Articles, Blog

The White Death – The Best Sniper Known To Man


When we say the best sniper, we could be referring
to who had the best shot in terms of distance, or who had the most kills to his/her name. Today we’ll focus more on the most prolific
sniper, the person with the biggest body count. You’ve probably all heard of Chris Kyle,
the American soldier who was the inspiration behind the movie, American Sniper. The Department of Defense tells us he had
160 kills to his name. Ironically, Kyle was later shot and killed
at a shooting range in the U.S. The British media in 2015 reported that a
Royal Marine was the world’s deadliest sniper with 173 kills, though they didn’t name
him. But none of these sniping upstarts have anything
on the man we are going to talk about today, in this episode of the Infographics Show,
The Best Sniper in History. If you look around the web, the consensus
is that the focus of today’s show is indeed the deadliest sniper that ever lived. His name was Simo Häyhä and he was a Finnish
Army Second Lieutenant. We are told he killed somewhere between 505
and 542 people. His victims were Russian, and they were killed
during the Winter War. This was a conflict between Finland and the
Soviet Union that started in 1939 and lasted just over 3 months. That’s a short amount of time, but it was
enough time to cement Häyhä’s name in history. The number of casualties in those three months
was reportedly around 25,900 Finnish deaths and 126,900 Russians deaths. Hayha’s kills were even recorded by the
Finnish military. The document states how many people he had
killed up until that day, not how many people he killed on that day. It’s thought his biggest tally on one day
was about 25 deaths. On December 22, 1939, the document states
that he killed 138 people. On January 26th, 1940, he killed 199 people. On February 17, 1940, he killed 217 people,
and on March 7th, 1940 he killed 259 people. That day wasn’t the best day of his life
as he was very seriously wounded. He took a Red Army bullet right to the face,
and that’s why photos of him that circulate around the web depict a monstrous looking
man. Sorry about being so blunt, Simo. The wound didn’t slow him down so much though,
and he lived a long life. He was born in 1905 and lived until the ripe
old age of 97, dying in 2002. But who was this man? Well, the Finnish told all kinds of stories
about him, as he was the focus of a lot of propaganda. Back in those days, war heroes were an important
piece of national storytelling in many countries, used to foment pride in the public and give
people hope. He was born in Finland, very close to the
border with Russia. At the age of 20, he became a volunteer in
the Finnish Civil Guard, and it was certain he was going to be of some use. Prior to signing-up, he was said to be an
excellent hunter, but he’d also won awards for his marksmanship in many shooting competitions. Apparently, he had amassed so many trophies,
his house was full of them. He was later enlisted as a sniper in the Finnish
army, and his battleground was mostly in the snow, hence many photos of him are him dressed
in all white looking a bit like James Bond. Apparently, the Soviets were a bit behind
the Finnish in this respect, and their army was decked-out in normal army clothing. This made them very easy to spot and kill,
while lucky Hayha was extremely difficult to see. The Finnish media jumped on this, calling
him the invisible soldier, and giving him the sobriquet, “White Death.” What else do we know about him? According to Business Insider, the Nordic
version, he was humble. The same source says he would wait for his
victims, sometimes as far as 300 meters away, but usually around 150 meters away. Hard to spot in his camouflage, you couldn’t
even see his breath in the cold, as he put snow in his mouth. The BBC interviewed him on a few occasions,
and so we know the following: Apparently Hayha was what we might call a
Finnish hick, and enjoyed a life in the wilderness. His hobbies, according to interviews, were
skiing, hunting and shooting. The same article says that the Russians feared
this man so much they once tried to kill him by just bombarding the area he was in with
hails of bullets and mortar, but they missed, and the White Death walked away. They once dropped an artillery shell on him,
too, and apparently all that happened to Hayha was his coat got ripped and he again walked
away with a “minor scratch.” It’s said he treated his occupation as a
sniper like he would hunting, once telling the press that he felt no guilt about killing. “I only did my duty, and what I was told to
do, as well as I could,” he said. As for his modus operandi, the BBC writes,
“He also became a master of using sounds, smoke and artillery fire to cover his movements
when changing positions. With maps very scarce during the war, Häyhä
relied on his memory to find the best hiding positions.” It’s said he was always careful and even
obsessive about finding the right position, making sure his gun wouldn’t jam, and generally
setting up the place where he would be shooting from. The strange thing is his M/28-30 gun didn’t
even have a telescopic sight, but this was the same gun that Hayha had hunted with throughout
his life, and so he was very familiar with it. It’s said that as a kid he would hunt birds
in the forests, and to hunt these small animals you needed to have a remarkable shot. We are told that this is one of the reasons
why hunters so often make the best snipers. You can’t focus on moving targets at the
army shooting range, so experience killing animals is a must. The smaller the better. The BBC writes, “As a young man, he also
learned to estimate the effects of wind and rain on shooting and conditions in forests.” Alas, our meritorious marksmen was finally
hit in the face, and the shot took off much of his jaw. It’s said that he spent the rest of his
life in near constant pain, not to mention looking something like Sloth from the Goonies. He had 26 surgical operations, but his face
would never be the same again. He would carry on hunting, however, and his
eyesight was always just as good as it was during the war. His victims were never again human, and perhaps
as moose was his favorite animal to kill, he wouldn’t miss very often. He even did some hunting trips with one Finnish
President. There is a book about him out called The White
Sniper, if you want to know more. We’ll leave you with a quote right from
the horse’s mouth, “War is not a pleasant experience, but who else would protect this
land unless we are willing to do it ourselves.” So, have you ever shot a gun before? Do you think you have what it would take to
become a professional sniper? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
called US F-35 vs Russian Su-35 Fighter Jet – Which Would Win?! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

100 thoughts on “The White Death – The Best Sniper Known To Man

  1. If you've tried shooting a riffle, you've probably realized that scoring the target isn't as easy as it seems. Which skills do good snipers need in your opinion?

  2. He's a hero to his country but that doesn't change the fact that he's a mass murderer. War turns people evil and takes everything away from them.

  3. The only way for me to be able to get more than 1 kills while on army duty would be to forget everything I've learned from human suffering, it's easy to say behind your keyboard "of course I'd easily shoot someone 200 meters away" and actually being in that situation, afterall, the highest chance is that the person you just shot was a person just like you, fighting for his cause, ordered to shoot you.

  4. I always feel like an idiot when I tell people I learned to shoot by laser tag, but when I went into the military, I managed to get my marksman with any weapon that was handed to me. Its not a brag, I always just find it odd that the moving target thing is true, as I definitely was a lot better shooter than anyone else was because of it.

  5. Who came here after watchin the "I am" video of him😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊

    Just me Okaaay☺☺☺☺☺☺

  6. He did not use an m28 he used a much older m19 because that's what he grew up shooting he did this all this an inferior gun

  7. How to explain how to pronounce his name? The 'ä' is more or less the same sound as the 'a' in 'hat'. But the 'y' sound doesn't exist in English. It's approximately the same as the German 'ü' sound – kind of like an 'ee' but you make your lips tight and round as if you were whistling (don't whistle, though); the sound is made at the very front of your mouth, at the lips.

  8. I think Kyle's and the royal marines are more impressive because the people they were fighting were more secret in combat. Russians at the time had so many people in army

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *