Vassili Grigoryevich Zaitsev

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posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:49 PM
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Hey
ive noticed a lot of posts about snipers but i think this man was the best of them all and so deserves his own post

born on the 23rd of march 1915 and taught to shoot by his grandad he made his first kill during the stalingrad siege and went on to join the russian armies elite sniper division
he made 400 kills during WWII with a moisin rifle that was far out of date compared to anyrthing the german army had, 249 kills were during stalingrad
the Russians ordered him to start his own sniper school and the 28 pupils he taught managed to get 3000 kills between them during the war

however the most interesting point and the one i would like information on was his duel with Major Konig.

Legend has it the Germans wer so scared of this boy from the Urals they sent the head of there sniper school major konig to kill him but after many days of cat and mouse vassili managed to find konig and kill him, There are about 20 stories i have read relating to this (one thing i do know is that the story told in 'enemy at the gates' the film about vassili staring jude law is almost 100% wrong)

ANY information would be great especailly regarding to major konig




posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 02:17 AM
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Zaizev is not the best and most if his kills are unconfirmed and possibly propaganda stunts...

The nr1 of snipers is Simo Häyhä with 505 confirmed kills during 3 months at Winter-War... Weapon used was UNscoped Mosin nagant.. unofficial figure is 542

In adition to these Häyhä killed 200+ Soviets with SMG


[edit on 27-2-2006 by northwolf]



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 06:39 AM
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Originally posted by popek
...

however the most interesting point and the one i would like information on was his duel with Major Konig.

Legend has it the Germans wer so scared of this boy from the Urals they sent the head of there sniper school major konig to kill him but after many days of cat and mouse vassili managed to find konig and kill him, There are about 20 stories i have read relating to this (one thing i do know is that the story told in 'enemy at the gates' the film about vassili staring jude law is almost 100% wrong)

ANY information would be great especailly regarding to major konig


The only information anyone could give you on the "head of sniper school Major König" (BTW, the correct spelling without the ö is "Koenig") is that there is NO information regarding him - no military records (both german and russian), no frontline soldier or intel reports. Additinally these was no such thing as THE "german sniper school". There were several institutions educating specialized forms of warfare, but they weren´t exactly "schools", they were more like training batallions.

Then we have the infamous Major Heinz Thorvald, allegedly the real version of "Major König". While this man existed and he was a training officer for sniping, there is no hard evidence of him being sent to Stalingrad, being sent there to hunt down Zaitsev, and getting killed there. I however admit the benefit of the doubt regarding his persona, since a lot of german military records were either lost in Stalingrad or destroyed when the Red army advanced into Germany and particularly Berlin.

It would however been highly unusual that such a high-ranking (one rank below Colonel and 3 ranks below General) and valued man would have been sent to Stalingrad specifically to hunt down this one man Zaitsev, and certainly he wouldnt have been sent alone (Zaitsev, with a much lower rank, had several subordinates). It also stands to discussion if the german high command had not "disbanded" the 6th army after it was trapped in Stalingrad in November (a time when the aerial resupply already left much to desire, and when Zaitsev´s popularity only started to increase), and thus it is questionably wether they would have sent a highly skilled man to this needless cause - and IF they did rather as an advisor.

All in all it IS quite possible that a Major Heinz Thorvald was sent to Stalingrad and that he was killed there. But it cannot be proven that
a. he was sent there to kill Zaitsev;
b. that Zaitsev himself or any other sniper killed him;
and this will most probably never be possible to confirm.



...he made 400 kills during WWII with a moisin rifle that was far out of date compared to anyrthing the german army had, ...


The Mosin-Nagant rifle is a highly acclaimed piece of boomstick - and certainly not much less capable or older than the Mauser 98 rifle used by the German snipers. You can still find both in the invetory of many militias and even militaries around the world (that story from Iraq when an old farmer allegedly brought down an Apache Gunship ...). Though it might have suffered from a worse manufacturing quality, it is as well thinkable that Zaitsev got a top-of-the-line rifle when becoming an acclaimed sniper.

On the other hand anyone who handled the german scope, the ZF41, can tell you that this really was a POS. So POSSIBLY Zaitsevs equipment was marginally inferior to the german Mauser sniper rifle, but certainly not "far out of date compared to anything the german army had".



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:30 AM
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Most modern sniper rifles are pretty much modernizied version of either Mauser 98 or MosinNagant

For example Finnish Tak85 sniper rifle is basically similar gun, restocked with adjustable stock, than the one "zaitzev" was using and i can confirm by first hand accounts of several ww2 era soviet sniper rifles that they are accurate enough and can do sub MOA groups still today



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by northwolf
The nr1 of snipers is Simo Häyhä with 505 confirmed kills during 3 months at Winter-War... Weapon used was UNscoped Mosin nagant.. unofficial figure is 542

In adition to these Häyhä killed 200+ Soviets with SMG



This record has to be loked at in context. The Soviet Army which invaded Finland was a consript army and enourmously undertrained. They used to laager at night with big bonfires making them easy meat for any half decent shot.
The fact that Hayha didn't need a telescopic sight obviously means he was very close to his prey. Probably under 200m.

So to say he was the best, does not take into aco# the skill of other snipers who had regular kills far in excess of Hayha using iron sights.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 11:49 AM
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To be fair Häyhä was not a professional soldier either but a conscript as was entire Finnish army

And Häyhä fought in Kollaa sector where the battle was a full scale frontal war instead of the forrest/guerilla warfare in the Raateroad. And Häyhäs Non sniper kills were shown as a separate figure...
And Häyhäs top shoots were around 500m but obviously terrain favored shorter shots, but one achivement not often mentioned is that häyhä mostly killed enemy officers and snipers (he was called into areas were enemy sniper activity was high for a counter sniper duty(he was under a direct command of the division HQ))



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:30 PM
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Though Zaitsev was not the best official russian sniper in WW2( like Ilyin,Sidorenko,Kulbertinov with near 500 kills), he was among the best.
wio.ru...

Zaitsev was not a professional soldier. He was born in siberian village.
His grandfather was a hunter. When little Vassily asked granny to give him the rifle, granny made bow for him and told that when Vassily will be able to hit squirrel in the eye with it, he will get the rifle. In a short period of time Vassily got it.

He arrived to Stalingrad in September 1942, first month he used usual Mosin rifle without scope, but his results were so good, that he was brought to the commander of 62nd Division Gen Chuikov. Chuikov ordered to issue sniper Mosin to Zaitsev.
Then he was fighting till January 1943, when he was wounded badly in a mine explosion. In hospital when group of medics came to take dead soldiers away, they thought he was dead and brought him outside, put in the pit in a ground and wanted to bury, but Vasily managed to move his hand, one girl noticed that and they brought him back to the hospital.

Zaitsev was blinded so he was sent to Moscow, surgery was successful, and he was sent back under the Chukovs command.

About Konig-Thorvald, if he ever existed, his task was to kill as many soviet snipers as possible.

“The duel went on for three days, but it ended in our victory in a matter of seconds,” Vassily Zaitsev said describing this duel. “The German was well prepared for it. He had liquidated two Soviet snipers before that. But, with the help of my comrades-in-arms, also snipers whose positions were next to mine, I managed to slay him. I did not know what kind of sniper had been brought to Stalingrad, but when we pulled him out of his shelter we discovered that he was the chief of the school for snipers based in Berlin. On the whole I liquidated 242 Nazis in Stalingrad. My friends and pupils also eliminated many of them. I had trained 30 snipers who killed 1126 Nazis during the war".

So in 4-5 month he shot 242 germans, though, there can be some exaggeration.
I read interview with his wife where she told that Zaitsev shot over 300 germans during WW2. It is not 400 official, but an excellent result anyway.


Zaitsev passed away in 1991.

"There was no land for us over the Volga" writen on his gravestone.




[edit on 27-2-2006 by ArcPeter]

[edit on 28-2-2006 by ArcPeter]





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