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Summary

Simo Häyhä (1905-2002) is the most famous sniper in the world. During the Winter War fought between Russia and Finland in 1939-1940 he had 542 confirmed kills with iron sights, a record that still stands today. He has been a role model for snipers all over the world.

Simo Häyhä was a man of action who spoke very little, but he was respected by his men and his superiors and given many difficult missions, including taking out specific targets. Able to move silently and swiftly through the landscape, melting into the snowbound surroundings in his white camouflage fatigues, his aim was deadly and his quarry rarely escaped. The Russians learned of his reputation as a marksman and tried several times to kill him by indirect fire. He was promoted from corporal to second lieutenant and he was awarded the Cross of Kollaa.

After the war Simo Häyhä lead a quiet, unassuming life in farming and forestry. His roots were deep in the Finnish soil, and he loved life in rural Finland. A true patriot, he epitomized the traits of a professional soldier, performing his duty and setting an example of bravery that personified the Finnish spirit when confronted by the Russian onslaught. The White Sniper fully explores Simo Häyhä's life, his exploits in the Winter War, and the secrets behind his success.

©2016 Tapio A.M. Saarelainen (P)2019 Tantor

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Hardly anything about the sniper disappointing

Talks of sniper tactics russifinnish war hardly anything about the man himself which is how the book is portrayed poor

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Profile Image for Paul Z.
  • Paul Z.
  • 28-11-19

Not what you think

If you are looking forward to learning about the craft involved in Simo's clearly incredible accomplishments, you will be very disappointed. Next to no time is devoted to the detailed description of the actual engagements, as well as Simo's shooting mechanics and technique. Stated differently, if you are a "precision shooter" on a mission to up your game, this book will not help you accomplish your goal. However, if you are also interested in the developments in that part of the WW II theatre, your time will be far from wasted. The author is also a Finn, so - as you'd expect, he isn't spending a lot of time telling us how the Finnish army, fighting alongside the Nazis during what Finns call "1941-1944 Continuation War" in the siege of Leningrad among other battles contributed to the tens of thousands civilian deaths that resulted from the blockade, The book isn't primarily about that period, however, but about the 1939-1940 Winter War, so imo we can overlook that. My main takeaway - actually 2 of them, are how incredibly organized, industrious and united - less than 20 years after a bloody civil war, when almost 10,000 perished on both sides - the Finnish society was in the face of the 1939 Soviet invasion. The second is how skilled and cunning was the Finnish political leadership during that time. Fighting the Soviets along side the Nazis, but never becoming an Axis power by treaty or meeting most of Hitler's demands, refusing to turn over their Jews, then having a war declared on them by Great Britain and soon thereafter getting an apology from Churchill for it, in the end getting a pass not just from the Western Allies, but even the Soviets. They could have invaded Finland again, this time occupying it, and the Allies wouldn't have done anything about it. While at the time both the Soviets and the Allies had bigger fish to fry, the whole thing was a master study of playing both sides. Little of that has much to do with the title (The White Sniper ; ) so I stand by my 2 stars, and this rating is further supported by the extraordinary redundancy of the material. So ya, if you want to hear about Simo's "unassuming personality"... 47 times - but also want to learn more about how WW II affected Finland, dig in! : )

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  • J.Brock
  • 02-12-19

Not A Biography

This is one of the strangest books. The reason one buys it is to know what happened during the war to Simo. It barely skims the topic, the famous sniper Simo Hayaha, and is more of a manual about what sniping entails. Now that's not to say that snippets of Simo's life appear here and there, but it's very infrequent. The war is a side note, just figures and stats. It's part instruction manual and life statistics, and definitely not a biography.