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Simo Häyhä - The legendary sniper of the Winter War


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Simo Häyhä (1905-2002) is the world's most famous sniper. With his actions, he has pointed the way for subsequent generations of snipers and still holds the undisputed top spot in the world statistics of snipers.

In the Winter War at Kollaa, Simo did his own significant part in strengthening the front line by eliminating more than five hundred enemies. He was awarded in numerous different ways: Simo was promoted from corporal to second lieutenant, he was awarded the Kolla cross and he was awarded as the best sniper with an honor rifle manufactured by SAKO, model 28. Simo also received several other awards during and after the war.

Simo Häyhä got to live two lives: one before the war and one after. He survived the explosive bullet fired by the enemy in the Ulimainen korve and the difficult evacuation journey to the military hospital. After recovering from a serious wound, he was allowed to live a peaceful life.

The author of this work, Tapio Saarelainen, who worked in sniper training for a long time in the Defense Forces, got to interview Simo numerous times with the aim of finding out what was the secret of his success as a sniper. Over the years, a friendship developed between the author and Simon, which made it possible to find a new and fresh perspective on the person behind the legend of the Winter War. The book also tells about the importance of Simo Häyhä's teachings and their transfer to the present-day Defense Forces training. Precision shooting also has its place in tomorrow's mechanized, high-tech armies. One shot - one hit is still the motto. We must strive for it now and in the future.