Erwin König

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Erwin König
Nickname(s)Heinz Thorvald
Stalingrad, Soviet Union
AllegianceNazi Germany
Battles/warsBattle 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]


  1. ^ Robbins, David L. (1999). War of the Rats. Bantam Books. p. 512. ISBN 0-553-58135-X. OCLC 4451243.
  2. ^ a b Zaytsev, Vasily (2010). Okrent, Neil, ed. Notes of a Russian Sniper: Vassili Zaitsev and the Battle of Stalingrad. Frontline. p. 193. ISBN 9781848325654.
  3. ^ Craig, William. Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad. Reader's Digest Press. p. 457. ISBN 0141390174. OCLC 613817.
  4. ^ Naughton, John (28 February 2013). "War mentality: How a man boosted the morale in Stalingrad". Russia Beyond. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Famous Snipers in History". CBS News. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  6. ^ "Vassili Zaitsev (Russian)". Fakty (in Russian). Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2009.