Home History How Finnish Farmer Became Deadliest Sniper In History

How Finnish Farmer Became Deadliest Sniper In History

This guy is considered to be the most badass of them all, being one of the deadliest killing machines in history – at just five foot (152cm) tall.

He was born on 17 December 1905 in Karelia – which used to be in eastern Finland but is now part of Russia – Simo Häyhä played an instrumental role in Finland’s 1939-40 Winter War against the USSR, as BBC History Magazine reports.

When the war began, he was aged 33, he racked up 505 confirmed sniper kills for the Finnish Army during the conflict’s run, giving him such a reputation that he was nicknamed ‘The White Death’ by the Russians.

Before the war, by profession Häyhä was a farmer – where 25,900 Finns died to protect their new-found independence against the Soviets, who lost 126,900 soldiers – while his hobbies included snow-skiing, hunting and shooting.

During the conflict he targeted Russian soldiers with deadly accuracy, managing to hit the Soviets from 300 yards away. He even claims to have once killed 25 men in one day.

His lucky ran out when he was hit in the jaw, after 98 days, and was left unconscious in hospital for a week. Finally, when he woke up on 12 March 1940, it was the exact day that the Peace of Moscow was signed, ending the war after 105 days – albeit on Soviet terms, and the Finns had to hand over western Karelia and part of the Hanko Peninsula for a naval base.

He also lived through the Second World War and became a successful moose hunter and dog breeder. In the end, he made it to the ripe old age of 96, dying 15 years ago in a war veterans’ home in Hamina, Finland.

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