8 Before The War
Simo didn’t receive formal sniper training until the year before the Winter War began. At that point, in his 30s, he was a nearly perfect shot.
Major Tapio Saarelainen, who observed Simo’s progress and contributed to his biography, made a note of his particular skills.
He was able to accurately judge distance up to 150 meters with almost zero error. He hit 16 shots at 150 yards in one minute with a bolt action rifle during his civil guard training. Each image was manually ejected and reloaded by hand.
7 The Winter War
When the war began, Simo was assigned as a sniper. His job was to pick off targets from a distance across snow-white terrain in the far north where daylight was short, and the temperature was lethally cold.
The Finnish forces had the advantages of the home front and organization, as the Red Army didn’t even have white camouflage to wear in the snowy fields they were invading. It was during this service, over just over three months, that Simo earned his title.