Washington later became the first President of the United States, turning down the offer to become King of the Colonies. A man of less caliber may have chosen to become king instead. Obviously the course of history would have been very different had Ferguson taken a successful shot.
Sniping began to shape into a useful tool, early in American history. In The United States during the Civil War, Hiram Berdan (North) and Robert E. Lee (South) were the first in history to set up designated sharpshooter units. Although tactics and deployment of theses specialized units had not been perfected, both of theses great military leaders saw an opportunity for a different type of warfare. It wasn't until World War I that the term "sniper" was coined by the Germans, and the duties of the sniper became more specialized. The Germans got the word snipe refers to a type of bird which is extreamly difficult for hunters to sneak up on. The first Allied sniper school was started by Hisketh Pritchard who trained both British and American snipers for the First World War. This training would revolutionize the style of sniping for years to come.
Vasily Zaitsev could easily have been considered one of the best snipers during the Second World War. However his actual existence is quite controversial, because his stories seemed so elaborate and impossible meaning he may have been Soviet nothing more than propaganda to scare the Germans and raise morale of the Soviets on the battle fields. In either case, the stories of Vasily Zaitsev say that he was a Soviet sniper who demoralized German troops with his skills during the 1942 Battle of Stalingrad. He is credited with killing 242 German soldiers during the Stalingrad siege and 400 by the end of the Second World War. Zaitsev's success kept the Nazis from being able to move freely about the city of Stalingrad and establish their dominance. Zaitsev is the hero in the award wining film Enemy at the Gates. View More »