Erwin König

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Erwin König
Nickname(s) Heinz Thorvald
Died 1942
Stalingrad, Soviet Union
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Rank Major
Battles/wars Battle of Stalingrad

Erwin König, depicted as Heinz Thorvald,[1] is a name of an apocryphal Wehrmacht sniper allegedly killed by the Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev during the Battle of Stalingrad.[2][3]

König is mentioned both in Zaytsev's memoirs Notes of a Sniper (a ‘Major Konings’, potentially SS) and William Craig's 1973 non-fiction book Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad.[4] He was portrayed by Ed Harris in the 2001 film Enemy at the Gates.[5]

The alleged duel between Zaytsev and König took place over a period of three days in the ruins of Stalingrad.[2]

In a post-war visit to Berlin, Zaytsev was allegedly confronted by a woman who told him she was König's daughter, with Soviet authorities quickly evacuating Zaytsev to avoid any confrontation.[6]


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