Simo Häyhä: 700 kills

Simo Häyhä

During the 1939–1940 Winter War, in temperatures as low as –40 °C, the Finnish sniper undertook a killing spree that saw him single-handedly take the lives of at least 700 men in less than 100 days. Over 500 of these he shot using a standard, bolt-action rifle with non-telescopic sights. Is it any wonder he earned the nickname The White Death among his enemies?

Little was the operative word. Häyhä stood just 5 ft 3 in (1.6 m) tall, which was one basis for his choice of weapon, an M/28 or M28/30 Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle that suited his small frame. He also rejected a scoped rifle in favour of basic iron sights for other reasons: it meant he presented less of target as he could keep his head lower; it negated the risk of his position being exposed by sun glare in a telescopic lens; and lastly open sights were not prone to fogging up or breaking which was a concern in the snow and ice of the Winter War. Häyhä was a professional.

The lesson? Don’t piss off the scary short people with rifles. They will ruin your day.

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5 Responses to Simo Häyhä: 700 kills

  1. Old NFO says:

    There are a couple of books out on him, absolutely fascinating! And he didn’t use a scope, preferring up close (relatively speaking) and personal…

  2. Jerry says:

    That is right leave us short people alone.

  3. Jay G. says:

    Gee, I wonder who alan has in mind?

  4. mike w. says:

    pocket sized and dangerous!

  5. Pingback: White Death: the Sniper Who Killed 700 Soviets in 100 Days | Environmental Graffiti

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