Simo Häyhä

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Simo Häyhä, December 17, 1905 - April 1, 2002, aka "The White Death" was a Finnish sniper during World War Two. He has been credited with the most amount of confirmed kills in any major war or conflict.

Early days

Simo Häyhä was born in Rautjärvi either in 1905 or 1906. It is not know precisely as certain records say differently.

He joined the Civil Guard in 1925 and remained a member of this reserve unit right up to the beginning of the second world war.

On 30 November 1939, three months after the start of World War Two the Winter War began. Häyhä, a farmer, went to fight for the Finnish army using his Russian-made Mosin-Nagant M28/30 rifle.[1]

Surviving in temperatures that rarely rose above freezing point, Häyhä began sniping Soviet soldiers and he became so efficient, and so deadly that a bounty was put on his head.

The Red Army used various methods to try and kill him, including artillery, counter-snipers, and mass searches using infantry troops.

No matter what weapon he used, (he also used a Suomi KP/-31 [2] )Häyhä remained adamant that he wanted to use Iron sights [3] as opposed to telescopic sights. [4]

On March 6, 1940, the day peace was declared Häyhä was shot and severely injured.

For his actions in which he gained no less than 542 confirmed kills, Häyhä was promoted straight from corporal to second lieutenant, an action that was the first of its kind. [1][2]

Recovery and his later life

It took a while for Simo Häyhä to recover, but eventually he did and became a moose hunter and dog breeder.

When asked in 1998 how he had become such a good shot, he answered, "Practice."