Simo Häyhä (December 17, 1905 – April 1, 2002), nicknamed “White Death” by the Red Army, was a Finnish sniper.
Using a modified Mosin-Nagant in the Winter War, he has the highest recorded number (542) of confirmed kills in any major war.

Häyhä used a Finnish militia variant, White Guard M/28 “Pystykorva” or “Spitz”, of the Russian Mosin-Nagant rifle, because it suited his small frame (5 ft 3 in/1.60 m).
He preferred to use iron sights rather than telescopic sights to present a smaller target (the sniper must raise his head higher when using a telescopic sight), to prevent
visibility risks (a telescopic sight’s glass can fog up easily), and aid concealment (sunlight glare in telescopic sight lenses can reveal a sniper’s position).
Another tactic used by Häyhä was to compact the snow in front of him so that the shot wouldn’t disturb the snow and reveal his position. He also kept snow in his mouth
so that when breathing the steam would not give him away.

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 by a Russian soldier. 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.
Shortly after the war, Häyhä was promoted straight from corporal to second lieutenant by Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.
No one else has ever gained rank in such a quick fashion in Finland’s military history.

Simo Häyhä in 1940 with his jaw deformed from an enemy bullet.

Jake and Dinos Glam Bash

/Jake & Dinos Chapman One Day You Will No Longer Be Loved I (2008) Oil on found painting