Sniper on the Eastern Front
The biography of a German sniper, outlining the ugly business of war between two armies that hated each other intensely.
“For us it was a rabbit shoot, the terrain before us a killing field of indescribable size with walls of Russian dead and seriously wounded. The corpses piled up, often towering higher than the height of a man. The rear-wave attackers had to climb up the dead who were incidentally useful as bullet-traps since they provided cover, and prevented us continuing to fire into the rear ranks. Sometimes the dead were stacked so high that the attack would begin to peter out and tanks had to be brought up to plough a way through, no consideration being given to the screams of the wounded during this activity. The tracks of the T-34s squashed down the cadavers, cracking bones like dry twigs. It was like watching bulldozers flattening a rubbish tip composed of humanity, some of which was still living, and screamed and cursed in its death agony.”
“From about seven on the evening of 6 April the Russians began probing the perimeter at various places, and just before half nine the village dwellings were set alight as the prelude to a Cossack cavalry attack at a fast gallop. Highly mobile, they were quickly up to our positions, and in the flickering light of the fires it was almost impossible to get a clear shot at the riders. Accordingly, no matter how much we regretted it, we had to target the horses.”