The 1940s were a period of war. Most know it as the time of the Second World War, where Nazi Germany faced off against the forces of Europe.
Many people tend to neglect the northern front of conflict, however. Far from Normandy or the Pacific Theater, up in the Scandinavian countries, there were wars ongoing for much longer, which persisted even after the most significant war ended.
The Winter War was a brief three month period starting from November of 1939, just a few months after World War II began, and ended early in 1940 after a peace treaty was signed.
The invading Russian army was driven out of Finland by the brave defenders of their chilly country, and one man stood above the rest as a legend.
The Russians nicknamed him “The White Death.” A sniper with over 500 confirmed kills in those short three and a half months of the war.
10 From Finland Farms
Simo was born in 1905 as the seventh of eight children to a conservative, Lutheran farming family. They were all hard workers dedicated to helping around the farm.
Up until he was 17, he spent his life mostly with his family, going to school, and profiting by hunting in the woods.
Even from a young age, he was practicing for his inevitable fate as the war grew closer to imbalance and action through the rest of Europe.
9 On Target
Simo was a crack shot from early on. At 17, he joined the civil militia called the White Guard, known for standing against communist occupations and driving them out during the Finnish Civil War.
By that point, he had already amassed many trophies and prizes for shooting competitions. Never one to brag, he tried to take the back spot in all the group pictures he attended. His training hunting game in the woods made him into a perfect soldier candidate.