Semyon Nomokonov

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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 Buryat-Mongolian 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" (in Russian). Krasnaya Zvezda. 17 May 2005. Retrieved 5 August 2014.