A Finnish sniper, Simo Hayha- the White Death was popularly known and feared by the Russians in the early 1900 era. Read more about him here.

He was born on December 17, 1905, in Rautgari, Viipuri Province of Finland in Russia. Simo worked as a sniper from 1925 – 1940 and gave service for 15 years at a stretch. He got awards like the cross of liberty and the medal of liberty. As per the facts, he had killed more than 500 men during the winter war between Russia and Finland when Russia tried to invade Finland. He used an M/28-30 rifle and a Suomi KP/-31 submachine gun as he worked in the Finnish army.

His childhood and Military Days:

Simo Hayha- the White Death was born into a family with a background in farming and had seven siblings in total. Before joining the Finnish army, he was both a farmer and a hunter. At the mere age of 20 years, he decided to join the Finnish military. He attended many shooting competitions and hence started his journey as a Finnish sniper.

His Finnish sniper service:

He used to work in icy temperature conditions (i.e., about – 20 degrees to – 40 degrees centigrade). He used to dress in white camouflage such that he couldn’t be easily visible in the cold temperatures. It is said that he used to kill five persons on an average per day. Although he never counted this, his comrades used to do that and informed the Finnish department. His commander, A. Svensson, praised him on his 219 Sniper kills and the average 200+ Submachine gun kills.

Setting records:

By the 22nd of December, 1939, he killed 138 members in just 22 days, and by 7th March 1940, he had a Record of 259 Successful Sniper kills. Surprisingly, he never liked to share the details of his kills with anyone and didn’t like the praises and applauds. He never liked coming up for a photograph. Due to his importance and skills, and grades, he was always forced to stand in the front row.

The unique technique of his kills:

During his service, while fighting, he used to put snow in his mouth to curb him from moving and concentrate on the targets. There is an arguable debate on the fact whether he used a scope or not. But, it remains undeniable that he had acquired above par skills to cause fear among the Russians.


On 6th March 1940, he had a severe attack on the lower left jaw during a war. An explosive bullet had hit his face that knocked him that had caused him to come. Later, on 13th March, he came out of his unconsciousness. During this, he lost almost half of his face as it had disfigured. Later, he started moose hunting and became a good hunter and went hunting along with Urho Vikkonen. He spent his last days in Ruokorahti. He died on 1st April 2002 at 26 in Hamina, Finland, of natural death. 

Additional Details:

There is a motion picture on Simo Hayha- The White Death and a novel written by Clive Cussler and Paul Kemprecos. The novel was released in 2003, and David McElroy directed the motion picture. 

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