Snipers are a survivor’s best friendJune 13th, 2012 |
I completely lost interest in this week’s Zombie Current Events. I will post it Friday. But why did I lose interest? We’ll a friend of mine had a new picture up on her Facebook holding a rifle with a scope, and to tease her a bit I looked up the names of some historic snipers. And then I realized I was doing zombie research while Facebooking. I’m pretty much hopeless at this point.
My point is, I found the number one person in history you would have wanted on your survival team.
Simo Häyhä was not only a good sniper, to date he is the best battle tested sniper in history. With 505 recorded kills in battle, this was one bad ass soldier you would never see before you died. Fighting for the Finnish army in the Winter War (1939-1940) his record for killing Soviet soldiers earned him the nick name “White Death.”
You see Simo was a master of a tool of the sniper trade that wasn’t always common practice at the time. He camouflaged himself perfectly for his surroundings. Fighting on the Finland/Soviet border in the dead of winter allowed him to completely cover himself in white, rendering himself invisible to Soviet troops. Something else that may have accounted for his success was his choice in weaponry. The White Guard M/28 “Pystykorva” was a smaller rifle and worked well for him because he had a smaller frame. Also at a time that technology was advancing quickly in the battlefield, he decided to stick with a tried and true iron sight instead of using a telescopic sight. This allowed him to stay concealed better because he didn’t have to lift his head up as much as one with a telescopic sight would.
Simo Häyhä was so feared by the Soviets that they tried most everything they could to get rid of him. With counter snipers, and artillery strikes aimed for the sole purpose of getting rid of this master gunman, the Soviets were unsuccessful in their efforts to dispose of Simo until he was finally shot through the face during battle.
In a true show of how completely manly this man was, not even being shot through the face killed the White Death. Reports show that after being unconscious for a week, and after having half of his face removed from the attack, Simo woke up the day that peace was declared on March 13, 1940. With an average of 5 recorded kills a day, Simo could have very well surpassed 540 kills had he gone unscathed.
Simo Häyhä recovered from his injuries and lived a long life of 97 years before passing away in 2002. To this date no other sniper has had as many recorded kills as this man, and defiantly not in such a short time period. His time on the battlefield was only 100 days.
So what can we learn from this great hero of Finland? First, is always use the weapon that best suits you. Had Häyhä tried to use a larger gun, or more powerful firearm, he might not have been as successful as he was. Second, don’t always rely on technology to make you better. Keep in mind that he accomplished his feats with just using his iron sights. It was the best tool for the conditions he was fighting in, and that’s why he used them.
Next, practice makes perfect. Before the war Häyhä was a farmer and a huntsman. He had lots of practice with his weapon which made him proficient at what he did. And finally, never underestimate the power of a good hiding spot. The combination of his knowledge of his surroundings, the conditions he was fighting in, and his excellent camouflage made him a near perfect threat to the Soviets. Using these same tactics you could hide well from the zombie danger until the coast is clear.
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