I’m sure, most have heard of the sniper Chris Kyle, who has about 160 confirmed kills. He has often been considered the best sniper ever by American media. In reality, he was only in 23rd position by tabulation of confirmed sniper kills.
The man with the most sniper kills is Simo Häyhä, or “White Death” as the Russian Army called him. He has 505 confirmed kills, with some sources claiming over 700. As the World War 2 was raging in Europe, Finland, a small and weak country that wanted to stay neutral found herself attacked by the USSR due to the Finnish border being just tens of kilometres away from the large Russian city, Leningrad, former Russian capital.
He fought in the battle of Kollaa, in which the Soviets outnumbered the Finns almost 4:1, which was the case in most
of the battles during the winter war. The temperatures ranged from −40°C(−40°F) −20°C(−4°F). He was wearing completely white camouflage (that’s where the name “White Death” comes from). All of Häyhä’s kills were accomplished in fewer than 100 days. He refused to use telescopic sight, as the glass would fog up during winter and sunlight glare in telescopic sight lenses can reveal a sniper’s position. He was known to keep snow in his mouth, as steamy breath could easily give away his position.
There were many attempts by the Soviets to kill him, using snipers and and artillery, but they all failed, until March 6th of 1940 when an explosive bullet hit his left jaw. He was picked up by fellow Finnish soldiers who said half of his face was missing. He didn’t die, and regained consciousness a week later. He was given the title of second lieutenant after the war.
It took him long to fully recover after the war as his jaw was broken and his left cheek was blown up, but still managed to fully recover. He became a successful moose hunter and was known to hunt with the former Finnish president Urho Kekkonen. He died in Hamina in 2002 in a war veterans’ nursing home.