9/16/2013

Simo Hayha - The White Death







I doubt many people have ever even heard of Simo Hayha.  You can chalk me up as one of them as I was doing a little research and just stumbled upon his name.  Simo Hayha was a peaceful, easygoing type of guy from Finland.  Simo served his mandatory one-year tour in the Finland military.  After his time in the military, Simo Hayha returned to the sedate life as a farmer.  But, that all changed in 1939 when the Soviet Union invaded his home country of Finland. 

During the ensuing fighting, Simo took to fighting in the forest where the majority of the fighting was taking place.  Simo Hayha took to the forest with his trusty rifle and took the fight to the invading Soviets.  He fought them in heavy snow and temperatures in the 20-40 degree range....below zero range, that is.  Simo Hayha was killing Soviet soldiers by the dozens.  He was picking them off like turkeys in a turkey shoot.  Very soon, Simo Hayha was being referred to as the "White Death" as in reference to his white camouflage battle fatigues he wore.  No one ever saw him in action.  If they did, it was too late for them because Simo was a deadly, deadly shot.

The Soviets had all of Simo Hayha they were going to take.  So, they sent out soldiers whose only mission was to kill Simo Hayha.  Simo killed them all.  The Soviets sent out an entire task force with one objective; kill Simo Hayha.  Simo killed every damn one of them.  The Soviets sent out entire teams of counter-snipers with one objective.  Yes, you guessed it, to kill Simo Hayha by any means necessary.  You probably see a pattern here by now.  Yes, Simo Hayha killed all the counter-snipers whose job was to take out one sniper by the name of Simo Hayha.  In fact, in almost four months Simo Hayha killed over 700 Soviet soldiers with his rifle and SMG.  Finally, enough was enough.  The Soviets carpet bombed the entire forested area that the "White Death" was thought to be.  Simo caught some shrapnel during the bombing.  But, soon enough, Simo Hayha was back to doing what he does best, killing Soviet soldiers.

On March 6, 1940, someone finally got a shot in on Simo Hayha by hitting him in the head with an "exploding bullet."   It blew off half his head.  Some soldiers found him and brought him back to base.  You see, Simo Hayha, the White Death, was still alive!  Simo regained consciousness a week after being shot.  On the final day of the war!  Later in life, Simo was asked how he became such a good shooter.  His reply?  "Practice."    Indeed he did. 


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