Snipers are often referred to as the ultimate killing machines. During W.W.II the Finnish sniper Simo Hayna, had a confirmed total of 500+ kills. Although he is unheard of now a days except in the sniper circles, his total certainly shows the power that a sniper can deal out to his enemy.
    The Germans soon became aware of this power on the Russian front as many of their soldiers became targets. At first the sniper was taught to be a lone wolf, traveling solo. He was a master of cover and concealment and moved with stealth. As the war progressed the Germans took on the Russians example of having the snipers travel in pairs. One acting as an observer and close protection in case the sniper was spotted. The above picture is an example of that. The Germans were the first army to set up a sniper school and by wars end there were over 30.
    As a sniper in the "Aufklarung" you'll have the choice to travel alone or in pairs. Examples of up to 6 snipers can be seen on some fronts when defending important locations. You will be part of assigned missions and go through the steps of planning your movements, and firing positions.

   Mission Planning                                         
   Defense Tactics
   Aufklarung Tips
   Player Badges
   Aufklarung Sniper Table

    When choosing a weapon carefully define your needs, always trying to keep simplicity and reliability in mind. Once you've done this train realistically with the weapon. Learn how to use it in the widest variety of conditions. Shown above are the Moisin-Nagant sniper rifles of the Russian and Finnish armies. These were preferred in the first few years of the war, since they had better accuracy at longer ranges. The German Mauser 98K which was the standard issue weapon of the army had a sniper conversion. Historical figures of scopes being ordered by the army proves they thought the sniper was a valuable asset. The Gewehr 41 was preferred by observers as they were automatic. It wasn't until 1943 that the Germans had a comparable rifle for the snipers in the Gewehr 43. Your choice will of course be restricted by what the "Rats" have available.

    Cover is anything around you that aids in protecting you from enemy fire. Things such as walls, debris, trees, gullies, and logs are all types of cover. Snipers should always look for and take advantage of cover that is provided in the area. This habit combined with proper movement techniques will give you an advantage on the battle field. Also be aware that obvious cover, such as the "only" log in an open field will be suspect as a hiding place, so use your wits.

    Concealment is really the act of becoming invisible to the enemy. The easiest way in game terms to effectively use concealment comes in the way of character stance. Crouching, kneeling and prone are all positions that help to conceal you. At 300 meters away (optimum firing range) a man standing is a lot easier to see then one who is lying prone. And if the man standing started to wave his arms, well you see my point. Movement and concealment go hand in hand. The best way to move and stay as concealed as possible is by crawling. Snipers tend to measure their movements in feet and inches as opposed to yards and miles. Shadows can also help to conceal your better. The darkness around you helps to break up your silhouette. Try and use all the concealment that is possible to the situation while still remaining calm and relaxed.

    Planning is the first step to becoming successful on the battlefield. After reviewing a mission's objectives, the next step is to start planning your tentative position. Review any material the Aufklarung has posted in "Gathered Intelligence" such as Ariel recon photos of terrain, concentrated enemy areas, Axis group contacts familiar with the location, etc.
    Once a position has been chosen, you'll need to look at routes of travel. Choose which of you will be the observer and which is the sniper, if working in teams. The Aufklarung vehicles will only be able to protect you so far. You'll need to look at things such as terrain providing good cover to move through, like woods and low hills.  As well as being aware of bad terrain such as swamps and rivers. You'll want to avoid enemy strong points as well as generally populated areas. Try and stay off roads and train rail lines as they allow little in the way of cover. Choose rally points to be used within your travel incase you become separated from your partner. When traveling with a partner stay aprox. 20 meters away from each other with the observer in the lead at all times.
    Once you reached the desired location, conduct an extensive search of the immediate area. Make sure the area has good cover and good movement routes for escape. Chose your fields of fire and establish an observation system with your partner. Once your comfortable with the area, the only thing left is to sit and wait for your target. Be patient! Snipers have been recorded to stay for long periods of time just to get that one shot off.

  Defense Tactics:
       What happens if your moving and you think you've been spotted?
    The first thing to do is Freeze in place. There's a good chance you haven't been seen. But, if the enemy still appears to be trying to locate you get prone as slowly as possible. This means going from a standing position to a bent, to a crouch, then a kneel to finally a prone position. Remember, quick reactions attracts more attention then slow movement. Practice with your partner until you become familiar and comfortable with the motions.
       What happens if we've surely been spotted?
    Immediate reactions will pay off and keep you alive. The observer fires as rapidly towards the enemy as possible. The sniper then tosses a smoke grenade between them and the enemy. The sniper quickly uses well aimed shots at the most threatening target, hence a solder shooting as opposed to an officer sitting in a jeep . When the smoke blocks enough area in front of you that it has become cover, the observer then lobs an incendiary grenade between you and the enemy. The team immediately moves out using as much cover as possible.
    If you become pinned down, call for support if a radio is available. The enemy will most likely be doing the same, if you've leveled them. If not try and use any means necessary to escape as safely as possible.


Just a few tips that may one day save you and your partners lives...
   Always assume the enemy is observing you.
   When traveling be aware of your silhouette and the skyline. If you walk over hills you'll be seen even from long distances.
   Be aware of your backdrop you may have good cover but be in front of a building. The building will help the enemy see you easier as it enhances your silhouette.
   Don't fire from an immediate tree line. Stay within the trees, preferably in the shadows and fire outwards.
   Practice listening to the sounds of enemy movements. And familiarize yourself with the enemy shapes and outlines.


    Three badges have been added for the snipers in the Aufklarung Unit. These unit awards will be placed on your player sheet as soon as you earn them.

100 Kills
50 Kills
200 Kills
Sniper Cuff

  Sniper Table
Top German Snipers
Erwin Konig
Matthias Hetzenauer
Heinz Thorwald
Sepp Allerberger
Helmut Wirnsberger
Aufkl. Abt. Snipers
Player totals will be tallied weekly.

Interesting note
Waffen SS snipers would receive
a wristwatch after getting 50 kills,
a hunting rifle at 100,
and a private hunting trip with Himmler at 150.
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