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Josef “Sepp Allerberger sniper at the East Front”.

23-05-2018

Josef “Sepp” Allerberger, was an Austrian sniper assigned to the II Battalion 144 Regiment of the 3rd Gebirgsjäger Mountain Division under command of General der Gebirgstruppe Julius Ringel  unit operated on the Eastern Front. Allerberger was credited with 257 deaths in his military career. Julius Ringel died 11 February 1967, age 77.

Born in the vicinity of Styria, Austria, December 24, 1924. His father was a local carpenter. Submitted to the Eastern Front in June 1943 as a gunner, Allerberger was slightly injured in Stavropol, a period during which he experienced during his recovery from a Soviet Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifle with telescopic sights PU 3.5 that had been captured.   

Eventually, Allerberger scored 27 victims before being sent formally trained as a sniper in Seetaleralpe. During training was given a rifle with a scope 4x K98k. However, at the end of the war I used to use a G43 with a 4x sight and MP40.

During combat, Allerberger distinguished by using a technique consisting of the Wehrmacht used an umbrella to which he had removed the cloth and that he had inserted into the frame leaf tissue, which was placed in front of his line vision in order to camouflage. This camouflage was installed quickly and was adaptable to many circumstances.

Allerberger was awarded on April 20, 1945, with the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross    by Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner Commander of Army Group Centre, said that although no official documentation evidencing the granting of the medal. However, this was not unusual at this point, particularly at the end of the war

After the war, Allerberger worked, like his father, a carpenter. He died on March 2, 2010 at Wals-Siezenheim .

Josef “Sepp” Allerberger  was the second most successful sniper of the German Wehrmacht and one of the few private soldiers to be honoured with the award of the Knight’s Cross.

An Austrian conscript, after qualifying as a machine gunner he was drafted to the southern sector of the Russian Front in July 1942. Wounded at Voroshilovsk, he experimented with a Russian sniper-rifle while convalescing and so impressed his superiors with his proficiency that he was returned to the front on his regiment’s only sniper specialist.

In this sometimes harrowing memoir, Allerberger provides an excellent introduction to the commitment in fieldcraft, discipline and routine required of the sniper, a man apart. There was no place for chivalry on the Russian Front. Away from the film cameras, no prisoner survived long after surrendering. Russian snipers had used the illegal explosive bullet since 1941, and Hitler eventually authorized its issue in 1944. The result was a battlefield of horror.

Allerberger was a cold-blooded killer, but few will find a place in their hearts for the soldiers of the Red Army against whom he fought.

  
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