Semyon Nomokonov

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Semyon Nomokonov
Semyon Nomokonov.jpg
Native name
Семён Данилович Номоконов
Nickname(s)Taiga Shaman
Born12 August 1900
Delyun, Trans-Baikal Territory, Russian Empire
Died12 or 15 June 1973
Zugalai, Mogoytuysky District, Zabaykalsky Krai, USSR
Allegiance Soviet Union
Years of service1941–1945
Unit221st Infantry Division
AwardsOrder of Lenin

Semyon Danilovich Nomokonov (12 August 1900 – 12 June[1] or 15 July[2] 1973) was a Soviet sniper during World War II, credited with 367 kills, recorded in his sniper log.[1][a] An ethnic Hamnigan Evenk,[b] Nomokonov was among the indigenous peoples of Russia who fought in the war. He received the nickname Taiga Shaman from the enemies.[1][3]

Nomokonov was awarded two Orders of the Red Star, Order of the Red Banner, Order of Lenin and medals.[2]

Early life[edit]

Nomokonov was born in the settlement of Delyun in Zabaykalsky Krai,[2] Russia (then Russian Empire), in a poor family of hunters,[1] and from childhood lived in taiga.[1] Nomokonov took the rifle for the first time at the age of seven.[3] He hunted sable, Manchurian wapiti and elk,[3] and was nicknamed Eye of the Kite.[2] Nomokonov was baptized at the age of 15 and received the name Semyon.[2] In 1928 Nomokonov moved to the settlement of Nizhny Stan in the Russian Shilkinsky District.[2] He continued hunting and carpentered.


Nomokonov started his military service in August 1941,[2] initially in a subsistence farm of a regiment.[1] Then he made crutches for the wounded.[1] Nomokonov became a sniper by chance. In the fall of 1941 he was evacuating one of the wounded, when he noticed a German, aiming at him.[1] Nomokonov killed him with his own rifle.[1] According to another version, in October 1941 Nomokonov received a rifle and decided to test it.[3] To avoid wasting the rounds, Nomokonov tested the rifle on a German, who was moving along the wooded lake shore, bending down.[3] After that Nomokonov was transferred to a sniper platoon.[1] He started to shoot from a Mosin–Nagant rifle without a telescopic sight.[1] Nomokonov fought at the Valdai Heights, Karelian Isthmus, Ukraine, Lithuania, East Prussia and then in Manchuria. He initially marked the number of kills on his smoking pipe.[1][2] Nomokonov was wounded eight times and suffered a blast injury twice.[2]

As a sniper instructor, Nomokonov trained over 150 soldiers.[2]

After the war[edit]

Nomokonov returned home on a horse.[1] He continued carpentering at Nizhny Stan, but then moved to the settlement of Zugalay, where his elder sons were living. He built a house and continued hunting during free time.[1] In the fall of 1945 Nomokonov received a horse, binoculars and a rifle no. 24638 for his military service.[1] According to Nomokonov's daughter Zoya Babuyeva, he was a taciturn person and did not like to talk much about the war.[1]

Nomokonov died in Zugalay and was interred there.[1] Poet Vasily Lebedev-Kumach dedicated a poem to him.[2]

Nomokonov left nine children and 49 grandchildren.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 360 Germans and 7 "soldiers and officers on the Transbaikal Front", according to the sniper log. According to other sources, 368[3] or 369 kills.[2] The figure 368 includes eight Japanese killed on the Transbaikal Front.[3]
  2. ^ More generally described as a Hamnigan Tungusic.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Номоконов - вновь на коне" (in Russian). Zabmedia. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Константинов А.В. "Номоконов С. Д." (in Russian). Энциклопедия Забайкалья. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h ""Дайн-тулугуй" Семена Номоконова". Krasnaya Zvezda (in Russian). 17 May 2005. Retrieved 5 August 2014.