Historic PDF Books

Major Plaster is providing historic books for you to download and read for free.

Sniping in France This classic account of World War One sniping, published in 1920, was authored by British Major H. Hesketh-Prichard, who had trained and led British snipers in the Great War. This book’s details on sniper selection, training and operations were so authoritative that Soviet Lieutenant General G.E. Morozoff told the New York Times in 1942 that the Red Army’s entire sniping program was based upon it. You will be surprised to see here many familiar sniping terms and concepts — from ghillie suits to simultaneous engagements and stalking — all well-developed nearly a century ago.

Lee’s Sharpshooters I consider this the finest history of Confederate sharpshooting during the American Civil War, authored by a trainer and leader of sharpshooters, Major W. S. Dunlop. Originally published in 1899, it recounts the formal organization of sharpshooter battalions in General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in 1863, with considerable detail about their recruiting, training and tactics.

Scouting and Patrolling This is the British Army’s basic manual for World War One sniper training, the ‘bible’ for its ‘Sniping, Observation and Scouting’ schools. In 1918, the U.S. Army War College reprinted this version to train American snipers who would soon deploy to Europe. At that time, there were two sniper schools in the United States, an Army course at Camp Perry, Ohio, and a Marine school at Quantico, Virginia. You will be surprised to see how little the fundamentals have changed in nearly 100 years.

Suggestions to Military Riflemen Colonel Townsend Whalen quite likely was the U.S. Army’s most knowledgeable small arms expert of the 20th Century. A national-level competitive high power rifle shooter, he won the Army matches in 1903, and went on to coach the Army rifle team. Eventually he commanded Frankford Arsenal, and then headed research and development at Springfield Arsenal. This is an excellent volume, and I heartily recommend it.

Notes on Jungle Warfare Published on 12 November 1942, this is a very rare collection of USMC and U.S. Army Lessons Learned during the fighting on Guadalcanal. These 80 pages contain many tips and observations concerning Japanese snipers, which are sometimes referred to in derisive ways — but that’s a reflection of the historical context.

Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War Numerous first-hand accounts by Afghan tribesman detail ambushes, raids, and attacks on the Red Army – tactics used today by the Taliban against U.S. and NATO forces. 421 pages – an important book!

Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan Translated from Russian military periodicals, this 260-page book contains many lessons-learned, including sweeps, raids, search & destroy ops, counter-ambushes, convoy escorts and attacks on isolated villages.

Kings Mountain and its Heros This is the classic account of American riflemen’s greatest victory of the Revolutionary War. Some 1000 frontier volunteers from Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina surrounded a force of Redcoats and Tories at Kings Mountain and fired their Kentucky Long Rifles with devastating effect –killing 157, wounding 163, and capturing 698.

Twenty-Five Years in the Rifle Brigade: This 1833 book tells the story of the British Army’s 95th Regiment, the “Green Jackets” of Napoleonic War fame. Authored by a Brigade vet, Capt. William Surtees, it recounts their exploits during the Peninsula Campaign, and their bloody day of reckoning at New Orleans, when they faced Gen. Andy Jackson’s American riflemen.

Vietnam Sniping Study – 1967, U.S. Army In 1967, the U.S. Army dispatched a team to Vietnam to learn how and where Army units were conducting sniping operations. This 56-page document is that effort’s final report, and contains much detail about which units were sniping, their effectiveness, sniper armament, and training.  Well worth reading.