The OSS Manual That Encouraged Axis Citizens to Sabotage the War Effort

Jun 29, 2022 Rosemary Giles, Guest

As the Second World War raged on, the Allied and Axis powers employed various tactics to gain ground. One way was to utilize spies and saboteurs to undermine their enemies. The United States decided to expand this past professional spies, allowing anyone in enemy territory to partake in sabotage.

The country’s intelligence agency created a manual that was distributed throughout enemy countries to recruit people to help with sabotage efforts. The unexpected heroes? Bad employees who were tasked with undermining productivity in the workplace – all in the name of helping the Allies win the war!

The Office of Strategic Services

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was the precursor to the CIA and formed as an agency of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). Created during the Second World War, it started off as a much smaller operation known as the office of the Coordinator of Information (COI), under the command of Maj. Gen. William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it expanded and began doing more for the war effort.

Portrait of Maj. Gen. William "Wild Bill" Donovan
Maj. Gen. William “Wild Bill” Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services. (Photo Credit: CORBIS / Getty Images)

The organization was broken down into different departments, which dealt with everything from obtaining secret intelligence to recruiting enemy agents and counter-espionage. Strategic Services Operations was one of the main departments within the OSS and had branches responsible for training resistance fighters, as well as instigating sabotage and causing mayhem in enemy countries. It was also responsible for the creation the Simple Sabotage Field Manual.

Read also: Everything You Need to Know About WWI Mortars

Sabotage is for everyone

The Simple Sabotage Field Manual was created with everyone in mind. It was intended to be a simple guide for those living in Axis countries, and detailed how these disenchanted citizens could undermine production and transportation to help the Allied cause. Certain parts were also used for leaflets or presented over the radio. Occasionally, the manual was also explained in person.

Cover of the Simple Sabotage Field Manual
The Simple Sabotage Field Manual was created by the Office of Strategic Services, to promote sabotage activities in Axis countries. (Photo Credit: Joe Loong / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

There are two different types of sabotage promoted within the manual: physical acts and purposeful human errors. It gave examples of how one could be physically disruptive, including how to slow down factory production by ruining materials. There were even tips on how to use every day objects, such as hairpins, to break things.

Read also: These Twelve Battles Were Defining Moments In The History Of The Crusades

Hysterically crying to win the war

The examples the OSS provided for ways human error could disrupt daily life are far more creative. They were rooted in potential saboteurs making poor decisions and adopting a non-cooperative attitude while getting others to do the same.

Train conductor holding his hand above his head
Railroad conductor standing next to a train on a track signals by raising his right hand, 1940. (Photo Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

The OSS urged citizens to “cry and sob hysterically at every occasion,” particularly if they were talking to a government official, or to bring a bag of moths to release during the showing of a propaganda film, so they would fly to the projector and block the show. To impact transportation, the manual suggested that train conductors issue two tickets for the same seat. to purposefully cause an argument.

Read also: D-Day Veteran Dies at Age of 91 – took part in one of the most daring, most successful & perhaps least recognised raids of WW2

Espionage tactics for middle management

While the manual included sabotage ideas that anyone could engage in, it included a number of ideas specifically for those who held middle management positions in the workplace. These professionals were given specific instructions to bring up irrelevant issues as often as they could, debate specific wording, hold unnecessary conferences and promote bad workers. They were also encouraged to speak as frequently as possible and to turn regular conversations into “speeches.”

The manual also suggested management cause problems with their products by approving defective work, assigning out unimportant work first, giving incomplete or misleading instructions to new employees, favoring bad or lazy workers to lower morale, and delaying stock orders, so there was a higher chance of a shut down due to delayed order fulfilment.

Read also: Barn Find For Sale: WW2 Pacific Theater Jeep – Has Great History

Factory worker welding a piece of metal
Factory workers welding small components in an German aircraft factory during World War II. (Photo Credit: European / FPG / Getty Images)

More from us: Julia Child Was An OSS Agent Before She Was A World Class Chef

The Simple Sabotage Field Manual, which wasn’t declassified until 2008, was filled of ways for everyday citizens who wanted to aid the Allied war effort by undermining their workplace and other facilities. As the CIA said upon the document’s release,”Together [these instructions] are a reminder of how easily productivity and order can be undermined.”

Read also: Much More Than Code Talking – The Role of Native Americans in World War II

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.

Read also: The Battle of Actium: Agrippa’s Victory, Octavian’s Glory

Ex-Concentration Camp Guard Sentenced to Five Years in Prison By German Court

Jun 29, 2022 Clare Fitzgerald, Guest Author

Photo Credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP / Getty Images
Photo Credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP / Getty Images

A 101-year-old German man has been found guilty of 3,518 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an SS guard at Sachsenhausen concentration camp during the Second World War. The verdict and subsequent sentencing of five years in prison was handed down by the presiding judge on June 28, 2022.

Read also: Got $2.5 million. Then grab a complete & original Spitfire with continuing history since the day it left the Castle Bromwich factory in January 1945

The man, who has only been identified as Josef S., was sentenced by Judge Udo Lechtermann of the Neuruppin Regional Court. Prior to the trial and throughout, the defendant denied being an SS guard and rejected the accusation that he helped facilitate the murder of thousands of individuals between 1942-45. He alleged he was working as a farmer near Pasewalk, Germany at the time.

Court officials standing and sitting at their desks
Presiding Judge Udo Lechtermann and other judges before the opening of the trial against Josef S. (Photo Credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP / Getty Images)

Located in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, Sachsenhausen concentration camp operated between 1936-45. It was run by the Schutzstaffel (SS) as a model facility and training camp, and held tens of thousands of prisoners over its nearly 10 years under the control of the German paramilitary organization.

Read also: The Oldest Grapevine in the World Survived 400 Years of Turbulent History and Wars, but It Still Bears Fruit

In its early years, the majority of the camp’s inmates were political prisoners, homosexuals, criminal convicts and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The first group of Jewish prisoners was brought there in 1938, following Kristallnacht. Those still alive by 1942 were sent to Auschwitz. The camp later expanded to holding Soviet prisoners of war, bringing the estimated number of prisoners throughout World War II to over 200,000.

Among its most notable prisoners were Francisco Largo Caballero, the prime minister of the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War; Ukrainian national leader Stepan Bandera; and Yakov Dzhugashvili, the eldest son of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

Aerial view of Sachenhausen concentration camp
Aerial view of Sachenhausen concentration camp, taken by the Royal Air Force, 1943. (Photo Credit: RAF / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

Throughout the course of the war, it’s believed at least 40,000 individuals died there, with some estimates putting the number as high as 100,000. Those who didn’t die from forced medical experiments or execution often lost their lives to starvation, labor and disease.

Read also: The Tragic Story: The Loss of the Empire Wave – every single man on the lifeboat suffered severe frostbite & had to have toes or limbs amputated

Sachsenhausen was liberated by the Soviet Red Army in April 1945. Between then and 1950, it was part of the Soviet Occupation Zone and used by the NKVD as NKVD special camp Nr. 7, which housed German soldiers, collaborators, SS troops and other enemy combatants. During this time, around 12,000 prisoners died of disease and malnutrition.

Leon Schwarzbaum holding a family portrait
Holocaust survivor Leon Schwarzbaum shows a family picture as he arrives to observe the trial against Josef S. in Brandenburg/ Havel on October 7, 2021. (Photo Credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP / Getty Images)

Josef S. went on trial in October. The proceedings were held in a gymnasium in Brandenburg/Havel, where the 101-year-old resides. Due to his health, he was only able to participate for around two-and-a-half hours each day, and the trial was interrupted numerous times due to hospital stays and other health concerns.

Read also: It May Be Surprising To Learn That These Countries Are Still At War

Prosecutors based their case on SS documents featuring his name, place and date of birth, as well as other official papers, saying the defendant served as a standing guard in the concentration camp’s watchtower. The defense argued for an acquittal.

Speaking at the end of the trial, Judge Lechtermann said, “The court has come to the conclusion that, contrary to what you claim, you worked in the concentration camp as a guard for about three years. You willingly supported this mass extermination with your activity. You watched deported people being cruelly tortured and murdered there every day for three years.”

“Even if the defendant will probably not serve the full prison sentence due to his advanced age, the verdict is to be welcomed,” said Josef Schuster, leader of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, following the verdict. “The thousands of people who worked in the concentration camps kept the murder machinery running. They were part of the system, so they should take responsibility for it.

Read also: ‘Factory Fresh’ Soviet Spy Radio Discovered Buried in a German Forest

“It is bitter that the defendant has denied his activities at that time until the end and has shown no remorse.”

Josef S. hiding his face behind a blue folder
Josef S. during his trial on over 3,500 counts of accessory to murder for his role as an SS guard at Sachenhausen concentration camp during the Second World War. (Photo Credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP / Getty Images)

More from us: Ukraine to Launch Touring Exhibit of Russian Tanks Destroyed During Ongoing War

Read also: Master Sgt. William H. Cox Kept Guard Over His Friend’s Casket, A Promise Made In A Bunker

Josef S. plans to appeal the verdict, according to news reports coming out of Germany.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

Writing Portfolio
Stories of the Unsolved

Read also: Lancaster Restoration ‘Just Jane’ Update

Fact or Fiction: Did Christopher Lee Embellish His World War II Service?

Jun 28, 2022 Todd Neikirk, Guest Author

Photo Credit: Pier Marco Tacca / WireImage / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Pier Marco Tacca / WireImage / Getty Images

Written by Todd Neikirk and Clare Fitzgerald.

Read also: He served in U.S. Navy in late WWII, recalled to service in Korean War

Christoper Lee had an incredibly long acting career that began in the late 1940s. He gained notoriety for appearing as Dracula in a number of films and was later a Bond villain. For those of a younger generation, he’s likely most recognizable for his roles in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Star Wars.

Prior to becoming an actor, Lee served his country during the Second World War. While his service is noteworthy, there are some who believe he regularly exaggerated his achievements during the conflict.

Volunteering during the Winter War

Christopher Lee was born in 1922 and was just 17 years old when Europe became embroiled in the Second World War. Despite being a teenager, he was eager to do his part, and upon the Soviet Union invading Finland volunteered with the Finnish Army. According to Lee, he wasn’t put into combat situations during the 1939-40 Winter War, but was given a uniform and placed on guard duty.

Read also: Tsar Nicholas II’s Last Shipment of Drink Recovered From the Sea Bed

After approximately two weeks, he was sent home, along with other British volunteers. He once said of his time in Finland, “We went there with a group of friends and said we wanted to help. We could shoot pretty well, but couldn’t ski. We were thanked for our help, but didn’t, of course, get anywhere close to the border.”

Portrait of Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee served in the Royal Air Force before becoming an actor. (Photo Credit: Baron / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

The Daily Mail‘s Guy Walters finds this account to be dubious. According to the journalist and historian, around 8,500 British citizens volunteered to help the Finns during the Winter War, but only 200 actually traveled to the country – and nearly a year prior to when Lee claimed he did. Additionally, Walters finds its difficult to believe the Finnish Army would have accepted schoolboys to fight.

Read also: Stug III Recovered From The Seabed

Christopher Lee joined the Royal Air Force

In 1941, Christopher Lee’s father died from a bout with pneumonia, just after his son joined the Home Guard. The future actor realized he didn’t want to serve with the British Army like the elder Lee and, instead, enlisted in the Royal Air Force. He reported to RAF Uxbridge for training and was posted to the Initial Training Wing at Paignton. Upon passing his exams, he entered into the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (BCATP).

The BCATP saw Lee sent to Southern Rhodesia, where he trained on de Havilland Tiger Moths. During this time, he suffered from headaches and blurred vision, and it was later determined he had a problem with his optic nerve. As such, he was no longer allowed to serve in the air.

Read also: The Spellbinding Wheatcroft Collection, an Update

Christopher Lee as Francisco Scaramanga in 'The Man With the Golden Gun'
Christopher Lee portrayed Francisco Scaramanga in The Man With the Golden Gun, 1974. (Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / United Artists / Danjaq / S.A. / eon / MovieStillsDB)

While he couldn’t help the RAF by flying, Lee knew he needed to do something “constructive” and applied to join RAF Intelligence. He impressed his superiors, and after two years had risen to the rank of flight lieutenant and was helping plan bombing missions.

Read also: Have You Heard of The Special Forces Ghost Car That Operated in Bosnia (with video)

Stationed in Egypt during the North African Campaign, Lee was almost killed on multiple occasions, including when the airfield he was stationed at was bombed. Following their service in North Africa, his squadron was moved to southern Italy as part of the Allied invasion. During the Allies’ final assault on Monte Cassino, Lee was almost killed when an aircraft crashed upon takeoff and he tripped over one of its bombs.

Christopher Lee standing in front of the Union Jack flag
Christopher Lee on the second day of the 15th annual Dinard Festival of British Film on October 8, 2004, in Dinard, France. (Photo Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images)

Lee later made a number of claims regarding his time in the RAF. He allegedly spent time in the Special Air Services (SAS) and the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), as well as with the Special Operations Executive (SOE) as a liason officer to Josip Broz Tito. His stories included how he destroyed German-flown aircraft, snuck behind enemy lines and even helped retake Sicily.

Read also: A Sniper Hid Inside a Papier-Mache Horse in No-Mans Land

During an interview to promote The Lord of the Rings, Lee also claimed to have served with the No 1 Demolition Squadron – better known as Popski’s Private Army (PPA) – and later captured German war criminals, saying of the role, “We were given dossiers of what they’d done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority.”

Aspects of Christopher Lee’s military service are questioned

While Christopher Lee would often bring up aspects of the service in interviews, he was cagey about his duties when pressed. When asked about the Second World War, he would give vague answers like, “I was attached to the SAS from time to time, but we are forbidden — former, present, or future — to discuss any specific operations,” and, “Let’s just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read into that what they like.”

Read also: One of Last 3 Remaining Survivors of USS Arizona Passes Away

Christopher Lee as Saruman in 'The Lord of the Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring'
Christopher Lee portrayed the villainous Saruman in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. (Photo Credit: New Line Cinema / MovieStillsDB)

Historian Gavin Mortimer, a writer for The Spectator and a researcher into the role of the SAS during WWII, said that, while Lee wasn’t necessarily lying about his service, he may be guilty of exaggerating. “In reality, he served in none [of the elite military units],” Mortimer stated. “He was attached to the SAS and SOE as an RAF liaison officer at various times between 1943 and 1945, but he did not serve in them.”

Mortimer also takes issue with Lee’s claim that he wasn’t at liberty to speak about his missions, saying, “Nonsense. Wartime members of those Special Forces units are not — and never have been — prevented from discussing operations.”

Christopher Lee dressed in a suit and bowtie
Sir Christopher Lee attends the Royal World Premiere of Skyfall at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2012, in London, England. (Photo Credit: Eamonn McCormack / Getty Images)

In regard to his service with the PPA, Roy Paterson, secretary of the Friends of the PPA, said there is no mention of the actor in the unit’s diary from the war. He adds that, while Lee was a member of the Friends of the PPA, the only “proof” of his service came from himself, when he said he visited the unit in Cervia, Italy in April 1945.

His claim he hunted German war criminals is also disputed

Another claim Christopher Lee made that may not be true is that he acted as a hunter of German war criminals for the Central Registry of War Crimes and Security Suspects (CROWCASS). The organization, which was set up by the Supreme Allied Expeditionary Force in 1945 to assist the United Nations War Crimes Commission, aimed to locate those suspected of committing war crimes during WWII.

Christopher Lee as Count Dooku in 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones'
Christopher Lee portrayed Count Dooku, a Jedi gone bad, in the Star Wars series. (Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox / MovieStillsDB)

The reason this claim is disputed surrounds the way he described his job, which is different to how others explained it. Lee said he would come into contact with a German soldier, interrogate and then turn them in. However, British personnel in this position didn’t participate in fieldwork and were, instead, stationed in offices.

As Walters wrote for The Daily Mail, “Unfortunately, this cannot be true, as the members of CROWCASS (Central Registry of War Crimes and Security Suspects) were based behind desks in Paris or Berlin. Their role was to assemble evidence – they were most emphatically not scouring the remnants of the [WWII-era German government] and concentration camps for [German war criminals].”

He also adds that Lee’s name never came up when he was doing his own research into CROWCASS, neither in official lists or during interviews with surviving personnel.

Christopher Lee wearing a suit and bowtie
Sir Christopher Lee poses in front of the winners boards at the Orange British Academy Film Awards 2011, held at The Royal Opera House on February 13, 2011, in London, England. (Photo Credit: Dave Hogan / Getty Images)

More from us: Five of the Most Realistic Representations of War in Hollywood

There is no doubt Christopher Lee served bravely and admirably in the RAF. The evidence, however, shows he might have inflated some of his exploits. As Walters concludes, he “‘buffed up’ his membership of perfectly respectable units in order to give the appearance that he was involved in similar, but far more exciting work.”

Todd Neikirk

Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics, entertainment and history writer. His work has been featured in,, and He enjoys sports, politics, comic books, and anything that has to do with history.

When he is not sitting in front of a laptop, Todd enjoys soaking up everything the Jersey Shore has to offer with his wife, two sons and American Foxhound, Wally.

Allied Snipers and Their Effectiveness During the Second World War

Jun 28, 2022 Rosemary Giles, Guest Author

Photo Credit: Sovfoto / Universal Images Group / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Sovfoto / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

Snipers have played an important part in warfare for hundreds of years. The term was first officially used during the American Civil War, but sniper-like tactics date back much earlier. With each subsequent war, snipers became more effective and efficient, as did their equipment. By the start of the Second World War, they were integral parts of many military units, particularly for the Allied forces.

Snipers in the Second World War

As soon as the Second World War began, snipers were seen as valuable assets, and many countries created specific units for them in their armies. It wasn’t uncommon for the Allied forces to slow down German advances with snipers, such as at Dunkirk, but some battles became better known than others for their exploits.

British sniper aiming his weapon out of a bedroom window
British sniper positioned in a house on the right bank of the Rhine in Rees, Germany. (Photo Credit: Pen & Sword /  SSPL / Getty Images)

One of the most famous battles to utilize snipers was the Battle of Stalingrad. The Red Army and the Germans placed professional snipers throughout the city. The Soviets eventually won the battle, a victory that can be partially attributed to the use of exceptionally-trained snipers.

American troops positioned on a pile of large rocks
American troops training in Northern Ireland, 1942. (Photo Credit: Edward Miller / Fox Photos / Getty Images)

Despite the common use of snipers in battle, most countries didn’t create a special rifle. Most snipers used their standard issue rifles, with the addition of optic sights. Many of the ones used during World War II were the same as those from the First World War, just with improvements that made their use easier during combat.

The best sniper rifles of World War II

The Lee-Enfield No.4 was commonly used by the British and other Commonwealth forces as a sniper rifle. Unlike the model used during World War I, the No. 4 was both lighter and more reliable, and featured the addition of a spiked bayonet.

6th Airborne Division sniper hiding in the snow
6th Airborne Division sniper on patrol in the Ardennes, wearing a snow camouflage suit, January 1945. (Photo Credit: Bert Hardy / Imperial War Museums / Getty Images)

The M1903 Springfield, much like other Second World War sniper rifles, started out as a standard issue rifle. However, as an accurate and reliable gun, modifications were made to allow for its use by snipers, including the addition of telescopic sights. The weapon of choice for American snipers, it’s considered the most accurate of those that were modified during the conflict.

Two Russian snipers walking through blowing snow
Russian snipers fighting on the Leningrad front during a blizzard, 1943. (Photo Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

The Mosin-Nagant, used by the Soviets and the Finnish, was based on an earlier version from 1891. While it’s often considered to be a lesser gun than what the British or Americans used, it was accurate and, thus, widely used. As with other standard issue firearms, better sights were added to turn it into an effective sniper rifle.

Red Army snipers

When looking at the top snipers of WWII, Soviet soldiers take up many of the top spots. This is likely due to the heavy emphasis the Soviet Union put on training snipers, even prior to the war. While other countries were getting rid of their snipers, the Russians were doing the opposite.

Black and white photo of three men lying down with riffles in tall grass with grass sticking out of their hats
Camouflaged Russian soldiers on the Russian Front. (Photo Credit: Serge Plantureux/ Getty Images)

When the war began, they took a different approach to training snipers. Unlike other countries, both Russian men and women were allowed to enlist. A school just outside of Moscow even opened specifically to train female snipers who were physically fit, had a minimum of seven years’ education and were between the ages of 18 and 26.

Roughly 2,000 female snipers enlisted in the Red Army after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Of that total, only 500 survived the duration of the war.

Female Russian snipers standing together in a line
Red Army female snipers gathered before leaving for the front, 1943. (Photo credit: Krasutskiy / AFP / Getty Images)

Lyudmila Pavlichenko, better known as “Lady Death,” is considered the most successful female sniper in history with her 309 credited kills. Throughout the conflict, she progressively rose in rank before earning the position of lieutenant.

Pavlichenko was withdrawn from the frontlines after being hit in the face with shrapnel. She was seen as too big of an asset to be returned, so was sent on a speaking tour of Allied nations. Once she arrived back in the Soviet Union, she trained other snipers until the end of the war.

Lyudmila Pavlyuchenko lying in tall grass with her sniper rifle
Lyudmila Pavlyuchenko defending Sevastopol, June 1942. (Photo credit: Ozerksy / AFP/ Getty Images)

Pavlyuchenko wasn’t the only effective sniper in the Red Army. Among the most famous is Vasily Zaytsev, who was assigned to the 1047th Rifle Regiment of the 284th “Tomsk” Rifle Division. He was sent to Stalingrad, which had suffered severe damage from the fighting between the Soviets and the Germans, and is credited with bringing down 40 German soldiers in his first 10 days.

The most notable aspect of Zaytsev’s service during WWII was the alleged killing of top German sniper Erwin König. According to Zaytsev, he’d spent days hunting for König before firing the fatal shot. It should be noted that historians are skeptical of this account, as there are no records that König ever existed – but that isn’t saying much. The Germans weren’t known for being forthcoming about their failures.

Simo Häyhä: The deadliest sniper in history

Despite how well-known Soviet snipers were, the man with the highest numbers of kills was actually Finnish. The deadliest sniper of WWII was undoubtedly Simo Häyhä, who worked as a farmer before his service.

Häyhä’s exploits were seen during the Winter War against the Soviet Union, and he is credited with over 500 kills (the exact number is unknown), which earned him the status as the deadliest sniper in history and the nickname “White Death.”

Simo Häyhä smiling while in military uniform
Simo Häyhä. (Photo Credit: Finnish Military Archives / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

Häyhä liked to work independently, setting himself up in a snow bank with enough food and supplies to last him while on duty. He also preferred to use iron sight on his rifle, not the telescopic lens, because he thought his aim was better with it and didn’t want the sun to reflect off the newer lenses and give away his position.

More from us: Richard H. Best: The Only WWII Pilot to Bomb Two Japanese Aircraft Carriers in One Day

Despite remaining largely unnoticed, Häyhä was eventually shot in the jaw by a Soviet soldier, landing him in a coma days before the Winter War came to an end. It took him years to recover, but he did and lived to the age of 96.

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.

© Copyright 2012–2022 War History Online



Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Key

Related Posts

VK Russian online social media and social networking service

© 2022 Esleman Abay. All rights reserved.

Follow Us