Growing up in the 1950s, I saw an awful lot of World War II movies on TV. And in a lot of those movies, there were snipers. The German sniper was always up in a bell tower; the Japanese sniper, up a palm tree. And I don’t remember ever seeing an American or British sniper.
Snipers were bad guys, almost the same as assassins. Only the enemy had snipers. Yes, I know that isn’t true. Of course our side had snipers, too. But in the movies the sniper was always some Axis villain picking off our boys from high up in the bell tower.
Now snipers are good guys and America is proud of them. That’s how it is today.
In Civil War movies, both Blue and Grey had snipers but they were called “sharpshooters,” never snipers, and theirs was presented as a brave and honorable calling that helped their side win battles. I do not understand the difference between a sniper and a sharpshooter.
Anyhow, the question is, how did snipers go from being bad guys, only employed by the enemy, to good guys fighting for America? How did that happen?
Or am I just remembering it all wrong?