Top 10 Deadliest Snipers in History

10. Chris Kyle – 160 kills

Chris Kyle was a former Navy SEAL who served during the Iraq War and became known as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history. He had 255 claimed kills, out of which 160 were confirmed. He was awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for valor in combat. Kyle’s exploits in Iraq during the height of the war have taken on almost mythic proportions and many of his fellow soldiers regard his actions during his four deployments in Iraq as heroic.On February 2, 2013, Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were shot and killed by Eddie Ray Routh at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Erath County, Texas. Routh was a 25-year-old Marine who had experienced post-traumatic stress disorder. The case attracted national attention due to Kyle’s fame as the author of a bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, published in 2012.

9. Matthäus Hetzenauer – 345 kills

Matthäus Hetzenauer was an Austrian sniper who served in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II.
He served in the 3rd Gebirgsjäger Division on the Eastern Front of World War II and was credited with 345 kills.
His longest confirmed kill was reported at 1,100 meters (1,200 yards).
He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross for his service.
After the war, Hetzenauer was captured by Soviet troops and served five years in a Soviet prison camp.
He was released in 1950 and returned to Austria.
Hetzenauer lived a quiet life and died on October 3, 2004, in his hometown of Brixen im Thale, Austria.

8. Francis Pegahmagabow – 378 kills

Francis Pegahmagabow was a Canadian First Nations soldier, politician, and activist. He was the most highly decorated Indigenous soldier in Canadian military history and the most effective sniper of the First World War.
Three times awarded the Military Medal and seriously wounded, he was an expert marksman and scout, credited with killing 378 Germans and capturing 300 more.
He was born on March 9, 1891, on what is now the Shawanaga First Nation reserve in Nobel, Ontario.
Later in life, he served as chief and a councillor for the Wasauksing First Nation, and as an activist and leader in several First Nations organizations.

7. Ivan Kulbertinov – 417 confirmed kills

Ivan Nikolaevich Kulbertinov was a Soviet sniper who fought in World War II.
He was born on November 7, 1917, in Tyanya, Russian Republic, and died on February 13, 1993, in Tyanya, Sakha, Russian Federation.
Kulbertinov is known for his exceptional skills as a sniper, credited with 487 kills during the war.
He opened his combat account as a sniper on February 27, 1943, in the battle of Old Russian, where he shot the first enemy soldier.
Kulbertinov served in the Red Army from 1942 to 1946. He was a member of the 23rd separate ski battalion and fought on the Eastern Front.
His tally of 487 kills makes him one of the deadliest snipers in history.

6. Fyodor Okhlopkov – 429 confirmed kills

Fyodor Matveyevich Okhlopkov was a Soviet sniper who fought in World War II. He was born on March 3, 1908, in Krest-Khaldzhay, Russian Empire, and died on May 28, 1968, in Yakutsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union.
Okhlopkov is known for his exceptional skills as a sniper, credited with 429 kills during the war. He was an ethnic Yakut and grew up in a peasant family.
Okhlopkov joined the Red Army in 1930 and served in the Far East. He was a member of the 1st Far Eastern Army and fought in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol against Japan in 1939.
During World War II, Okhlopkov served on the Eastern Front and was credited with 429 kills.
He was nominated for the title Hero of the Soviet Union in 1944 after tallying his first 420 sniper kills but was rejected for unclear reasons.
He was belatedly awarded the title in May 1965 over twenty years later to coincide with the anniversary of Victory Day.

5. Fedir Dyachenko – 425 kills

Fedir Trofymovych Dyachenko was a Ukrainian-born Russian Soviet sniper who fought in World War II.
He was born on June 16, 1917, in Velyki Krynky village, Poltava Oblast (present-day Ukraine), and died on August 8, 1995, in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
Dyachenko was one of the most effective snipers in the Red Army during World War II, credited with as many as 583 kills.
He was granted the status of Hero of the Soviet Union in 1944.
Dyachenko retired from the Soviet Army in 1962 with the rank of Major.
He lived in Leningrad, working as a senior engineer at the Kirov Plant. Dyachenko was known for his exceptional skills as a sniper and was one of the deadliest snipers in history.

4. Nikolai Ilyin – 494 confirmed kills

Nikolai Yakovlevich Ilyin, a top Soviet sniper in World War II, is credited with 494 confirmed kills, making him one of history’s deadliest snipers.
Born on June 25, 1922, in Chernukhino, Ukrainian SSR, he died on August 4, 1943, in Yastrebovo, Kursk Oblast, RSFSR, USSR.
Joining the Red Army in 1941, Ilyin quickly earned a reputation for his sniper skills and was promoted to sergeant.
He was killed in action at the age of 21 and posthumously awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest military decoration.
The exact number of Ilyin’s confirmed kills is debated, with estimates ranging from 400 to 542.
Nevertheless, his deadly accuracy as a sniper was a result of his natural marksmanship, keen eye for detail, patience, and effective tactical strategies.

3. Ivan Sidorenko – 500+ kills

Ivan Mikhailovich Sidorenko was a Red Army officer and a Hero of the Soviet Union, who served during World War II.
He was one of the top Soviet snipers in the war, with five hundred confirmed kills.
He was born on September 12, 1919, in Glinkovsky District, Smolensk Oblast, Soviet Russia, and died on February 19, 1994, in Kizlyar, Republic of Dagestan, Russia.
He was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest military honor in the Soviet Union, for his service.
In 1939, he dropped out of college and was conscripted into the Red Army for training at the Simferopol Military Infantry School in the Crimean Peninsula.
During the war, Sidorenko became assistant commander of the Headquarters of the 1122nd Rifle Regiment, fighting as part of the 1st Baltic Front.
Though he mainly instructed, he occasionally fought in combat and was credited with 500 confirmed kills.

2. Vasilij Kvachantiradze – 500+ kills

Vasilij Shalvovich Kvachantiradze was a top Soviet sniper during World War II.
He was born on January 2, 1907, in the village of Konchkati, Georgia, which was then part of the Russian Empire.
He briefly served in the Red Army from 1932 to 1933 and became a member of the Communist Party of Georgia in 1939.
During World War II, Kvachantiradze served in the Red Army and was credited with at least 215 confirmed kills.
He killed 44 enemy soldiers during an attempted breakthrough of German troops around Shumilino and is credited with 215 kills in the period from June to December 1944, which brought the total tally at that time to around 436 enemy soldiers and officers.
He died on February 9, 1950, in Kizlyar, Republic of Dagestan, Russia.

1. Simo Häyhä – 505–542 kills

Simo Häyhä, also known as “The White Death,” was a Finnish sniper who gained notoriety during the Winter War of 1939-1940 between Finland and the Soviet Union.
Häyhä is considered one of the deadliest snipers in history, credited with 505 confirmed kills during the conflict.
He was born on December 17, 1905, in Rautjärvi, Finland (then part of the Russian Empire), and died on April 1, 2002, in Hamina, Finland.
Häyhä served as a sniper in the Finnish Army, specifically in the 6th Company of Infantry Regiment 34.
He used a Finnish-produced M/28-30 rifle, a variant of the Mosin-Nagant, and a Suomi KP/-31 submachine gun.
Häyhä’s exceptional marksmanship and stealth allowed him to inflict significant damage on Soviet forces during the Winter War.
Häyhä is celebrated as a hero in Finland and is considered a symbol of Finnish resistance against Soviet aggression.

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