ManWho Killed 705 Enemy In Just 100 Days

The ‘White Death’ aka Finnish sniper during winter war 1939–1940

L. Small
4 min readAug 27, 2020


“Cold Weather Training Sniper, 1989” by Archives Branch, USMC History Division is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There are many great snipers in this world complete with their respective skills, like Simo Hayha for example. The man who was born in Rautajarvi, Finland, in 1905 is indeed often called the greatest sniper in history.

Who is Simo Hayha?

During the cold war (1939–1940), Simo was a lethal weapon in the Finnish Army . During the war with the red army of the Soviet Union, Simo was dubbed by the enemy as the ‘ white death’. This is inseparable from his cleverness in camouflaging in a snowy battlefield. Häyhä was born on December 17, 1905 on a farm in the Rautjärvi province of South Karelia In 1925, Häyhä was drafted for a year of military service. He displayed his military prowess early on and after only one year had already advanced to the rank of Corporal.

Photo by Duncan Kidd on Unsplash

War breaks out

The Winter War began in Finland in 1939, when Russia took the opportunity to regain the territory that had once been theirs. The Russian army probably assumed that such a tiny country like Finland would be easy to take. What they didn’t count on was the Finnish concept of ‘sisu’, which roughly translates to ‘guts’ or ‘determination’. Häyhä’s skills were put to good use against such overwhelming odds.

During the Winter War (1939–1940) between the Soviet Union and Finland, Hayha served as a Finnish sniper against the Red Army in the 6th Company of JR 34. In the Battle of Kollaa which erupted in temperatures between −40 ° C to −20 ° C. Dressing in white camouflage allowed him to blend in with the winter scenery.

In temperatures of −20 and −40 degrees Celsius , and wearing a white camouflage suit, he has killed 505 Soviet soldiers, and 542 if an uncertain number of deaths is included. As well as using the SAKO M / 28–30, Häyhä also killed two hundred people with the Suomi KP / -31 submachine gun , increasing the number of people he killed to 705.



L. Small

"One arrow alone can be easily broken but many arrows are indestructible" ~Genghis Khan~