from an extremely carefully trained, pre-planned and co-ordinated sniping programme which was SOP in the German Imperial Army, the British who had abandoned the training and usage of snipers took terrible casualties as did the French . The Brits didn't clue in for more than a year, attributing their heavy losses to "stray bullets" a remarkable percentage struck the victims in the forehead or the head generally. I just finished a very good (and short) book about sniping in the Frist World War by Martin Pegler called Sniping in the Great War.
Regrettably the hard cover is no longer in print, and is now sold at a premium. Buy the Kindle version.
The man responsible, in the face of monumental opposition from the "Red Tabs" of the General Staff. (Staff Officers from Captain on up wore Red Collar Tabs to distinguished them from the fighting soldiers) was the gloriously named Hesketh Hesketh-Pritchard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesketh_Hesketh-Prichard who organized the training of snipers and observers and constantly improved the training and the skills taught. He worked himself into an early grave, having been forced to take a lengthy medical leave during the war, as a result of his relentless tireless sleepless pursuit of teaching and proving the worth of sniping. He died in 1922 at age 45 which was early even then, particularly as he was a wealthy sportsman prior to the War. It was he who recruited Scottish Game Keepers (Ghillies) who taught the value of camouflage and the ghillie suit, and also the value of precise and detailed observation and clear recall of details to be passed on following time in the forward trenches or in No Man's Land.
Hesketh-Pritchard's son was a valiant leader in the Second World War, who proposed a raid on a German airfield in France to steal a Junkers 88 night fighter. His code name was Pineapple. To his extreme disappointment, a Ju 88 landed accidentally in Wales having gotten disoriented and having made the classic navigation error of flying on a "reciprocal course" i.e. the exact opposite of the course you wanted to be on. ref. Dr R. V. Jones, Most Secret War. One of the best books on World War 2 and the Technical or Scientific War. Directional Beams, Radar, V weapons and much more.
Reasonably well covered too are the Canadian Native and Metis snipers who occuppied 4 or 5 of the top 10 sniping scores for al Allied forces in the Great War. Peggy Peghamabow, Henry Nor-West, or North West, and Johnson Paudash were 3, another was named Riel. What the book doesn't make clear was that the vast majority of the Native Canadian sniper's shots were aimed over iron sites using the Ross Rifle, the Canadian weapon, which had proved such a disaster in the trenches in early 1915 not because it was a poor rifle, but because it was made to exacting tolerances unsuitable to the bulk made British ammunition which was so variable in its dimensions that sometimes the cartridge case expanded upon shooting, and swelled in the breech refusing to eject. The Canadians who retained the Ross spent a great deal of time hand selecting each and every cartridge using hand made guages to ensure that they would operate properly. The discards were then loaded into machine gun belts, because the Vickers 1902 would fire anything, including even German rounds. There is a rumour that a full Vickers belt was 9 yards long, hence the phrase "The whole Nine Yards". That seems incorrect to me. I believe that the standard belt was less than 5 yards. There is also a reference to the full load of ammunition for various WW2 American aircraft as totalling 9 yards, and that firing all the ammunition on a single target (usually in 2 and 3 second bursts) was referred to as "giving him the whole 9 yards".
Then again, a properly made kilt back in the early 20th Century required 9 yards or more of fabric, and a cheap kilt
tried to get away with less fabric by making the pleats insufficiently deep leaving it looking cheap and ill-made..
On a similar note to the "one shot eliminates 6". Early in WW2 a Territorial Army Anti Aircraft unit (think National Gurard) took a "sighting shot' at a group of 3 Dornier 17 bombers over southern England, then carefully aimed the next shot. There was a bright flash, and all three a/c disappeared. Debris from at least 2 aircraft was found where the bits had rained down nearby. It is thought that the second shot hit the bombs of the central bomber, and the explosion destroyed all 3 bombers. Possibly the best shot of the war.
An unnamed British sniper upgraded the sniper's motto, "one shot, one kill", in an effort to save the ammo that Her Majesty's government had so thoughtfully provided him.
The new motto: "One shot, SIX kills."
"The guy was wearing a vest. He was identified by the sniper moving down a tree line and coming up over a ditch," said Lt Col Slack. "He had a shawl on. It rose up and the sniper saw he had a machine gun.
"They were in contact and he was moving to a firing position. The sniper engaged him and the guy exploded. There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said, 'I think I've just shot a suicide bomber'. The rest of them were killed in the blast."
Another bomb vest was found nearby.