“Snipers at War” is another detailed historical review of the development and use of snipers in combat. What makes this book different from the other books that cover the same topic, is the amount of detail that the author, Mr. John Walter, goes into. There are facts and statistics and little bits of history that are not found in the other books. In fact, there are so many details and historical facts about the development of rifles and other aspects of sniping that the book does drag on at times. The reader can be overwhelmed with the minutia. There is a lot of writing space spent discussing many firearms developments that really do not pertain so much to sniping as they do to combat firearms in general.
The amount of detail is very high for the early firearms development years and the slow incorporation of snipers through the 1800’s and into the first world war. As the book progresses into the later part of the 20th century, the amount of information and details is drastically reduced, which was a little odd since that is when the sniper really came into his own. There is some good information on snipers in World War 2 as well, but very little in Korea and Vietnam and nearly nothing after that, at least in terms of snipers at war. Unfortunately, a number of the little bits of facts about modern sniping that is provided are incorrect. Such as the history of the M40, M24 and sniper use in general, which was sad to see since so much exhaustive work was put into the early developmental years of the firearm. I might even suggest that the book be shortened and ended after the World War 2 portion and then change the title to indicated Snipers at War: An Equipment and Operations History through World War 2.
The book does have a lot more detail and new information than is found in most of the other books about the history of sniping and for that it is valuable. But do be prepared for some very detailed and slow reading at times. If you love those types of detailed bits of history, then this book will certainly be a good one for you.