We just posted a book review of the new biography of Simo Hayha. You can read it in the book review section.

Sniper Central Book Reviews

3 Comments

Blue 6

Mel,

I am about 3/4 of the way through this book and both your comments and your assessment are spot on. It is probably about the best source out there on his life, but is primarily about the operational context (Winter War, Soviet invasion of Finland right before WWII) and misses the details we all wanted to hear (worth pointing out he did most of his work with iron sights tho… is he still a sniper? I say yes!). I also agree with you that much of what makes the book a little hard to read is both language translation and culture. I’ve actually worked quite a bit with the sniper community in another Scandinavian country and noticed a few things that are different than us:
– Officers are more heavily personally involved in sniper programs in Scandinavian militaries than in the US military.
– Their writing style is much more grand and “positive” than ours, and they tend not to capture the “bads” in writing… ironically I find that part of the world WAY more blunt and honest when in face to face conversation, at least with their warriors.

With that said, I thought this book was worth reading specifically for the context. The Fins at least think this one man (and their other snipers) had a significant operational military impact in the context of fighting outnumbered and outgunned against an overwhelming force. While sniping didn’t win the war, this book does a decent job of showing it as a Force Multiplier against a larger force, and particularly effective against a Red Army that already had morale and leadership issues, which sniping can effect well beyond just the casualties produced.

Thanks, and Happy New Year.
Jon

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mele-02

Good points and thanks for the input and I agree with what you said. We’ll be doing a “sniper profile” for Simo Hayha soon where we will mention his methods and weapon.

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Rick Watts

My first scope was not moisture purged (though Leupold and Bushnell had them) and the objective fogged over on the inside until wrapping thumb and fore finger over the steel outside of that lens and watching it clear from the edge of th field of view inward to the center. Hope no target comes by early!
That was 1957. Imagine what scope he would have been given circa 1940 winter cold weather!

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