Absent-Minded Genius/History Lesson
You may notice that there is something...unusual about the following post. This is for a very good reason, which I will reveal in a moment.
First, I would like to tell you about Simo Hayha. For those of you who are familiar with WWII Finnish snipers, Simo Hayha is a household name. He is probably in my top ten WWII sniper faves, maybe even in the top 3.
Before entering combat, Häyhä was a farmer and a hunter. His farmhouse was reportedly full of trophies for marksmanship. It was during the Winter War (1939–1940), between Finland and the Soviet Union, that he began his duty as a sniper and fought the Red Army.
Häyhä was credited with 505 confirmed kills of Soviet soldiers, and 542 if including the unconfirmed deaths. The unofficial Finnish frontline figure from the battlefield of Kollaa places the number of Häyhä's sniper kills over 800! Häyhä was also credited with over two hundred kills with a Suomi KP/-31 submachine gun, thus bringing his credited kills to at least 705. All of Häyhä's kills were accomplished in less than 100 days.
One tactic used by Häyhä was to compact the snow in front of him so that the shot wouldn't disturb the snow, thus revealing his position. He also kept snow in his mouth so that when breathing he wouldn't reveal his position.
The Soviets tried several ploys to get rid of him, including counter snipers and artillery strikes. On March 6 1940, Häyhä was shot in the jaw during combat. The bullet tumbled upon impact and left his head. He was picked up by fellow soldiers who said "half his head was missing". He regained consciousness on March 13, the day peace was declared.
It took several years for Häyhä to recuperate from his wound. The exploding Soviet bullet had crushed his jaw and blown off his left cheek. Nonetheless, he made a full recovery and became a successful moose hunter and dog breeder after World War II.
When asked in 1998 how he had become such a good shot, he answered, "Practice." When asked if he regretted killing so many people, he has said "I did what I was told to as well as I could." Simo Häyhä spent his last years in a small village called Ruokolahti located in the south-east of Finland near the Russian border.
You may be wondering why you just read all of that. This is because Charles' blog has been hijacked by his brother Tim and his friend George. Always remember to log off Blogger on other people's computers.