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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!
Put simply, Simo Häyhä was almost certainly the greatest sniper in History. Simo was born in 1905, and prior to the Winter War of Finland, was simply a farmer who had served one compulsory year in the Finnish army. When the war began, he was called to action, and taking his trusty Mosin-Nagant rifle, became to many over the next 105 days an almost legendary figure.
Using his extensive knowledge of the surrounding forest as well as a knack for camouflage (He dressed in all white and even kept snow in his mouth so as to mask his breathing and avoid giving away his position), he wracked up an incredible 704-742 confirmed kills estimate (542 by rifle, and around 200 by submachine gun). All the more impressive was that he did all of this without a scope or a spotter. He instead used the trusty iron-sights on the rifle, as he noticed that using a scope presented a target due to the glint off the lens (when asked later in life how he had become such an incredible shot, Simo answered simply: "Practice. And clear days.").
The Russian forces were absolutely terrified of Häyhä, nicknaming him The White Death. They attempted numerous times to kill him, from sending teams of countersnipers after him (none came back alive) to artillery bombing any place they thought he was hiding. Needless to say, each of these attempts was met with failure, and Simo continued to utterly stomp any enemy who came within his sights. Eventually, the Russians had a stroke of luck when one sniper, after Simo had pretty much wiped out the whole team, managed to shoot him through the jaw with an exploding bullet, blowing half of his cheek away. Incredibly, Simo managed to pick up his gun and kill the sniper, and walked back to his nearest unit, where he was sent to hospital, whereupon he slipped into a coma. A ceasefire was ordered, and eleven days later, on the day Simo awoke, the Russian army withdrew. While almost certainly a coincidence, it was nonetheless an incredible one. With the Winter War over, Simo returned to farming, where he spent the majority of his life breeding dogs and hunting moose. When asked if he regretted killing so many people, all Simo had to say was: "I did what I was told to as well as I could". He passed away in 2002, aged 96.
Many people consider him to be one of the ultimate examples of a Badass in real life, having racked up more confirmed kills than any other sniper in history. However, in real life he was by all accounts a very humble man who only considered his actions to have been doing duty by his country. No matter what, "The White Death" will always be remembered as the greatest sniper in human history.
- He has been featured in both Badass of the Week and Cracked's "5 Real Life Soldiers who Make Rambo Look Like A Pussy".
- He has a song dedicated to him on the Sabaton album Coat Of Arms, appropriately titled "White Death".
Tropes Applied to Simo Häyhä
- Badass One-Man Army: Not even fictional characters can follow his achievements.
- Although he's not the soldier with the highest number of recorded kills ever, he's definitely up there and perhaps the only one who did so with such limited weapons.
- Note that, as mentioned above, the Russian army was so scared of him that they mounted artillery missions just to flush him out and kill him. Recall that Russia has been known in history as one of the great military powers in the world. Simo Häyhä single-handedly managed to scare the living shit out of one of the great military powers on Earth with nothing more than the basics.
- Boom! Headshot!: Dished them out in considerable numbers. Took one as well, and then killed the soldier who did it.
- Boring but Practical: As noted above, he became the best sniper in history using only a trusty Mosin-Nagant bolt action rifle. It didn't even have a scope.
- Cold Sniper: Well, if we are being strictly literally...
- Death by Irony: Häyhä shot over 500 Russian soldiers using a Russian made Mosin-Nagant. Essentially, all Russians killed by him were Hoist by His Own Petard.
- Friendly Sniper: He was apparently a very friendly person out of battle.
- I Did What I Had to Do: "I did what I was told to as well as I could."
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Oh, yeah. All those kills? Done without a scope. Before the war, his home was full of marksmanship trophies.
- Check his entry on One-Hit Polykill
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The White Death.
- No One Could Survive That: Shot in the jaw with an exploding bullet. Got back up and shot the guy who did it. Walked back to camp. Badass.
- No Pronunciation Guide: His name could be rendered phonetically as "see-mo how-hah", which is rather counterintuitive to English speakers (but makes perfect sense in Finnish).
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Was only 5'3.
- Red Baron: "The White Death."
- Retired Badass