As a Hitler Youth member his skill as a marksman was quickly noted and, in July 1943, aged 19, he was drafted into the Wehrmacht. A month later he was sent on a five month sniper’s course in Wilna, after which he was posted to the Eastern Front.
He was so successful that his superiors sent him to crucial positions. Despite his age, he was regarded as one of Germany’s best snipers and in November 1944 he was awarded the Scharfshützenabzeichen 3 Stufe – the highest award for a sniper.
After being wounded in January 1945, Sutkus was given time to recuperate away from the Eastern Front. During this time he met a Red Cross nurse, to whom he gave all his journal.