Monday, November 21, 2022

Voices of Russian Snipers: Eyewitness Red Army Accounts From World War II by Artem Drabkin and John Walter

There are quite a few sniper accounts from the Second World War when it comes to the Eastern Front. From the Red Army we have both men and women who served as snipers during the war and both have been interviewed or have left behind memoirs of their time on the frontlines. From Lyudmila Pavlichenko to Vasily Zaitsev, Soviet snipers had a significant impact on how the war was fought and its legacy as their exploits have become the basis for numerous war films. "Voice of Russian Snipers" consists of over a dozen accounts, ranging from half a dozen pages to about 50 in one instance, from both men and women about their actions on the front as snipers. 

Having read numerous accounts/memoirs by snipers, this volume will stand out as one of the most memorable and forthcoming in its descriptions of what these men and women experienced in the midst of battle. A few things to note is that very few of these veterans began the war in 1941, most joined later in 1943 or 1944. Most were wounded on multiple occasions and returned to their units or joined reserve formations. The training some underwent lasted for months while others were fast-tracked and sent to the front. Often snipers were not correctly utilized by their units or commanders because of a lack of bodies, and at times they served as mortar-men, riflemen, scouts, or sub-machine gunners. The chaos of the front is readily visible in these accounts and many of the episodes related are quite telling of the situations soldiers found themselves regularly facing. This volume is well worth your time and deserves a place in any eastern front library.

No comments: