|September, 1924March 2, 2010[Notes 1]–|
|Place of birth||Steiermark, Austria|
|Place of death||Siezenheim, Austria|
|Years of service||1942 – 1945|
|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.. 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.