War of The Rats

By David L. Robbins


This is the story of Russian Sniper Vasili Zaitsev and it takes place during the battle of Stalingrad in WWII.  The story starts out with a young Russian Navy clerk pressed into service to defend his homeland against the Nazi invaders. Soon enough, Zaitsev turns his experience hunting wolves in Siberia to his advantage as he starts hunting German officers, artillery spotters, machine gunners, and other snipers. His efforts come to the attention of a Soviet Political officer named Danilov and he is turned into a hero to inspirer the beleaguered troops defending the city in brutal close personal combat in the streets, buildings, cellars, and sewers of Stalingrad. His successes don’t go un-noticed by the Germans and they send for their best sniper to hunt down this Russian hero and kill him.

This story is more detailed than the recent film Enemy At The Gates and shows more of Vasili’s training and personal history. It also gives details of his life as a child and how he learned to hunt. You get a real feeling for what it was like living day to day in Stalingrad. Following a fictional German corporal through the story gives you a look at how the Germans lived as well. With historical research and personal interviews, the book is a riveting tale of two giants who’s destinies come crashing together.

From a technical standpoint, following snipers through the war torn city of Stalingrad gives us a wealth of tactical information, techniques and ideas. It covers more of the training and operations of snipers that we can use in our game. Some examples include using strings tied to cans in front of enemy positions. When the sniper pulls the string, the curious sniper bait sticks his head up to see what made the noise. Just long enough to get a shot off.  When reading War Of The Rats, keep a notepad with you and jot some of the ideas down and try them.


            For what it’s worth.

            Aaron “Ghost” Grubin

            OSOK #10