Talk:Erwin König

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Fictional Versions?[edit]

The Fictional Versions section at the end of this article seems quite curious to me. There is a paragraph and a half of discussion of a book and a film, and at least as much text discussing theories about the actual person (real or fictional).

The last paragraph appears to be putting forward a theory as too why the German Army may have removed references to such a person from records (which seems unlikely to me). It all appears to be original research by the author of this paragraph which

  1. Doesn't belong in this section (as it appears to be discussing factual matters)
  2. Should be removed entirely as a non notable claim, unless references are provided to historians who think this is a credible theory.


--Notjarvis (talk) 08:25, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Keep or Delete?[edit]

Opinions on whether we should move this page to Thorvald? Sherurcij (talk) (Terrorist Wikiproject) 17:59, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

  • I am not sure there should be an article for either, there is no evidence (apart from the russian sniper's words) that he exists. How could he be '..was reputedly the best German sniper during World War II, with more than 400 kills" and yet there is about no evidence he existed?? This page should be deleted unless it is being used for the charecter in the movie.user:ratzinger81
  • Any record of him was most likely destroyed by the Germans to save face. Since he was allegedly their best, it wouldn't make very much sense to admit publicly that he was killed by your enemies...not good propaganda. I think the article should stay, even if there is no proof for his existence other than word of mouth; he seems to be mentioned a lot and is obviously an important figure. --Mad Max 06:01, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I completely disagree. There was no SS presence in Stalingrad, a man of the rank of Standartenfuehrer would have an entire staff traveling with him. Quite the contrary, he would have been made a German martyr. The idea of 'saving face' is something more Soviet in orgin. I say rewrite this article as fiction, because that is exactly what he is.
  • I agree. The idea alone that Germany would sent a sniper to Stalingrad just for the point of killing one single man, an objective that is, given the size of the battle, pretty much impossible, is rediculous. And then of course there is no evidence. What about his rank insignia? His dog tag? Any German documents? Surviving dependants? ANY EVIDENCE? Sure a man as important would've been known to SOMEBODY, right? This is simply fiction. Get real.
  • The rank of Major is equivalent to a Sturmbannführer, not a Standartenführer. A Standartenführer is equivalent to a Colonel. --Delos 02:22, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
  • It would simply make no sense to destroy evidence that he has ever existed. If he was too important to get killed, he should be at least a known person to others.. a war hero or something like that. The Nazi leaders had

confessed the dead of every propaganda hero, simply because it can´t be hidden for all time. Some close relative, friend or the people who heard the propaganda would ask questions. The existence of this sniper with the ridicolous rank of a major is nothing more than hoax.

  • As far as moving the page to Thorvald, I don't think it matters that much as long as they are linked. The movie "Enemy at the Gates" used the Koenig name - so for better or worse, thats what many people will search for.
    Far as removing the article altogether, I disagree with that. Wikipedia has articles on all sorts of legends, modern urban legends, etc etc. Nothing wrong with it as long as they are dealt with objectively. For example, why have an article on Bigfoot if you can't have one for Koenig? (Silly example of course, but just to make a point)...Engr105th 22:35, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree that it should be kept. I recently found this entry, which helped me to understand just how loosely based on historical fact was The Enemy at the Gates. Keeping this article might help others who believe the Koenig story is based on real events to understand just how fictional it was from the start.-- (talk) 09:18, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Someone said there was no SS presence in Stalingrad... but if Konig was the great sniper he was being used as an "assassin" of sorts. He would not have come into the city with an entourage of SS, he would have been there to ambush Zaitsev. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DiabeticDave (talkcontribs) 06:01, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Just some food for thought: The most successful Wehrmacht snipers with around 400 accredited kills never rose above the rank of Gefreiter. German Wikipedia has a few entries regarding that matter. In the article on Vassilij Zaitsev, it is mentioned that sniping was considered a tactic that was beneath an officer. Also compare the German article regarding Matthäus Hetzenauer, with 345 accredited kills, who never rose above the rank of Gefreiter. While it might be a good thing to leave the article, somebody should perhaps take a bit more time to check the background resources and comment accordingly. Ondundozonananandana (talk) 13:45, 24 October 2013 (UTC)


i've removed the spoiler. It was absolutely useless, and i suspect it was put here intentionally. --Lo'oris - ロホリス 23:17, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Logical error[edit]

If there was no SS in Stalingrad that only refutes the claim that the man was a member of the SS, not his very exsistence. That claim was made in a NOVEL, not a historical account. Soviet sources never claimed that he was a SS Colonel, but a Major in Wehrmacht. So, once again - nothing is proven or disproven historically. You should separate the claims made in "War of The Rats" from th Soviet WW2 claims. The 400 kills claim I find in this article first. Where did whoever wrote that get that from?

I agree, and have restructured the article accordingly. I also edited it for a view that's more neutral, and removed some weasel words. (talk) 00:28, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Wrong author link for War of the Rats[edit]

I believe this article links to the wrong David L. Robbins.

The real author's web page is here:

The David L. Robbins who wrote this book was born in 1954 in Richmond, VA.

The David L. Robbins cited was born in 1950 in PA.

his web page is:

Not the same guy.

I do not think there is a wikipedia page for the correct author.

Mattbnh (talk) 17:25, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


This article should be under the Thorvald name unless the movie character is the primary focus for the article (and then a character from a movie with no sequals or anything probably doesn't deserve a dedicated article). Even if there is some propoganda about him being a Major and killing 400 or so people (and you don't source your propogonda so right not its just opionion with [citation needed] stuff everywhere), you also don't say that Zaytsev ever described the guy with anything other than the name of Thorvald and that he was a good sniper. The other stuff could just be tacked on for propoganda by other people. Explain more and better and follow the rules of wiki please.

There I've edited the article turning much of the unsourced accusations of propoganda into mentions of possible propoganda, with a [citation needed], centred it back around the persion who was mentioned in the non-fiction work (Vasily's memoir thing), removed the original research (namely comparing one legendary and semi-real sniper to a real sniper and their kills [in addition I'd like to point out that official kill counts and the number of people someone actually kills are different things and exaggeration does not mean untrue, Bowie has exaggerated stories about him, he was still a bad ass I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley]. I've kept plenty of [citation needed] because not one single thing that you've put here is sourced. Argue as much as you want with my changes but I'm doing a better job of following the rules here than whoever helped with the rest of the article. Add back the mention of the other nazi sniper if you can find a way that doesn't make it seem like your arguing or set up point-by-point arguments against the article, ie, put him back in if you can keep the Original Research out of it.
Another decent point to consider for anyone who might want to change things in the future, even if this remains an Erwin Konig article, Erwin Konig and Heinz Thorvald sgould not be mistaken for the same person. As far as I've read Thorvald might of been a real skilled sniper of debatable rank in the Battle of Stalingrad, who was mentioned by a real sniper who was in that battle. Erwin Konig on the other hand is a 100% fictional character based partially off of a character who may or may not have been real and adapted to the movie screen. None of what I've read so far says that Vasili, the strongest real link to this person, used the name Konig.
I'm not so sure about that. While I am more of the opinion that the sniper Zaytsev killed was named Heinz Thorvald (simply because that's what Zaytsev maintains, at least according to Robbins), I don't think the Koenig identity can be completely dismissed. After all, before the movie "Enemy at the Gates," there was the book "Enemy at the Gates," a nonfiction book composed of five years of independent research, and in it William Craig refers to the German sniper as "Major Konings." I would not doubt Craig's research, and I think that, while the identity of the sniper that Zaytsev killed is still debatable (specifically, whether or not Thorvald and Koenig were the same person), I don't think that Koenig can be dismissed as fictional so easily. (talk) 16:44, 23 March 2010 (UTC)


I believe the term "Germans" should be used instead of "Nazis", just as "Soviets" is used instead of "Communists" or "Stalinists". The Germans are a people, the Nazis are a political party, the Soviets were a people, the Communists are a party. If "Nazis" are used to mean "Germans during WWII", "Republicans" might as well be used for American troops in Afghanistan or Iraq. Doktor Musmatta (talk) 22:13, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree whole heartedly! --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 04:34, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Any article using the epithet "Nazi" discredits itself as unscientific anyway. -- (talk) 17:27, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

sniper duel[edit]

The sniper duel that is referred to in his Notes Of A Sniper, to not qualify the killed German sniper as an expert.There are three evidential points to suggest otherwise. Firstly, The German was a lone sniper, most expert snipers worked in pairs. This sniper, however careful, worked alone. Secondly, The cover used described in the book by Vasily is poor cover by any sniping standards, Thirdly, and most importantly, the German sniper shot a fake helmet raised on a stick by Vasily's assistant, this is the oldest trick in the book and no skilled sniper would risk a shot in such a duel.....I would also point out that Vasily reached the body of the German, but never made comment about his identity papers, which is odd and may suggest he was not of an officer rank. Vasily was a world class marksman, and sniper but the duel, sadly, is in all likelihood a work of fiction. Tommyxx (talk) 15:00, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


My bad, reading error. (talk) 15:48, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

This was tagged as a possible copyvio; the offending passage was added in November 2011 with this edit. I've removed it and substituted a link to the web page it came from.
Also, a large chunk of the article was deleted without explanation in October 2011 in this edit; I can't see any reason for it, and the article was significantly worse afterwards, so I'm treating it as vandalism.
The content has been restored, and with it some references, so I've deleted the "no references" tag as well.
I trust everyone (except, presumably, the vandal) is happy with that. Xyl 54 (talk) 14:29, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

German Sniper School[edit]

There has never been a sniper school in Germany before the end of WWII. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2003:45:4938:51C7:583B:A46C:E1E7:7049 (talk) 15:33, 6 March 2015 (UTC)