Major Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard was an explorer and adventurer who revolutionized the training of British Army snipers during the First World War. In this richly-detailed book, he explains his constant efforts to improve sniping standards, which finally resulted in the First Army School of Scouting, Observation and Sniping. Drawing on his experience as a big-game hunter and marksman, he emphasized the importance of camouflage, careful observation, the ability to shoot quickly and accurately, and above all the necessity of out-thinking the opponent – for as he noted, sniping in the trenches was “really neither more nor less than a very high-class form of big game shooting, in which the quarry shot back.” The book includes many anecdotes of his times on the front lines, the various ruses and counter-ruses employed by the snipers on both sides, and his musings on the responsibilities of the sniper in future wars – in which he accurately predicts the role of the scout-sniper teams of today. Detailed appendices reproduce the early curriculum of his sniper school. A contemporary estimated that Hesketh-Prichard’s training saved the lives of over 3,500 Allied soldiers: this book explains how he did it.
Table of Contents:
• I. The Genesis of Sniping
• II. The Sniper in the Trenches
• III. Early Days with the XI Corps and First Army
• IV. The First Army School of Scouting, Observation and Sniping
• V. Some Sniping Memories
• VI. An Observer’s Memories
• VII. The Curriculum and Work at First Army School of S.O.S.
• VIII. Wilibald the Hun
• IX. The Cat
• X. The Training of the Portuguese
• XI. The Modern Scout
• Appendix A. Programme for Training Observers.
• Appendix B. General Course at First Army School of S.O.S.
• Appendix C. Care of Arms, Grouping and Range Practices