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Soviet Snipers & Red Army Commissars' Propaganda of Sniperism
Soviet Sniperism
Red Army Snipers on East Front
© 2008
133 pages; 10 chapters and 2 appendixes
Soviet Sniperism describes the training and employment of soviet snipers in World War
2, on the Eastern Front. What was learned by
soviet snipers then continued to
influence the Red Army
right up to the late 1990s. What makes Soviet Sniperism
unique is the fact that besides offering the reader useful and interesting information about
soviet sniping, the book also
addresses Sniperism.
Sniperism is a term that refers to the Soviet NKVD’s commissars’ propaganda device
that was invented in 1942, during the battle of Stalingrad.
Red commissars created
Sniperism as a propaganda device
to inspire and motivate the poor, fearful Red Army
infantry
that was dying in the hundreds of thousands. The commissars had already
standardized two other methods (see QuikManeuvers’ book
Commissars) to keep the
terrified Red Army soldier fighting
: 1) They harangued them ceaselessly with hate
propaganda against the Germans, and 2) they kept them drunk on vodka. Those two
methods worked most of the time, but
Sniperism was icing on the cake. To create the
myth of the super soviet sniper, communist commissars, along with General
Chuikov, began to disseminate
repetitious stories glorifying the achievements of
soviet snipers
. Many of the soviet snipers paraded as heroes, who had killed
hundreds of Germans, were complete frauds. It is true that
some soviet snipers killed
20, 30, maybe as many as 80 German soldiers, but the
soviet commissars claimed that
there were dozens of male and female snipers that killed hundreds upon hundreds of
German soldiers. They were lying. Yet, the
lie of Sniperism prevailed, and even in
2006, most of the non-fiction and fiction books written (including the movie "
Enemy at the
Gates
") promulgate the false myths of Sniperism.
Review Table of Contents
"The employment of Soviet snipers in World War II reflected an earlier peace-time propaganda campaign. During the first
five-year plan, Soviet workers who exceeded their production quotas were designated as "shock workers" [udarniki] and
given special incentives and awards. In 1935 Alexis Stakhanov exceeded his quota for digging coal in the Donetz basin
by some 1400 percent. The shock worker campaign propagandists latched on to his achievement, and soon the shock
workers became known as Stakhanovites. The Stakhanov campaign was ill conceived however.
Soviet factories were kept in competition with one another and the success of the factory Stakhanovite was important to
factory managers and their careers. Therefore, the entire resources of the factory backed the efforts of the Stakhanovite.
As the Stakhanovite exceeded his quota, the quotas for all the rest of the workers were raised. In the meantime, the
resources that were backing the Stakhanovite were unavailable to the average worker, who now had to accomplish more
with less.
This uniquely Soviet approach was transferred to the war effort in 1942. Red Army propagandists and political officers
began the "sniper movement" or sniperism. Soviet riflemen were encouraged to participate in a macabre competition as
“snipers” by killing more anti-communists than the snipers in neighboring divisions. Forty kills netted a "For Bravery"
medal and the title "noble sniper."
Socialist competition thus extended to the battlefield where division commanders lavished scarce resources on their
snipers in order to exceed quotas. The average soldiers were exhorted to follow the example of the snipers and to kill
more anti-communists using fewer resources.
The sniperism propaganda campaign which has gone on from 1942 through 2008 (66 years) and has been from its onset
a barrage of lies and racial exaggerations directed towards falsely elevating Slavic snipers as superior snipers over the
“racially inferior Germans.” "
Excerpt from Soviet Sniperism
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Red Army Soviet Snipers and Commissars' Propaganda of Sniperism