"Cuckoo" - the slang name for military personnel - snipers and machine gunners, during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. , possibly using masked positions on trees.
The Chaco War (1932 - 1935)
During the war between Paraguay and Bolivia, there were cases of equipment on the trees firing positions for machine guns  .
Firing from positions on trees was noted in the final period of the Italian-Ethiopian war of 1935-1936. during the attack of Italian troops in the valley of the Fafan River. Launched on the morning of April 24, 1936 along the eastern bank of the river, the Italian infantry units commanded by Colonel Maletti engaged in battle with the Abyssinians, whose infantry took up defensive positions in the thicket on uncomfortable for the Italians to advance cross-country terrain. While the main part of the Abyssinian soldiers fired from the bushes, well-trained and disciplined arrow-snipers fired at the advancing Italian units from positions equipped on tall trees (which allowed the Abyssinians to view and shoot through the battle formations of the Italian units in depth). In order to knock out the Abyssinians from their positions, Italian officers were forced to use artillery and attract 40 aircraft to support the troops, but the battle continued until the evening and the Italian units suffered significant losses. The 6th native battalion suffered the heaviest losses in the battle, which lost 40% of its personnel. The effectiveness of the applied tactics was noted by foreign military experts  , including in the USSR - in March 1939 an article was published in the Military Bulletin of the USSR People's Commissariat of Defense clarifying certain provisions of the 1936 Red Army field manual when conducting combat operations in wooded and swampy the area in which the prescription for military personnel was contained: to pay attention to the possibility of using trees for observation and firing by the enemy 
Cuckoo snipers in the Finnish War of 1939-1940
The term “cuckoo” is often found in the book “Fights in Finland. Memories of the participants ”, published in the USSR in 1941, in which the“ cuckoo ”was most often described precisely as a sniper leading shooting from a tree  .
Mentions of Finnish snipers “cuckoos” are quite often found in memoirs and memoirs of participants in the Finnish war from the Soviet side, as well as in the Soviet press. They are mentioned, in particular, General E. F. Ivanovsky (during the Finnish War, a former lieutenant, tank commander)  , Marshal K. A. Meretskov (during the Finnish War - commander of the 2nd rank, commander of the 7th Army )  , Marshal N. N. Voronov .
This is how Deputy Political Advisor G. Shchuklin described his combat experience:
I looked up, but did not notice anyone. The snow tightly encircled the tops of the trees, and the shooting was heard everywhere, and it was not possible to quickly determine where they were beating from.
Suddenly I saw Junior Lieutenant Kolosov crawling up to a tree. Wounded, he continued to shoot a pistol up. Having rushed to him, I noticed on a branch a Schutzkorow man shooting from a machine gun. It was with him that Junior Lieutenant Kolosov fought.
I quickly aimed and pressed the trigger. Schutzkorovets dropped the machine gun and hung on the bitch.
Immediately began to shoot at me. I crawled back and crouched behind a fallen tree. From here I noticed the second “cuckoo”. On a tall pine tree , almost at the labaza, a Schückcorer in a gray jacket stood upright. He stood on the bridge of the boards and fired from a light machine gun. I hit him with the first shot, and he stretched out on his boards, dropping one leg, just wanted to jump off the ground. .
Archival documents confirmed at least one case of the destruction of the Finnish sniper "cuckoo":
- On January 3, 1940, the soldiers of the 1st company of the 1st battalion of the 4th frontier regiment destroyed a Finnish sniper who was on a tree 
In practice, snipers did take part in the war from the Finnish side. One of the most successful is Simo Hyaha . But climbing on the trees is neither mentioned by him, nor by his historiography  , nor by Finnish historians, although the sniper tactics are described in sufficient detail  .
In March 1940, at the March Plenum of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), Commissar of Defense of the USSR K. Ye. Voroshilov, in his report on the results of the war with Finland, mentioned that during the war " Red Army newspapers of units and units wrote too much about the Finnish cuckoos "And their actions 
As modern sources point out, Finnish soldiers used shooting from trees “ much less often than Red Army imagined ... This method of conducting single warfare almost left no chance for a soldier sitting on a tree to retreat, and even a slight wound could lead to a fatal fall ”  .
There is an opinion that the legend about snipers on trees appeared in conditions when an echo of a hidden sniper's shot, repeatedly reflected from trees in a forest, disoriented the survivors.
Also, it is believed that at least some of the references to the “cuckoo” arrows refer to observation posts equipped with trees. During the Finnish War, such observation posts (in the form of a platform) were equipped by Finnish border guards, observers and artillery spotters. They were used in the future.
- Thus, in August 1941, during the defense of Tallinn, an observation point in the pine crown, on which an artillery spotter was stationed with a field telephone, was equipped by the Red Banner Baltic Fleet seamen 
- In February 1943, an observation point in the pine crown, which appeared between the first and second line of the Soviet trenches (the platform on which was an artillery spotter with binoculars and a field telephone) was equipped and used in the defense section of the company station. Lieutenant F. Grebenkin of the 54th Army Major Kharitonov Rifle Regiment 
- in March 1943, a sniper of the 314th Infantry Division of the Red Army stationed in ambush on the front line, st. sergeantAT Korolev discovered and shot down a German soldier sitting on a tree, who was killed was a spotter of artillery and mortar fire 
- Later, before the start of the battle on the Kursk Bulge, during a search in the near rear of the enemy, the Soviet reconnaissance group GF Egorova discovered a platform equipped on a tree, on which was a German soldier with a machine gun and a field telephone. The German was captured and taken to the location of the Soviet troops. During the interrogation, it was established that he was an artillery spotter  .
Nevertheless, at least some cases of shooting from trees are known from history.
In addition, shooting from a position equipped on a tree (a platform or an "sit down") is used by hunters.
Cuckoo snipers in other wars and armed conflicts
- at dawn on June 22, 1941 the junior commander of the 15th frontier post A. A. Novikov single-handedly tore off two attempts to cross the German infantry across the Bug River near the Dubits railway station south of Brest. He took a position on the oak, waited until the inflatable boats with the Germans reached the middle of the river and opened fire with a Degtyarev light machine gun . The reciprocal rifle-machine-gun and mortar shelling from the west bank was inconclusive (the Germans were unable to locate the machine gunner and fired not a tree, but coastal thickets) and after it ended Novikov tore off a second crossing attempt with fire. Germans lost up to 70 people killed and drowned before Novikov was discovered by German soldiers crossing the river in another area, mortally wounded and taken to the western bank of the Bug (died and buried in Byalo-Podlaska of the Lublin province)  .
- On July 8, 1941, near the village of Zaozerye (BSSR), the offensive of the 3rd company of the Der Führer regiment of the 2nd SS Panzer Division was stopped by the defensive Soviet units, while in addition to the shooters from the trenches line, Soviet snipers fired at German soldiers dense crowns of trees at the edge of the forest. The offensive of the regiment was continued only after the positions on the outskirts of the forest were destroyed as a result of shelling from all the heavy weapons and artillery at the disposal of the Germans  .
- there is a mention that during the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet sniper Vodopyanov shot a German officer and several soldiers in the village they occupied, firing from a position on spruce . Since the first shots were fired during the skirmish on the front line, he was not noticed by the enemy, but later, the Germans stopped moving along the section of fire and installed signs “attention, sniper!”  .
- On September 9, 1941, on the third day of the battles for the island of Rahmansaari , when the remnants of the Soviet garrison had almost exhausted the ammunition, one of the Finnish soldiers climbed a tree and began shooting from the tree at a group of defended Soviet marines. One of the shots of the "cuckoo" was killed by the commissar of the battalion of the 4th Marine Brigade , the regimental commissar P. I. Bondarenko  .
- On March 23, 1942, during a defensive battle in the Yelinsky forest, several partisans of the detachment of A.F. Fedorov climbed up pines and spruces and successfully fired upon the advancing Germans from the trees (while the rest of the partisans fired from the ground)  .
- According to the memoirs of the Great Patriotic War veteran, corporal of reconnaissance platoon of the 70th naval rifle brigade V.V. Anisimov, in April 1942, during defensive battles on the Svir River, they shot a Finnish sniper on a tree, and a few days later on the same another Finnish soldier fell from a tree during an artillery bombardment of Finnish positions from a tree, and he was apparently hooked by shrapnel. However, the second killed could be an observer  .
- According to the memoirs of a veteran of the 133rd separate rifle brigade N. B. Ivushkina , on August 4, 1942, during a battle in a forest area east of Novo-Ramushevo, near the southwestern edge of the swamp of Suchan, several German snipers were equipped who equipped the positions on the trees (since reached the knees, it was impossible) 
- in the fall of 1942, in the defensive battles for the North Caucasus, Soviet troops equipped and used positions on trees for snipers and machine gunners 
- At the beginning of November 1942, in preparation for the battle with the SS, partisans from the squad Joze Sobieska (“ Max ”) equipped carefully camouflaged positions on trees for 12 partisans-machine gunners. At the moment when the marching column of the SS soldiers moving along the road was under the trees, the “cuckoos” opened fire on the column of trees, and the rest of the partisans opened fire from ambush. The cuckoo machine gunners caused confusion to the enemy (almost immediately they killed 20 SS men), as a result the SS men suffered significant losses and retreated (nevertheless, two partisans “cuckoos” died in a firefight with the recollected enemy). On the battlefield, the partisans collected 2 light machine guns, 13 machine guns and 35 rifles  .
- German sniper who equipped the position on a cedar by the mountain road past the mountain Sab at the ridge Karabet on the territory of the occupied Kuban and who shot several partisan messengers, were noticed and shot by the partisans brothers E. P. and G. P. Ignatov from the Bati squadron ( P. P. Ignatov ) - at the moment when the German tried to shoot at one of the brothers (who was ahead and examined the ground in order to detect signs of mining the trail). The second brother, who was walking in the distance behind, noticed in time the movement of the branches on the old cedar and the rifle with an optical sight that appeared between them  .
- In January 1943, during battles in New Guinea, units of the 163rd Regiment of the 41st Infantry Division of the United States encountered Japanese snipers who fired from the ground and from the trees. To fight the enemy in one of the battalions of the 163rd regiment, in addition to disguised sniper ambushes in the front line of defense, sniper positions were set up on the trees in the flanks and in the rear of their own troops  .
- March 8, 1943, during the fighting to eliminate the German bridgehead on the left bank of the Seversky Donets River in the Svetlichnoye sanatorium, the promotion of one of the units of the 5th Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Red Army was stopped by the fire of a German sniper team that took up positions on the edge of the forest. Aimed at the elimination of snipers platoon of machine gunners under the command of ml. Lieutenant N. A. Chekalin secretly went to the rear of the enemy positions, after which he found and destroyed three snipers, one of whom was firing from a position on the tree 
- In 1943, before the start of the battle on the Kursk Bulge, an army reconnaissance officer, G. F. Yegorov, attempted to shoot a German officer with a sniper rifle from a position on a tree. Since the tree was immediately fired from small arms, he did not have time to evaluate the results of the shot - because he was forced to immediately jump from the tree and hide in a trench. A minute later, the Germans fired ten artillery mines on a tree on which the position was equipped. 
- in August 1943, during a battle for the village of Gnezdilovo, at an altitude of 233.3, the sniper of the 22nd Guards Rifle Division, Lieutenant Ivan Kulakov, shot a German sniper who equipped a position in the crown of a stony birch , the top of which was knocked down by a projectile and hung, entangled between boughs (" a hut formed in which one could easily hide ”). Since the German sniper fired at the same time, when a German machine gun was fired from a fortified position, they could not find him for a long time, as a result, two attacks of a Soviet rifle company attacking a village were broken  .
- Ober-Lieutenant V. Gerlach of the Wehrmacht 654th Eastern Battalion mentions in his memoirs that in the second half of 1944, in one of the fighting in France, he and his subordinates clashed with French partisans- " maki ", who fired from trees [29 ] .
- On July 9, 1944, in Normandy, a German sniper who was on a tree opened fire on the servicemen of the repair team of the combat group "A" of the 3rd Armored Division of the US Army. The sniper forced the repairmen to lay low, but was then destroyed in a line of a 12.7-mm machine gun of a half-track armored vehicle 
- On the night of July 27-28, 1944, before Soviet troops attacked Brest, several Soviet snipers from the Hero Group of the Soviet Union I.D. Pavlenko set up positions in attics and trees, from which several German machine gunners were destroyed on the opposite bank of the Bug and calculations two guns  .
- In September 1944, during the battles in the territory of Latvia, during the retreat, the Germans repeatedly left single snipers in disguised positions along forest roads - they missed the advancing units and large subunits and started shooting at single vehicles, connected men and commanders (" when the Nazis left, they left trees and in other places of well-disguised snipers ... the solution is not only daring, but also insidious. If the area has already passed a cleansing squall of war, then the person moves there less carefully than on the front line - t lko occasionally glancing at his feet, so as not to run against mine, and in general, vigilance is blunted. This also enjoyed "foundlings" "). One of these snipers, equipped with a position on an oak tree , was discovered and shot by Soviet intelligence officers at the time when he opened fire on another group of Soviet soldiers 
- On April 15, 1945, Jan Zyzha, an ordinary 26th infantry regiment of the 9th Infantry Division of the 2nd Army of the Polish Army , was shot dead by a German sniper on a frontline near the city of Rothenburg . After the first shot, the sniper was discovered and destroyed by fire from an anti-tank gun  .
- In April 1945, during a war in Czechoslovakia, a German sniper who took up a position on a tree and shot an intelligence officer of the 28th Mountain Rifle Division of the Turkestan was discovered and shot by a graduate of the Central Female School of Sniper Training T. M. Varfolomeeva . After the circumstances of the death of the German sniper were confirmed by the testimony of prisoners, TM Varfolomeeva was awarded the medal "For Military Merit" 
- In August 1945, in the battle for Manchuria , the Soviet soldiers repeatedly met with Japanese soldiers shooting from trees  (at the same time, in order not to fall, the Japanese tied themselves to the tree trunk with a rope) 
- in the fall of 1966, Bulgarian border guards found and destroyed a border intruder armed with a gun at the territory of Bulgaria, who noticed a border guard who was following in his footsteps and ambushed border guards, climbing an oak tree and preparing a position for shooting through the tree crown. The intruder managed to make two single shots, unnoticed (foliage and branches scattered powder gases and partially silenced the sounds of gunfire, making it difficult to detect the shooting place), but after a long line was detected by flashes of muzzle flames and shot  .
- in 1978, the FSLN guerrillas from the Álvaro Carrera squad discovered and shot the sniper of the National Guard on a tree 
- several cases of shooting from trees were noted during the fighting in Chechnya in November 1999  .
- White tights
- Cuckoo (film)
- "The fireplaces are positioned in such a way as to shoot through roads (cuts) with longitudinal fire. In addition, all open spaces (glades) and forest outlets that can be used by the enemy should be under fire. In some cases, it is advisable to arrange machine gun nests on During the war in Gran Chaco, such "air" machine-gun nests "chapapas" enjoyed great success, as in the dense forest they were barely noticeable, and the machine-gunners had excellent observation and shelling ahead and lying open area "
L. Fedorenko. Features fighting cavalry in the mountains, steppes and forests. M., 1936. pp. 19-120
- Colonel Xylander. The end of the Italo-Abyssinian war (translated from German) // "Military Alien", No. 6 (23), June 1936. pp.94-99
- " For monitoring and firing over heads, comfortable trees are used ... It is necessary to pay attention to whether there are marks on the trees left by the enemy, to examine the dense crowns of trees in which the reconnaissance or snipers of the enemy can hide "
Features of the fighting in the woodland-marshland // "Military Gazette", № 3, March 1939. p.47-55
- I. Kulipin. Meeting with the "cuckoos" // Fighting in Finland. Memories of the participants. M .: Voenizdat NKO USSR, 1941
- “ I’m not talking about the cuckoo snipers sitting on the trees and shooting from there - the enemy was looking for the most sophisticated ways to cause us damage ”
E. F. Ivanovsky. The attack began tankers. M .: Voenizdat , 1984. p. 13
- Meretskov KA. In the service of the people - Moscow: Politizdat , 1968
- USSR Border Troops 1939 - June 1941 / Sat. documents and materials, ch. ed. P.I. Zyryanov. M., " Science ", 1970. p.89
- Robert Brantberg, Suuret suomalaiset sotasankarit. - Tampere: Revontuli, 2007. - 250 p. ISBN 9525170748 (Fin.)
- Robert Bruntberg: Tarkka-ampujan joululahja , 2004 (fin.)
- History of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941-1945 (in six volumes). / redkoll., PN Pospelov and others. Volume 1. M., Voenizdat , 1960. p. 277
- Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-1940 Reader / ed.-comp. A. E. Taras . - Minsk: " Harvest ", 1999. p. 171
- " Of all the buildings, Shuvalov was the most proud of the observation point located on a tall, straight pine tree covered with thick branches. The terrain opened up from a height of ten to twelve meters. How the enemy’s positions were viewed. The telephone wire went from here to the trench and to the command post. "
N. G. Mikhailovsky. Tallinn diary. L., Lenizdat, 1958. p.87-88
- S. M. Isachenko. Fifteen days of war. L., Lenizdat, 1985. p. 6-8
- No. 167. Political report of the political department of the 314th rifle division on the combat activities of the compound snipers // Kazakhstan in the period of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Sat documents and materials. Volume 1. Alma-Ata, "Science", 1964. p. 248-251
- G.F. Egorov. The book is about scouts. ed. 6th, add. Barnaul, Altai Prince. publishing house 1989. pp. 177-179
- K.T. Mazurov. Unforgettable. 2nd ed., Ext. Minsk, “Belarus”, 1987. p.29
- Otto Weidinger. Comrades until the end. Memories of the commanders of the der führer gantry regiment. 1938-1945. M., ZAO “ Tsentrpoligraf ”, 2012. pp. 69-70
- T.S. Grits. Accurate arrows. M., 1956. p. 348-356
- Z. G. Rusakov. Our sea was Ladoga. Sailors of the Ladoga military flotilla in the battle for Leningrad. L., Lenizdat , 1989. p.37
- A.F. Fedorov. Underground obkom acts. Chisinau, Art Literature, 1985. p. 349-355
- I. A. Gorodov, N. I. Shapkin. For intelligence - attack! Omsk: Omsk Prince. publishing house, 1983. p. 5-6
- N. B. Ivushkin. Your seat is ahead. M., Voenizdat , 1976. p. 107-108
- “ Our commanders of all ranks were able to consult in advance with the old Caucasians, hunters, foresters, shepherds. Old-timers showed all the gorges that had to be covered with fire. They helped our warriors with advice and taught them the cunning "forest and mountain life." In the trees, the fighters and collective farmers equipped secret nests for machine gunners. I was told how Private Ponomarev, hiding in the branches of a stumpy oak (250 meters in front of his company), let the enemy reconnaissance - fourteen Nazis and shot thirteen of them. The fourteenth was hammered in a dead tree, and the sniper brought him alive. "
Tyulenev I. V. Three wars. - M .: Military Publishing , 1972.
- Y. Sobiesyak, R. Egorov. The earth is burning. M., Military Publishing , 1965. p. 166
- P.K. Ignatov. In the foothills of the Caucasus. M., " Soviet Russia ", 1981. p. 109-110
- Don Miller . Sniper. Minsk: “ Harvest ”, 2002. p. 64-66
- N.I. Zavyalov . Miles of courage. Kiev, State Publishing House of Political Literature of Ukraine, 1981. p. 137-138
- Frontline. / Sat. SS Belousov. Novosibirsk, West Siberian Book Publishing, 1975. p. 101-103
- “The Russians rushed to the assault with a furious cry of hurray. They did not stop either in front of dense thickets of thorns or in front of arrows that sat on the trees, quickly removed them from there and finished them off . ”
Vladimir Gerlach. "Traitor". Canada, S. B.O. N.P., 1969. p. 311
- “ By noon on July 9, we received another batch of wrecked tanks. Repair teams barely had time to get to work, when they heard a sudden clap, then a ringing “bzdyn!” And a buzz. All at once lay down. It was clear that we were hit by sniper fire. Battle Group A had already lost a few people from the sniper fire, and we knew that when the Germans were retreating, the Germans usually left behind them shooters to delay our advancement. Although theoretically the mechanics of the repair teams were armed with rifles, in fact most of the time they threw weapons into the trucks. As soon as someone jumped up and darted to the side of the car to get a weapon, the sniper again opened fire. In the end, we determined that the shooter sat on a tree on the other side of the road, although we couldn’t specify exactly where it was. The tall Norman pines were hung with luxurious clusters of mistletoe - a parasite plant growing on the branches. There were so many trees and a bundle of mistletoe on them that it was not easy to see in the branches of masked snipers. Under a regular shot from the turn from the highway Saint-Jean-de-De-Le-Desert, a semi-tracked armored personnel carrier drove out of the 36th motorized infantry regiment. Seeing how mechanics squeezed to the ground, and hearing their cries, the infantryman behind a large-caliber turret machine gun on the roof of the armored car immediately understood what was happening. Deploying a machine gun, he gave a short line on the top of the pine. The crone seemed to explode; branches, mistletoe and sniper fell to the ground. "
Belton Cooper . Deadly traps. The survival of the American armored division in World War II . M., 2007
- MF Manakin. Steep peaks. M .: "Patriot", 1990. p. 158
- D.P. Vlasov. There, beyond the leading edge. - M .: DOSAAF , 1985. p. 173-174
- Leon Lyubetsky. Do not allow the breakthrough of the enemy. M .: Voenizdat , 1980. p. 17
- I. A. Gorodov, N. I. Shapkin. My dear girls. Omsk. Omsk book publishing house, 1990. p.55-56
- S. Pogorely, I. Cities. Red Banner Battalion (712th Separate Linear Red Banner Communication Battalion) // From Irtysh to Elba. The combat path of the Omsk formations during the Great Patriotic War. Omsk, Omsk book publishing. 1984. pp. 233-230
- From heart to heart through the generations. Memories of veterans of the Leninsky administrative district of Omsk. Prince 2. Omsk, TRIES LLC, 2005. p. 1-68
- Peter Stanchev, Todov Minev. Borderholes // Journal "Pogranichnik", № 4 (936), 1981. p.81-83
- Alvaro Carrera (Joaquin). Southern Front in Nicaragua // Nicaragua: the path of struggle and victory. sat. V. G. Tkachenko. M., 1984. p. 237-238
- A.O. Kazimirov, V.V. Zaborovsky. Analysis of the combat use of snipers by illegal armed groups in local armed conflicts // "Zbіrnik naukovih prats of Kharkiv National University to the Navigating Forces", № 2 (35), 2013. p.237-240
Literature and Sources
- P. A. Belyakov. In the sight of "Brown Bear". - M .: Military Publishing , 1977.
- Oleg Malov. "Cuckoos" - people hunters // magazine "Master-gun", № 21, 1997. p.47-52