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Josef Allerberger
September, 1924 (2010-09-15T19:24)March 2, 2010 (2010-03-03)[Notes 1]
SeppAllerberger.jpg
Nickname Sepp
Place of birth Steiermark, Austria
Place of death Siezenheim, Austria
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Years of service 1942 – 1945
Rank Obergefreiter
Unit 3rd Mountain Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Iron Cross 2nd & 1st class
Infantry Assault Badge
Wound Badge (silver)
Sniper's Badge (gold)
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross[Notes 2]

Josef 'Sepp' Allerberger was a German (Austrian) sniper in the II Battalion of the 144th Gebirgsjäger Regiment of the 3rd Mountain Division on the Eastern Front of the Second World War, and was credited with 257 kills.

Sent to the Eastern Front in December 1942 as a machine gunner, Allerberger was lightly wounded at Stavropol and experimented with a captured Soviet Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifle with a 3.5x PU telescopic sight whilst recuperating. Eventually he made 27 kills before being sent for sniper training at Seetaleralpe, and being assigned a K98k with 6x scope.

During combat, Allerberger was noted for using the Wehrmacht-taught technique of an umbrella with the cloth removed and foliage woven into the arms which he held to his front in order to camouflage himself.[1]. This camouflage was quickly assembled and lightweight and adaptable to many circumstances.

He was reportedly awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner, the commander of Army Group Centre, on 20 April 1945, although no official documentation ever recorded the award. However, this was not uncommon at this late point in the war.

In 2005, a book titled Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knight's Cross ISBN 1-84415-317-7 was published, written by Albrecht Wacker based on interviews with Allerberger. The book was noted for suggesting that the Soviets had cannibalised their own comrades' corpses, and graphic depictions of torture. This translation into English is an abridged version of the book Im Auge des Jägers. The first three volumes of this work appeared under the title Der Wehrmachtsscharfschütze Franz Karner, as Allerberger was initially reluctant to be named.

Notes

  1. ^ Obituary notice in Salzburg newspaper
  2. ^ Josef Allerberger is not listed in Veit Scherzer's book Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives nor in Walther-Peer Fellgiebel's book Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945

References

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939-1945. Friedburg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 3-7909-0284-5.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Wacker, Albrecht (2005,2006), Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, Knight's Cross. ISBN 1844153177 Pen & Sword Military.
  • Wacker, Albrecht (2000), Im Auge des Jägers, ISBN 978-3-932077-27-2.
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