A Russian historian discusses the existence of “cuckoo snipers” during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940.
Anyone who was interested in the topic of the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940 probably came across the term “cuckoo” sniper. In general terms, these are people who set up their firing positions in trees, armed with a rifle or submachine gun and conduct aimed fire from there.
At the same time, despite numerous evidence, to this day there is no consensus that the Finns had special units with such fighters.
So, according to the Russian historian Oleg Kiselev, in December 1995 a magazine was published in which his Finnish colleague Ohto Manninen published a note. The last one was called: “Were there any cuckoos?”
This material refuted the existence of the above-mentioned snipers. Like, this is all a myth and fiction. At the same time, as the expert put it, Maininen’s main argument was that he did not know a single Finn who would climb a tree to fire from there.
In turn, Kiselev declared the existence of a whole body of evidence that Finnish riflemen actually sometimes fired from trees. In particular, in the 163rd Infantry Division of the Red Army, reports of so-called “cuckoos” appeared already on the second or third day of the offensive.
At the same time, the historian noted that Soviet soldiers received a manual on how the Finns wage war in the winter much later. Thus, when they reported about arrows in the trees, they knew nothing about the so-called “cuckoos”, which means that fiction for propaganda purposes, according to the expert, is excluded.
By the way, about the term “cuckoo”. According to Kiselyov, he came across many references to arrows on trees in surviving documents about the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940, but never saw them called this particular bird. Thus, this concept appeared later, in memoirs and analytical articles.
Finally, the Russian historian concluded that he could not say with certainty that the Finnish army during the war with the USSR had specially trained sniper units setting up tree positions. After all, as the expert put it, despite the fact that there is quite a lot of evidence about people firing from trees, similar tactics were resorted to during the First World War, and then in the Second. Moreover, it was not only the Finns who used it.
- archive photo
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.