Vasily Ivanovich Zaitsev Sniper's Scope

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alexcoward
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Vasily Ivanovich Zaitsev Sniper's Scope

Post by alexcoward » 18 Dec 2003 01:36

just wondering if anyone has ever been to the Moscow Armed Forces Museum where they keep the sniper scope that zaitsev allegedly took off the german snipers gun. if so some pics would be very intresting to see or anyone have any pics of the scope or just tell about the visit. would be nice to hear from anyone who has been!

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Helly Angel
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Post by Helly Angel » 18 Dec 2003 04:33

I just know the rifle is in a Museum in Moscu complete, but the history about the german sniper gun is just a myth.

best,

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alexcoward
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Post by alexcoward » 20 Dec 2003 01:49

anyone on the forum ever been there? and saw the rifle

Timo
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Post by Timo » 20 Dec 2003 02:01

Perhaps they have a scope there, but there was no German sniper. Like Helly Angel said: it's just a story.

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kobold
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Post by kobold » 20 Dec 2003 02:14

hehe - I watched a discover channel show about snipers and some guy recited what was basically the "enemy at the gates" storyline, about zaitsev and Koenigs, as if it was gospel. :roll:





dave

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alexcoward
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Post by alexcoward » 21 Dec 2003 06:35

yes i have heard the story may times over and over i just thought to myself u know it must be true but... who knows?

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Post by Timo » 21 Dec 2003 09:58

The facts are simple, there was no sniper. If you use the search function of this forum you'll find several discussions about the ficticious Major König aka. Thorwald.

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K.Kocjancic
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Post by K.Kocjancic » 21 Dec 2003 10:00

Maybe he took the scope from another (non-famous, real) German sniper? :? :wink:

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Post by Timo » 21 Dec 2003 10:18

I agree with Kocjo. "A German scope" doesn't mean anything regarding the truth behind the story.

The number one sniper ace of the German army was Matthäus Hetzenauer
Born 23.12.1924 in Brixen im Thale (Tirol)
Ritterkreuz on 17.04.1945 as Scharfschütze in 7./GebJägRgt 144
345 confirmed kills.

About König/Thorwald:

No SS officer König or Thorwald, combined with the correct rank is listed who could be him (wrong units, promoted to late, etc.) In addition: there isn't any SS officer (all ranks) listed named Thorwald on John Moore's excellent "Führerliste der Waffen-SS". Off course there were several Waffen-SS officers named König, but they all held this rank in late 1943 or even later.

No SS major (Sturmbannführer) König or Thorwald is listed in the Volksbund database. The database is incomplete, I know, but quite good when it comes to higher ranks such as Sturmbannführer. The Volksbund lists Germans who were KIA or MIA during WW1 or WW2. Nobody at all (Wehrmacht or Waffen-SS) named Thorwald is listed there. König is listed, but not with the correct time of death.

No SS member named König or Thorwald received the Ritterkreuz or the DKiG. If he wasn't fictional, he would have won at least one of them given his alleged 400+ kill score. The fact that König aka Thorwald didn't receive the RK or the DKiG certainly does not make it plausible that he existed. It's quite ridiculous to even consider the possibility of a high ranking Waffen-SS officer with an incredible number of kills who was never awarded.

Here is what Anthony Beevor (author of Stalingrad) had to say:
"Indeed, the whole story of the sniper duel is fiction. There is absolutely no trace in the German military archives or SS records of SS officer Heinz Thorwald.
Also there is absolutely no report of the duel in the Red Army files which concentrated on sniper activities (the daily reports of the Political Department of Stalingrad Front to Moscow)
This great story can be classified as Sovjet propaganda."

The quote below is from a BBC News article:
"Mr Beevor, whose acclaimed tome Stalingrad is rapidly becoming the definitive text on the battle, said while Zaitsev was a real figure there was no evidence to support the existence of Koenig.
He said: 'I've been through the Soviet Ministry of Defence's archive in Podolsk and there is no record of such a duel.'
'If it had taken place the Soviet propaganda machine would have leapt on it.'"

Addendum by Martin Pegler
Curator of Weapons, The Royal Armouries, Leeds, UK
"Scott,
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."

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Post by alexcoward » 24 Dec 2003 02:06

interesting facts! thank you for the information

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