Sniper Ace : From the Eastern Front to Siberia Hardback
by Bruno Sutkus
Throughout World War II, German snipers were obliged to carry a 'Scharfshutzen Buch' which recorded every kill.
Each success noted had to be verified by a witness and signed by a superior officer.The journal of Sutkus is one of only a few such books to have survived the war.
It records more than 200 kills, placing him as one of the war's most successful snipers.
A large part of his journal is reproduced for the first time here.As a Hitler Youth member his skill as a marksman was quickly noted and, in July 1943, aged 19, he was drafted into the Wehrmacht.
A month later he was sent on a five month sniper's course in Wilna, after which he was posted to the Eastern Front.
He was so successful that his superiors sent him to crucial positions.
Despite his age, he was regarded as one of Germany's best snipers and in November 1944 he was awarded the Scharfshutzenabzeichen 3 Stufe - the highest award for a sniper.After being wounded in January 1945, Sutkus was given time to recuperate away from the Eastern Front.
During this time he met a Red Cross nurse, to whom he gave all his journal.When the war finished, Sutkus was forced to join the Red Army. He deserted to join the Lithuanian resistance fighters.
After being captured again he was tortured by the KGB and deported to Siberia to endure forced labour.
It was not until the collapse of the Soviet Union that he was able return to Germany and find his journal, still in the hands of the same nurse.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 256 pages, 50 pages of illustrations
- Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 18/09/2009
- Category: First World War
- ISBN: 9781848325487
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Review by Chris_El
The author was able to make quite a few sniper kills in a few months on the Russian front. Interesting to hear the author recount his experience. He does so fairly matter-of-factly with no braggadocio. His experience in Soviet Russia after the war was very sad as he recounts the abuses he lived with and the sacrifices he made. Interesting that he was able to work hard and actually at times be better off than those around him because of it. Not supposed to happen in a communist society but one reaps what one sows. <br/><br/>Not as engaging as The Forgotten Soldier, which I recommend you read for a more detailed view of an infantryman's view of what it was like on the front.