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Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knights Cross (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 19. Juni 2012

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  • Taschenbuch: 178 Seiten
  • Verlag: Pen & Sword Books (Ncr); Auflage: Reprint (19. Juni 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1781590044
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781590041
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,3 x 16,2 x 1,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 271.202 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)



Josef "Sepp" Allerberger was the second most successful sniper of the German Wehrmacht and one of the few private soldiers to be honoured with the award of the Knight's Cross. In this memoir, Allerberger provides an introduction to the commitment in fieldcraft, discipline and routine required of the sniper. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Geoffrey Brooks has had great success in finding, translating and editing original German memoirs, such as FIPS - Legendary U-Boat Commander 1915-1918. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ned Middleton am 18. Februar 2013
Format: Taschenbuch
I had never heard of Jude Law before I watched the film ‘Enemy at the Gates’ which tells the fictionalised tale of a Russian sniper during the Battle of Stalingrad. I vividly recall how those Russian troops were sent into battle with one rifle for every two soldiers. True or not, that portrayal was never far from the reality of the day and I mention it only to draw the reader into one of the fiercest and costliest times of WW2 - the Eastern front fought between Russia and Germany.

This is a captivating work from Albrecht Wacker in which he reveals the memoirs of a German soldier - and sniper, who was awarded the Knights Cross for his service. Many readers will possibly think an ‘Iron Cross’ is an Iron Cross but the Knights Cross was only awarded to those who already held the Iron Cross and was made to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. No German soldier became any less brave just because his country was beaten and this is the story of one of the bravest.

As with all good books, this finely crafted work begins right at the beginning where we find accounts of the differences between the hardened soldiers and the newest recruits on the eve of battle. Even the biggest and hardest of men have been known to lose control of either their stomach or their breakfast before a battle and yet, in this work it is explained in such a way that we might begin to understand such matters.

With consummate skill, as the book progresses, we are drawn into one man’s part in a huge conflict and the subsequent retreat for those who were lucky enough to escape either death or Soviet imprisonment.
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204 von 222 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A gripping account of the horror of the Eastern Front 1. Februar 2006
Von Jack Stone - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I started reading this book one morning and devoured it by the time I went to bed - I could not put it down. I found the book to be well written, fast paced, and gruesome. The author uses an easy writing style that draws you into Sepp's (the German sniper the book is about) horrible world of high intensity warfare in the meatgrinder of the Eastern Front. The accounts in this book are neither glamorous nor heroic...simply brutal.

I read closely Sepp's description of snipercraft techniques - such as using a collapsible umbrella to mount camouflage - that allowed him to survive in the Russian whirlwind and that are applicable even today. Sepp was officially recognized for 257 kills, but due to the Germans' strict accountability system he probably killed over 400. Readers will feast on the gory details of his many sniping battles...specifically the night he won the Knights Cross for gunning down an entire Russian infantry company single handedly.

I recommend this book to ANYONE who is interested about the Eastern Front in WW II or for learning about superior snipercraft in a high intensity warfare environment. Some of his accounts simply made me cringe (like graphic accounts of Russian soldiers torturing and mutilating captured German snipers). This book will remain in my collection. You can judge for yourself, but I don't think you will regret it.
108 von 118 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Nonstop! 28. Mai 2006
Von Monty Rainey - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
We here in the U.S. tend to be shamefully ignorant of episodes of either of the world wars that did not include American soldiers. SNIPER ON THE EASTERN FRONT: THE MEMOIRS OF SEPP ALLERBERGER, KNIGHT'S CROSS, lends critical insight to the barbarism and intensity that was the German and Russian campaign of the Eastern Front in WWII.

Among certain circles, this book has already raised debate as to the true identity of just whose memoirs these truly are, as Sepp Allerberger seems to be a pseudonym. Nevertheless, this is a fast paced and riveting account that is obviously accurate and worthy of the person who lived it.

The story unfolds as Allerberger, an Austrian born soldier, is drafted into the German Mountain Division. He qualifies as a machine gunner and is sent to the Ukraine, where fate soon intervenes. Allerberger is wounded by a Russian sniper, but finds a Moisin Nagant model 91/30, the famed Russian sniper rifle. While recuperating from his wound, Allerberger tirelessly practices his marksmanship with his newly liberated weapon and soon becomes exceedingly proficient. He is placed back into service as a German sniper where he develops his true legacy.

He records 257 confirmed kills and in doing so, is awarded the famed Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Memoirs don't always read well, but this volume is exceptional. The tactics used are quite descriptive and the action is non-stop throughout the short 146 page book. This book brings to life, the savagery and butchery that was the Eastern Front and has a well deserved place on the bookshelf of any WWII enthusiast. Regardless of Allerberger's true identity, this story is one that deserves the short time it will take to read.

Monty Rainey

88 von 97 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Brutal and necessary reading 26. Februar 2007
Von Konrad Baumeister - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Americans in general know shockingly little about the kind of fighting that took place on fronts other than their own in World War II (or other wars for that matter). It is therefore extremely important to have the opportunity to read first person accounts of the experiences of soldiers on those other fronts, especially when as in this case it is the Russian front where Germany was essentially defeated, and the memoir is written by a soldier who fought with the competition as it were. This book, essentially a series of interviews of an aging veteran of the 3rd Mountain (Gebirgsjager) Division, woven together to give us a more or less continuous narrative of two years experience on the Russian front, is outstanding in every important way.

The author gives one a view of life in the trenches not often discussed in books on a 'higher' level, i.e. the experience of combat, fear, panic, rage, comfidence, loyalty, cynicism and resignation. The discomfort of waiting immobile under a tank for hours; the horror of having to watch comrades in arms be tortured mercilessly by the enemy; the helplessness of witnessing rapes and civilian murders; and the foreboding of disaster. It is utterly human, and utterly inhuman at the same time.

Besides the front-line duty which takes up much of the book, there is some good material on the technical aspects of marksmanship, of the Russian and German equipment utilized, and of the training a sniper would go through. It is also quite a valuable record, if an anecdotal one, of the kind of men the Soviet enemy fielded. Germans and Nazis committed plenty of crimes in the east against civilians and soldiers alike, but they were by no means the only perpetrators, and held no monopoly on evil. It is useful to be reminded, and reminded forcefully, of this fact by eyewitnesses.

War was fought at its most vicious on the eastern front, in a way present day soldiers, especially those of western armies, cannot easily conceive. This book has it all. This is no glamorization of war or combat; very far from it. It is shocking and brutal and not fit for TV. One comes away from the experience moved, educated, saddened by the complete futility and destruction and pointlessness of this most grotesque of wars. There isn't very much uplifting in the book.

It is an excellent first hand account of war at its worst.
97 von 109 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Sniper on the Eastern Front - A candid review - Is this book fact or fiction? 11. Juni 2007
Von D. Modra - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I bought this book out of curiosity. After having read the book I decided to review it in two parts. If I have missed something in the book that has sent me off in the wrong direction please forgive me but I have looked over the story line in the book twice and I am sure of my findings.

Firstly the book didn't disappoint me, it was an interesting read and a fascinating recounting of the life of a German sniper on the Eastern Front in 1943-44 and the entering into Romania/Hungary during 1945. The book is not for those who don't like reading about torture, death and the descriptions of same. They are graphic. It is written in the same style as that of the 1970's published books author 'Sven Hassel'. Actually I thought that I was reading another Sven Hassel story, it was that close, except differing characters. Anyway an interesting read. I won't say entertaining in these types of books in that the descriptions of the death of soldiers and civilians can never be entertaining.

Secondly and the most controversial part of my review:

It wasn't until I finished the book, which I read in faster than usual time, and went over it a second time that I found some interesting points. The author is an Albrecht Wacker, an arms dealer and photographer who allegedly got the story from an ex-sniper who was on the Eastern Front and wrote this book based on his accounts. Okay so far, but what got me thinking was what was written in the prologue. The author protects himself by explaining that the subject of the book 'Josef Sepp Allerberger' is ficticious as are most of the identities named throughout the book. Although he does say that this has been done to protect the true identity of the sniper from repercussions, from whom is not explained. The writer Albrecht Wacker further explains, in the prologue, that he had to and I quote "fill the gaps in his story, through thorough research to complement and complete it" unquote, where 'Sepp' failed to remember details, which apparently occurred quite a lot. This is somewhat worrying as to the authenticity of the facts given in the book.

The varying tortures and atrocities committed by both sides, and the harrowing descriptions of how soldiers died, both German and Russian, have been well documented in text books and biographies for years now. I began this story a true account or one using varing information available and placing it in a written version, similar to the movie version of 'Enemy at the Gates' (which outlines the activities of a Russian sniper at Stalingrad in 1942-43).

Is this book ficticious? To assist, I looked to the photographs, said to be that of the male described as 'Sepp Allerberger'. These could be of anyone. Still, why keep the identity of the real sniper, if there is one, secret and then publish his photo, even though taken years ago, would still be a resemblance to the subject in later life. If the fears of retribution are real, why take the chance. The only photos that I recognised to be authentic was that of Field Marshal Schorner. The one of General Paul Klatt and Major Kloss could be factual and Sniper Hetzenauer I do not know but given the statement that most of the identities are false and not authentic, all these photos could be of anyone. If they are real then poor Hetzenauer has his real name and picture published as a sniper of skill. Will retribution now follow Hetzenauer, as was feared by the subject of this book towards himself, if his identity was revealed, as is outlined by the prologue.

Further in the book it describes an attack by Russians in 1943, where only the front line of the attackers are armed, with the rear lines picking up the weapons of their fallen comrades and charging on. Again visions of 'Enemy at the Gates' movie. In 1943 the Russians were well on their way to fully equipping each and every soldier on the front line and the tactic of pushing one line of soldiers armed with weapons and the rear following lines unarmed, was long gone. Further the author explains that snipers (described as marksmen in the book) including our 'Sepp Allerberger', were responsible for single handedly breaking up entire Russian attack formations, stalling those attacks and forcing whole areas along the Russian line to stay under cover for days at a time.

Again, there is plenty of factual evidence that the Russian Hierachy, while equipping those soldiers pretty well, had no qualms about loss of life to obtain an objective. In fact I would be very surprised if a single marksman would have kept a whole line of soldiers in attack formation to take cover by his/her sniping tactics. What were the Russian senior officers thoughts of this? There is well documented evidence of Russian troops being forced out of their lines to attack German lines, by the Political Commissars. It is most likely the entire Russian line would have attacked whether the sniper was there or not regardless of their losses.

Again as I went through the book a second time, I was struck by the similarities in writing style to the books of 'Sven Hassel', as I have mentioned above. Anyway, I hadn't gone past the first two chapters when I picked up mistakes in the time line, which obviously wasn't found by the sub-editor (pretty poor proofing). Chapter One had 'Sepp' finishing his apprenticeship with his father in February 1943 and being called up for military service,for 6 months of basic training. He was then aged 18. The story has 'Sepp' being declared 'fit for duty' in autumn of 1942. Then the story has young 'Sepp' being sent to the front to join his allotted unit in September 1942! finally arriving in July 1943!

Further, the sniper, 'Sepp' describes hellish conditions with shells bursting around him, bullets, shrapnel etc etc, list goes on. Everyone gets hit, either dead or injured. Sepp comes away from the war with nothing more than a slight head wound. A very lucky person given the conditions described in the book. Again this gave me cause to wonder about the truth of this story.

Some might say that I am being pedantic in the time line and perhaps I am, but the factual accounts and the true identity of this sniper, if there ever was one, is questionable. However it is a good read as a novel of fiction. Three stars for this alone. PS who is this Geoffrey Brooks character, who is also the supposed author, didn't find his name mentioned anywhere in the book.
53 von 60 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
"Sepp Allerberger was really the top sniper" 10. April 2006
Von Henry Sakaida - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
SNIPER ON THE EASTERN FRONT - THE MEMOIRS OF SEPP ALLEREBERG was written by Albrecht Wacker, who had interviewed the sniper and translated the original story into English. When I began reading the book, I was apprehensive that the story was all made up because the sniper wrote his story using the psuedonym Josef Sepp Allerberger.

The story is shocking, sad, brutal, and historically accurate. The young sniper lived a charm life and lived to tell of his experiences on the Eastern Front.

I believe that Sepp Allerberg was actually the top German sniper Obergefreiter MATHIAS HETZENAUER. Is it a coincidence that both Hetzenauer were born in 1924 (Hetzenauer in December, "Allerberger" in September)? Both were Austrian and both served in the same unit, 3.G.D./Gebirgsjager-Regiment 144.

"Allerberger" writes that he received his Knights Cross on 20 April 1945, but according to DIE RITTERKREUZTRAGER 1939-1945 by Gerhard von Seemen, which lists ALL Knights Cross recipients, no one from the unit received a Knights Cross on this date. However, there was a SEPP DRAXENBERBER who received it on 17 April 1945, the same day as Hetzenauer. Draxenberger was SS - Hptscharfhr. zugf im SS Pz. Rgt. 5 "Wiking." Just substitute "Aller" for "Draxen." Interesting, isn't it?

And there is more. Hetzenauer was wounded in the head by an artillery blast on 6 November 1944; "Allerberger" in late September or early October.

Towards the end of the story, "Allerberger" makes it back to his hometown. Hetzenauer is captured by the Soviets and spent 5 years in a POW camp.

It is rather unfortunate that this book was written under a pseudonym, but I can understand why. Since Hetzenauer died a few years ago, I hope that writer Albrecht Wacker follows up with more photos, and a revised title: SNIPER ON THE EASTERN FRONT - THE MEMOIRS OF MATHIAS HETZENAUER.
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