This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
Mikko H wrote'
for example, there was no central sniper school in Berlin or elsewhere
here is a film made in 1944Silent, motionless and deadly, German snipers lurked on the European battlefields of World War 2, hunting enemy sharpshooters, supporting assaults and laying diabolical traps on defense. Drawn from two German military training films made in 1944, this program provides fascinating views of tactics, weapons and camouflage techniques that are still viable today
http://ihffilm.com/379.html a book on German sniper rifles and scopes...i have not read this but IMHO these snipers would have to be trained and taught not just thrown into service, something a school would do in ww2 sourcehttp://www.worldwartwobooks.com/product.php/6856/backbone-of-the-wehrmacht-volume-ii-sniper-variations-of-the-german-k98k-rifleGermany, 1944, B&W, 67 minutes, English commentary and subtitles.
Yes Zaitsev knew some German--this is proven in his memoirs,Koenigs documents were given to intelligance officers who confirmed the docs. to be real.Mikko H. wrote:In that case we have to know when these claims were made for the first time. AFAIK, for example, there was no central sniper school in Berlin or elsewhere. I suggest you use the forum search function, there are a number of threads about König/Thorvald where this question is discussed.
I don't doubt for a moment that Zaitsev was an exceptionally able marksman and neither am I saying Zaitsev was lying. Probably there is a germ of truth that was embellished in telling. Memory can play tricks also to honest men. Or were his memoirs ghostwritten? Did he know German so he could read the documents recovered from the German's body?
Addendum by Martin Pegler
Curator of Weapons, The Royal Armouries, Leeds, UK
While researching for a book on sniping, I used some contacts at Russian museums to look into the veracity of the much reported fight between Zeitsev and Koenig [Thorvald]. Despite the fact that Russian company and regimental records were faithfully kept even throughout the worst days of the Stalingrad seige, nowhere is this duel reported in war diaries. This would seem to be an odd omission, particularly in the face of the cult of 'Sniperism' that the Soviet press were so keen to extoll.
I tend to agree with Anthony Beevor's opinion that the shooting match never actually happened and was the result of propoganda reporting by the press who were always keen to promote new 'Heroes of the Soviet Union'. Apparently Zeitsev himself never confirmed or denied the event, an odd attitude in view of its apparent historical importance.
Mikko H. wrote'
Germans really didn't have a central sniper school (certainly not an SS one) but were trained in the units. Hopefully people will contradict me if I'm wrong.
from section belowGermany reestablished it's own sniping school and set out to reclaim it's reputation of the First World War
source02-Jan-2008 version: Section "Snipers during the First and Second World Wars": info taken from: Zeitgeschichte - Spezialeinheiten im Zweiten Weltkrieg: Scharfschützen German Documentary (EAN: 4020974153959)http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Sniper#Second_World_WarOne of the best known battles involving snipers, and also the battle that made the Germans reinstate their specialized sniper training, was the Battle of Stalingrad. Their defensive position inside a city filled with rubble made that Soviet snipers were able to inflict significant casualties on the German Landser. Because of the urban nature of fighting, snipers were very hard to spot and seriously dented the morale of the German attackers. Though German sharpshooters appeared spontaneously, often armed with captured scoped Mosin-Nagant rifles, Germany reestablished it's own sniping school and set out to reclaim it's reputation of the First World War. Germany drastically increased the number of snipers per unit. German training emphasized shooting at long-range targets to deliver a feeling of insecurity to the enemy, the ability to creep up on enemies and maintain hidden with enemies nearby, plus especially good camouflaging. Germany evolved the most efficient ways of camouflaging, both by using the environment (branches etc.) and by the development of specially designed, reversible camouflage clothing. German snipers were also issued with special shovels and knives to create the best possible hiding places and shelters.
No wikipedia sources info from others...here is source of a sniper school and DVD detailing information on ithere it can be purchasedhttp://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_ss_d?__mk_de_DE=%C5M%C5Z%D5%D1&url=search-alias%3Ddvd&field-keywords=EAN%3A+4020974153959&x=0&y=0Mikko H. wrote:Thank you. The info seems to be copied from Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sniper#European_Theatre, which, however, doesn't give its source. But I think it's not unreasonable to say that Germans took a new interest in sniping after Stalingrad, paying a backhanded tribute to Zaitsev and his 'disciplines'.
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