Read Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger Knights Cross by Albrecht Wacker Geoffrey Brooks Online


Josef "Sepp" Allerberger was the second most successful sniper of the German Wehrmacht and one of the few private soldiers to be honoured with the award of the Knight's Cross. An Austrian conscript, after qualifying as a machine gunner he was drafted to the southern sector of the Russian Front in July 1942. Wounded at Voroshilovsk, he experimented with a Russian sniper-rifJosef "Sepp" Allerberger was the second most successful sniper of the German Wehrmacht and one of the few private soldiers to be honoured with the award of the Knight's Cross. An Austrian conscript, after qualifying as a machine gunner he was drafted to the southern sector of the Russian Front in July 1942. Wounded at Voroshilovsk, he experimented with a Russian sniper-rifle while convalescing and so impressed his superiors with his proficiency that he was returned to the front on his regiment's only sniper specialist. In this sometimes harrowing memoir, Allerberger provides an excellent introduction to the commitment in fieldcraft, discipline and routine required of the sniper, a man apart. There was no place for chivalry on the Russian Front. Away from the film cameras, no prisoner survived long after surrendering. Russian snipers had used the illegal explosive bullet since 1941, and Hitler eventually authorised its issue in 1944. The result was a battlefield of horror. Allerberger was a cold-blooded killer, but few will find a place in their hearts for the soldiers of the Red Army against whom he fought....

Title : Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger Knights Cross
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781844153176
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 146 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger Knights Cross Reviews

  • Mike_p548
    2019-05-02 13:44

    Really enjoyed this book. Puts a human aspect to a Wehrmacht soldier rather than just the demon side we are all used to. What these young soldiers (axis and allies) contended with is unimaginable.

  • Jerry
    2019-05-16 10:41

    Being the memoirs of a German sniper on the Eastern Front, I was expecting a general history of the war with personal accounts interjected. I got so much more. This book is chilling in Wacker's account of his work as a sniper. He killed hundreds of Russians, mostly through a careful methodology he developed in the field. Wacker does not shield you from what that looked like, nor from descriptions of his results. He gives the gory details.I really did not get a good sense of history from this story, but I don't believe that was Wacker's intent. He wanted to show you the war through his eyes, treat you to the brutality and inhuman barbarism of the war, and document the stories of his comrades. I ended up sympathizing with him by the end. There are no winners in war. Wacker makes it clear he did his duty to the best of his ability, mostly to stay alive or to help his comrades survive. He paints the Russians as monstrous bugbears,even subhuman at times, while he does not dwell on the short comings of his own side. Given his experiences, I can at least understand why.I valued this book for its insight into how historical events played out at the soldier-level. As Germany lost allies, they turned on former comrades in surprising ways. It was fascinating to see how Wacker extricated himself from the betrayal of the Romanians, then later escaped capture by the Americans to finally make it home at the end of the war. He had a lot of luck, but exploited it to his ultimate success.I recommend this book for anyone interested in a personal view of the sniper's role in WW2, especially on the Eastern Front. Wacker gives his opinions and insight into what makes a good sniper and demonstrates how effective a professional sniper can be. However, if you are upset by gory imagery you may want to hold off on this book. He does not sanitize the war for his readers, leaving you to wonder how anyone came out of that experience with his humanity intact.

  • Marc
    2019-04-26 09:38

    This is not your typical book on Eastern Front combat in World War II. Based on extensive interviews with the subject (who is given a different name by the author), the story is told from a third person perspective which gives it the feel of a novel at times. Some may claim the story is untrue because of this, but that shouldn't take away from the fact this is a very good, and at times very disturbing, book on one soldier's experiences fighting the Russians in World War II. There is plenty of combat and many incidents in which the incredible barbarity of the fighting between the Germans and the Russians comes through in a very shocking way. Some parts might be a bit much for those who are squeamish, but war is never pretty and the fighting on the Eastern Front was more a battle of annihilation than anything else. Definitely a fine addition to any collection of books on World War II.

  • Gary Daly
    2019-05-26 12:48

    Memoir? History? The author opens up on his gruesome experiences with the speed of a fast food burger. My only feeling is that the war on the Eastern front was so ghastly, so vile that the death and torture experienced by all it consumed becomes more 'unbelievably fantastic' and mythological the further history moves away from the era concerned. This book left me in a smog of the contradiction and curiosity. Allerberger's narrative is weak and confusing and peppered by gob-smacking reflections of the evil crimes committed by the enemy invaders breaching the Reich in 1945 in response to Germany's (1939-1945) civilised cultural exchange solution.Curious but for the depth of subject matter at hand a real let down.

  • Neil
    2019-04-30 10:51

    Details the accounts of the second most successful Wehrmacht sniper Josef Sepp Allerberger, credited with 257 kills he saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war. Not quite sure about this one, its entertaining for sure, but maybe at the expense of the book being exaggerated and with sensationalized accounts. Reads like a Sven Hassel novel at times. Its also clear the author has a very low opinion of the Red Army,( i suppose total war eastern front style will do that to you) barely 10 pages in and there are Russian troops slow roasting their own comrades on a spit. Despite this there are great moments and insights into sniping, camo techniques, explosive bullets, heads popping like melons and all that good stuff. A quick entertaining read

  • Andrew
    2019-05-13 11:29

    Some compelling battle narratives, but this book is seriously lacking on substance. It's also not a memoir, it's a story related to the author by the anonymous subject (Sepp Allerberger is a pseudonym). Not totally worthless, but I just could not shake a feeling questioning this book's authenticity. The narrative and the writing didn't really wow me, either. I don't know why this book gets so much attention.

  • Tony MassagliaP7
    2019-05-20 14:39

    Josef “Sepp” Allerberger was the one of the deadliest and most successful snipers of the German front and a private soldier to be gifted with the award of the Knight’s Cross. In this sometimes terribly descriptive and vivid memoir, Allerberger provides a detailed description of the commitment in field displays, discipline and the day to day life of the sniper, along with the affects of war. Away from the cameras, prisoners got executed quickly after surrendering. Russian snipers used the explosive bullet and Hitler eventually authorized the breed of bullet in 1944. The result was a bloody warfare with blood and more significant death tolls. All in all the book was filled with many vivid details that truly explained the true nature of war. I wouldn't say the book is a must read but a good story to follow if you get the chance.

  • Tom
    2019-05-03 11:57

    Josef Sepp Allerberger was an Austrian conscripted into the German Army. Unfortunately, he was assigned as a machine gunner and soon realized that, on the Eastern front, machine gunners were targeted by the Russians. Fortunately, he was a decent shot with a rifle and quickly became a German sniper.Allerberger scored the second highest number of "confirmed" kills by any German Sniper with 257. Only those kills witnessed by an officer or an NCO were counted.The story is about his retreat from the Russian front, fleeing the Soviet advance. How he and his unit fought to stay alive although sorely out manned by the enemy. Eventually, the war ended and he did make it home safely.This is the first book I've read from a Germans point of view. It was well written and enjoyable.

  • Willpintar
    2019-05-22 07:35

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. A very easy read and couldn't put it down. Packed full of interesting accounts(if not a little boastful at times) and well written in the form of memoirs.I read Red sniper on the eastern front first and this was a brilliant comparison from the German perspective. Would definitely recommend to anyone interested WW2 books.

  • Richard
    2019-05-15 08:36

    One of the better books I've read. Interesting, informative, horrifying and thought provoking. It makes you realise that the Russians were equally as sick and awful as the Nazis and there were severe losses and sacrifices by both sides. I'd recommend this book

  • Ellie Midwood
    2019-05-08 07:50

    A very interesting memoir of an Austrian sniper Sepp Allerberger, who was conscripted to serve in the Wehrmacht and soon became one of its few distinguished snipers. Even though I was already familiar with many aspects of the Germans’ service on the Eastern front, this particular account definitely presents an invaluable research source if one wants to learn particularly about the snipers. I knew that the German army (just like any other allied or axis army) never employed as many snipers as the Red Army - which had the whole companies consisting of sharpshooters - and the rarity of such a memoir makes it even more important for anyone interested in that side of history. The writing is vivid and descriptive, and it was easy for me to visualize everything happening to Allerberger: his first kill, his encounters with the enemy, his camouflage techniques, his relationship with his comrades, battle scenes and atrocities committed. The only thing that got slightly annoying by the end was how the Red Army was portrayed as a horde of savages and the German Army as noble defenders of their land and freedom. Yes, there were definitely the most gruesome war crimes committed on both sides, but his position of an innocent party was slightly hypocritical, to say the least. And by the way, most atrocities were committed by the partisans, not Red Army soldiers who even treated wounded Germans at the end of the war, placing them with their own wounded in the same tent. Different war memoirs told from the German point of view, even stress the same point - that it was always the partisans who tortured the captured and the wounded, not the soldiers (look up Sajer and Bidermann for example). So, that part was slightly inaccurate. The technicalities concerning the sniper’s craft were masterfully presented: easy to visualize and explained in accessible terms. Allerberger’s experience in the sniper’s school and his attitude toward wearing distinguishing markings or awards on his uniform were also a very nice addition to this highly compelling memoir. Overall, it was a great read which I would highly recommend.

  • Dubysa
    2019-05-27 08:41

    Knyga su dideliu žodžiu "Hm". Savotiškas vertimas (niekur kitur nesutikau termino "visurbuviai lavonai"), kas puslapis - po "sultingą" sceną, ką su žmogum padaro galvon, kojon, į liemenį, veidą ar ranką pataikiusi kulka, kokia yra kūno traiškymo tanko vikšru anatomija iš arti. Rašantis aiškiai mėgavosi kruvinumais ir žarnomis, mano galva ne tiek tirštindamas spalvas, kiek pateikdamas jas kaip vienintelę "karo tiesą". Įspūdį sustiprina tai, kad daugelis epizodų (kai prieš snaiperis pahr. herojaus akyse kulka nuneša pusę smakro kovos draugui ir šis agonizuoja dusinamas žaizdoto ištinusio liežuvio, ar kai pagr. herojus nuo medžių skainioja rusų snaiperius ir tik po to pamato turėjęs reikalų su visu rusų snaiperių - moterų būriu - iliustruota atitinkama nuotrauka - arba - pirmo nukauto rusų snaiperio nuotrauka).O šiaip - knyga apie vieną kiečiausių vokiečių snaiperių - tokį Zepą Alerbergerį, kovojusį fronte 1943-45 m. (ilgą laiką besikovusį su rusiškų "mosinu"). Kai ką gal nustebins, kad vokiečiai snaiperių šaudyme atsilikinėjo nuo rusų, tad karo pradžioje susidūrę su sovietų snaiperiais nemažai nuo jų kentėjo. O patys atsakydami gausiai naudojo rusiškus analogus.Laikotarpis kai karo volas ritosi jau Vokietijos link, kai vokietukai daugiau desperatiškai priešinosi, nei kontratakavo. Yra ką paskaityti militaristikos mėgėjams, tik čia daugiau, pasikartosiu, žiaurybių, nei militaristinių smulkmenų, nors ir jų pakanka.Bet kaip persūdytas patiekalas - dar ne iki tiek, kad nevalgytum, bet po jo gerokai "troškins" kitokių knygų.

  • Candychaser21
    2019-05-03 09:58

    This is not the type of book I would normally read. For one thing its non-fiction, and for another I'm not big on war books/movies, or things will a lot of blood and guts. My boyfriend had bought this, and he does not read at all, ever. He saw that I am always reading a book, and asked me if I would read it for him and kind of explain what was going on, and let him know if it was good. I was surprised how much I liked it, since it is not something I would have chosen for myself in a million years. The things these men have gone through fighting for their countries is enough to give even the toughest people nightmares. It would have been a great story if it was just made up, but the fact that the whole thing was true made it even crazier. I wont give away anything about the book, besides I read it over a year ago so the details are kind of fuzzy, but the reason I am writing about it is just to tell people not to knock a book just because it is not your "style" of book, because you may be pleasantly surprised! I admit I had tears brimming in my eyes a couple of times during this story. Read something outside of your comfort zone sometime, because you may be happy you did. I know I was!

  • David
    2019-05-05 14:32

    The best WWII memoir I have read in some time. Detailed, insightful, critical. We read of specialised combat, not the generalities of more well-known memoirs. Here is the day to day horror of killing. Wacker does not talk about politics though he may well be imbued with a particular world view. He concentrates on describing his trade, how he was able to be so successful. There are also descriptions of atrocities committed by the Russian enemy and counter reprisals by the German side. One cannot imagine what it must have been like to be either a combatant or civilian touched by this war.

  • Jacob Bergeron
    2019-04-27 11:55

    Overall a fantastic book and very easy to read. My one issue with the book is that he makes it seem like he was the one who won every battle for the Germans due to his role in the battles. Would recommend

  • Ryan Jenkins
    2019-05-01 07:42

    Stories from a World War 2 sniper from the German army. Different point of view than what is presented in most text books. Shows the darker side of the Allied powers which was extremely interesting to me. Does get gruesome at some points which should be reserved for an older audience.

  • WhiteAndNerdy138
    2019-05-17 07:42

    Poorly translated specific terms + the book is a written compilation of various sources and interviews of Sepp.

  • Richard
    2019-05-15 14:34

    Great bookIdeally this is a very good book about a sniper on the eastern front. You have to bear in mind the evil purpose he served tho.

  • Ray
    2019-05-01 07:40

    Great book,a Good insight of the german sniper and the brutal reality of war and what it does to people

  • Laurence
    2019-04-30 11:31

    Vivid scenes of the desperate retreat of the German divisions from the vengeful Soviet armies. Interesting to see the situation first hand from a boots on the ground, regular (if talented) soldier.

  • Alex Ronk
    2019-04-26 11:44

    El segundo libro que leo en inglés en el año! eso me emociona porque mi meta es llegar a 5 y casi siempre me quedó en 2 ó 3. Y tal vez el tema no es algo que comunmente lea porque hay veces que te topas con libros así que la verdad no tienen nada que ofrecer y a mi me ha pasado que mejor los dejó para después o los evito. Pero en el caso de éste fue algo curioso porque no pensaba leerlo hasta después y de repente y como es raro que pueda dormir como la gente decente lo empecé a leer a eso de las 12am y cuando vi ya lo había terminado, porque además es muy corto :) Claro que no es para todo tipo de lectores o más bien, creo que es para determinados momentos y no es que te cambie la vida o algo así, pero tampoco es una lectura que pasa de largo, es interesante y además no es color de rosa. Es cruda y se va a los detalles de lo que pasaba en esos momentos, no sólo en el ambiente de lo que es una guerra, sino en la mente de "Sepp" y de cómo a su corta edad tiene que madurar y enfrentar situaciones así de complejas y difíciles. Puede que el hecho de que esté en inglés + el tema haga que piensen en "qué flojera" pero les digo que no es el caso, es una lectura rápida, lo leí en menos de 4 horas y me quedé como en shock en algunos momentos, pero en sí es una historia que vale la pena y que contiene temas interesantes que te dejan pensando y que sin duda generan controversia.

  • stephanie suh
    2019-05-06 13:49

    Many books on Germany of the Third Reich are written in a victor's stance. In the context of regarding the objectivity of the events, the point of views in which the books are written is oftentimes biased toward the perpetrators of the war without trying to listen to what the underlings, such as foot soldiers who were compulsorily drafted to the fronts, have to say. This tendency betrays Ancient Athenian historian and general Thucydides' definition of historical record as the ultimate objective to provide the most accurate record of the events "by recognizing certain commonalities, free from bias and embellishment". One must also listen to the other side's story to transcend the subjectivity of times and to balance objective equilibrium, wherefore the choice of this memoir by a former Wehrmacht's prime sniper was thus an act of impartial treatment of the history so overflown by populist opinions on the volatile subject. The narrator of the book is Josef “Sepp” Allerberger, the second most successful sniper of the German Wehrmacht and an awardee of the Knight’s Cross as a private soldier. Originally from Austria as a son of a humble carpenter, he was conscripted to the Wehrmacht as a machine gunner in the Russian Front in 1942. Here, Allerberger shined his fitness in marksmanship and was selected as his regiment's only sniper specialist thanks to his commendable traits of disciplined mind and bravery in the battlefield.In his blatantly frank discourse of what he experienced and witnessed in the Russian campaign on the eastern front, it is unlikely to feel sympathy toward the Red Army soldiers and partisans who were as equally cruel and violent as their invaders. No German Prisoners of War were guaranteed to live once they were captured by the Soviets and the partisans alike. Instead, they were met with the most atrocious way of being tortured and executed against the Geneva Conventions. As a result, the whole scenery of the eastern front was the killing field of humanity, perhaps even more bloodstained and catastrophic than that of Trojan War. Allerberger is not apologetic nor sentimental about his actions as a German sniper. And yet, his narrative is honest without adding any lyrical adjectives or warm recollections of comradeship shared with a Red Army soldier as often depicted in movies and fictional stories. Originally conducted in a series of interviews with Allerberger by the author Albrecht Wacker, who was also Austrian, this telltale narrative is worth being read as a historical artifact that is important to understand what it was like to be a soldier in a war that he and his country knew was losing but tried to fight until the end with valor and might for their country and battle buddies in the face of the utmost atrocity.

  • Clarke Wood
    2019-04-27 08:37

    I would recommend this book as a memoir of a sniper on the eastern front. It is unique in that while there are a lot of landser memoirs, first person sniper accounts are rare. The author was conscripted, and served briefly as a machine gunner in 1943 and was wounded. While recovering, Sepp procured a captured Russian rifle and found he had very good marksmanship. According to his account, snipers were not formally really employed by the wehrmacht, and for the rest of the war his mountaineering unit subsequently tasked him as a special battalion asset. His own motivation seems pretty simple. He observed that machine gunners had a low life expectancy, and being more free to employ himself, his chances of survival were a lot higher. It also comes from reading between the lines that that he seemed to really enjoy sniping.He is credited with 257 confirmed kills, and got an iron cross, though he notes his unofficial tally is much higher, as he participated in patrols, rear guards, and general actions, as well standard sniping activity. Allerberger credits his survival and success on his prior experience at the front, careful preparation and planning, and ice cold nerves. Frankly, my impression of the man is that he was probably a highly functional psychopath. In his narrative, he recounts numerous graphic scenes of combat, and recounts an almost non-stop number of atrocities by both sides (though the Russians are portrayed a lot worse)on a level I have never read before, in a completely bland matter of fact way. He only gives emotion twice: once, when he leaves home, and once when he has to mercy kill a wounded comrade. The rest of the memoir is surprisingly blase about the whole thing.A few minor quibble I have is there are no maps to trace his units path, as it was in constant retreat, and while he regularly mentions the high casualties suffered, the reader is unsure of what unit he refers to -his company, battalion or regiment, so the reader is in the dark on what this means.

  • Joshua Parry
    2019-05-20 08:33

    This book, Sniper on the Eastern Front: The Memoirs of Sepp Allerberger, was written by Albrecht Wacker. This review is #4, Biography (because although it is written in first person, it is compiled by another). There are 196 pages in the book.When Sepp joins the army, he qualifies as a machine gunner and is shipped off to the Eastern Front after a month of training. On the Eastern Front he becomes aware that a machine gunner is a suicide position. After being wounded he trains with a Russian Rifle. When he returns to the division his commander decides that Sepp would be better as a sniper than a machine gunner. Sepp, relieved at the change of position, does all he can to prepare himself to be the best he can be. We see through Sepp’s dedication to becoming a ruthlessly efficient sniper that it takes a unique mindset to do a job of this kind. In one part of the book the Russians are across the river and Sepp shoots a guy from 700 meters away in the chest. His obvious attention to details is another indication of what it takes to be a sniper. (Characterization) On the Eastern Front it is a long, hard slog through muddy terrain with the weather never in their favor. The Russians seem to have limitless resources and prisoners are tortured in the worst ways possible. “We came upon an entire group of Russian Snipers.” (pg. 103) The reader can visualize the immense pressure that falls upon Sepp as a sniper when he is up against equally trained and dedicated enemies. (Setting) This book is real and up close but was an enjoyable read for me as I am interested in the tactics of warfare, even when it portrays gruesome events. I give this book 9 out of 5 stars.

  • Brooke
    2019-04-30 11:51

    I liked this book overall, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who just wants a gripping WWII story. The book does give a very accurate portrayal of the horrors of war (particularly the eastern front), and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a well-rounded understanding of WWII from an often over-looked perspective, but I think that the reader who would really appreciate it is the one who really wants to learn specifically about snipers at that time. It's definitely more informative than entertaining, though I'm sure anyone reading it would expect that considering it is non-fiction. Unfortunately I'm a little biased because I'm also reading The Forgotten Soldier at the same time, and I'm liking the actual "story" part of it more. The narrative is much more engaging since it's in first person and as opposed to "Sniper's" third, so I think if you want more of a story in the traditional sense, you should read that book, but that's not to say Sniper on the Eastern Front isn't just as interesting. A word of warning: It didn't bother me because I'm not squeamish, but it can be extremely graphic at times, so it's definitely not for the faint of heart. The one thing I will complain about is the fact that it's only 182 pages and I think the cost of it was over $20--so definitely not cost effective. If you want to read it, you'd be better off borrowing it from someone or trying to check it out at your library (if they carry it).

  • Nick Aschenbrenner
    2019-05-11 10:39

    The book “Sniper on the Eastern Front” was one of the better books that I have read in a long time. If you enjoy reading books about wars or are a World War Two buff this book is for you. Many of us Americans rarely get to learn about what happened on the Eastern front of WWII due to the fact that Americans were not involved in the fighting on this side. If you do have some knowledge on the Eastern front this book provides vivid insights to things that you might not yet know about. The first-hand accounts of Sepp Allerberger, a German sniper in which this book is about, sheds light onto the horrific things that occurred in this war. The Russians were a brutal fighting force and are depicted in these memoirs as heartless savages. This book is riddled with tales of the Russians cannibalizing their own comrades due to lack of food, and how they raped and murdered countless innocent women on their push to Germany. The book also gives great insight into the life of a German sniper at the time. Sepp Allerberger was one of the first German snipers and he was counted as having over 257 kills. He used a Russian taught technique of taking an umbrella and covering it with local foliage for camouflage. I would highly suggest this to anyone looking for a historically accurate portrait of day to day life of a German sniper on the eastern front.

  • Glen
    2019-05-05 13:32

    I would consider Allerberger's memoir to be one of the better books on the experience(s) of the battlefield sniper; detailing the training, craft and life of the German sniper on the Eastern Front during the closing days of the Second World War. It paints an extremely visceral portrait of life and death on the battlefields of the East, which were, by all accounts, the bloodiest of the war. I find many books of this sort fall short in this respect - in describing the mud, misery and viscera soaked landscape of the Russian Front.That being said, it is a deeply disturbing book in its description of acts of torture, rape and cannibalism as witnessed by Allerberger, acts that one could only occur in a world that has lost every ounce of its humanity (an oxymoron, if you will) - the world of war. Years after having read this book, I am still haunted by some of the events described in its pages.

  • J M Davis
    2019-05-16 13:54

    Is there such a thing as an "ethical sniper?"If Sepp Allerberger is to be believed . . . no - snipers can be categorized in only two ways, those who survived and those who didn't. Sniping is seen by some as somehow ungentlemanly, or unsportsmanlike.. War is not a sport, to be played by gentleman and contrary to what some people think, it doesn't come with rules and umpires. Sniping is a tool, a battlefield tactic - one chooses sniping just as one chooses artillery or air support, as a means of advancing or defending your position. Allerberger's story, recounted in such a simple, matter-of-fact way, makes that argument most eloquently.

  • Nick Haynes
    2019-05-05 08:50

    It had never really occurred to me, before, to read the story of a soldier of the Wehrmacht; why should we be interested in what these evil people had to say? Well, of course, the average German foot soldier was no more than a normal person caught up in something so much bigger than himself, with little or no choice to be a part of it. Allerberger's story is one of the most captivating I have ever read; through a moment of opportunism, he became a sniper when such a thing was generally frowned upon, and went on to survive against all odds, against an enemy that filled even the Wehrmacht soldiers with utter dread; the Red Army.An incredible story.

  • creig speed
    2019-05-27 07:47

    A very detailed account of a German sniperThis book was very successful at giving an in-depth analysis of what the average German sniper or soldier had to endure. Written in the first person you become personally invested in this person's journey and even being a German sniper I was hoping for his welfare against the Russians and no doubtless his recollections of Russian atrocities were accurate which seemed to involve the whole Russian army and not just certain factions like the SS of the German army. Also it reinforces my thinking that the Russians were about to launch their own war of conquest if not attacked by Germany first.