There is great debate over whether the legendary WWII German sniper that was sent to Stalingrad to dispatch Vasili Zaitzev was Konig, Thorvald, or even whether he existed at all. In fact, in the actual Soviet war records, the name originally showed up as a Maj. Erwin Konig, which is in fact a very basic and plain German Name at the time. In Vasili Zaitsev’s war memoirs, he later refers to the German master sniper as Heinz Thorvald, which was yet another popular German name during that time period. Thorvald seems to be the name that is used more often now, and it is confusing as to which it was. Or if they were the same person, or if one was a mistake, or whether the German Super Sniper was fabricated by the Soviet press to represent the German army as a whole, or German snipers. That would indicate the story was just a means of providing morale for the Soviet troops and to act somewhat like an allegory. The two names are on official Soviet war records, but there is no record of either name in the German record books. Of course, the Germans could have removed the name to save grace when he was defeated. Any way you look at it, it is confusing and debatable. Since both names appear in Soviet propaganda and war records, Konig in early war records and Thorvald in Zaitsev’s memoirs and in later war records, we have included them both on the list until there is concrete proof that one or the other, or both, did not exist.
In regards to Vasili Zaitsev, there is no doubt he existed, and was a very accomplished and successful sniper.