Simo Hayha (1905 – 2002) is the most famous sniper in the world. He is a sniper with a capital S. During the Winter War, which was fought between Finland and Soviet Union in 1939 – 1940.
He obediently carried out the demanding tasks he was commanded to. He was one of the significant persons who created the Spirit of the Winter War by leading the way. He has been a role model for snipers all over the world and paved the way for them by showing their significance in the battlefield.
He still holds the record of the snipers, 542 confirmed kills, with iron sights. Simo Hayha was a man of action who spoke very little.
All of Häyhä’s kills were accomplished in fewer than 100 days, an average of five per day at a time of year with very few daylight hours.
Häyhä’s kill count as a sniper was based on Häyhä himself, with the confirmation of his comrades, and only those who were killed for certain were considered.
He was rewarded for his actions in many ways during and after the Winter War, the only war he ever participated in.
According to Major Tapio Saarelainen, who wrote Häyhä’s biography, Häyhä was able to estimate distances with an accuracy of 1 metre (3.3 ft) up to 150 metres (500 ft).
Saarelainen notes that during his Civil Guard training, Häyhä once hit a target 16 times from 150 metres away in just one minute.
“This was an unbelievable accomplishment with a bolt action rifle, considering that each cartridge had to be manually fed with a fixed magazine that held together five cartridges.”
Häyhä never discussed it publicly, but his own private diary, discovered in 2017, shares a figure. He begins by stating that “this is his sin list”, and estimates the total number shot by him to be around 500.