A Sniper in Stalingrad
21st October 1942: A promising Red Army marksman Vassili Zaitsev- soon to become a legend, later featured in books and movies - begins his deadly work
Vassili Zaitsev had grown up in the heart of the Ural Mountains, where hunting had been second nature to him. He had shot his first wolf at the age of 12. With a good education he had risen in the ranks of the Soviet Navy before the war - like many others he volunteered for the Army on the outbreak of war so as to be on the frontline.
He was nearly not accepted by the Red Army and continued to suffer prejudice because he was so short - deemed only good enough to be a clerk. But at Stalingrad everyone was thrown into the battle.
It was during the struggle for the Tractor Factory, a few days before, that his skill as a rifleman had emerged. As a consequence he was issued with a sniper's rifle, with proper sights.