Military Review

Kalashnikov: inventor and self-taught ('Neue Welt Online', Canada)

Probably his name is the most famous Russian name in the world: Kalashnikov. Supposedly, from 60 to 80 millions of Kalashnikovs - no one knows the exact figure - are in circulation. The man who, having created the AK-47 assault rifle, practically became synonymous with mass shooting and murder, according to his own statements, pursued only one goal: to protect his Fatherland. This self-taught received a lot of awards. But the money on his invention, which wrote history weapons around the world, he did not earn.

About himself, Mikhail Kalashnikov says that he devoted his whole life to his weapons. From the age of 20, as a young man, he thought only about one thing: to create the best weapons to protect the Fatherland and to constantly upgrade it. Moreover, the future weapon designer already in his own youth recognized the darkest sides of the history of his homeland. Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov was born in 1919 in the family of a poor peasant in Kurye, a village located in the southern Russian region of Altai. Only 8 out of 18 children survived in his family. During the Stalinist forced collectivization, the family was deported to Siberia. Mikhail was then only 11 years old. At 16, he graduated from high school and went to study as a railway technician. In 1938, Kalashnikov was drafted into the army, where he was a driver tank.

When the Germans attacked the Soviet Union, Mikhail Kalashnikov went to the front, where he was badly wounded in the Battle of Bryansk in the year 1941. If it were not for the war, the technical abilities of Kalashnikov would probably have gone in a different direction. But now his decision was firm: “I wanted to create a weapon in order to defeat the fascists.” While still in the military hospital, the wounded man drew the first sketches in a notebook. His invention followed not so much a small scientific knowledge, as his own ideas. Kalashnikov is not an engineer, he never studied at a university. "I am a born inventor," he says about himself. Details to the prototype, his wife drew only after he made them in his workshop. And in 1947, the time has come: the Kalashnikov assault rifle was approved by the top officials of the state and went into a series — an easy-to-use weapon, the Kalashnikov assault rifle, abbreviated AK-47.

AK-47 eclipsed all other weapons that until now have been available. The strength of this weapon is not an abstruse technique, but simplicity and reliability. Although it weighed 5 kg and was heavier than other machines, but it had a large margin of safety. Details were not in the block, but were assembled separately at the top of the weapon, which made it less prone to breakage. No matter if the soldiers crawled through it through dust, dirt or water, AK-47 was always ready for battle, both in the conditions of the Russian winter, in the Sahara, and in the jungle. But perfect for the conditions of war weapons made it possible to switch from single shots to the queue. Already in 1949, Stalin awarded Kalashnikov with the Stalin Prize, and then there were: three orders of Lenin, two awards of the Hero of Socialist Labor and, finally, even the title of Doctor of Technical Sciences. But Kalashnikov did not see the money for his invention, because it did not even occur to him to patent his designer.

For many decades Kalashnikov, as a carrier of secrets, lived closed in the farthest corner of the Urals and improved his weapons at the Izhevsk Arms Factory. At first, the Russians managed to keep AK-47 a secret, but then he broke records in arms exports and eventually became an instrument of terrorism. In Vietnam, the Vietcong with AK-47 fought against American soldiers. African Mozambique as a symbol of the struggle for independence has placed a drawing of weapons on the national flag. Even in the US, this machine is very common, especially among drug dealers and gangsters. Almost half of the armies of the world have AK in their arsenals, in addition, it is the favorite weapon of the separatists, militias and armed gangs. Kalashnikov himself says sadly that it is his weapons throughout the world that bring so much trouble: "This weapon lives its own life, completely independent of my will." In his opinion, it is not his duty, but the business of politicians to take responsibility for everything that happened. And his wish: “I hope that in the memory of people I will remain the person who invented a weapon for the defense of my Fatherland, and not for terror”.
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  1. Aleksandr76
    Aleksandr76 22 August 2013 14: 27
    Deported from Siberia to Siberia! request