Sniper Stories at Gallipoli
A sniper is a trained soldier or policeman who can precisely hit a target that is very difficult to hit. They undergo such training that they are specialized enough to hit even a hair. They calculate the direction of the wind, gravity and the effect of weather on the bullet and shoot accordingly, and these bullets are heavier than bullets from other weapons.
Because the gunpowder content of these bullets is very high and these bullets can easily shatter the place they enter. Snipers are used especially in special missions. If someone is to be neutralized and you only have one shot, snipers will do it.
In addition, snipers, who play a big role in wars, can neutralize hundreds of people alone and do it invisibly. It is worrying that someone can take down dozens of people from hundreds of meters behind and you can’t see who is doing it. The author John Hamilton wrote in one of his articles that Turkey’s terrain is like a country made for snipers.
The Gallipoli campaign of 1915-1916 saw the duel of two snipers, Billy Sing and Abdul the Terrible. The years when Gallipoli witnessed the bloodiest battles.
The Turkish soldier was protecting his homeland with limited means until the last drop of his blood. Thousands were losing their lives on land and sea. But apart from that, Turkish soldiers started to be shot by someone they had never seen. Not across the land like on land, not from the sea like at sea, but almost an unseen force was taking down our soldiers one by one.
Then it was realized that it was a sniper. His name was Williyam Billy Sing, his friends called him Billy Sing. He was the son of a Chinese father and an English mother.
Hunting was fashionable in his hometown and he had been interested in it since childhood. As a teenager he hunted kangaroos in his country.
When he was twenty-eight years old, the First World War broke out and he volunteered for military service.
His skill with weapons caught the attention of his commanding officer. Soon he was sent to the Anzac front at Gallipoli as a sniper.
Camouflaged hundreds of meters away, he was finishing off Turkish soldiers one by one. That’s how the Anzac sniper Billy Sing became famous. He would wait all day at his position and when he was right, he would press his trigger.
According to some sources, he killed 150 and according to others 300 Turkish soldiers by himself. Billy Sing was the one who did the most personal damage and sources say that he enjoyed it. He was a man who enjoyed hunting people.
In fact, John Hamilton, in his book, The Mad Filled Sampan, writes that Billy Sing was a very tough and ruthless man. After spotting a wounded Turk with his binoculars, he shot him, saying he was going to put the poor fellow out of his misery.
It’s not very ethical to shoot a wounded man and it earned him the nickname of the Gallipoli assassin. He became famous in his own army and a favorite of his commanders.
The Turkish army was getting fed up with this invisible sniper and plans were being made to eliminate this sniper and a sniper was offered as an antidote. The Turkish sniper assigned to kill Billy Sing was named Abdül. We have very little personal information about Abdul. We don’t have a picture, a photograph, we don’t know which city he was from or how old he was.
But one thing is that Abdul was very smart. He tried a brilliant technique to locate Billy Sing. When a soldier from the Turkish front was killed by a sniper bullet, he examined the body and looked for Billy Sing by the entry and exit points of the bullet.
They had Billy Sing and now we had Abdul. Abdul single-handedly neutralized many enemy soldiers. He could neutralize dozens of Anzac officers on his own and the more he did this, the higher the morale in the Turkish army and the more they fought.
On the Anzac side, Abdul became feared and was nicknamed Abdül the Terrible by the Anzacs. The introduction of Abdul the Terrible created a battle within a battle. Billy Sing and Abdul fought a fierce battle.
Abdul was after Billy Sing and Billy Sing was after Abdul. The two wanted to gain an advantage in the war by eliminating each other. One day Abdul took up a position and started looking for Billy Sing.
It may sound like a joke, but Abdul didn’t leave his position for a week, he searched for Billy Sing for a week, and finally the expected moment came and Abdul learned the location of Billy Sing and his aide through his binoculars. He took into account the wind direction, the weather, took a deep breath and touched the trigger.
The bullet first tore through the jaw of Billy’s aide and lodged in Billy’s right shoulder. He had hit two people with one bullet.
But they survived the shot with only wounds.
Billy’s assistant was sent to Australia as he was no longer fit for work. After a week of treatment, Billy returned to duty.
Having lost his old charisma within the army, Billy was filled with rage and had to take revenge. As soon as he returned to duty, he started looking for Abdul and the second meeting came.
A scout spotted Abdul’s location and excitedly reported it to Billy.
Billy immediately took aim. Meanwhile, seeing the activity, Abdul also saw Billy. It was the first time these two snipers had seen each other.
Maybe this moment lasted for a second. But imagine how that second passed for them. Billy pulled the trigger before Abdul and the legend of the terrible Abdul became a martyr.
So what happened to Billy Sing, yes, although Billy Sing won the battle in the war, the Anzacs were defeated and left Çanakkale defeated.
Returning to his country, Billy Sing received medals and then started working as a laborer. He led a very poor life. On May 19, 1943, he died alone. When he died, his only fortune was 150 TL.
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