Simo Häyhä

Cold… which can freeze you to death. It was another Bone Chilling Winter morning in 1939. A young Solitary Figure walked through the snow with quiet footsteps and a rifle in his hand, the Man was none other than Sniper Simo Häyhä.

Simo Häyhä, is the most Successful and Dangerous Sniper in History. A man who killed more than 505 Soviet Soldiers in The Winter War (November 1939- March 1940) between Finland and the Soviet Union.

Häyhä was a nightmare for The Red Army, they feared him so much that they called him “Belaya Smert” Which is translated into “White Death”. Häyhä was a soldier who was determined to take down his enemy at any cost. But do you know this feared & awed was not in the Army before the war?

Before we talk about Simo and his many conquests let’s talk about the Winter War, which made him enroll in the Finnish Army. 

The Winter War 

On November 30, 1939, The Soviet Union invaded Finland. This Winter War came as a surprise to the Finnish People and Government. Joseph Stalin Sent More than Half a million Troops, troops who attacked several places across the Finland Border. Finn soldiers did not have a chance of winning against the Soviets as the Red Army had more Tanks, ammunition, guns tanks & troops compared to Finland. Still, the timing was not right as the winters in Finland are cruel and deadly, the nature was with Finland it was one of the worst winters in Modern History, the snow was 2 Meters deep and the temperature was -40°C.

“It was better as We would not manage against the Red Army in Summer” 

Simo Häyhä

The Finns were familiar with the lethal cold weather of Finland while the Soviets were not. The Finnish army was Disciplined, well-led, and had Good Knowledge of the Warzone area as the Soviets invaded them and transformed Finland and the soviet border into a War Zone. Something that the Red Army was completely missing and which led to their ultimate loss. 

Who Was Sniper Simo Häyhä?

sniper Simo Häyhä

Now let’s dive into the story of this lone and ghost-like sniper Simo Häyhä… And the events that made him the deadliest sniper in History.

Simo Häyhä was born on 17 December 1905 in the small town of Rautjärvi near the Finnish-Russian Border. Häyhä had a rough Childhood, he did plenty of hard work on the farm, and he also started developing sniper skills at an early age during his youth he went hunting in the woods for survival & stayed close to nature due to being born in a Farmer’s house.

In 1925 by the age of 20, Simo completed his one-year mandatory service in the army. Army service at that time was mandatory in Finland to train men in the country when Finland needed them, and Simo was promoted to corporal by the time of his discharge. Many people say that during his training period in the Army, Simo was able to hit the target that was 150m away.

Becoming the White Death

Simo’s peers described him as warm, polite, and an introverted Person. He preferred to work alone even in the army. He used to wrap himself in a White snowsuit which was Thick and heavy to protect himself from the wind and snow, also the white snowsuit helped the Finland soldiers to perfectly blend into Snow.

He was told to shoot as many bullets as possible, he rarely missed any target soon after the war started Simo became a Hero in Finland His Fellow named him Taika-Ampuja which means Magic Shooter.

Skillset & Training

Unlike his fellows, Simo preferred to use iron sights instead of scopes on his guns as scopes can reflect in the sunlight and reveal his position to his Enemy. The gun used by Simo Häyhä was an M/28-30 riffle which he used to own before the war. There is no denying the fact that Häyhä‘s skills were with him throughout his childhood as he used to hunt animals in the woods for survival. It is believed that he killed more than 25 soldiers in one day. This made Simo Häyhä popular among Finnish soldiers, the Finnish high command gave him a special reward- A custom-built- M2/28-30 riffle.

Simo’s Life After War

On March 6 a soviet soldier hit Simo Häyhä in his jaw which ripped his lower face apart after that Simo was not able to fight the war,  he fell into a coma and when he woke up on March 13, the war was over.

The Moscow peace treaty was signed on 12 March 1940, by Finland and Russia to stop the Winter War, Simo like everybody returned to live his life as a civilian again. In interviews, he said that he just did what he was told.

Sniper Simo Häyhä lived a long life and died in 2002 at 96. 

Simo Häyhä died at 96

Simo Häyhäis the best example of what a lone Soldier could do when they understand their disposition with regards to their enemy, utilize features of the Terrain to their advantage. 

By thewonk