Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


This is coolbert:

The Greatest Soldier of All Time??

[thanks to Steve Sailer for the lead to this story.]

Here are links to the story of the Finnish sniper Simo Hayha. The "White Death".äyhä

The # 1 rated all time in number of kills by a sniper. Over five hundred Russians killed in a four month period. The Winter War of 1940. That is one per hour during periods of daylight in a four month period!!

"is widely considered to be the most successful sniper in history."

Did so with an antiquated rifle, the Mosin-Nagant. And did so with a scopeless rifle, firing at ranges of over four hundred meters using "iron" sights.

"Häyhä used a Finnish variant, M28, of the Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle (known as "Pystykorva" rifle), because it suited his small frame (5 ft/1.52 m). He preferred to use iron sights rather than telescopic sights"

"he used the Mosin Nagant M28 rifle as his 'sniping' rifle. This was indeed a standard issue rifle with iron sights, which is somewhat amazing as many of his targets were engaged at 400 yards or more."

Is also reputed to have killed over two hundred more Russians in conventional combat using a sub-machine gun.

"Simo Häyhä was also credited with as many as two hundred kills with a Suomi M-31 SMG submachine gun"

This guy was one tough bird. Had a goodly portion of his face shot away by an exploding bullet, but survived. Lived a long life, passing away just recently at age ninety six.

"Häyhä was shot in the jaw during close combat . . . He was picked up by fellow soldiers who said 'half his head was missing'"


"the moral is to the physical as three is to one" - - Napoleon.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great posting. This guy personally killed over 700 of the enemy! This is probably unheard of in the history of warfare. If he hadn't been wounded, I bet he would have killed at least 1,000 enemy soldiers. The fact that he used a submachine gun for some of the action is even more impressive (if that is at all possible).
The Suomi fires a 9mm round that Wikipedia says has an effective range of approx. 200 meters. If Hayha used this sub gun at the limit of its effective range, I am awed by his skill. If he used it close up I am awed at his skill and coolness in close combat. Actually, I am pretty much in awe of this man's exploits in what was probably some of the harshest conditions combat ever occurred in anytime, ever. Christ, the Russians even devoted artillery bombardments for him alone. Talk about personal attention!
Hayha was for all practical purposes a 1 man army. I can only imagine the fear he must have inspired in the ranks of the Red Army. Probably just his name alone caused considerable discomfort and anxiety. I have the feeling that his effectiveness was not just limited to his actual killing. I am sure that when Russian units thought or heard he they were in his hunting grounds, the number of sick calls, equipment "malfunctions," and number of times units "got lost" rose considerably. I also wonder how many Red Army officers were shot because they were not effective in taking Hayha down. The Red Army loved to shoot people for being ineffective and to inspire others. I think the phrase was "pour encourager les autres" but I doubt the Russians were thinking of Lord Byng.
As a side note, I did a little reaserch on his rifle he used. It seems that the Finnish Army still uses components of that model rifle in their modern models (again, I am relying on Wikipedia and they can be a bit unreliable at times, but it still makes for a great story). Is it possible that some young sharp shooter today is using a modern model that has a part or two from the Great Simo Hayha? I also think that Hayha and men like him is what prevented the Red Army from annexing Finladn after the end of WW2. The USSR grabbed Poland, the Baltic nations, hungar, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, why not Finland. The USSR probably decided that the price was too high and they were probably right. Who wants to occupy what would have probably been called the RSFR of Karelia and have to fight constantly with men like him in frozen pine forests?

12:47 PM

Blogger Albert said...

This is Bert: Simo and his compatriots had will power. Finland had just become independent a few decades earlier. They had Mannerheim as commander, and Mannerheim had the intelligence provided by Arne Beurling to know where and when to position his troops. The Finns had concrete gun emplacements for their artillery and WARMING tents. The Soviets had neither. I guess a lot of Soviet troops got sniped and killed while huddling around bonfires trying to keep warm. The forests of Finland where the fighting took place were so riddled with lead from weapons fire they could not be harvested to this day. Saw blades will break clean. Was an impetus for Finnish industry and design. To support themselves forestry could not be the breadwinner, something else had to be done. Good came from bad!!??

Carlos Hathcock in Vietnam is credited with 99 confirmed kills. Meaning he had a witness who could vouch. UP TO 300 AND MAYBE 500 KILLS TOTAL THAT COULD NOT BE VOUCHED FOR!!!


7:35 PM


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