidorenko found himself at Simferopol  Military Infantry School in Crimea, where he  

  • learned the ins and outs of life in the Red  Army and was trained to serve in a Mortar Unit.  

  • As part of a gunner crew, Sidorenko helped  to operate the Red Army's heavy mortar guns,  

  • working side-by-side with his comrades  to quickly assemble, disassemble  

  • and move the large guns, and to load, unload  and reload the heavy long-range artillery.

  • Sidorenko got his first taste of combat in  the infamous Battle of Moscow. Before the war,  

  • the Soviets had signed a non-aggression pact  with the Nazis, but in the summer of 1941,  

  • the Germans reneged on their shaky alliance  when they launched Operation Barbarossa,  

  • the first step in their plan  to invade the Soviet Union.  

  • The Germans quickly smashed through the  Soviet's hastily assembled border defenses,  

  • and the road to Moscow looked clear for conquestBut the Soviets wouldn't give up without a fight.  

  • They prepared formidable defenses around the  city and brought in reinforcements from all  

  • over the country to defend Moscow. The Germans  attacked with vigour, and soon the Soviets were  

  • overwhelmed and encircled. Still, the Soviets  refused to surrender, and their sheer will  

  • soon began to wear on the Germans - with a little  help from the brutal Russian winter, of course.

  • By December, the Germans had been  repelled sufficiently to justify  

  • launching a counteroffensive attack. This was  Sidorenko's time to shine. Working as part of  

  • a 4-gun battery, he and his mortar unit  rained hellfire on the invading Germans.  

  • Each unit would launch their deadly payloadbefore the team would quickly break down the  

  • mortar gun and carry the pieces on  foot to the next firing location,  

  • where they would then reassemble them for the  next round of shots. This hit-and-run tactic  

  • protected them from counter artillery fire and  allowed them to hit the Germans from many angles,  

  • which also created the illusion that the Soviets  had much more firepower than they really did.

  • The Battle of Moscow was an important victory  for the Soviets and the Allied Forces.  

  • The Germans had expected to easily overrun the  Soviets, and by valiantly repelling the invaders,  

  • the Soviets forced the Germans into the impossible  position of having to fight a war on two fronts,  

  • which turned the tide of the entire  war - though there would be many more  

  • months and years of bloodshed before  total Allied victory could be claimed.

  • As important as his work on the mortar unit wasSidorenko couldn't help but become a bit bored by  

  • the monotony of assembling, disassemblingloading and reloading the heavy guns,  

  • and by the relative safety of his position behind  the lines providing cover for infantrymen. So,  

  • the intrepid soldier took matters into his  own hands. It started with a late-night  

  • stroll to clear his head during lulls in the  action, but it quickly morphed into something  

  • else entirely. As he prowled around in the dark  behind the Soviet lines looking out at the enemy  

  • across the battlefield, Sidorenko decided  that he wasn't content with hurling heavy  

  • artillery at the Germans by day - he wanted  to spend his nights killing Germans, too.

  • That fateful night during the Battle of MoscowSidorenko grabbed his rifle and slipped away from  

  • camp. He moved stealthily through the dark until  he found a spot with good cover and a clear view  

  • of the enemy, and he lay down to hide and waitAfter a while, his patience paid off and he  

  • found his first target - a foolish German soldier  taking a smoke break on the front lines. Sidorenko  

  • carefully aimed his rifle, took a deep breath, and  fired his shot with deadly accuracy - he saw the  

  • light from the German's cigarette disappear  and knew he had made his first solo kill.

  • Before long, these late-night walks would  become a nightly ritual, and after spending  

  • his days firing mortar alongside his comradeshe would spend his nights alone in the dark,  

  • perfecting his aim at great distances, learning  to be invisible to the enemy, and killing  

  • Germans one by one. As his kill count climbed, his  Commanders took notice. Impressed with his skills,  

  • they pulled him off of the mortar crew and set  him to sniping full-time. He had received no  

  • formal training for this dangerous role, and was  using the same Russian-made Mosin-Nagant rifle  

  • with a 5-round magazine holding the same .62  x 54R rounds used by infantrymen on the front  

  • lines - the only improvement was the addition  of a telescopic sight that improved the rifle's  

  • accuracy from 550 yards to 875 yardsStill, his numbers rose steadily higher,  

  • and the self-taught sniper was eventually tasked  with training others to follow in his footsteps.

  • Sniper trainees were hand-selected by  commanders for their proficiency with  

  • and knowledge of their firearmsand for their excellent eyesight.  

  • Sidorenko felt that the best way for  new snipers to learn was the same way  

  • he did - through experience - and so new  trainees were thrown right into the fray,  

  • joining Sidorenko on his night-time prowls  through the war zone to learn the art of sniping.

  • A typical trainee's first night out with Sidorenko  would be a harrowing experience, to say the least.  

  • They would learn to identify good positions and  move stealthily by following their mentor through  

  • the battlefield, scrambling from crater  to crater, taking cover where they could,  

  • knowing all the while that one wrong move could  get them both killed. They would gain experience  

  • sighting targets and shooting from great distances  by following their teacher's silent lead. And,  

  • they would learn to kill only by taking great  risk under the imminent threat of death.  

  • They knew they would have only one  chance to prove themselves to Sidorenko,  

  • who expected his trainees to live up  to hisOne shot, one killmotto,  

  • or else risk being sent back to the  infantry - if they survived long enough.

  • During one training mission, Sidorenko  demonstrated his marksmanship and  

  • bravery with a daring stunt. As he and  a trainee crouched in their hiding spot,  

  • Sidorenko loaded his rifle with special  explosive rounds. When his target was in sight,  

  • he calmly took aim and fired 4 times in rapid  succession, blowing up a German tanker truck  

  • and three military tractors, stalling their  advance and cutting off their supply lines.  

  • It was a major blow to the Germans, and  it all came at the hands of a single man.

  • Sidorenko's actions did not go unnoticedand he rose steadily through the ranks,  

  • eventually becoming the Executive Officer of  the 1122nd Infantry Regiment. Throughout the  

  • war he trained more than 250 deadly snipers in  his covert, hands-on style. His snipers were so  

  • deadly that the Germans flooded the area with  snipers of their own to counter the Soviets,  

  • but to little effect - Sidorenko's  snipers were just too good - calm,  

  • patient, stealthy and deadly accuratethey continued to plague the German lines.

  • Sidorenko himself continued to rack up kills on  the Baltic front until 1944, though not without  

  • risk. He sustained countless injuries during the  war until finally, after a particularly close call  

  • that landed him in the hospital for monthshe was deemed too valuable to the Soviet war  

  • effort to lose and was pulled from the  front lines. He would spend the rest of  

  • the war at Red Army headquarters, training  a new generation of feared Soviet snipers.

  • After the war ended, Sidorenko retired from the  Army with the rank of Major and was awarded the  

  • prestigious title of Hero of the Soviet Union  in 1944. The revered sniper and war hero lived  

  • out the rest of his days in relative obscurityworking as a foreman in a coal mine and living  

  • a quiet, modest life until his death in 1994. He  was credited with 500 solo kills during the war,  

  • making him the best Soviet sniper on record, and  second in the world only to the famed White Death,  

  • Finnish sniper Simo Haya, who had 542  confirmed kills. Historians continue  

  • to debate the accuracy of Sidorenko's kill  count - not only did the Soviet military rely  

  • on snipers working alone to self-report their  kills, but a culture of reverence for snipers,  

  • dubbed theSoviet cult of the sniper”, created  a tendency to inflate numbers. Nevertheless,  

  • he was an effective sniper and a gifted trainermaking him a valuable asset to the Red Army.

  • Ivan Sidorenko lived by theOne shotone killethos, making him a deadly  

  • killing machine and an invaluable part of  the Soviet war effort during World War 2.  

  • Though his first love was art, his  true talent was in the art of killing,  

  • and he more than earned his reputation as  the Soviet sniper with 500 confirmed kills.

  • If you thought this video was fascinating, be  sure and check out our other videos, like this  

  • one calledWhy Soviet Russia Invented Clear  Coca Cola”, or you might like this other video.

In the eerie calm between battles  on World War 2's Eastern Front,  

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B2 soviet sniper war mortar rifle deadly

The Most Deadly Soviet Sniper

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/06
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