Enemy at the gates dio

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Enemy at the gates dio

dave swann
dave swann

August 22nd, 2001, 2:57 am #1

I heard that someone, maybe DML, will be making figs soon that will be centered around the stalingrad film enemy at the gates. sounds pretty cool, anyone know anything on this?

also, I did some research and it seems the dual portrayed in the movie never happened. while there was a vasily zaitzev, there is no evidence that any german supersniper ever went to stalingrad to kill him. the most logical explanation is that the whole story was created for soviet propaganda purposes. Oh well, it made for good film drama!

dave swann
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David Spacek
David Spacek

August 22nd, 2001, 6:01 am #2

Well Dave,
I you plan to make a dio with Stalingrad duel with the use of DML figures than you have to look for the “Barbie brand” (Action figures). Since they’ve really released the “action” figures of Mjr. König, Zaicev and also of some Russian “lady” sniper.
But don’t expecting that DML will ever turn their attention on this theme in 1/35 figures. Especially with the fact that they’ve already issued similar sets. It is the Russian scouts  snipers and German snipers issued few years after. So my recommendation is following don’t waste your time by waiting for “Stalingrad duel set” and go to get those two mentioned old sets and make your dio with them. You wouldn’t be wrong, because both sets are exellent.
Good luck

Cheers
David
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Tim Martin
Tim Martin

August 23rd, 2001, 5:15 am #3



Dave - firstly, there is a relatively recent DML 1/35 set of 4 German infantry subtitled "Approach to Stalingrad" although they're just basically standing in a garden looking worried according to the box-art, not actively sniping if that's what you need.

On the subject of whether the duel is a myth, I saw a TV documentary series here in Australia a year or 2 back, annoyingly I can't recall its title. It seemed to be a Russian from the early 90's with Nigel Hawthorne (of all people - bizarre choice. He played Humphrey Appleby in Yes Minister if that means anything to you) doing the voice-over. The programme which covered Stalingrad included several Russian vets., on site, telling anecdotes. One of them - whether or not it was Zaitsev himself I don't know, he was obviously in his 80's, but he described a sniping duel he had and how he dispatched what he described as "the head of the German sniping school" who'd been sent to sort them out. The vet. said he stayed concealed immobile for most of a day watching a small pile of debris in an open area less than 50 metres ahead which was by deduction the only possible place the German could have been hiding under, eventually saw a glint and shot him dead. I assume the Russian found some papers on the body proving the identity/status.

It's really a matter of whether this old Russkie was telling the truth or big-noting. When I heard about the film I immediately thought it was likely to have been based on this vet, and/or his anecdote. On balance I'd therefore say it's more likely to be true to some degree, rather than mythical.
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Jason Barnes
Jason Barnes

August 24th, 2001, 4:44 am #4

Enemy At the Gates tells the story of Zaitsev and the duel (though it is only a small part of that excellent history of the epic struggle for Stalingrad). The movie was surprisingly accurate for "Hollywood" Even the romance happened, although they left out the part where he didn't find her in the hospital, went on to get married and she found HIM ten years later with a wife and bunch of Kids!

As for the German, he was there, he was killed, only his name was not Konig. I don't remember exactly what his name was, but read the book, it's great!

"Enemy At the Gates" by William Craig.
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dave swann
dave swann

August 24th, 2001, 6:18 am #5

Antony Beevor's recent book on stalingrad refutes this account and says that there is no evidence of it ever happeneing. since there is no poof, I must say that I cant believe that the germans would waste a talented sniper by sending him all the way to stalingrad when they had hundreds of thousands of men to worry about. the truth is that the snipers played a very small role in the battle. and finally, the theory that both sides would stop combat and allow the two men to stalk each other is absurd. this is what many accounts indeed say, and while the book enemy at the gates is good, check the notes. it is written for good reading and not a well-documented well-sourced book like Beevor's Stalingrad that came out a few years back.

dave swann
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Tim Martin
Tim Martin

August 24th, 2001, 6:41 am #6


Well that's a relief, it would have cast a whole new light on what they were trying to do to each other.
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Tim Martin
Tim Martin

August 24th, 2001, 7:08 pm #7


I now find that I did tape the doco. I referred to in my first post in this thread, and guess what - it is
Mr Zaitsev himself, wearing what looks like his Order of Lenin, an old man standing on some Stalingrad wasteground in 1995. And he says (via English sub-titles):

"German snipers used to cover this little spring; they came for water. The Volga is a stone's throw away but they were dying of thirst. That's how the sniping duel began. It lasted for three days but the final victory was ours and took a meagre five seconds. The German came to the duel pretty well prepared. He had already bagged two of my snipers. So with the help of the soldiers stationed here I finally managed to kill him. I'd had no idea they had sent their big guns to Stalingrad, but when we dragged out his body we discovered he was the head of the Berlin Snipers School."

Disbelievers go ahead and call him a liar, which apparently is what Anthony Beevor is doing according to the above post. Certainly Russian propaganda has never let truth get in the way of a good story. But this doco series was a Russian/British co-production five years after the fall of Communism, with research credits that ran on longer than the program itself. The way he talked, the fact he didn't claim sole credit, but allowed for other witnesses to corroborate, didn't dramatise his anecdote...sorry to disappoint the iconoclasts but it seems like the basic story HAPPENED.

And another thing - why is it so UNlikely anyway? There were several hundred thousand guys all sniping at each other for several months! If it wasn't worth sending their best marksman to Stalingrad, where else was more important in the latter part of 1942?

And who can be sure about "no poof"? They say the sequel to "Enemy at the Gates", to be called "Knock, knock, who's there?" will include a controversial scene in which we'll see for the first time the Wermacht's top snipers sucking the schnapps after a hard day behind the crosshairs, cheek to cheek at Club Stillindrag. Bet Beevor will say that didn't happen either.
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Pelle Söderström
Pelle Söderström

August 25th, 2001, 3:33 pm #8

Antony Beevor's recent book on stalingrad refutes this account and says that there is no evidence of it ever happeneing. since there is no poof, I must say that I cant believe that the germans would waste a talented sniper by sending him all the way to stalingrad when they had hundreds of thousands of men to worry about. the truth is that the snipers played a very small role in the battle. and finally, the theory that both sides would stop combat and allow the two men to stalk each other is absurd. this is what many accounts indeed say, and while the book enemy at the gates is good, check the notes. it is written for good reading and not a well-documented well-sourced book like Beevor's Stalingrad that came out a few years back.

dave swann
Actually, Beevor doesn't refuse that it ever happened, he says the story isn't totally convincing(maybe he means that it never happened, but he puts it this way anyway)

One more thing, snipers didn't play, the way I see it, such a small role in the battle, there is a story about a Russian sniper in "Stalingrad" who killed 244 German soldiers. Of course that's not too many when you compare them to all the soldiers in Stalingrad, but if you count the number of snipers in the battle and calculate their average kills, that would be quite a lot, I think.


/Pelle
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Owen Dawson
Owen Dawson

August 25th, 2001, 4:21 pm #9

I remember reading an article in the 'Daily Mail' about the filming of 'The Enemy at the Gates' and it did mention Anthony Beevor turned up at the filming. In Beevor's book he also mentions Zaitsev collected a telescopic sight from the duel. However I think it's more of a case as someone mentioned earlier, although Zaitsev got into a long drawn out duel with a German sniper, he probably had no idea the Germans brought him in essepcially for the job of dealing with himself, if in fact that was the case. Also remember, a possible reason for a lack of German evidence on the subject could be because they had wanted to keep the subject quiet. It's hardly morale boosting to learn the fact that the head of your country's sniper school has been outwitted by a Russian counterpart. The Russians on the otherhand publicised and probably over hyped the duel. Anyway they're my thoughts on the subject.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

August 25th, 2001, 4:54 pm #10

ps The telescopic sight is in a Russian museum, as Mr Beevor states in his book so there is some proof Dave. But I must agree with Dave to some extent I don't think they would have stopped the fighting in the vasinity just to let a duel take place. However lines could be static for days even weeks in Stalingrad. Especially at the period of time the duel took place (just before the Russian counter offensive). The book 'War of the Rats' states a quieter sector was used for the duel where the opposing sides had a large distance of dividing no mans land. So a duel could probably quiet easily take place without too much outside influence, perhaps bar artillery. As for influence from infantry it could possibly be very little due to the fact, a sniper's rifle would have far greater accuracy and therefore range with telescopic sights and in the hands of a marksman; then that of your standard soldier. At 400 yards (I think) which according to War of the Rats is supposedly the range that the duel took place rifle/machinegun fire would be negligable.
The novile also states the duel wasn't prearranged, just Thorvald found his ideal area and concealment, then proceeded to pick off Russian troops until an enemy sniper was sent to deal with the situation. It also mentions Thorvald found a hiding place where the sound of his gun firing had very little resination due to the fact he was under cover. Which perhaps could also explain the Russians did fire on his position with artillery, because they had no idea where he was.
Anyway, I just had to try and exercise the historian within me there.

By the way, dragon are releasing a new set of figures called German infantry winter 1942/43 which will no doubt be useful foe a Stalingrad dio. That sounds a little off the subject now.
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