Sniper Badass: Simo Hayha
Reposted from Badass of the Week.
In the winter of 1939, the Soviet Union was dicks. Russian Premier Josef Stalin thought it would be really fucking hilarious if he all of a sudden sent like two million of his dudes over to nearby Finland to start kicking everyone’s asses and seizing whatever land he could get his borsch-covered hands on, while simultaneously kicking puppies and shouting profanities at inanimate objects in a vodka-and-caviar induced roid rage. While this may have been a laugh riot for Stalin and his numb-nuts cronies, the Finnish people obviously were a little unhappy with the prospect of having all their cross-country skis, Winter Olympics gold medals and salmon fishing boats captured by a rampaging horde of godless commie bastards, so they decided to open an extra-large can of whoop-ass and give the Russkies the ballsack-kicking they were apparently looking for.
Now when you think of Finland, the phrase “military powerhouse” isn’t exactly the first thing that pops into your head. Likewise, when you looked at Simo Hayha, a slight-framed Finnish farmer who didn’t stand an inch over five feet tall, you also probably didn’t think “total fucking unstoppable badass”. Well let’s just say that first impressions can be deceiving.
Simo was a member of a Finnish organization roughly equivalent to the minutemen of the American Revolution. He had done his state-mandated one-year term in the Finnish Army, reaching the rank of corporal, and was living a peaceful life in a farming village not far from the Russian border, spending his days farming, hunting, and crushing giant logs into sawdust with his bare hands. When the Soviets crossed the border into Finland with the expressed purpose of busting Finnish heads, Simo was called up into service. He went out to the wood shed behind his house, grabbed his old-school Russian-made Mosin-Nagant M28/30 rifle and headed out to take some commies behind a proverbial woodshed of his own.
Hayha’s specialty was his knowledge of the forests, his enduring patience and his impeccable rifle marksmanship. A sniper by trade, he would dress up in all-white camouflage, sneak through the woods with only a day’s worth of food and couple clips of ammunition, and then lie in wait for any Russian stupid enough to wander into his killzone. His first battle-experience came in the hard-fought Kollaa campaign, where a severely outnumbered Finnish force bore the brunt of a large-scale Russian assault. Temperatures at this time ranged from -20 to -40 degrees Celsius, and the entire forest was covered with several feet of snow. While this played havoc on the inexperienced and under-equipped Russian invaders, the Finns were right at home in it because FINLAND IS FUCKING COLD AS SHIT ALL THE TIME and they’re used to it there. Throughout this campaign, Häyhä basically just ran around doling out head-shots like the ice cream man gives out Dove bars on a hot sunny day in the Sahara desert. His personal best was fucking twenty-five kills in a single day. That’s like an entire baseball team.
Throughout the Winter War (as it would come to be known), Simo Hayha ran around being what experienced HALO players would call a “camping fag”, and scoring enough kill shots to make fucking RoboCop and the Terminator hide their heads in shame. He would come to be known throughout the Russian Army as “The White Death”, and at one point in the war they even went so far as to try and launch a couple of goddamned artillery strikes on locations at which they thought he might be hiding. That’s desperation there – like even more desperate than a nymphomaniac babe at a convention for castrated male models.
After hearing about how much ass Hayha was kicking out on the frozen tundra of eastern Finland with an antiquated bolt-action piece-of-shit rifle, the Finnish High Command decided to give him a special award: a custom-built Sako M2/28-30 Sniper Rifle of Headshots +3. He put this to good use, killing the ever-loving shit out of anyone that crossed him. On several occasions the Russians sent their own snipers to take him out, but Simo managed to win those duels every time. You see, Hayha not only passed out long-range silent death to anyone with a red star on his hat, but he did it without the aid of a telescopic sight. He preferred to use the rifle’s regular iron sights because it allowed him to present a smaller target, and because several of the commie snipers he moked out were given away by a glint of light reflecting off the lenses of their scopes. He obviously didn’t want to fall to this fate, so he went balls-out and wasted assholes the old-fashioned (and unarguably the more hardcore) way.
Finally, on 2 March 1940, some Soviet bastard got a lucky shot off and popped Simo Hayha in the jaw with an explosive bullet. Hayha fell into a coma and was pulled off the field by his comrades. He would finally awake eleven days later, on the same day that the Winter War ended. He would go on to live to the ripe old age of 97.
The Winter War ended as a victory for Finland. The Red Army captured a mere 22,000 square miles of territory and lost close to one million men, more than forty times the number of Finnish casualties. Simo Hayha received five medals for valor, including the prestigious Kollaa Cross, and was express-promoted from corporal to second lieutenant. Throughout the war, Hayha raked in a total of 505 confirmed sniper kills (in some sources he is credited with 542). On top of this, he also mowed down two hundred men with a Suomi 9mm submachine gun, bringing his total kill count to over 700 men in under 100 days.
Nobody in history has ever been credited with more confirmed kills than Simo Hayha. He was an unlikely war hero who used patience, cunning and precision to defend his country, his home, his people and his freedom from communist totalitarian oppression. He was an unstoppable killing machine the likes of which the world has never known before or since.