Erwin König was a sniper
for the German army during World War II
König was accredited 400 kills during the war, and allegedly rose to the rank of major
before his career ended. The history around König is fairly clouded, just as with the famed Baron Von Richthofen, during World War I
The most fabled event connected with Königs name is the sniper
-duel that he had with Vasilij Zaitsev, a Soviet
sniper, during the battle of Stalingrad
There is now a great discussion whether this encounter ever took place at all, or if it really was König who was engaged in the duel. In Soviet
war records, he actually does show up as a Major Erwin König. But in Zaitsev's war memoirs he is refered to as Heinz Thorwald, another great german sniper
. In German records, there are no traces of either König nor Thorwald - not to say this information was removed to save face.
It is unclear which statements are fact
in this situation, or if the duel was simply a propaganda scam fabricated by the Soviet
s, or if Königs name simply served as an embodiment of the German adversary in the Soviet
It is certainly a topic open to discussion and debate.
See also: Simo Hayha
, Carlos Hathcock