Snipers played a large role in the Stalingrad battle lines during WW2. These russian specialities helped defend Russia from the total overpowering by Germany.
In the soviety union, there was a very prominent figure named Issiliv that had over 400 kills during the war.
By mid 1942, the German invasion had already cost Russia over six million soldiers, half killed and half captured by the Germans, and a large part of its vast territory and resources. With the help of its arctic winter, it stopped the exhausted Germans just before Moscow and pushed them back a bit. But in the summer of 1942, when Russia was still very weak from its tremendous losses, the German military was again ready to demonstrate its formidable fighting force.
Hitler's Generals wanted to attack in the direction of Moscow and Stalingrad.
The Russians had an advantage in night fighting among the ruined buildings and factories, sometimes using just knives or grenades instead of guns. The ruined city was a perfect killing zone for a large number of snipers, of both sides, including the head of the German army's sniper school who was sent to Stalingrad to hunt the Russian snipers and was killed by one of them. Some highly successful Russian snipers became famous heroes. One of them killed 224 Germans by mid November.
The weapon of choice was the Mosin-Nagant for the Russians, it came fully equiped with a highly efficient scope.
The most famous sniper of them all, although not the highest scorer, was Zaitsev in Batyuk's division, who, during the October Revolution celebrations, raised his tally of kills to 149 Germans. (He had promised to achieve 150, but was one short.) The highest scorer, identified only as `Zikan', killed 224 Germans by 20 November. For the 62nd Army-, the taciturn Zaitsev, a shepherd from the foothillsof the Urals, represented much more than any sporting hero. News of further additions to his score passed from mouth to mouth along the front.
Zaitsev, whose name means hare in Russian, was put in charge of training young snipers, and his pupils became known as zaichata, or `leverets'. This was the start of the `sniper movement' in the 62nd Armv. Conferences were arranged to spread the doctrine of `sniperism', and exchange ideas on technique. The Don and SouthWest Fronts took up the `sniper movement', and produced their star shots, such as Sergeant Passar of 21st Armvy. Especially proud of his head shots, he was credited with 103 kills.
Non-Russian snipers were singled out for praise: Kucherenko, a Ukrainian, who killed nineteen Germans, and an Uzbek from 169th Rifle Division who killed five in three days. In 64th Army, Sniper Kovbasa (the Ukrainian word for sausage) worked from a network of at least three trenches, one for sleeping and two fire trenches, all connected. In addition, he dug fake positions out to the side in front of neighbouring platoons. In these he installed white flags attached to levers, whigh he agitate from a distance with cords. Korbasa proudly claimed that as soon as the German saw one of his little white flags waving, he could not help raising himself in his trench to take a better look, and shout `Rus, , komm, komm!' Kovbasa then got him from an angle. Damelovin r 61st Rifle Regiment also dug a false trench, and fashioned scarecrow figures Nvith bits of Red Army equipment. He then waited for inexperienced German soldiers to shoot at them. Four of them fell victim. In 13th Guards Rifle Division Senior Sergeant Dolvinin, installed in an attic, picked off the crews of an enemy machine-gun, and a field gun. The most prized targets, howeverr, remained German artillery spotters. `For two days [Corporal Studentov] tracked an observation officer and killed him Nvith the first shot.' Studentov vowed to raise his score to 170 Germans from 124 by the anniversarv of the Revolution.
All the star snipers had their own techniques and favourite hiding places. `Noble sniper' Ilin, who was credited with `185 Fritzes', sometimes used an old barrel, or pipe, as a hide. Ilin, a commissar from a Guards rifle regiment, operated on the Red October sector. `Fascists should know the strength of weapons in the hands of Soviet supermen,' he proclaimed, promising to train ten other snipers.
There are many famous tales of sniper duels, perhaps the most famous of them all was between Russian Vasily Zaitsev and German Major Konnings. Konnings was sent to stalingrad to kill Vasily. Vasily was one of the best russian snipers.
Vasily, hearing of the German's aproach, atayed low and was on the lookout. Vasily's close friend and sniper Danilov spotted German sniper in the distance and started to show Vassily. Danilov was shot by Konnings and he died. Vasily ducked for cover with his fellow Russian snipers. Vasily thought heed had seen connings under a sheet of metal. To make sure that there were indeed German snipers under the large peice of sheet metal, Vasily used pure cunning. In a aftermath reprt, the following statement was given:
"To test his theory, Zaitsev hung a glove on the end of a piece of wood and slowly raised it above the parapet. A rifle cracked and he pulled the glove down hurriedly. The bullet had bored a hole straight through the cloth from the front. Zaitsev had been correct: Konings was under the sheet of iron."
A few days later, while the afternoon sun was behind Vasily and his comrade Nikolai Kulikov, blinding sunlight would be directly on the iron sheet. If Konings moved at all, chances were good Vasily would spot reflected light.
Holding his rifle in the afternoon shade, Vasily focused his telescopic sight on Konings' lair and waited.
Nikolai held his helmet up above the wall and let Connings fire at it. Nikolai fake screamed. Sensing triumph, the German lifted his head slightly to see his victim. Vassili Zaitsev shot him between the eyes. Konings's head snapped back and his rifle dropped from his hands.
An actual quote from Vasily follows:
"The sun rose. Kulikov took a blind shot; we had to rouse the sniper's curiosity. We had decided to spend the morning waiting, as we might have been given away by the sun on our telescopic sights. After lunch our rifles were in the shade and the sun was shining directly on to the German's position. At the edge of the sheet of metal something was glittering: an odd bit of glass or telescopic sights? Kulikov carefully, as only the most experienced can do, began to raise his helmet. The German fired. For a fraction of a second Kulikov rose and screamed. The German believed that he had finally got the Soviet sniper he had been hunting for four days, and half raised his head from beneath the sheet of metal. That was what I had been banking on. I took careful aim. The German's head fell back, and the telescopic sights of his rifle lay motionless, glistening in the sun, until night fell."
Vasily Zaitsev is credited for being the hero for Russia.
The battle at Stalingrad would not have been won without the snipers. The snipers brought down many prominent figures and became a very effective way to ambush the German army.