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Voices of Russian Snipers (Hardback)

Eyewitness Red Army Accounts From World War II

Military > Greenhill Books > Greenhill: 20th Century Military > Greenhill Books > Greenhill: WWII Military > Snipers P&S History > By Century > 20th Century WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Russia & the Eastern Front

By Artem Drabkin, Introduction by John Walter
Greenhill Books
Series: Greenhill Sniper Library
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 20 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781784387822
Published: 30th August 2022

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‘Wiped out three Nazis in a shallow trench. But only got out by a miracle. The Germans apparently guessed where my lair was and unleashed a hurricane of mortar fire … the company had as good as buried me. Somebody saw a direct mortar hit on my lair.’ - Fyodor Dyachenko

‘The German snipers on the other side also engaged in stalking, especially stalking us women. They had no female snipers, just men’ - Antonina Kotlyarova

‘Dreadful death cries could be heard from the German trenches, where the enemy were bayonetting those of our wounded who had remained behind there’ - Klavdia Kalugina

‘Before firing I managed to get a good look at him through my sights. He was a young officer. He seemed to be looking straight at me and I shot him. But it was a human being! Then my feelings dulled and I went on killing the way we were supposed to’ - Antonina Kotlyarova

‘I lay down on the ground, pressed my cheek close to the stock, took aim at the target and remembered the lieutenant’s words: “Make sure your heart is behind every bullet… Believe in your shot” - Pyotr Belyakov

‘When we learnt on May 9th that the war was over, our joy knew no bounds […] I felt enormous relief when I heard the news of victory – now I wouldn’t need to kill anymore’ - Maria Bondarenko

With a wealth of first-hand testimonies, collected by Artem Drabkin, this is a unique collection of eyewitness accounts from the Second World War. The reminiscences of the Red Army snipers reveal fascinating details of life in Russia before the war, as well as the surprising commonality of the privation and unforgiving experience of frontline combat and the day-to-day starkness of sharpshooting.

The book includes testimony from celebrated snipers such as Fyodor Dyachenko, Alexander Romanyenko, Klavdia Kalugina, Antonina Kotlyarova and Maria Bondarenko.

As featured on World War II Today

WW2 Today

I enjoyed this book, and although I knew quite a bit about life as a soldier in the Red army, it was nice to read so many differing accounts, which was nice and refreshing with each chapter. Fans of the Eastern Front will enjoy this book.

Read the full review Here

The History Fella

This was a surprising book in that it was very informative about life in Red Army during the Second World War. I initially made the mistake of thinking it was one long account, but the book is a collection of first-hand accounts of various Russian snipers. Life in the was army, conditions, fighting in war, training and what I liked was the thought processed that was instilled in Russian snipers. I did think while reading this book that with current events going on the state of the Russian army does seem to have declined in recent decades. Also in one of the chapters, there is a ‘Best of the Best’ in terms of Russian snipers and how many kills are attributed to them. I enjoyed this book, and although I knew quite a bit about life as a soldier in the Red army, it was nice to read so many differing accounts, which was nice and refreshing with each chapter. Fans of the Eastern Front will enjoy this book.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

An absolute gem of a book for those with an interest in Sniping, rifles, or just plain old fashioned, incredible war history.

4 out of 5

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

As featured in

The Bookseller

About Artem Drabkin

Artem Drabkin is a Russian author and historian who has written widely about the Second World War, focusing on the experiences of Russian soldiers and snipers. His published works include Panzer Killers: Anti-Tank Warfare on the Eastern FrontBarbarossa andThe Retreat to Moscow and T-34 in Action. He is also the creator of I Remember, a website devoted to recording the oral history of the soldiers and airmen who fought on the Eastern Front.


About John Walter

John Walter is among the world’s most prolific writers on small arms, the author of seventy books, translated into more than a dozen languages. His published works include several studies of the Luger pistol; four editions of Rifles of the WorldThe Airgun BookThe Rifle Story and The Handgun Story; Guns of the Elite and its current successor, Guns of the Elite ForcesThe German RifleThe Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers and The Sniper Encyclopaedia.

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