The year is 1939, all eyes are turned to central europe where WWII escalates, while the little-known 'Winter War' is just about to begin in Finland, as Soviet Russia invades it's tiny neighbor.
Before it is over, one sniper will have racked up the most kills in history, and make Vasily Zeitsev look like he just got shit all over his face.
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 " - interview from Mosin-Nagant.net
I don't think I can imagine 32 vs 4000......much less with 32 winning!
But this battle was where he racked up most of his kills! In less than 100 days of service, Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ amassed 505 sniper kills, as well as over 200 kills with a sub-machine gun. In March of 1940, he caught an incindiary bullet in the jaw, and was dragged off the battlefield with half his head missing. He sat out the rest of the short-war recuperating. After WWII, he became a dog-breeder and hunter again.
He died of old age in 2002.
He was only 5'3" for f***s sake!
Out of all the kills he got, not one of them was with a scoped-sniper rifle. He always used the iron sights that came with his rifle. He also developed the practice of using snow to hide his breath by placing it in his mouth.
Truly amazing character that few (Americans at least..) know about.
Here's a bitchin' video that sums it all up a bit. I don't know who the artist is for the music on there, but I thought it sounded pretty awesome as well.