Notes of a Russian Sniper by Vassili Zaitsev

By Vassili Zaitsev

‘As a sniper, I’ve killed quite a lot of Nazis. i've got a keenness for staring at enemy habit. You watch a Nazi officer pop out of a bunker, appearing all excessive and amazing, ordering his squaddies each which manner, and placing on an air of authority. The officer hasn’t acquired the slightest concept that he merely has seconds to live.’

Vassili Zaitsev’s account of the hell that used to be Stalingrad is relocating and harrowing. This was once a conflict to the demise – battling highway via highway, brick by means of brick, dwelling like rats in a determined fight to outlive. the following, the foundations of warfare have been discarded and a mental struggle used to be being waged. during this atmosphere, the sniper used to be king – an unseen enemy who frayed the nerves of brutalized soldiers.

Zaitsev volunteered to struggle at Stalingrad in 1942. His superiors well-known quick his expertise, and made him a sniper. He tailored his looking talents to the ruins of town, gazing his prey with nerves of metal. In his first 10 days, Zaitsev killed forty Germans. He completed at the very least 225 kills and the strategies he built are nonetheless being studied.

Zaitsev used to be used an emblem of Russian resistance opposed to the Nazis. His exploits, together with a well-known ‘duel’ with a Nazi sniper, stay the stuff of legend. His account is soaking up to a person attracted to international battle II and seeing how one individual may possibly continue to exist within the so much severe of stipulations.

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I told myself that I would search him out again that night, and then we could talk. All the soldiers – theirs and ours – who could still walk had left the battlefield. Their medics and stretcher-bearers crept about, providing aid to the wounded. The enemy medics weren’t helping all of their wounded, but only a chosen few: officers and ‘specialists’ from their Pioneer (Assault Engineer) companies. It would have been no trouble at all for us to pick off their medics, but we wouldn’t stoop to targeting German medical personnel – not even those who were acting so despicably.

It was a walled wooden pit; it had been constructed solidly, a concrete bunker braced with heavy beams and tons of earth. I tried rolling another cigarette, but by now my hands were shaking so badly that it took several attempts to roll the cigarette right. By the time I finished it and got it lit, my heart was beating like a hammer. I broke into a cold sweat, and the sleeves of my shirt became sticky with perspiration. There was no way out anywhere! This pit had been walled up on all four sides.

No Nazis would be using it again. But Plaksin spotted the Germans who were advancing on us and opened fire with the Maxim gun. Misha and Pronischev had fallen into a heap, and I thought Misha was finished, but then he raised his head. A bullet had hit his helmet and stunned him, nothing more. I knew we could not hold out in this isolated position much longer, so staying put was not an option. I heaved my last grenade towards them and they retreated. Our comrades in the boiler room were waiting for us to return.

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