German Sniper

German Sniper
  • Rank: Obergefreiter?
  • Occupational Specialty: Sniper
  • Unit: Unidentified

Some time between June 9th and June 11th, 1944, this German sniper (Leos Stransky) had taken up a position in a bell tower in the French town of Neuville, which was occupied by both German and American soldiers.

Shortly after fatally wounding Private Adrian Caparzo, the sniper was shot and killed by Private Jackson, whose expert shot penetrated the sniper's scope and hit him directly in the eye, killing him instantly.


The novelization of Saving Private Ryan identifies the sniper as Corporal (Obergefreiter) Wolfgang Gottberg. As with the scenes in Ramelle, the bell tower that the German was in would probably have been destroyed by either the Americans or Germans in order to prevent it from being used as a sniper's nest.

The weapon of choice for most German snipers was the Mauser Karabiner K98k.

Jackson's perfectly-aimed hit on the sniper was achieved with a shot-through eye appliance that was attached to the rear of the sniper's scope. When the sight was raised to the eye of actor/stuntman Leos Stransky, the gory eye stuck to the stuntman's face. This was timed with small explosives in the sight and an air cannon attached to Stransky's head. The completed shot was done in the first take and did not employ computer graphics of any kind.

Jackson's shot was probably in tribute to Carlos Hathcock, a Marine sniper in Vietnam who was able to eliminate an enemy counter-sniper by shooting through the Viet-Cong's scope.


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