Having put down William Craig's 'Enemy at the Gates' I found a note of Zaitsev's book in the bibliography and devoured it fairly quickly. Whilst I appreciate that some readers will find the fact that he was writing from the point of view of a party member unpalatable, this did not particularly jar with me, taking into account the aggressiveness of the German war machine and the constant toll on soldiers and civilians alike. This was his contribution to the 'Great Patriotic War' after all! From the point of view of a marksman then I can express nothing but admiration for Zaitsev. Take it from me, hitting the mark at distances of 200 up to 1000 yards with a carefully calibrated cartridge, a modern target rifle and a high powered 'scope, and a bipod or rest, whilst lying on a grassy bank, is no picnic. As far as I know, Zaitsev had the luxury of a Mosin Nagant service rifle, issue ammunition, an indifferent scope, hunger and discomfort and return fire (or worse). If you doubt this perspective then pop down to Bisley and try it sometime. An interesting man and a good read.
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