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"White Death" Finish Sniper WW2 505 kills

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Simo Hayha
Simo Häyhä, also known as “The White Death” is widely regarded as the most skilled and successful sniper there ever was, with over 500 kills to his name. He helped defend Finland from the Soviets during World War II. Here is his story.

Humble Beginnings
Depending on the record, Simo Häyhä was born in 1905 in the farming town of Rautjärvi. His childhood was filled with plenty of hard work on the farm, which coupled with the Finnish wilderness made him a very tough – yet patient – man. A few years later in 1925, Häyhä served a mandatory one-year service in Finland's army. While one year may not be a long time, he obviously made the best of it: by the time he was honorably discharged, he had been promoted to the rank of corporal.

Later on, Häyhä joined the Finnish Civil Guard, a military organization comparable to the National Guard in the United States. During his time with the Civil Guard, he received a great deal of training, which included target shooting. Shooting was always an interest for Häyhä, and any spare time he had was spent outdoors shooting at whatever targets he could find. His first rifle was a Russian-built Mosin-Nagant bolt action M91, and was later introduced to the better-performing M28/30 and the 9mm Suomi submachine gun. Thanks to both his training and natural enjoyment of shooting, Häyhä was eventually able to hit a target 16 times per minute at about 500 feet away, making him an excellent sniper—a skill that would later serve him very well.

The Winter War
In 1939, the Soviet Union attempted to invade Finland. Being a member of the Civil Guard, Häyhä was called into service, serving under the 6th Company of JR 34 on the Kollaa River. Commanded by Major General Uiluo Tuompo, the Finns faced both the 9th and 14th Soviet Armies, and at one point were fighting against as many as 12 divisions - about 160,000 soldiers. Also at one point in the same area, there were only 32 Finns fighting against over 4,000 Soviets!

Despite being outnumbered, however, the Finns were still victorious at the end of the day. The invading Soviets weren’t as organized as one would expect: they spoke many different languages, and they weren’t used to the harsh Finnish winters either. In fact, the winter of 1939-40 was very snowy, and had temperatures ranging from -40 to -20 degrees Celsius.

The Finns were also smart in their tactics, the most notable of which were known as “Motti”-tactics. Since the Soviets would invade by the roads, the Finns would hide out in the surrounding wilderness. They would then let the invaders cross the border, and attack them from behind!


Simo Häyhä’s vacated farmhouse was littered with trophies he’d won for marksmanship. Reportedly, Häyhä could hit a target 150 meters away 16 times in one minute. He served his required year in the Finnish military starting in 1925, and was discharged as a corporal. Thereafter he joined the Civil Guard, the Finnish analog of the US National Guard. Over the years, Häyhä drilled with the Civil Guard until he was called back into service.

At the time, the entire population of Finland numbered around three million, while the USSR was nearer to 171 million. The Finns knew they were outmanned at about one hundred to one, and therefore opted for a defensive, guerrilla-style strategy. Häyhä’s first active-duty assignment was with Jaeger Regiment 34 stationed along the Kollaa River.

The Winter War was brutally cold. Rarely did the temperature exceed zero degrees Fahrenheit, but the genital-constricting cold was inadequate to stop Häyhä. Usually he would don his warmest uniform and wrap it with a white snowsuit, mitts, and mask, wrap a few days’ worth of food in cloth, pocket fifty to seventy rounds of ammunition, and hike out into the bush with his rifle and a submachine gun. He would find himself a vantage point in some brush or in the boughs of a tree, and wait—sometimes for days—for a target of opportunity. The invading Soviets tended to adhere to established roads, and Häyhä would entrench himself in the terrain within view. Often he would choose to forfeit possible targets to engender a sense of security and lure more appealing prey like officers and supply trains into his sights.

The Soviets began to react to Häyhä’s success by ordering artillery strikes on suspected sniper nests, and employing counter-snipers. One Russian sniper killed several Finnish soldiers and three officers, and was on the hunt for a particularly troublesome Finn with a Mosin-Nagant M91. He made one kill early in the day, giving Häyhä a general location of his adversary. Häyhä slowly crept through the snow to gain position. When the sun began to set, the Soviet sniper decided that his chance was past and rose to his knees. The sun glinted on his 3x scope; Häyhä was still patiently waiting and caught sight of the movement. Häyhä put a single shot through the Soviet’s head from 450 meters.

Despite Häyhä’s success, the Soviets were winning the war. The Finns were forced to fall back almost 40 kilometers, to the banks of the Kollaa River. The Finns knew that if the Soviets gained a path across the river they would be able to attack the defensive lines from the rear. An area known as Kollaa Hill suddenly became a high-priority target for the Soviets as a chance to cross the river. Jaeger Regiment 34, though in need of supply and reinforcement, was ordered to defend the hill. Both sides knew the Finns were outmanned, and what artillery they had was old and useless against the Soviet Armored Infantry. A Soviet division tried to take the hill from a Finnish regiment, but did not account for the defenders’ indefatigability. They failed. The Soviets thought two divisions could overcome the same regiment, but the Finns adopted a formidable battle cry: “They shall not pass!” The battle carried on for weeks while the Finns lost soldiers and depleted their supplies, and the Soviet forces were reinforced. During the daylight hours, the Soviets would bombard the Finnish lines. The Finns would hunker down in shelter until nightfall brought an end to artillery fire, and then sneak out to make repairs during the bitter cold darkness. The Finnish forces lost several men to exhaustion as the battle continued unabated.


Häyhä's specialty was his knowledge of the forests, his enduring patience and his impeccable rifle marksmanship.  A sniper by trade, he would dress up in all-white camouflage, sneak through the woods with only a day's worth of food and couple clips of ammunition, and then lie in wait for any Russian stupid enough to wander into his killzone.  His first battle-experience came in the hard-fought Kollaa campaign, where a severely outnumbered Finnish force bore the brunt of a large-scale Russian assault.  Temperatures at this time ranged from -20 to -40 degrees Celsius, and the entire forest was covered with several feet of snow.  While this played havoc on the inexperienced and under-equipped Russian invaders, the Finns were right at home in it because FINLAND IS f***ING COLD AS SHIT ALL THE TIME and they're used to it there.  Throughout this campaign, Häyhä basically just ran around doling out head-shots like the ice cream man gives out Dove bars on a hot sunny day in the Sahara desert.  His personal best was f***ing twenty-five kills in a single day.  That's like an entire baseball team.

Throughout the Winter War (as it would come to be known), Simo Häyhä ran around being what experienced HALO players would call a "camping fag", and scoring enough kill shots to make f***ing RoboCop and the Terminator hide their heads in shame.  He would come to be known throughout the Russian Army as "The White Death", and at one point in the war they even went so far as to try and launch a couple of goddamned artillery strikes on locations at which they thought he might be hiding.  

After hearing about how much ass Häyhä was kicking out on the frozen tundra of eastern Finland with an antiquated bolt-action piece-of-shit rifle, the Finnish High Command decided to give him a special award:  a custom-built Sako M2/28-30 Sniper Rifle of Headshots +3.  He put this to good use, killing the ever-loving shit out of anyone that crossed him.  On several occasions the Russians sent their own snipers to take him out, but Simo managed to win those duels every time.  You see, Häyhä not only passed out long-range silent death to anyone with a red star on his hat, but he did it without the aid of a telescopic sight.  He preferred to use the rifle's regular iron sights because it allowed him to present a smaller target, and because several of the commie snipers he moked out were given away by a glint of light reflecting off the lenses of their scopes.  He obviously didn't want to fall to this fate, so he went balls-out and wasted assholes the old-fashioned (and unarguably the more hardcore) way.

Finally, on 2 March 1940, some Soviet ******* got a lucky shot off and popped Simo Häyhä in the jaw with an explosive bullet.  Häyhä fell into a coma and was pulled off the field by his comerades.  He would finally awake eleven days later, on the same day that the Winter War ended.  He would go on to live to the ripe old age of 97.


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