Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Simo Hayha - White Death

Simo Häyhä is probably the most famous soldier to have ever been in the Finnish army, he is also the most deadly.

Born on December 17, 1905 Simo Häyhä, nicknamed "White death" is one of the most successful snipers in history.

Simo Häyhä was born around the area of Rautjärvi near the present day border of Finland and Russia and joined the Finnish armed forces in 1925 but its was his exploits during the Winter war against the Red army of the Societ Union that bought him fame as a soldier.

During the Winter war temperatures varied from −20 to −40 degrees Celsius, in these extreme temperatures Simo dressed in a full white camouflage suit and armed with a Finnish variation of the Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle made more than 500 confirmed sniper kills.

The rifle that Simo used also didn't have a telescopic sight as he preferred to use a standard iron sight because telescopic sights can give glare from the sun giving away a snipers position. It is said that Simo used to freeze the snow in front of him so when he made a shot it would not puff up unsettled snow.

Simo Häyhä finished his sniping career on 6th March 1940 when he was shot in the jaw from close range, the bullet went in through his jaw and left from the back of his head. Simo was knocked unconscious by the shot and regained consciousness on 13th March, the day Russia declared peace with Finland.

Simo Häyhä lived till he was 97 and passed away in 2002.

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