Gregor wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead. It was noon, and there was still no sign of the Fascists. The hill range loomed above the position he and his comrades were defending. He adjusted his sights. If anyone was foolish enough to come over the ridge line then he would greet them from afar with his Nagant.
He and his spotter moved cautiously through the scrub in front of the own lines, hoping to get a better position.
“Here will do” Gregor whispered “Vasilly should be somewhere covering the other side”. A glint on the ridgeline caught Gregor’s eye.
“Enemy in sight” remarked his companion. Scope to his eye, Gregor searched for his new target. A sudden crack of a rifle distilled the silence. A sniper surely thought Gregor
“Can you see him?” he asked. He turned and saw his spotter laying dead a few paces away, shot through the eye. Gregor was being hunted.
Soviet dogs, thought the German sniper, as he closed the breech of his rifle for his next shot. Still, Hoffmann should have taken him down a long time ago, but, he Kohler, was the more experienced after all.
A couple of minutes later he was regretting that the CO had ever handed Hoffmann as scoped rifle. The harsh staccato of Maxim fire had erupted to the east, although Kohler was sure the attack hadn’t started. Well it had now. Ivan would prove all the more deadly to crack.
Gregor stealthily moved up the hill, to some nearby rocks to gain cover. Relocation was paramount to a sniper’s work.
He had shot a Hitlerite sniper and another foolishly exposed himself to the wrath of his comrades in arms. Although shaken by the loss of his friend, he aimed to revenge his death and take the fight to the fascist pigs.
Before he could do that, the thunderous sound of mortar fire began, explosions rippling across the ridgeline. Cries of “Hurrah Stalino” from his Gregor’s own lines showed him that the platoon had decided to attack. So much for holding the trenches he thought.
Kohler was surprised. The Ruskies were attacking yet they had no idea of his own unit’s strength. No matter, he thought, more targets to be had. His companion, Obergefrieter Streiter, crawled up beside him indicating to distant Soviet position. “Russian officer, in plain view! Can you make the shot?” Kohler observed the Captain through the scope. He wouldn’t get a better opportunity.
With the Russian officer now dead, subordinates scattering like insects, the Soviets nonetheless proceeded with their assault, charging up the ridgeline in a mass. Kohler heard the satisfying thud of German mortar rounds, and the bark of an MG 42, tongues of fire ripping into the soviet infantry. Their impetuous assault had ended in disaster, pinned down and suffering heavy losses.
Moving cautiously along the ridgeline, Gregor was now in position to see the German build up. He could scarcely believe his eyes, however, upon sighting a fascist officer giving instructions at his command post. By the Motherland they will pay for the death of Alexi! With the now heated mortar exchange going on, the German command post took a while to notice their commanding officer laying on the floor, blood trickling from a shot between the eyes. Gregor was jubilant. His jubilation was short lived however, for he himself was the next victim of a sniper’s bullet.
Kohler loaded a new round. “Ivan should have relocated” he remarked. Streiter acknowledged in agreement. “Next target.”
Such is the nature of sniping; the art of killing from distance without being seen.