PART ONE of an interview with three of Germany’s most successful snipers from World War Two.
A. Matthais Hetzenauer of Tyrol fought at the Eastern Front from 1943 to the end of the war, and with 345 certified hits is the most successful German sniper.
B. Sepp Allerberger of Salzburg fought at the Eastern Front from December 1942, to the end of the war, and with 257 certified hits is the second-best German sniper.
C. HelMut Wirnsberger of Styria fought at the Eastern Front from September 1942, to the end of the war and scored 64 certified hits (after being wounded he served for some time as instructor on a sniper training course).
1. Weapons used?
A. K98 with six-power telescopic sights. G43 with four-power telescopic sights.
B. Captured Russian sniper rifle with telescopic sight; I cannot remember power. K98 with six-power telescopic sights.
C. K98 with 1.5-power sights. K98 with four-power telescopic sights. G43 with four-power telescopic sights.
2. Telescopic sights used?
A. Four-power telescopic sight was sufficient up to a range of approximately 400 meters, Six-power telescopic sight was good up to 1,000 meters.
B. Used for two years a captured Russian rifle with telescopic sight; yielded good results, Six-power telescopic sight mounted on K98 was good.
C. 1.5-power telescopic sight was not sufficient; four-power telescopic sight was sufficient and proved good.
3. What is your opinion on increasing the magnification of your telescopic sights?
A. & B. Six-power was sufficient. There was no need for stronger scope. No experience with greater magnification.
C. Four-power is sufficient in both cases.
4. At what range could you hit the following targets without fail?
A. Head up to 400 meters. Breast up to 600 meters. Standing Man up to 700-800 meters.
B. Head up to 400 meters. Breast up to 400 meters. Standing up to 600 meters.
C. Head up to 400 meters. Breast up to 400 meters. Standing Man up to 600 meters.
5. Do the ranges indicated by you apply only to you, i.e. the best snipers, or also to the majority of snipers?
A. & B. Only to the best snipers.
C. To me personally as well as to the majority of snipers. A few outstanding snipers could hit also at longer ranges.
B added: Absolutely positive hitting is possible only up to about 600 meters.
6. What was the range of the furthest target you ever fired at, and what kind of target, size?
A. About 1,000 meters. Standing soldier. Positive hitting not possible, but necessary under the circumstances in order to show enemy that he is not safe even at that distance! Or superior wanted to satisfy himself about capability.
B. 400 to 700 meters.
C. About 600 meters, rarely more. I usually waited until target approached further for better chance of hitting. Also confirmation of successful hit was easier. Used G43 only to about 500 meters because of poor ballistics.
7. How many second shots / Additional shots were necessary per ten hits?
A. Almost never.
B. One to two. Second shot is very dangerous when enemy snipers are in the area.
C. One to two at the most.
8. If you had a choice, what weapon would you use and why?
A. K98. Of all weapons available at that time it had the highest accuracy for permanent use, besides it did not jam easily. G43 was only suitable to about 400 meters. It also had inferior precision.
B. K98 was best. The G43 was to heavy.
C. The G43 would be good if it did not jam easily and its capacity was as good as K98.
9. Today if you had the choice between the K98 and a semi-automatic rifle that does not easily jam and has the same capacity as the K98, which weapon would you take and why?
A. Snipers do not need a semi-automatic weapon if they are correctly used as snipers.
B. Semi-automatic loader, if its weight does not increase.
C. Semi-automatic loader. Faster firing possible when attacked by the enemy.
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.