Simo Häyhä ‘The White Death’ (World’s Deadliest Sniper)


Simo Häyhä The White Death The world’s deadliest sniper Simo Häyhä is considered to be the greatest sniper of all time, reported to be have taken 505 kills. All of his sniper kills would be achieved during the Winter War of 1939 to 1940. Simo was born in a village in Finland near the Russian border. In his village he would farm and take up hobbies of hunting, shooting, and show skiing. At age 17, he joined the Civil Guard and established himself as an excellent marksman in target-shooting competitions and demonstrated excellent skiing abilities. During this time, he was familiarized with the Finnish Mosin Nagant 28-30 and the Suomi submachine gun. Constant practice enabled Simo to hit the target 16 times per minute at around 500 feet, or 150 metres away. This was incredible, considering the Mosin Nagant is a bolt-action rifle and holds 5-round stripper clips. In 1939 the Soviet Union invaded Finland, which would become as known as the Winter War, or the Russo-Finnish War. The Finns were outnumbered, but knew the land well and used guerilla-style tactics to take on the Red Army. Simo saw his baptism of fire on the Kollaa battlefield, where at one point there were 4,000 Soviets against only himself and 31 other Finns. On December 21st, 1939, Simo achieved his highest daily count of 25 kills. Simo would go out dressed in winter snow camouflage and take a day’s worth of supplies, crawl to his position, and sit in the snow for hours. In temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius, or -40 degrees Fahrenheit, He would also camouflage his position by packing snow in front of him to prevent the muzzle blast wafting up snow and put snow in his mouth to control the vapour of his breath from giving away his position. The rifle he used throughout the war was the same Finnish Civil Guard variant of the Mosin Nagant rifle that he trained with during his time in the Civil Guard, known as the M28-30. This rifle featured front sights known as the “the Spitz” because they resemble the Spitz dog. Simo preferred to use iron sights instead of a scope, which were obtained from a captured Soviet version of the rifle. This is because the scopes could give away his position, reflecting the sun’s glare, or cloud up in the cold environment. He would zero his sights at the common combat distance of 150 metres. One combat engagement came after Simo was assigned to take out a Soviet Sniper who had killed 3 platoon leaders. He found a position and waited for several hours. As the sun was setting, he noticed its rays reflecting off the sniper scope in the distance. The enemy sniper started to stand up to go back and Simo pulled the trigger, taking out him in one shot. The Soviets took the thread of Simo seriously and deployed counter-snipers and artillery strikes to try to take him out. He even gained a nickname: “The White Death”. Simo was wounded in the last week of the war when a Soviet infantryman shot him with a explosive bullet. The bullet hit Simo’s face, but he was evacuated in time, before the Finns were overrun. He was decorated with numerous awards and promoted from corporal straight to second lieutenant. Later in the Winter War, on February 17th, 1940, Simo was also awarded with a specially-made honorary rifle Model 28 from Swedish businessman Eugen Johansson. By the end of the Winter War, Simo was credited with 505 confirmed sniper kills of Soviet soldiers, which he achieved within 100 days and in the time of the year where daylight hours are low. This makes him the record holder for the highest number of confirmed sniper kills. He had also reported 200 kills with his Suomi KP/-31 machine gun. When the bullet hit Simo, it had torn into his left jaw bone and knocked out some of his teeth, which he needed several surgeries to fix. However, he would eventually made a recovery and live a long life. Subscribe and click the notification bell for more history videos. Get your copy of Simple History: World War II today. Thank you guys for ALL your support on the Simple History YouTube channel. If you enjoyed, please consider visiting our Patreon page. There, you can show us your support for the channel by donating and make a huge difference in what we’re able to create for you. Plus, you can get early access on upcoming videos. So, let’s keep it growing, and thank you for being part of this amazing community!

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