Martti Kujansuu wrote:I wonder how the Häyhä's kills were confirmed. Some sources say they were written down to the company's (6./JR34) war diary but I was unable find it when I visited the Kansallisarkisto. Another interesting fact is that most of the people seems to think that Häyhä killed over 500 soldiers with a rifle alone but when he got the "trophy rifle" at February 1940 he only had about 250 kills with a rifle + the Suomi-KP kills!
Well, there was recent discussion about this matter in Gunboards, so I am just going to loan my own text here. What I have read there seems to be two slightly different, but not necessarily differing (things might have changed from one to another once Juutilainen became battalion commander for example?) versions about how they were verified:
"When the war started Simo Häyhä started sniping the Soviets and after some time his superiors heard that Simo had shot many enemies (10 or so according one old interview?) - by that time nobody had been counting them. So Simo's company commander (Lieutenant/Captain Aarne Juutilainen) decided that Simo should start marking his kills to a small book. According book "Kollaa kestää" (Kollaa Persists/Holds) other soldiers were used to verify his kills and Simo reported his kills of the day every evening to Juutilainen in the command post. However I also remember reading a article according which Juutilainen ordered one of his soldiers to stay with Simo and spot the kills, so that they could be verified."
What I remember reading during his most "productive" days Häyhä got as many as 25 kills with his rifle in the single day - with that kind of rate getting from 250 to 500 would not have necessarily taken too long.