Simo "Simuna" Häyhä 17 December 1905 – 1 April 2002), nicknamed "White Death" was a Finnish sniper. Using a Finnish-produced M/28-30 rifle and a Suomi KP/-31, he reportedly killed 505 men during the 1939–40 Winter War, the highest recorded number of sniper kills in any major war. Häyhä estimated in his diary he killed more than five hundred Red Army soldiers in the Winter War (by both sniper rifle and machine/submachine gun). Credited 259 confirmed sniper kills and an equal number of kills by machine/submachine gun were made by Simo Häyhä during the Winter War.

Early Life

Häyhä was born in the municipality of Rautjärvi in the Grand Duchy of Finland, in present-day southern Finland near the border with Russia, and started his military service in 1925. He was the second youngest of a Lutheran heritage family of farmers of eight children. Before entering combat, Häyhä was a farmer and hunter. At the age of 20, he joined the Finnish army.

Winter War Service

Simo Hayha proved to be an excellent soldier. He was very good at Skiing. He was capable of shoot a target 16 time in a row a minute at 500 feet away. This was incredible, knowing that the Mosin Nagant is a bolt-action rifle.

On November 30th, 1939, The Soviet Union invaded Finland, starting the "Winter War" or the Russo-Finnish war as known in Russia today. The Finnish army was very outnumbered, but knew the terrain well and had proper snow camouflage unlike the Soviets.