Simo Hayha was born in 1906 or 1905 (there seems to be two dates of his birth depending on the reference materials) in RautajÃ¤rvi, Finland. The town was in the shadow of the Soviet Union and as was the case with many border areas, the home of Mr. HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was lost to the Soviets in the spoils of the Winter War. Like many of the towns and villages of this region the area was rural, and Mr. HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was what people here in the U.S. would call an outdoorsman spending much of his time outside letting his skills sharpen.
In 1925 Mr. HÃ¤yhÃ¤ joined the Finnish Army for his one year of mandatory service. He must have been suited well for the Army in some regards as when he left he had achieved the rank of corporal. Later Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ joined the Suojelskunta (Finnish Civil Guard) serving in his home district. The Civil Guard is a difficult organization to explain to those in America but putting the Civil Guard in US terms it is much like a very well trained National Guard Unit. Even this description is far from perfect but should suffice for the purposes of this article. After his initial service he was content to join the rest of the population for a peaceful existence; however, the USSR under the dictator Stalin was to forever change the life of Mr. HÃ¤yhÃ¤ and all of Finland with the Soviet invasion at the end of November 1939. This invasion was slated to be the end of Finland but in reality was just the opening of the Winter War, a war in which against all odds Finland remained free. While known before the war as a skilled marksman, Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was known more for his quiet disposition and good nature. While an expert marksman he was not a man of war but a man of peace that enjoyed the simple life around him
Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ During The Winter War
Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was called into action during the Winter War with his service under the 6th Company of JR 34 on the Kollaa River. The Finnish stand at Kollaa is often referred to as "The miracle of Kollaa," as the Finnish action here was most heroic. The Finnish forces in the region were under the command of Major General Uiluo Tuompo and they faced the 9th and 14th Soviet Armies. At one point the Finns at Kollaa were facing 12 divisions, some 160,000 men. The Red Army losses in this arena were staggering as the brave Finns took their toll on the communist invaders. There have been those that called the Finnish defense of this key region "fanatical", and it was in the Kollaa area were the famous battle of "Killer Hill" took place with 32 Finns battling 4,000 Soviet soldiers. These were the hunting grounds of Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ and it should be noted that even against massive odds the Kollaa positions were still in Finnish hands at the end of the war (March 1940).
Many remember Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ only as using the Mosin Nagant M28 rifle with open sights and only credit his high kill total to his role as a sniper; however, this is not entirely correct as HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was also an expert with the Suomi K31 SMG and a large number of the Soviets that he felled were from his K31. Above are examples of the tools of Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ in his hunts in Kollaa.
Mr. HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was credited with over 500 kills in his service during the Winter War with his service cut short as he was wounded on 3-6-40 by a Soviet sniper. Simo was shot in the face with what turned out to be an exploding bullet and he was taken out of action due to these wounds. The total time that Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ served in the Winter War was 100 days with about 500 kills credited to him. His record is truly remarkable and is long since remembered in the nation of Finland.
In times of trouble it is often the quiet men that rise to greatness. This was indeed the case of the Finnish hero Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤, who served on the horrendous Kollaa front in the Winter War of 1939-1940. The Finnish exploits on this front are known widely today as "The Miracle Of Kollaa" where the Finnish Army Infantry 34th Regimentâ€™s 6th company overcame colossal odds against their survival. They did not just endure as they gave the Red Army invaders a fight that will forever be remembered. The Finnish lines continued to exist till the end of the War, being a true testament to the nation of Finland and the Finns that held the area. Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was a symbol of this front and he represents the true meaning of the word sisu - loosely translates to "Guts" in English.
Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ is the best sniper who has ever lived.
He indeed is a great sniper-- but that title belongs to Vasily zaitsev, or possibily his German rival.
You are wrong. Zaitsev had about 400 kills. HÃ¤yhÃ¤ had over 500 kills.
But consider that Zaitsev killed members of the best army in the world, while during the Finnish war and even after the people Simo was killing were unorganized Russian conscripts.
I have never heard of this sniper before-- before invistigating I presumed that Zaitsev was superior, he actually had less kills that 400 [ he had 200-250, whilst the finn had 505 ].
" Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ (December 17, 1906 â€“ April 1, 2002) was a Finnish soldier, and is widely considered to be the most successful sniper in history.
He was born in the small town of RautajÃ¤rvi near the border with Russia, and started his military service in 1925. During the Winter War (1939â€“1940) between Finland and the Soviet Union, he began his duty as a sniper against the Red Army. Working in temperatures between -20 to -40 Celsius, and dressed completely in a white camouflage suit, HÃ¤yhÃ¤ killed at least 505 Red Army soldiers by sniping them one by one.
The unofficial Finnish frontline figure from the battle field of Kollaa places the number of HÃ¤yhÃ¤'s sniper kills at 542. A daily account of the kills at Kollaa was conducted for the Finnish snipers. HÃ¤yhÃ¤ used a Finnish Mosin-Nagant related M28 Pystykorva rifle because it suited his small frame (5 ft). He preferred to use iron sights rather than telescopic sights to present less of a target (sun reflecting from lenses gave the position away, and the sniper must raise their head higher with telescopic sights).
Besides his sniper kills, Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ is known to have made well over two hundred kills with a submachinegun, a weapon he was very fond of. All HÃ¤yhÃ¤'s kills were accomplished within three months, prior to his injuries caused by an exploding enemy bullet. Other snipers who have come even close to HÃ¤yhÃ¤'s record have accumulated their kills over a much longer time frame.
On March 6, 1940, HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was shot in the jaw with what was most likely an explosive bullet and went into a coma. He regained consciousness on March 13, the day peace was declared. Shortly after the war, HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was promoted straight from corporal to first lieutenant by field marshal Mannerheim. Before or after, no one has ever gained rank in such a dramatic fashion in Finland's military history. When asked in 1998, aged 93, how he had become such a good shot, he answered, "Practice." About his morbid record he has been noted to say "I did what I was told to as well as I could."
Its the kill that matters, not the person who you killed.
And Zaitsev killed nealy 250 soldiers during the Battle of Stalingrad, that is not his whole score. His final count tallied 400 by the end of his service in WWII.
He only has 225 kills accounted for in Stalingrad-- and another 32 from various places.
I mentioned otherwise?
Have you a link explaining his other 200 kills?
I was the one who Beowulf was complaining about, Nikita, but I still think my point is valid (I can shoot a hundred deer trapped in a cage, but doing so would be much more difficult in the wild).
Though Zaitsev is indeed lower in shear kills, you have to consider why. If we're going by total kills, then the men who pushed the putton that dropped the nulcear bombs on Japan are the greatest hereos of the war, despite the fact that most of the kills were civilians. Zaitsev was pitted against the greatest sniper in all of Nazi Germany, and arose the victor. Yes, he has the lower kill count, but his kills were those of the greatest calibre, of the highest of officers and snipers, for he only fought the best, and was never bested. In his first two weeks, he fired 43 bullets, and felled 42 men, his dictum was "One shot, One kill," and it is this code, coupled with his meticulous choice in targets, that makes him the greatest. (also, the feat that caught the eyes of the commisars and made him a legend was killing 2 machine guns and an officer from 450 yards without a scope) Though this Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ is quite remarkable, I still stand by Vasily Zaitsev as the greatest sniper of all time.
FOR THE WORKERS! FOR THE PEOPLE! FOR COMMUNISM!
You have watched too many movies, there wasn't battle of "titans" in Stalingrad.
Do you think HÃ¤yhÃ¤ killed only conscripts? Snipers usually target officers/ other snipers.
And many sources suggests that Zaitsev was used as a "best" in propaganda.
"True" version about Zaitsev : http://www.snipersparadise.com/history/vasili.htm
According to Albert Axell's Russia's Heros 1941-45, Vasily Alexandrovich Zaitsev killed over 300 men and officers.
Further readings indicated to me that in WW2 having several hundred kills was not that uncommon.
Senior Sergent Feodosy Smolyachkov killed 125 men with 126 bullets.
Mila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko killed 309 Germans.
Fyodor Matveyevich Okhlopkov killed a total of 429.
Nina Alexyevna Lobkovskaya killed 89.
Also the companies of snipers usually had several thousand total kills.
"Don't hate on me bro" - Loz
American version of history rocks, Kormy.
Now did you have 100-year-old partisans like Byelorussian Vasil' "Grandpa" Talash? At this photo he is 99 years old (he's the left one):
He was also made a hero of many posters, like this one (it says: "Our strengths are boundless!"):
And no, it's not Soviet propaganda. Even Germans accused him of commanding a group of 300 partisans...
Finnish army wasn't so pathetic that we needed to use grandpaps to command our army
And yes, we have of our share of heroes too (tank destroyers, snipers, pilots).
Check the "Finnish Ace(s) thread"
Learn to read, dolt... He was a partisan, not a soldier.
I read your thread about Finnish heroes and I don't question their bravery. I just don't like it when some pathetic historians from USA or clowns from Finland deny our heroes' accomplishments or even their existence...
FÃ¼hrer Kormy wrote:
Actually, the story is best told in the novel "War of the Rats", heavily based off of Zatisev's own journal, "For us there is no land beyond the Volga". True, Zaitsev was a tool of propaganda, and as such many historians doubt the battle between him and the german "super-sniper", but there is much that lends it to fact, and the amazing kills of Zaitsev (all of the most presigeous of enemy troops) certainly back up the theory of the great man. This Simo is a remarkable man, I bow to what he has done, and I don't presume to think he spent his time shooting the lowliest of enemy troops, but he did have an affinity for the PPSh, which could easily grant him numbers in a kill count, and due to the nature of his combats, I would presume (and this is only a presumtion) that many of his kills (not all) would be of a less extravagant nature, such as sergeants and low-ranking officers. He was also killed by an opposing sniper, whereas Vasily survived the entire war, a testiment to his ability. You must also consider the nature of each sniper, for it seems to me that Simo was less precise (still a good shot, it would seem) and patient, while Zaitsev would wait hours for the perfect shot on the perfect target presented itself. The nature of a sniper is not to simply rack up kills, that is one for a machine gunner or artillery officer, a sniper is to terrify enemy lines, to destroy morale, to kill the best and "safest" enemy leaders to give the troops a sense of hopelessness, and there was no more feared a sniper than Vasily Zaitsev, and as such, I still hear his claim to fame upon the mantle of the greatest sniper.
FOR THE WORKERS! FOR THE PEOPLE! FOR COMMUNISM!
Sorry? Simo wasn't killed by enemy sniper, only wounded by exploding bullet.
And HÃ¤yhÃ¤ got his kills on 100 days, not in many years like most of the Russian "god" snipers.
And at the start he did not even count his kills, only after the highcommand asked him (and then he got personal servant to count them).
He passed in april, 1, 2002.
My respect for Simo drastically dropped when you mentioned personal servant Kormy. Since when is it customary for soldiers to have their own servants?
The future belongs to those of us still willing to get our hands dirty!
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