Yakut Sniper, Fyodor Okhlopkov (continued)
my friend told him that I was an American historian. He said he could not meet with me, gave no specific reason, and offered the following which my friend jotted down.
(...story continues below)
“The hero Okhlopkov was born in a very small village to the east of Yakutsk along the Adan River. It is very remote and difficult to go there even today. When the war started, he and his brother went to fight and soon, Fyodor's brother was killed. To avenge his brother's death, he took up the sniper rifle and started to hunt the Fascist soldiers down.”

"Okhlopkov shot down over a thousand Fascists but he himself was wounded many times and nearly killed. While fighting near Minsk, he was badly wounded and left the battle even before the war was finished. He had a very difficult time after the war due to his many wounds."

"The Red Army commanders paid little attention to the contributions of indigenous people from remote republics. Only 2 Yakuts became Heroes. What a shameful record! Our veterans group petitioned the government to make him a hero. On the 20th Anniversary of the end of the war, Leonid Brezhnev made him a hero. About two years later, Okhlopkov died.”

Last month, I received two photographs from my friend in Yakutsk. The relative of the sniper had sent it to him. I had asked my friend if it was possible to get photographs of the hero's medals and he replied that he will check. It might be a stretch, but if he comes through, I will have a follow up article.

*The help of Henry Sakaida and my friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, is appreciated.

Mosin-Nagant 1891/30 Sniper Rifle w/ PU Scope
The model 1891/30 Sniper is based on the standard issue 1891/30 rifle from the former USSR. These rifles were used for much of the 20th century. To create the sniper version of these rifles, high quality examples of the 1891/30 were pulled off of the production line. They specifically looked for high quality barrels. They took these hand picked rifles and then turned the bolts down for operation while using a scope. They mounted a scope; both the PV (4x) and PU (3.5x) versions were used. The PU was preferred and used on most of the sniper versions. There was no bayonet issued and the foresight was raised 1mm, which allowed the open sites to be used out to 600 meters. The trigger was also lightened to 4.4-5.3 lbs (2-2.4 kg). It is believed that many German snipers in WWII would use captured 1891/30's as their personal sniper rifles, over their Mauser 98K's.
The 7.62x54mmR ammunition is chambered primarily in the Russian SVD and the Mosin-Nagant Model 1891-30, which is a very popular sniper rifle in smaller countries. It is roughly the equivalent to the .30-06, offering plenty of energy and good ballistics.
-Image and information courtesy www.snipercentral.com

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