This book is the one written by the legendary sniper Vassili Zaitsev many years ago and recently republished again. It was an interesting read from the perspective of Zaitsev himself and does provide a good account of his personal experiences. The translation was performed by several people and is very well done and there are a good number of foot notes explaining certain words and nuances of Russian culture that English speakers may not know. This also included some good information about Soviet military organization that I found helpful. The writing style from a half century ago is a different style than the war accounts you read now as you do not typically get the gory details. What you do get is a personal perspective of the Soviet mindset during WWII when their country was being over run by Germany. Having read several accounts from both sides of the war during the invasion of the Soviet Union, I can say that Zaitsev seems genuine in his feelings and retelling of his stories. There are some sketchy parts were the details are not enough to determine how authentic some stories may be, but for the most part it is a good personal account of Zaitsev’s experiences and the experiences of Soviet snipers during the Battle of Stalingrad. As you might imagine, his own personal telling of his story is nothing like the movie “Enemy at the Gates” and is more authentic and believable. For those looking for more details about the famous ‘Duel’ might be disappointed as the story is not overly detailed in his telling of the encounter and you may not learn anything new about it. I did find the book worth reading and a good learning tool.

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