The “Best” Sniper From The Great War – Francis Pegahmagabow

I, for one, and am pleased to see the steady expansion of The Great War’s video library. It goes to show the power of Patreon campaigns and crowd-sourcing to back up and support great content creators who might otherwise not being able to afford producing. As a result of this, The Great War has been steadily expanding their content including a great series titled “Who Did What in World War 1?”

Their latest entry covers the “best” sniper of World War 1, a Canadian trooper by the name of Francis Pehahmagabow, who ultimately became the most decorated aborigonal soldier from the war.

Francis joined the army a scant nine days after Germany declared war on the United Kingdom. Raised in an adopted family (the story is that he was found next to his dead mother from childbirth), Francis played in  band and worked on Great Lakes freighters.

Identified as an exceptional soldier, he was used for extremely dangerous missions (which he rather enjoyed) including running messages and as a sniper. He took huge risks such as actually going to the German trenches and cutting off souvenirs while the Germans were sleeping.

He is credited with 378 sniper kills, the most of any sniper from any country in the war.

Pegahmagabow lived a stored life post-war. For details of his accomplishments, enjoy the video below.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Sidehillboomer19

    But that isn’t him in the photo on the right. Russian.

    • A bearded being from beyond ti


      • Rousso

        Mosin-Nagant M91/30 PU Sniper

        • A bearded being from beyond ti


          • Rousso

            PU scope is a Russian 3.5 power scope from 1940

          • A bearded being from beyond ti

            Didn’t know they had google back in 1940

        • gunsandrockets

          Yeah, I saw that photo and thought the “best sniper” was about some Russian, or at least someone from the Russian Empire.

          Who could have guessed it was a Canadian instead?

    • Jamie Clemons

      Ha! yeah they got the picture wrong.

  • datimes

    This is a great program I’ve been watching on youtube for about a year. Anyone who has an interest in US or European history will learn a great deal. All back episodes are available and can be viewed in chronological order.

    • Cattoo

      I’ve been watching the show also. Good stuff. Believe it or not I’ve gotten replies to my questions and comments. Even caught him posting videos and had a quick chat with him.

  • Darrell

    The “post war” link is incorrect, takes me to some Williams sights.

    • Budogunner

      There isn’t a link, at least not one or there by the a author. Those are injected ads, part of a poorly thought out monetization scheme.

  • Cmex

    B-b-b-b-ut he’s shown with a Mosin — everyone knows Mosins are best used as weightlifting equipment and for poking holes in the ceiling.

  • the dude

    of course nobody remembers Simo Häyhä… 542 confirmed kills, even got his left side of face completely crushed by a bullet in winter war 1939, and survived from it.

    those numbers doesn’t even include machine gun killings which were estimated at 200 killings extra to the 542 count.

    • Joshua S.

      Dude, WW1 only. I think everyone who looks at overall best snipers throughout history or of WW2 knows about Häyhä.

      • Jamie Clemons

        Actually that was the finish war.

  • Jamie Clemons

    I looked it up. He used a Ross rifle straight pull bolt action 308. That’s definitely not it in the photo.

    • Baggy270

      The Ross was a 303….the 308 hadn’t been invented yet…

      • Jamie Clemons

        Correct. I was just seeing if you were paying attention.

  • Joshua

    I find it interesting the change in perspective, during WWI, and to a lesser extent but still prevalent into WWII Snipers were regarded as cowards for refusing to engage the enemy “honestly” and were considered by many to be criminals for targeting officers, specialists, and other distinguished soldiers. It was common for surrendering Snipers to be killed on contact the hate for them was so great, there are even accounts of Snipers being killed by their own men. And then Today, there is no higher service than being a Sniper, they are the great heroes of our time. Where did this change come from?