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Sniper Ace: From the Eastern Front to Siberia

Sniper Ace: From the Eastern Front to Siberia [Kindle Edition]

Bruno Sutkus , David L. Robbins
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Throughout World War II, German snipers were obliged to carry a ’Scharfshützen 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 Scharfshützenabzeichen 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 labor. 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.
Introduction written by David L. Robbins.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grim and rare. 3 Nov 2009
Bruno Sutkus' Scharfshutzenheft (sniper's log) recorded his killing of 207 Soviet soldiers between May 1944 and January 1945 and formed the basis for a book published in Germany in 2003, the year in which Sutkus died, after a life which can only be described as very harsh by today's standards.
The first part of the book contains sparse detail of his early life and is mainly about his career as a sniper with Grenadier Regiment 196 on the Eastern Front. It is a grim kill-by-kill account, he was clearly an exceptional shot, 'winning' 52 sniper duels. It is a bit repetitive though, besides narrative on each shooting, it reproduces the log entry for each kill. There are also 18 pages of plates reproducing parts of his handwritten log. To me, in this English language edition, it would have been more interesting to have a just a couple of log samples then perhaps some previously unpublished photos germane to the topic. The narrative tell us little of Sutkus' obviously excellent fieldcraft or weaponry other than that he used the ZF-K98k rifle. On both tactics and German sniper weapons, Albrecht Wacker's book, 'Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger (Pen & Sword, 2005) provides more detail and a more interesting read. Sutkus' book reflects what was in his log and his memory of subsequent events but would benefit from more editorial narrative and explanation of the circumstances. Ultimately, one gets the impression that Sutkus showed little contrition for the fact that his country had started the war, or the way it proceeded to wage a war of annihilation. He was clearly an extremely tough character and when you read of his apalling treatment in post-war Soviet labour camps you can understand his rabid anti-communism.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat misleading title... 1 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Being a member of a shooting club, and trying to develop my sniping skills, I am also interested in the historical context and evolution of sniping. There are some really good technical manuals on the market, but I also like to read the personal accounts of this special breed of soldiers, especially those who fought in WWII. I started reading this particular book with great anticipation, expecting an original story from a real sniper ace, and some interesting technical details about the rifles and different scope and ammunition he used and how he developed his personal skills. However, to start with, only half of the book is about his actual sniper's career, which started rather late in the war. Rather than telling an intriguing story of his life at the frontline, the first part of the book rapidly becomes repetitive (and therefore somewhat tedious) as it quickly becomes a mere summing up of each kill, which is then also repeated in more "official" terms, providing time, place, witnesses and effects of the Russians he kills ("shot in the chest" is I believe repeated almost a hundred time (or at least so it sounds...) It is described in a cool, almost distant manner, which almost makes the reader forget that behind the daily cummulative counter, each victim was a human being after all. Half way the book, Sutkus is captured which is the start of a totally different novel, describing his relationship with a woman and child he wants to take care off when these are banished to Siberia. It is a sad story about deprivation, humiliation, escaping death by a wisker on a number of occasions. Of his life on a collective farm, where he develops agricultural working methods that are superior to those of the corrupt Soviet system. Read more ›
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Tedious reading, the book in main consists of I saw a Russian in a gap in the trench and shot him, I saw a Russian gunner and shot him, I saw a Russian sentry and shot him etc. In many cases the statement is followed by the entry in his log describing the event just described in the previous paragraph.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating account 29 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent life story of a man who fought against the Soviets and spent most of his life banished to Siberia to live the Bolshevik 'paradise'. Death was with him most of his life, a tough man and survivor. A great book, the type that is hard to put down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Think you've had a hard life? 10 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Think again while reading this! A hugely tough character hewn out of the accident of birth and an ambiguity of birth place which follows him for years. With the mindfulness that comes from having to be on the ball without the comfort of modernity to survive, in a physically tough environment, moulds this young East Prussian into a survivor. Allied with the unusual ability to fire a rifle accurately and be at home outside in all weathers, conspire to turn Sutkus into a master assassin.
It may lack literary style and can be a bit matter of fact, but is an unusual story from the losing side turning the reader into a wide eyed spectator of the incredible challenges he faces in Siberia. A tiny glimpse into the fates of the Axis POW's who were banished to the furthest Eastern reaches. Imagine the courage, nay...'balls' of a man who even in the 1960's still declines an invitation from one of the most powerful men in the USSR at the time, Yuri Andropov, to spy on their behalf as he still wants to remain faithful to his desired homeland, Germany!
An incredible story and there must have been plenty more of a similar ilk!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The punishment of the best.
Whilst I appreciate that the catalogue, which forms much of Part One, is necessary, as a foundation for Part Two, I found the detail somewhat irksome. Read more
Published 3 months ago by capstick
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 out of 10
The 1st half of the book is Bruno war diary, the second 1/2 is his life story after 1945. An amazing account of life in russia makes you realize how luky we are.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The war on the eastern front was a picnic compared to life afterwards...
This book is incredible and shocking.
The military part of it is quite interesting but not especially remarkable - it's what happens after the war that is the most interesting... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Andy Belcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Sniper Ace
Very good read.It shows a piece of history that ha generally been suppressed A good read,and highly recommended to anyone who is interested in. WW2
Published 5 months ago by Cond
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like the truth about being a sniper, this is for you
It's a true account of the life of a German Sniper in WW2. Great read, highly recommended and I will read again in the future.
Published 7 months ago by andrea martin
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story....poor read
This book recounts the life of Bruno Sutkus, a German sniper from WWII. It is interesting in the sense that Mr Sutkus apparently had what most people can consider an amazing and... Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2009 by Nuno Silverio
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