There is great debate over whether the legendary WWII German sniper that was sent to Stalingrad to dispatch of Vasili Zaitzev was Konig, Thorvald, or even whether he existed at all. In fact in the actual Soviet war records, it 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 him as Heinz Thorvald, which was yet another popular German name in that time period. Thorvald seems to be the name that is used more now, and its confusing as to which it was, and if they were the same person, or one was a mistake, or whether the German Super Sniper was fabricated by the Soviet press to represent the German army, or German snipers on a “whole”, and that the story was just a means of providing morale for the Soviet troops. The two names are on official Soviet war records, but there is no record of either name in the German record books (not to say they couldn’t have removed the name to save grace). Any way you look at it, its confusing and debatable. Since both names appear in Soviet propaganda and war records, Konig in early war records and Thorvald in Zaitsevs memoirs and in later war records, I 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.