The development of the military-industrial complex of the Russian Empire in the years of WWI
A week ago, I was here passing in passing that the thesis about the alleged inability of pre-communist Russia to the rapid and successful development of the defense industry and the absence of large investment funds for defense in Russia before 1917 was refuted as the successful implementation of military shipbuilding development programs in Russia industries in 1910-1917, and the rapid growth of the defense industry in Russia during the First World War (WWW), when Russia was able to achieve phenomenal growth in military production, moreover, it is provided, including through a sharp expansion of production capacity and the rapid construction of new enterprises.
These my comments caused numerous angry cries and types of objections here. Alas, the level of the majority of objections testifies to the extreme ignorance of the public in this matter and to the incredible littering of heads with all sorts of prejudices and completely mossy ideas borrowed from accusatory publicism and propaganda.
In principle, this should not be surprising. The denunciation of the alleged inability of the infamous Ancien Régime to cope with the needs of military production was promoted by the liberal and socialist opposition before February 1917, it was unanimously supported by the generals who tried (finding themselves on both the red and white sides) to dissociate themselves from the "old regime", and then began common place of communist propaganda for obvious reasons. As a result, in domestic historiography, this turned into a general historical stamp, almost unreasonable and indissoluble. It would seem that almost 100 years have passed, and one could hope for a more objective coverage of this issue now. Alas, the study of the history of the WWII (and the domestic military-industrial complex) in Russia is still at an extremely low level, no one is engaged in studying the development of the country's military-industrial complex during the years of the WWII, and if this topic is touched upon in publications, then it all comes down to thoughtlessly repeating memorized cliches . Perhaps, it was only the authors who compiled the recently published collection “The Military Industry of Russia at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century” (the first volume of the work “History of the Creation and Development of the defense industry of Russia and the USSR. 1-1903”) that this mythology was called into question and criticized.
It can be said without exaggeration that the development of the Russian military industry in the PRC remains a large-scale white spot of national history.
Recently, this topic has taken me quite some time, and I am even thinking about the opportunity to start studying it more seriously. Nevertheless, even a small acquaintance with the materials is enough to affirm and repeat it here again: during the First World War, a huge leap in military production was made in Russia, and the rates of industrial development were so high that they did not repeat after that in Russian history , and were not repeated in any of the segments of the Soviet period of history, including the Second World War. The basis of this jump was the rapid expansion of the military production capacity in 1914-1917. due to four factors:
1) Extend the capacity of existing state-owned military enterprises
2) Massive attraction of private industry to military production
3) Large-scale program of emergency construction of new state-owned plants
4) Wide construction of new private military factories, secured by government orders.
Thus, in all cases, this growth was ensured by large-scale investments (both state and private), which makes completely absurd the arguments about the alleged inability of Russia to make large-scale investments in the defense industry complex until 1917. Actually, this thesis, as was noted, is clearly refuted by the rapid creation and modernization of shipbuilding capacities for large shipbuilding programs before the WWII. But in matters of shipbuilding and fleet the criticizing public is at a very profane level, therefore, not having the opportunity to object, quickly switches to shells, etc.
The main thesis is that the shells in Russia did little. At the same time, as a favorite argument, figures are given for the total release of shells in Western countries for the entire period of primary warfare - including both 1917 g and 1918. Scale of deflation of the military industry in the West to 1918 and artillery battles of 1918 r. military production 1915-1916 (because in 1917, the Russian industry went downhill) - and on this basis they are trying to draw some conclusions. Interestingly, this kind of “argumenters” is counting on evidence. However, as we will see below, even in 1917, the situation in Russia was not so bad with the production and presence of the same artillery shells.
It should be noted here that one of the reasons for the distorted ideas about the work of Russian industry in the WWI are the works of Barsukov and Manikovsky (that is, Barsukov’s partly again) - in fact, partly because nothing new has appeared on this topic. Their writings were written at the beginning of the 20's, maintained in the spirit of those years, and in matters related to the military-industrial complex concentrated to a large extent on the lack of combat supplies of the 1914-1915 period. Actually, the very questions of deploying weapons production and supplies are reflected in these works insufficiently and contradictoryly (which is understandable by the terms of writing). Therefore, the “suffering-accusatory” bias taken in these works has been uncritically reproduced for decades. Moreover, both Barsukov and Manikovsky have a lot of unreliable information (for example, about the state of affairs with the construction of new enterprises) and dubious statements (a typical example is howling against private industry).
For a better understanding of the development of Russian industry in the WWI, in addition to the mentioned collection "The Russian military industry at the beginning of the twentieth century" I would recommend the recently published "Essays on the history of the military industry" gene. Vs Mikhailova (in 1916-1917, the head of the military chemical department of the State Agrarian University, in 1918, the head of the GAU)
This commentary was written as a kind of educational program to educate the general public on the mobilization and expansion of the Russian defense industry during the WWI period and to demonstrate the scale of this expansion. In this commentary, I do not touch upon the issues of the aircraft and aircraft manufacturing industry, as well as the automotive industry, because this is a separate and complex topic. The same applies to the fleet and shipbuilding (also a separate topic). We look only at the army.
Rifles. In 1914, Russia had three state armory factories - Tula, Izhevsk (actually a complex with a steel plant) and Sestroretsk. The military capacity of all three factories for the summer of 1914 was estimated in terms of equipment at a total of 525 thousand rifles per year (44 thousand per month) with 2-2,5 shift work (Tula - 250 thousand, Izhevsk - 200 thousand, Sestroretsk 75 thousand). In reality, from August to December 1914, all three factories produced only 134 thousand rifles.
From 1915, forced work was undertaken to expand all three plants, with the result that the monthly production of rifles on them from December 1914 to December 1916 was quadrupled - from 33,3 thousand to 127,2 thousand. For only 1916, the performance of each of the three plants was doubled, and the actual delivery was: Tula plant 648,8 thousand rifles, Izhevsk - 504,9 thousand and Sestroretsky - 147,8 thousand, total 1301,4 thousand rifles in 1916 (numbers without accounting repair).
The increase in capacity was achieved by expanding the machine and energy park of each of the plants. The largest works on the scale were made at the Izhevsk plant, where the machine park was almost doubled, and a new power plant was built. In 1916, an order was issued for the second phase of reconstruction of the Izhevsk plant worth 11 mln. Rub. in order to bring its release in 1917 to 800 thousand rifles.
The Sestroretsky plant underwent a massive expansion, where by January 1917 the output of 500 rifles per day was reached, and from 1 in June 1917 the output of 800 rifles was planned per day. However, in October 1916, it was decided to limit the rifles with a capacity of 200 thousand units per year, and to focus the increased capacity of the plant on the release of Fedorov machines with 50 units per day since summer 1917.
Add that Izhevsk Steel Plant was a supplier of weapons and special steel, as well as gun barrels. In 1916, the output of steel in relation to 1914 was increased from 290 to 500 thousand pounds, gun barrels - six times (to 1,458 million units), machine-gun barrels - 19 times (to 66,4 thousand), and further growth was expected.
It should be noted that a considerable part of the machines for weapons production in Russia was produced by the machine-tool production of the Tula Arms Plant. In 1916, the production of machines on it was brought to 600 units. per year, and in 1917 it was supposed to transform this machine-building department into a separate large Tula state machine-building plant with capacity expansion to 2400 machines per year. 32 million rubles were allocated for the creation of the plant. According to Mikhailov, from 320% of the growth in the output of rifles from 1914 to 1916, only 30% increase in growth was achieved by “boosting work”, while the remaining 290% was the effect of equipment expansion.
However, the main emphasis in the expansion of rifle production was placed on the construction of new arms factories in Russia. Already in 1915, provision was made for the construction of a second weapons factory in Tula with an annual capacity of 500 thousand rifles per year, and later it was planned to merge it with the Tula weapon-grade with a total total power of 3500 rifles per day. The estimated cost of the plant (3700 units of machine equipment) amounted to 31,2 million rubles, by October 1916 allocations increased to 49,7 million rubles, and 6,9 million rubles were additionally allocated for the purchase of equipment from Remington (1691 machine) for manufacturing more 2 thousand rifles per day (!). In total, the entire Tula weapons complex was supposed to produce 2 million rifles per year. The construction of the 2 plant was started in the summer of 1916 and should be completed by the beginning of 1918. Actually, due to the revolution, the plant was completed under the Soviets.
In 1916, the construction of a new state-owned Ekaterinoslav weapons factory near Samara with a capacity of 800 thousand guns per year was started. At the same time, it was planned to transfer the capacities of the Sestroretsk Arms Plant to this site, which was then refused. The estimated cost was determined in 34,5 mln. Rub. Construction was intensively carried out in 1916, the main workshops were erected to 1917, further collapse began. The Soviet authorities tried to complete the construction of the plant in 20, but did not master it.
Thus, in 1918, the annual production capacity of the Russian rifle industry (without machine guns) should have been 3,8 million, which meant an increase of 7,5 times in relation to the mobilization capacity of 1914 and triple in relation to the release of 1916. This overlapped bid bids (2,5 million rifles per year) one and a half times.
Machine guns. The production of machine guns remained a bottleneck of Russian industry throughout the WWI. In fact, right up to the revolution, the release of machine guns was carried out only by the Tula Arms Plant, which increased its production to 1200 units per month by January 1917. Thus, compared to December 1915, the increase was 2,4 times, and compared to December 1914. - seven times. For 1916, the release of machine guns almost tripled (from 4251 to 11072 units), and in 1917, the delivery of thousands of machine guns by the Tula 15 plant was expected. Together with large import orders (delivery of up to 1917 thousand imported machine guns and up to 25 thousand light machine guns) was expected in 20, this was to satisfy the bid requests. In the exaggerated hopes for importing, private industry proposals for the production of heavy machine guns were rejected by the GAU.
The production of Madsen light machine guns was organized at the Kovrov machine-gun factory, which is being built under an agreement with Madsen. An agreement on this with the issuance of an order to a syndicate of 15 thousand light machine guns for 26 million rubles was concluded in April 1916, the contract was signed in September, and the construction of the plant began in August 1916 and proceeded at a very fast pace. The assembly of the first batch of machine guns was carried out in August 1917.By the beginning of 1918, despite the revolutionary mess, the plant was almost ready - according to the act of inspection of the plant from August 1919 (and nothing changed there in a year and a half), the readiness of the workshops accounted for 95%, power plants and communications - 100%, equipment was delivered 100%, installed 75%. The production of machine guns was planned in 4000 pieces in the first half of the year of work, followed by an output of 1000 pieces per month and with bringing up to 2,5-3 thousand light machine guns a month when working in one shift.
Cartridges. At 1914 in Russia, the production of rifle cartridges was carried out by three state-owned cartridge factories - Petrograd, Tula and Lugansk. The maximum capacity of each of these plants was 150 million ammunition per year with single shift work (total 450 million). In fact, all three plants already in the peaceful 1914 were supposed to give a total of a third more - the SDR made 600 million cartridges.
The release of ammunition was largely limited by the amount of gunpowder (more on that below). Since the beginning of 1915, great efforts have been made to expand the capacity of all three plants, with the result that the release of Russian 3-ling ammunition was increased from December 1914 to November 1916 threefold - from 53,8 mln to 150 mln. the release of Japanese ammunition in Petrograd is not included). For one 1916, the total output of Russian ammunition was increased one and a half times (to 1,482 billion pieces). In 1917, while maintaining productivity, the delivery of 1,8 billion of cartridges was expected, plus the arrival of approximately the same number of Russian cartridges for import. In 1915-1917 the number of units of equipment of all three ammunition factories has doubled.
At the international conference in January 1916, the demand was calculated in 1917 million cartridges per month (including Russian 500 million), which gave an expense of 325 billion. per year, or twice as much as the consumption of 6, and this, with sufficient supply of parts for the beginning of 1916, with cartridges.
In July, the 1916 was started by the construction of the Simbirsk Cartridge Plant (840 capacity per million ammunition per year, the estimated cost of 40,9 million rubles), scheduled for commissioning in 1917, but entered into action during the Soviets only in October 1918 d. In general, the total estimated capacity of the Russian cartridge industry at 1918 can be calculated to 3 billion cartridges per year (including the production of foreign cartridges).
Light guns. Production of light and mining 3-dm artillery was conducted at the Petrograd State and Perm gun mills. In 1915, a private Putilov plant (eventually nationalized at the end of 1916), as well as a private “Tsaritsyn group of plants” (Sormovsky plant, Lessner’s plant, Petrograd metal and Kolomna) were connected to the production. Monthly release of guns arr. 1902 eventually increased over the 22 month (from January 1915 to October 1916) by more than 13 times (!!) from 35 to 472 systems. At the same time, for example, the Perm plant increased the production of 3-dm field guns in 1916 in 10 times as compared to 1914 (by bringing 1916 guns to the end of 100 in a month), and the gun carriages to them - in 16 times .
The production of 3-dm mountain and short guns at Russian factories for 22 month (from January 1915 to October 1916) was tripled (from 17 to about 50 a month), and the 1916-dm production began in the autumn of 3. anti-aircraft guns. In 1916, the annual total production of 3-dm guns of all types was three times higher than the production of 1915.
The Tsaritsyn group, starting production from scratch and handing over the first six 3-dm guns in April 1916, already six months later (in October) gave 180 guns per month, and in February 1917 guns were made for further increasing production. Putilovsky plant, resuming the production of 200-dm guns only in the second half of 3, reached the end of 1915 at the power of 1916 guns per month, and in the middle of 200, it was expected to reach 1917-250 guns per month. In fact, due to the adequacy of the production of 300-dm guns, the Putilov plant has been given a program for 3 only in 1917 guns arr. 1214, while the rest of the power shifted to the production of heavy artillery.
To further expand the artillery production, at the end of 1916, the construction of a powerful Saratov state-owned gun factory was launched with a capacity of one year: 3-dm field guns - 1450, 3-dm mountain guns - 480, 42-ling guns - 300, 48-liners, 300, 6-lin guns - 300, 6-liners, Xubx, 190-lin guns - 8, 48-liners, Xubx, 37,5-lin guns - 1917, XNUMX-liners, XUNXX, XNUMX-lin guns - XNUMX, XNUMX-liners, Xnumx, XNUMX-lin guns - XNUMX, XNUMX-liners, Xubch XNUMX, XNUMX-dm howitzers - XNUMX, XNUMX-dm fortress guns - XNUMX, XNUMX-dm howitzers - XNUMX. The enterprise value was determined in XNUMX mln. Rub. Due to the February XNUMX revolution, construction was halted at an early stage.
Thus, with the monthly demand for 1917 at the 1917 rate declared in January, in the 490 field and 70 mountain 3-dm guns, the Russian industry has in fact already reached its supply by that time, and in 1917-1918. apparently would have greatly exceeded this need. With the commissioning of the Saratov plant, one could expect a total of at least about 700 field guns and 100 mountain guns per month (when evaluating the disposal of 300 guns per month, without taking into account combat losses) ..
It should be added that in 1916, the Obukhov plant began the development of the Rosenberg 37-mm trench gun. From the first order in 400 of new systems from March 1916, the 170 guns were already delivered in 1916, the rest was scheduled for 1917. No doubt that new mass orders for these guns would follow.
Heavy guns. As we all know, the production of heavy artillery in Russia at the WWI is a favorite topic of all accusers of the “old regime”. At the same time, it is hinted that the vile Tsarism could not organize anything here.
By the beginning of the war the production of 48-linear howitzers arr. 1909 and 1910 was conducted at the Putilov plant, Obukhov plant and Petrograd gun factory, and 6-DM howitzers arr. 1909 and 1910 - at the Putilov and Perm plants. After the outbreak of war, special attention was paid to the release of 42-ling guns arr. 1909, under which extensions of the Obukhovsky and Petrogradsky plants were made, and also started mass production at the Putilovsky plant. In 1916, the Obukhov Plant launched the 6-dm Schneider gun and the 12-dm howitzer. The Putilov factory throughout the war was the leading manufacturer of 48-ling howitzers, coming out to produce these guns before 36 a month by the fall of 1916, and had to increase their production in 1917.
The release of heavy artillery grew very quickly. In the first half of 1915, all 128 heavy artillery guns were made (all 48-lin howitzers), and in the second half 1916 heavy 566 (including 21 12-dm howitzer), in other words, Manikovsky's issue in a year and a half has grown 7 times (!). At the same time, this number apparently does not include the supply of land guns (including 24 XMUM-dm 6 howitzers) for the Navy Department (mainly the IPV Fortress). In 1917, further expansion of production was to continue. First of all, 42-ling guns, the output of which at all three manufacturing plants in 1917 should have been estimated at 402 units (against 89 in 1916 g). All in all, in 1917, without a revolution, GAU (without Morved) was estimated by industry to be delivered before 2000 of heavy Russian-made guns (against 900 in 1916).
Only one Putilovsky plant on mastering the main production under the 1917 program was supposed to give 432 48-lin howitzers, 216 42-lin guns and 165 howitzers 6-dm for the army plus 94 howitzers 6-dm for Morved.
Additionally, with the nationalization of the Putilov Plant, it was decided to create with it a special heavy artillery plant for the production of 6-dm and 8-dm howitzers with output volumes up to 500 howitzers per year. Construction of the plant was carried out at an accelerated pace over the 1917 year, despite the revolutionary chaos. By the end of 1917, the plant was almost ready. But then the evacuation of Petrograd began, and by the decision of the State Agrarian University of 14 in December, the new plant was to be the first to be evacuated to Perm. Ultimately, most of the equipment of the enterprise was delivered to the Perm plant, where it formed the basis of Motovilikha’s heavy-duty equipment for the next decades. However, a considerable part was scattered throughout the country in the context of 1918 civil war and was lost.
The second new center of manufacture of heavy artillery was supposed to be above Saratov official gun factory with the annual program of heavy guns: 42-ling guns - 300, 48-ling howitzers - 300, 6-dm howitzers - 300, 6-dm serfs guns - 190, 8-dm howitzers - 48. Due to the February 1917 revolution, construction was halted at an early stage.
Among other measures considered to enhance the production of heavy artillery by 1917 were the issuance of an order for 48-ling howitzers to the private “Tsaritsyn group of plants”, as well as the development of 1917-dm howitzers and new “light” 12-dm in 16. howitzers at the Tsaritsyn naval heavy artillery plant (RAOAZ) built with 1913 with the participation of Vickers, whose construction was conducted during the years of WWI sluggishly, but the first stage of which was expected in July 1916 to enter the 1917 in the spring. with 1918 d. 42-ling guns and 6-dm howitzers (note h on the issue of 42-ling guns and 6-dm howitzers and was eventually mastered to "barricade" Soviets in 1930-1932 years).
With the commissioning of the howitzer plant at the Putilov plant and the first stage of the Tsaritsyn plant, Russian industry would have reached minimum annual 1918 heavy artillery systems in 2600, and more likely more, given that, apparently, in 1917-1918. serious efforts would be made to expand the release of 48-ling howitzers. And this is without taking into account the Saratov plant, the possibility of entering it before 1919, seems to me doubtful.
In fact, this meant that the 1916 Bid bid for heavy artillery could have been covered by Russian industry by the end of 1917, and the massive 1918 release could be turned, along with covering losses, to a sharp increase (in fact many times in many artillery systems). State TAON. Add to this that in 1917-beginning of 1918. about 1000 heavy artillery systems had to be obtained from imports (and this without taking into account possible new orders abroad). The total total Russian heavy artillery, even minus losses, could reach the number of 5000 guns by the end of 1918, i.e. be comparable in numbers to the French.
It should be noted that at the same time in Russia (mainly at the Obukhov plant, as well as at the Perm plant) a very large-scale production of powerful large-caliber naval artillery (from 4 to 12 dm) continued, the production of 14-dm ship guns was mastered and reconstruction continued in full swing Perm plant for the organization on it release in the year 24 ship guns caliber 14-16 dm.
And, by the way, a small shtrik for fans to speculate about the fact that the fleet de front of the PRM had eaten around the army, and the unhappy army suffered from a lack of guns. According to the “Military Ministry report for 1914”, as of 1 in January 1915, the land fortress artillery consisted of 7634 guns and 323 semi-modal mortars (for 1914, new guns were supplied to the land fortresses with 425), and I had to use the same tools to change the power of the guns), and I had to use the system to load the tools, as well as I had to use the system to load the tools, and I had to use the charts, I’ve used the X-gun, I’ve had to use the charts, I’ve had to use the charts and I’m using the charts and I’m using the charts, I’ve used the X-guns and I-9) million pieces In the artillery of the seaside fortresses there were also 2 guns, and the stock of shells was 4162 million. No comments, as they say, but it seems the story of the real greatest Russian drank before the WWI is still waiting for her researcher.
Artillery shells caliber 3 dm. Arguments about shells are a favorite topic of critics of the Russian military-industrial complex in the PRC, while, as a rule, information about the projectile famine of the 1914-1915. completely improperly transferred to a later period. Even less awareness is manifested in the production of heavy artillery shells.
The production of 3-dm shells before WWI was carried out in Russia at five state-owned (Izhevsk Steel Industry, as well as Perm, Zlatoust, Olonets and Verkhneturinsky Mining Department) and 10 private factories (Metal, Putilovsky, Nikolaevsky, Lesner, Bryansk, Petrograd Mechanical Mechanical, and Petrograd Mechanical Mechanical, Rudzsky, Lilpop, Sormovsky), and before 1910 of the city - and two Finnish plants. Since the beginning of the war, shell production has undergone rapid expansion, both by increasing production at the mentioned factories and by connecting new private enterprises. In total, 1 January 1915 orders for 3-dm shells were issued 19 private enterprises, and by 1 January 1916 - already 25 (and this does not include Vankov organization)
The main role in the production of projectiles in the GAU line was played by the Perm plant, as well as the Putilov plant, which eventually united around a number of other private enterprises (Russian society, Russian-Baltic and Kolomna). Thus, the Perm plant, with an annual design capacity of 3-dm shells in 500, thousand units already in 1915 gave 1,5 million shells, and in 1916, 2,31 million shells. The Putilov plant, with its cooperation, manufactured 1914 for a total of 75 thousand 3-dm shells for 1916, and 5,1 million shells for XNUMX.
If in 1914 all Russian industry produced 516 thousand 3-dm shells, in 1915 there were already 8,825 million, according to Barsukov, and 10 million, according to Manikovsky, and in 1916, already 26,9 million shots according to according to Barsukov. The “all-inclusive military ministry reports” give even more significant numbers of Russian-made 3-dm shells to the army in 1915, 12,3 million shells, and in 1916, 29,4 million shots. Thus, the annual production of 3-dm shells in 1916 was almost tripled, and the monthly production of 3-dm shells from January 1915 to December 1916 increased 12 times!
Particularly noteworthy is the well-known organization of the authorized GAU Vankov, which organized a large number of private enterprises for the production of shells and played a prominent role in the mobilization of industry and the promotion of shell production. In total, 442 private factories were involved in the production and cooperation of Vankov (!). Since April 1915, the Vankov organization has received orders for 13,04 million 3-dm grenades of the French sample and 1 million chemical projectiles, as well as 17,09 million igniting glasses and 17,54 million detonators. The release of shells began as early as September 1915, before the end of the year produced 600 thousand shells, and in 1916, the Vankov organization produced about 7 million shells, bringing the output to 783 thousand in December 1916. By the end of 1917, it was she made 13,6 million 3-dm shells of all types.
Due to the success of the Vankov organization in 1916, orders were issued for the production of 1,41 million heavy shells with a caliber from 48 lin to 12 dm, as well as 1 million shells (57, 75 and 105 mm) for Romania. Vankov's organization in the shortest possible time delivered a new for Russia production of heavy shells from steel cast iron. As is known, it was precisely the mass release of shells of steel cast iron that greatly contributed to the resolution of the shell crisis in France. Having started production of such shells in Russia at the end of 1916, the Vankov organization almost completely fulfilled orders for casting all ordered heavy shells by the end of 1917 (although, due to the collapse, only about 600 were processed, thousands of them).
Along with this, efforts continued to expand the release of 3-dm shells and at state-owned enterprises. At 1917, it was planned to bring the production of 3-dm shells at the Izhevsk plant to 1 million per year, in addition, 1 million. 3-dm shells per year were planned for production at the new large Kamensky state steel plant (described below).
We add that 56 million shots of Russian 3-dm guns were ordered abroad, of which 12,6 million was sent to 1916 g according to the “All-Inclusive Report”. (points out that Barsukov generally gives lower numbers for many positions than “Reports”). In 1917, 10 million shells of the Morgan order were expected to arrive from the United States and before 9 million of the Canadian order.
Estimated in 1917, it was expected to receive up to 36 million 3-dm shots from the Russian industry (including the Vankov organization) and up to 20 million in import. This number exceeded even the highest possible wishes of the army. It should be noted here that on the basis of the outbreak of the crisis of the start of the war, the Russian command in 1916 was covered by something like psychopathy in terms of storing projectiles. For the entire 1916, the Russian army, according to various estimates, spent 16,8 million 3 caliber shells, of which 11 million - in the five summer months of the most intense fighting, and without experiencing any special problems with ammunition. Recall that with such an expenditure, the Military Department in 1916 was actually supplied up to 42 million shells. In the summer of 1916, the gene. Alekseev in the note demanded for the future the supply of 4,5 million shells for a month. In December, 1916. The Stavka formulated the need for 3-dm shells on 1917, frankly overestimated the number of 42 million units. In January, 1917 took a more reasonable position by formulating the requirements for delivering 2,2 million shells per month (or 26,6 million in total) for this year. Manikovsky, however, considered this to be overstated. In January, 1917 of the Upart stated that the annual demand for 3-dm shells was “overwhelmed” and that by 1 in January 1917 there was a supply of 3-dm shots in 16,298 million units — in other words, the actual annual consumption of 1916. For the first two months, 1917 was fed to the front in roughly 2,75 million. 3-dm shots. As we can see, almost all of these calculations would be more than covered in 1917 only by Russian production, and most likely Russian light artillery would approach 1918 with a frank overstocking of ammunition, and while maintaining and at least a limited increase in production and supply rates the end of 1918, the warehouses would generally have been crammed with huge stocks of 3-dm shells.
Heavy artillery shells. The main manufacturer of heavy land artillery shells (caliber larger than 100 mm) before WWI were the Obukhovsky Plant, the Permsky Plant, and the three other mining departments mentioned above. At the beginning of the war, four mining plants (including Perm) had already 1,134 million (!) Shells of 42 and 48 caliber lin and 6 dm (excluding heavier ones), and 23,5 had thousands of shells in Russian society order. With the beginning of the war, emergency orders were made for another 630 thousand heavy artillery shots. Thus, statements about the allegedly small number of heavy projectiles before the war and at the beginning of the war are an absurd myth in themselves. During the war, the release of heavy shells grew avalanche-like.
With the beginning of the war began to expand the release of heavy shells at the Perm plant. Already in 1914, the plant produced 161 thousand heavy projectiles of all kinds (up to 14 dm), in 1915 g. - 185 thousand, in 1916 g. - 427 thousand, including the release of 48. quadruples (up to 1914 thousand). Already in 290, heavy shells were produced at 1915 state and private factories with a constant expansion of output.
In addition, with 1915, mass production of heavy projectiles (up to 12 dm) was started on the Putilov factories group - 1915 thousand shells were delivered in 140, and in 1916, about 1 million. In 1917, despite the beginning of the collapse, the group made 1,31 million heavy shells.
Finally, the Vankov organization produced for the year from the end of 1916 to the end of 1917 more than 600 thousand finished heavy projectiles, having mastered the new for Russia production of shells from steel cast iron.
Summing up the release of heavy projectiles in Russia before the revolution, it should be noted that Barsukov, whom they like to refer to, results in obviously incorrect data on the production of heavy projectiles in 1914 - allegedly total 24 thousand 48-dm shells and 2100 grenades 11-dm that contradicts all known data and his own information about the release of shells for individual plants (the same incorrect data for him and for 3-DM shells). The tables in the Manikovsky edition are even more confused. According to the “General Report on the Ministry of War for 1914 g”, from 1 August 1914 to 1 January 1915 only 446 thousand shots for 48-lin howitzers, 203,5 thousand shots for 6-dm howitzers were actually sent to the army The 104,2 thousand shots for 42-ling guns, and that’s not counting other types of projectiles. Thus, it is estimated only in the last five months of 1914 that a minimum of 800 thousand heavy shells were fired (which coincides with the data on the reserve at the beginning of the war). The 1915 d. “A compilation of information on the supply of artillery shells to the army” in the “Military Industry of Russia” produces approximately 160 thous. Heavy land shells in the last 4 of the month 1914, although it is not clear from the text how complete the data is.
There are suspicions that Barsukov also lowered the production of heavy artillery shells in 1915-1916. Thus, according to Barsukov, in 1915 in Russia 9,568 million shells of all types were manufactured (including 3 dm) and 1,23 million shells were received from abroad, and in 1916 - 30,975 million shells of all types and about 14 million were made received from abroad. According to the “General Report on the Ministry of War”, in 1915 more than 12,5 million shells of all types were sent to the army, and 1916 million shells (including 48 million 42-dm) in 3. In Manikovsky, the figures for the submission to the army of shells in 1915 coincide with the “Report”, but the figure for the supply for 1916 was one and a half times less - it gives only 32 million shells, including 5,55 million heavy ones. Finally, according to another Manikovsky table, in 1916, 6,2 million heavy shells and plus 520 thousand shots for French 90-mm guns were sent to the troops.
If on 3-dm shells the numbers from Barsukov are more or less “fighting”, then on shells of larger calibers, when taking for granted Barsukov’s figures, obvious inconsistencies are formed. The figure of 740 ths. Heavy shells in 1915 given by him with the release of at least 800 th in five months of 1914 was completely incongruous and contradicted all known data and obvious trends - and according to the same Manikovsky, about the supply of 1,312 to the army. 1915 d. In my opinion, the release of heavy projectiles in 1915-1916. Barsukov is undervalued by about 1 million shots (apparently due to the neglect of some factories' products). There are also doubts about Barsukov’s 1917 statistics.
However, even if we take Barsukov’s figures on trust, then in 1916 in Russia 4 million heavy shells were manufactured, and in a crisis 1917, despite everything, already 6,7 million. According to Barsukov’s data, The 6-dm of howitzer shells in 1917 increased in relation to 1915 in 20 times (!) To 2,676 million, and the 48-lin of howitzer shells in 10 times (to 3,328 million). The actual increase, in my opinion, was somewhat smaller, but nonetheless, the numbers are impressive. Thus, Russia produced only 1914 million (Barsukov’s estimate) from 1917 to 11,5 only (to my estimate) heavy projectiles, and before 13 million heavy projectiles were imported (from 3-mm ). In real terms, all of this meant that the Russian heavy artillery quickly overcame the “shell hunger”, and in 90 a situation began to develop an oversupply of heavy artillery - so, 1917-ling cannons in the army had 42 g. On 1917 shots in January on the barrel, 4260-ling and 48-dm howitzers by September 6 - up to 1917 shots on the barrel (despite the fact that a large part - more than half - of the huge release of projectiles of these types 2700 g. did not get into the troops). Even the massive deployment of heavy artillery release in 1917-1917. would hardly change this situation. Most revealingly, even the extremely overstated and unjustified demands of the Stake from December 1918 for 1916 - 1917 million 6,6-lin shells and 48 million 2,26-dm shells - were overlaid by the actual release of this failed 6 g.
However, as was noted, in fact, production was only richer, the results of which manifested themselves in 1917. Most likely, without a revolution, you could expect to give in 1917 to 10 million heavy shells. There was an expansion in the production of heavy projectiles on the Putilov group, and the possibility of loading the Vankov organization with mass production of 48-ling and 6-dm howitzer shells after it completed its order for the 3-dm grenade was considered. Judging by the rate of release of these heavy projectiles by the Vankov organization in 1917, success here could also be very significant.
Finally, for the massive production of heavy projectiles, the largest of the Russian OPK projects implemented in the WWW was calculated: a large steel-shell state-owned plant in Art. Kamensky Region of the Don Cossacks. Initially, the plant was designed and sanctioned by the construction of 1915 in August as steel for the production of weapon steel and gun barrels with a design annual output of 1 million gun barrels, 1 million 3-dm projectiles, and more than 1 million poods of “special steels”. The estimated cost of such production was in 49 mln. Rub. In 1916, the plant’s project was supplemented with the creation of the most powerful government-made projectile production on Russia with the planned annual output of 3,6 million 6-dm shells, 360 thousand 8-dm shells and 72 thousand 11-dm and 12-dm shells. The total cost of the complex reached 187 mln. Rub., The equipment was ordered in the USA and the UK. The construction was started in April 1916, by October 1917 the construction of the main workshops was carried out, but due to the collapse only a small part of the equipment was delivered. At the beginning of 1918, the building was finally stopped. Once in the epicenter of the Civil War, the unfinished plant was plundered and virtually eliminated.
Another single steel-making state-owned plant was built from 1915 in Lugansk with a design capacity of 4,1 million pounds of weapons steel per year.
Mortars and bomb. Production of mortar and bombing weapons before the start of the PRC in Russia was absent and developed on a broad front since 1915, mainly due to the division of private enterprises through the TsVPK. If 1915, it was handed over 1548 1438 mortars and mortars (not counting improvised and legacy systems), then in 1916 - already 10850 mortars, mortars and 1912 60 trench mortars Ehrhardt (155 mm), and the production of ammunition for mortars and mortars increased from 400 thousand to 7,554 million shots, that is, almost 19 times. By October 1916, the needs of the troops in bomb bombers were covered by 100%, and in mortars - by 50%, and full coverage was expected by July 1 1917. As a result, by the end of 1917 the bombardments in the army were twice as high as the state (14 thousand with 7 thousand staff), small-gauge mortars - 90% of staff (4500 with 5 thousand staff), large-gauge mortars for TAON - 11% (267 units) of the projected huge demand for 2400 systems. There was a clear oversupply in the ammunition for bomb bombers, and therefore their release in 1917 was reversed with a shift towards the production of mortars for mortars, which were lacking. In 1917, the 3 million min.
At 1917, the production of bombs to mortars was reoriented (in 1917, according to Barsukov, 1024 mortars were produced, but there are suspicions that his data on 1917 were clearly incomplete, which is confirmed by his own data on the presence of systems in the troops), as well as increasing the production of large-caliber systems (for example, the Metal Plant began production of 155-mm trench mortars of its own production — 100 units were commissioned in a year, the production of 240-mm mortars was also mastered). Another 928 bombers, 185 mortars and 1,29 million units of ammunition for them until the end of 1917, obtained for imports (data may also be incomplete).
Hand grenades. Production of hand grenades was carried out before the start of the PRC in small quantities for the fortresses. The release of grenades in Russia is mainly due to small-scale private industry in the 1915-1916. It grew in colossal quantities, and grew from January 1915 to September 1916 in 23 times - from 55 thousand to 1,282 million pieces. If in 1915 g. 2,132 million grenades were manufactured, in 1916 there were already 10 million. Another 19 million grenades were in 1915-1916. received by import. In January 1917 was declared the need to supply the army in a month 1,21 million hand grenades (or 14,5 million per year) which was completely covered by the achieved level of Russian production.
The rifle grenades were manufactured in 1916 317 thousands and delivery was expected in 1917 Y 600 thousands. In January, 1917 was also ordered 40 thousand Dyakonov mortics and 6,125 million shots to them, but because of the beginning of the collapse of mass production has not been adjusted.
Powder. By the beginning of the WWC, the powder for the military department was produced at three state powder plants - Okhtensky, Kazan and Shostkensky (Chernigov province), the maximum productivity of each of which was estimated at 100 thousand pounds of powder per year. And for the marine department - also at Shlisselburg private plant capacity to 200 thousand pounds. At the factories and warehouses stocks of gunpowder were 439 thousand. Pounds.
With the beginning of the war, work began on the expansion of all four plants - so, the capacity and number of employees at the Okhta plant were tripled. By 1917, the capacity of the Okhta plant was increased to 300 thousand pounds, Kazan - to 360 thousand pounds, Shostken - to 445 thousand pounds, Shlisselburg - to 350 thousand pounds. At the same time, starting from 1915, next to the old Kazan plant, a new Kazan powder plant was built with a capacity of another 300 thousand pounds, which began work in 1917.
In 1914, even before the war, the Military Department began the construction of a powerful Tambov state-owned powder factory with a capacity of up to 600 thousand pounds per year. The plant cost 30,1 million rubles and began work in October 1916, however, due to the collapse of 1917, it just began operations. At the same time, in order to fulfill the orders of the Marine Department at the beginning of 1914, a private plant of Baranovsky (Vladimirsky) was started with a design capacity of 240 thousand pounds. in year. After the start of the war, the equipment ordered in Germany had to be reordered in the USA and the UK. The Baranovsky plant was commissioned in August 1916, although it continued to be equipped, and by the end of 1917 produced 104 thousand pounds of gunpowder. At the end of 1916, the plant was nationalized.
Production of smokeless powder (including the Shlisselburg plant) in 1914 amounted to 437,6 thousand pounds, in 1915 - 773,7 thousand, in 1916 - 986 thousand pounds. Thanks to the reconstruction to 1917, the capacities were brought to 2 million poods, however, they did not have time to get a return on this due to the revolution. Prior to this, the basic needs had to be covered with imports that amounted to 2 million pounds of smokeless powder in 1915-1916 (200 thousand in 1915 g. And 1,8 million in 1916 g.).
In the summer of 1916, the construction of the Samara State Powder Plant with a capacity of 600 thousand pounds with an estimated cost of 30 million rubles was started on American equipment, and among other things, the pyroxylin plant of the American company Nonabo was bought. Practically all the equipment arrived in Russia, but in 1917 the construction slowed down dramatically and in 1918 it disappeared, and as a result, the equipment was distributed between the “old” powder factories during the Soviets. Thus, in 1918, the total capacity of powder production in Russia could reach 3,2 million pounds per year, enumerating compared to 1914, which made it possible to actually get rid of imports. This amount of powder was enough to produce 70 million charges for 3-dm shells and 6 billion cartridges. It should also be added that the possibility of issuing orders for the development of the production of powders to private chemical plants was considered. I note that at the beginning of 1917, the total demand for the next year and a half of the war (before 1 July 1918) was determined in 6,049 million pounds of smokeless and 1,241 million pounds of black powder.
In addition, 1916-1917's. The Tashkent state cotton-cleaning plant was built at a cost of 4 million rubles with an initial capacity of 200 thousand tons of cleaned material per year with prospects for subsequent sharp expansion.
Explosives. The release of TNT and equipment of the Military Department's ammunition to the WWI were conducted by the Okhta and Samara explosives factories. Since the beginning of the war, the capacities of both plants were expanded many times. The Okhta plant produced 13,95 thousand pounds of TNT in 1914, but its TNT production was severely damaged by an explosion in April 1915. The Samara plant increased the production of TNT from 1914 to 1916. four times - from 51,32 thousand pounds to 211 thousand pounds, and tetryl in 11 times - from 447 to 5187 pounds. The equipment of the shells at both plants increased during this period by 15-20 times - so, by 3-dm shells on each from 80 thousand to more than 1,1 million units. The heavy shells of the Samara plant in 1916 were equipped with 1,32 million, plus 2,5 million hand grenades.
The Shlisselburg Plant of the Marine Department produced, by 1916, up to 400, thousands of poods of trotyl, the Grozny Plant of the Marine Department, 120, thousand poods, besides, 8 private factories were connected to the release of trotyl. Picric acid before the PRC was produced at two private factories, and already in 1915 - at seven, and in Russia a synthetic method was developed for producing picric acid from benzene, mastered by two plants. At two plants the production of trinitroxyol and two - dinitronaphthalene was mastered.
The total number of enterprises producing explosives for GAU increased from four to the beginning of the primary one to 28 as of January 1917. Their total capacity as of January 1917 was 218 thousand pounds per month, incl. 52 thousand tons of trotyl, 50 thousand pounds of picric acid, 60 thousand pounds of ammonium nitrate, 9 thousand pounds of xylene, 12 thousand pounds of dinitronaphthalene. This meant tripling compared with December 1915. In fact, in some cases, the capacity was even excessive. In 1916, Russia produced only 1,4 million pounds of explosives, and imported 2,089 million pounds of explosives (including 618,5 thousand tons of trotyl) and 1,124 thousand pounds of ammonium nitrate. In 1917, a turn was expected in favor of its own production, and in 1918, the estimated Russian production of explosives was to be at least 4 million pounds, excluding ammonium nitrate.
Even before the WWI GAU was planned the construction of the Nizhny Novgorod plant explosives. The construction was started at the beginning of 1916 at the estimated cost of 17,4 million rubles and the planned output per year of 630 thousand tons of trotyl and 13,7 thousand tons of tetryl. By the beginning of 1917, the main structures had been erected and the delivery of equipment had begun. Because of the collapse, everything stopped, however, later at the Soviets, the plant was already operational.
In the autumn of 1916, the construction of the Ufa plant of explosives worth 20,6 million rubles and annual productivity of 510 thousand pounds of trotyl and 7 thousand pounds of tetryl and with the annual capacity of 6 million 3-dm was authorized. and 1,8 million heavy shells, as well as 3,6 million hand grenades. Because of the revolution, it didn’t go further than the choice of site
In 1915-1916 A special Trinity (Sergievsky) equipment factory was built near Sergiyev Posad. The cost of 3,5 million rubles, the power of 1,25 million hand grenades per year, as well as the production of caps and burners. Six equipment workshops were also built for hand grenades and mines for mortars and bomb bombs.
To obtain benzene (to produce toluene and picric acid), Makeevsky and Kadievsky state-owned plants were built in 1915 in the Donbass in a short time, and a program to build 26 benzene private plants was adopted, of which 1917 was introduced by the beginning of 15. Three of these plants also produced toluene.
By the end of 1916, in Grozny and Ekaterinodar, private production of mononitrotoluene from gasoline with a power of 100 and 50, thousand pounds per year, respectively, was organized under a contract with GAU. At the beginning of 1916, the Baku and Kazan plants were also launched to produce toluene from oil, with a capacity of 24 thousand, respectively (in 1917, it was planned to increase to 48 thousand) and 12 thousand pounds of toluene. As a result, the output of toluene in Russia increased from zero to 28 thou. Pounds per month by May 1917. Then, construction of three private factories of this purpose (including Nobel), commissioned in 1917, was started in Baku.
For the production of synthetic phenol (for the production of picric acid) were in 1915-1916. Four factories were built, giving 124,9 thousand pounds to 1916.
Prior to WWI, sulfuric acid was produced in Russia in the amount of 1,25 million pounds per month (of which 0,5 million pounds in Poland), while ¾ of the raw materials were imported. During the year from December 1915, 28 of new private plants for the production of sulfuric acid was put into operation with an increase in monthly production in Russia from 0,8 mln to 1,865 mln. Pounds. The production of sulfur pyrite in the Urals has been tripled in a year and a half since August 1915.
Nitric acid was produced in Russia from Chilean seleita, the annual import of which was 6 million pounds. For the production of nitric acid from Russian materials (ammonia), an entire program was deployed and in 1916 an experienced state-owned plant in Yuzovka was built with a capacity of 600 thousand pounds of ammonium nitrate per year, the model of which was planned for construction of a network of plants, of which two were built in the Donbass. In the autumn of 1916, a large calcium cyanamide plant in Grozny was also authorized to build fixed nitrogen.
In 1916, the construction of a large Nizhny Novgorod plant of nitric and sulfuric acids was started with the output of 200 thousand tons of nitric acid per year. On the Suna River in the Olonets Gubernia, in 1915, the Onega Plant for Nitric Acid production by the arc method from air was started. The cost of this enterprise was non-sickly amount 26,1 mln. Rub. By 1917, only part of the work was done, and because of the collapse, everything was stopped.
Interestingly, the main motive for speeding up the construction and modernization of powder production and explosives production with 1916 was a frank desire to get rid of the import of powders and explosives (as well as materials for their production) “to the new Berlin Congress” in the face of possible opposition to former allies. This is especially true of the establishment of the production of nitric acid, which was directly linked by the leadership of the State Agrarian University to the possibility of a British naval blockade in the event of a confrontation at a future peace settlement.
Poisonous substances. Mastering the release of organic matter in Russia by force began in the summer of 1915. First of all, at two plants in the Donbass, chlorine production was already established by September, and its production by the autumn of 1916 was 600 pounds per day, which covered the front of the application. In parallel, construction of state-owned chlorine plants in Vargauz and Kayan was carried out in Finland at a cost of 3,2 million rubles. total capacity is also 600 pounds per day. Due to actual construction sabotage by the Finnish Senate, the plants were only completed by the end of 1917.
In 1915, the Globinsky military chemical state-owned plant was built in the Donbas in a short time, first producing chlorine, but in 1916-1917. refocused on the release in the year 20 thousand pounds of phosgene and 7 thousand pounds of chloropicrin. In 1916, the Kazan State Military Chemical Plant was built and at the beginning of 1917. It cost 400 thousand rubles and with an output of 50 thousand pounds of phosgene and 100 thousand pounds of chlorine per year. Four more private factories were focused on phosgene production, two of which began to produce in 1916. Chloropicrin was produced at 6 private factories, sulfurin chloride and chloride anhydride - in one plant, chlorine tin - in one, cyanide - in one, chloroform - on one, arsenic chloride - on one. In all, 1916 plants were already involved in the release of poisonous substances in 30, and 1917 was expected to be connected in 11, including both Finnish chloric. In 1916, 1,42 million chemical 3-dm shells were loaded.
You can also write separately about the production of pipes and fuses, optics, supplies, etc., but in general there we see the same trend everywhere - absolutely enchanting scales of expansion of military production in Russia in 1915-1916, mass connection of the private sector, construction of new large modern state-owned enterprises, which would give the opportunity for even more ambitious expansion of output in 1917-1919. with real prospects for complete disposal of imports. Mikhailov determined the estimated cost of the Large program for the construction of military plants in 655,2 million rubles, in fact, taking into account a number of other enterprises, it was not less than 800 million rubles. At the same time, there were no problems with the allocation of these funds, and in many cases the construction of large military enterprises was carried out at an accelerated pace.
1) Russia has achieved a huge and still underestimated jump in military production in the 1914-1917 years. The growth of military production and the development of the military-industrial complex in 1914-1917. were probably the most ambitious in national history, surpassing in relative figures any jumps in military production during the Soviet period (including the Second World War).
2) Many supply and military bottlenecks were successfully overcome by 1917, and especially 1918, the Russian industry was ready to supply the Russian army with almost everything necessary.
3) The overclocked volumes of military production and the real prospects for its further expansion allowed the 1918 of the Russian army to reach the supply parameters for the main types of ground weapons (primarily artillery) comparable to the armies of the Western allies (France).
4) The growth of military production in Russia in 1914-1917. it was provided by the enormous mobilization of private and state industry, as well as by the buildup of production capacities and the construction of new enterprises, with a colossal amount of public investment in military production. Many of the military enterprises that were built or started during this period formed the basis of the national defense industry in their specializations for the interwar period and even further. The Russian empire demonstrated high investment potential in the military industry and real opportunities for a huge increase in the power and capabilities of the PKK in the shortest possible time. Thus, to attribute such opportunities only to the Soviet government has no reason other than religious ones. Soviet power rather continued the traditions of organization and development of the Russian military industry of the late imperial period, rather than fundamentally surpassing them.
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