From the American War of Independence to World War II, the history of the military combat marksman is one of indifference and cost cutting. Despite the proven effectiveness of the rifleman in battle, for most of the 20th century snipers were regarded as little more than paid assassins. It was not until the Vietnam War that the undeniable effectiveness of the sniper was fully appreciated by the military, and with the advent of the 21st century, the sniper has become one of the most vital battlefield specialists. Illustrated throughout with colour and black and white photographs, this chronological study of snipers details their evolution, training, weaponry and tactics. It also includes material from the author’s first hand interviews with the veteran snipers whose skills and extraordinary courage have made them the most greatly feared specialists in warfare.