How Novosibirsk became the industrial center of the USSR
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia positively assessed the role of the Soviet Union in the development of the country: “Today’s Russia would not exist if it were not for the feats of previous generations that in the 20 – 30s did not just plow the land, although it was important, they created industry, science, the defense power of the country ".
“Russian Planet” remembered how the inhabitants of Novosibirsk made a contribution to building up the country's industrial potential during the first five-year periods.
Putting into life
Novosibirsk came out of the civil war with unprecedented losses. Compared to 1913, industrial production decreased by three quarters. Instead of crops in the fields surrounding the city, it was possible to find only the foul-smelling mountains of decaying corpses of people and animals. It seemed that it would take decades to restore the devastated internecine slaughter of the region.
“In the 1921 year, Novosibirsk, then bearing the name Novonikolaevsk, became the administrative center of the vast Siberian region, stretching from the Urals to Transbaikalia,” historian Vladimir Golovanov tells the RP. - The new status, as well as proximity to the Siberian railway, contributed to a record rapid revival of the city, ensuring the development dynamics unattainable for other Siberian cities. The location of Novosibirsk was recognized as strategic in terms of the imminent military conflict with the countries of the West. Most of the defense industrial enterprises at that time were located in the European part of Soviet Russia, and after the start of the war they could become easy prey for the enemy. Therefore, it was decided to create beyond the borders of the Urals, enterprise-doublers. Novosibirsk was to become a major industrial center operating on the full production cycle - from ore mining to the production of finished products. For the city, which by the 30 years of the last century was only 30 years old, the years of the first five-year plans became a high point, and determined its entire fate.
Before the revolution, Novosibirsk, if it could be considered a production center, was solely due to the milling industry. But in just 10 years, the situation has been completely changed. For this, the future enterprises had to provide all the related infrastructure, both transport and energy.
From 1924 to 1926 years, the CHP-1 was built. Then, in the 1931 year, it was decided to build the Novosibirsk State District Power Plant, which had already started producing energy by the year of 1935. After that, it was decided to move on to the next task - to support industrial growth with qualified personnel.
“At that time, the closest city where you could get a higher education was Tomsk, which historically was the university capital of the Siberian region,” historian Vadim Timchenko explains to the RP. - For Novosibirsk, attracting young specialists from other cities, even if they are located just a kilometer away from 200, was unacceptable. During the period of study, students should have an idea of which enterprises they will work at. So they could quickly get involved in the work, they did not need to be brought up to date, to retrain and retrain. There was simply no time for a gradual transformation of theoretical knowledge into practical then. Therefore, already in the 30-s in Novosibirsk were created the first seven universities.
Years of assault
The Sibcombain (today - Sibselmash. - RP) became the firstborn of the strategic industry created in Novosibirsk. In December, 1929, the Kremlin set the task: before 1, in October, 1932, to build an enterprise that could produce 25, thousand combine harvesters, 35, thousand seeders, 30, thousand mowers, and trailers and related equipment per year.
- To create a production of this scale in just two years - and today the task is not easy. And in a country that had not yet recovered from devastation, it was completely unreal. “There was not only equipment, but even the necessary number of people who could be involved in construction,” says Vladimir Golovanov. “And nevertheless, already on January 2 of 1930, the first builders, who were cadets of the Novosibirsk garrison regimental school, armed themselves with axes and heaths, and began clearing a waste land from trees and shrubs, where the shop walls were to appear soon.
The bricklayers, the steelworkers, the concrete workers who built them, had yet to be found and trained. And in two months, the number of people involved in construction has already exceeded one thousand.
- Only by May, four months after the start of work, seven barracks were built, in which workers from remote villages could hide from the cold. - In one tiny room lived three families, - continues the story of Vladimir Golovanov. - Then the first dining room and bathhouse appeared. The workers had to put up not only with inhuman living conditions, but also with constant interruptions in the supply of food, which lasted until the middle of the 30-s. There was not enough meat, milk, vegetables, even bread. But you had to work on 10 hours a day, all bricks and mortar were worn by hand, on stretchers - there was no equipment.
Dormitory for girls. Photo: napo.ru
To solve these problems, it took all the enthusiasm inherent in the builders of the first five years. So, in September 1930, it turned out that the plan, set for the year, was only half completed. And then in Novosibirsk announced the month of the assault. More than 3 thousand city communists and 3,5 thousand Komsomol members went to the construction site to help catch up. Working day and night, seven days a week, they overfulfilled the plan 2 – 3 times. As a result, the backlog was eliminated in just one month.
- In June, the Sibcombine bricklayers of Tersky and Kolesnikov managed to set an all-Union record for brick laying speed by mastering the advanced method developed by the Central Institute of Labor. In eight hours, they laid 1931 thousand 6 bricks - 400 units per hour. At the same time, the former red partisans who worked at the construction site stated that “they will not leave production until they smoke the pipes of the plant,” says Vladimir Golovanov.
Engineers and technicians also worked tirelessly. They designed and created combines that were to be produced by an enterprise under construction. Parts for them had to be manufactured at other factories of the city, which seriously complicated the task. By the beginning of the 1931 harvesting company of the year, the first test combine created in Novosibirsk, the “XTZ wheeled tractor”, was ready. He successfully passed the field tests and was recognized as the best of all created in the country at that time.
- In order to understand the conditions in which such a result was obtained, I will cite an excerpt from the memories of Lydia Livintsev, who came to the construction site in 1930: “Somewhere in November or December, our chief mechanic department transferred 1931 from the temporary house to a one-story extension to the plant management. Heating has not yet been let down, and there was an iron stove in the room, the pipe of which was brought out of the window. As the stove is flooded in the morning, you will not breathe from the soot in the room, it will be black in the nose, sometimes you will smear soot on the face, and the coldness was! “Only at the stove and you get warm”, adds Vladimir Golovanov.
However, even the shock work did not help launch the plant within the designated time frame. Due to interruptions in funding and shortcomings in the project, time was missed. When the project was finally agreed, the country had already built three similar plants that produced 60 thousand combine harvesters, which completely covered the need for them. And then the enterprise, which was still under construction, was decided to reorient to the production of machines for the developing textile industry, and the manufacture of spare parts for tractors should be left as a sideline. By August, 1935, the plant passed the first industrial batch of products. And in the very first year of the Great Patriotic War, he could, in record time, switch to the release of artillery shells for the Soviet army.
Design department. Photo: napo.ru
Way to Aviagrad
In 1928, the modernization of the oldest enterprise in Novosibirsk, the Trud plant, which produced metal trusses for bridges and enterprises under construction, factory pipes, began. By the end of the first five-year plan, its production capacity had quadrupled. It was possible to build several new workshops, which allowed the plant to play a large role in the development of the coal and metallurgical industries in the country. So, the first mines of Kuzbass began to work on equipment made at the Novosibirsk Trude.
- Workers of Labor were the first in the city to create the “steel battalions of the five-year plan” - the brigade of shock labor. And then they took patronage over the construction of a new enterprise - a plant of mining equipment, - says Vadim Timchenko. - It was to be built on a bare place, in the middle of the swamp in just three years - the first place was to be launched by December 1933. According to the project, the new plant should produce annually 1 thousand 500 of cutting machines, 1 thousand 350 winches, and another long range of equipment for the extraction, enrichment and sorting of coal.
At the beginning of 1931, the mining equipment plant was named a strike facility, construction volunteers were recruited throughout the country. The work was no less difficult than on the Sibcombine: the builders didn’t have any equipment either; from the transport, only horses harnessed to carts.
A veteran of the plant, Mikhail Startsev, recalls the years of construction of Sibmashstroi as follows: “The main tools of labor at the construction site were a pickaxe and a shovel. Soil thrown on long carts, when unloading which simply moved apart the bottom of the board. This work was performed by unskilled laborers. Their work required considerable physical strength and was very hard and tedious. Brick for construction was delivered from one of the oldest factories in the city, standing on Kamenskoye Highway, by horse-drawn transport. To speed up the construction and delivery of bricks, it was decided to stretch the railway line from the construction site to the kerzavod. For this mobilization was made. Yes, it is mobilization, because volunteers to lay the rails was not enough among the skilled workers. There was a work on wear, rush speed. There was no clothes, no decent food. But this is not stuttered. They knew that, at best, in response to the murmur, a terrible cry would be heard: “Stop alien talk!” And at worst ..., ”Vladimir Golovanov quotes the memories of the veteran.
The whole area behind the factory fence was dug dugouts. Their walls were built of chopped turf. The roof served laid the board. In such conditions, the builders and lived with their families. Despite the difficult conditions, the workers with the task set by the government managed to cope in time.
In 1933, when the first production line was launched, the company was redesigned to produce spare parts for tractors and combines, agricultural machines and renamed Sibmashstroy. And in 1936, on the initiative of Marshal Tukhachevsky, the plant, which had been operating for 5 years, was transferred to the Main Directorate aviation industry. Now he had to produce aircraft. Then, by order of the people's commissar of defense, 320 demobilized Red Army men and Red Navy men arrived in Novosibirsk. They became the first aircraft manufacturers. In 1937, the number of production facilities and equipment was increased 2,7 times, the number of employees - 4,8 times. October 23, 1937 the plant was commissioned.
The first production machine of the Novosibirsk aircraft factory was the I-16 fighter, created by designer Polikarpov - “ishachok”, as the pilots affectionately called him. The first flight of this aircraft made just 10 days after the launch of the enterprise. And over the next year, the Siberian aircraft factory was able to release the 104 I-16. For such impressive successes, the Presidium of the Supreme USSR decided to satisfy the request of the collective enterprise and assign it the name of the recently lost legendary pilot Valery Chkalov.
A team of front-line wives. Photo: napo.ru
- On the Novosibirsk-made I-16, Soviet pilots fought in Spain, on Halkin-Gol, in China. “The hero of the Soviet Union, Novo-Siberian Alexander Pokryshkin, flew three times on the“ donkeys ”,” says Vadim Timchenko - With this first in stories aviation monoplane, distinguished by excellent maneuverability and good speed, the USSR entered the Great Patriotic War. The 16 was the most massive fighter in service with Soviet aviation in the 1941 year.
Even before the beginning of World War II, the company launched over 900 aircraft of various modifications, including the latest LAGG-3 fighter aircraft. And during the war years, the role of the Novosibirsk Aviation Plant was so great that the Nazis called the Siberian city “Aviagrad.” So highly appreciating the role of Novosibirsk in defense, they were completely right: for all the years of the war, the USSR received from the allies under lend-lease 13 thousands of combat aircraft, and one Novosibirsk plant named after Chkalov during the same period managed to send 16 thousand fighters to the front.
In parallel, brick factories, timber processing enterprises, furniture, leather, textile, sewing and soap-making enterprises were created in Novosibirsk. To feed the growing population of the city, a meat-cooling plant, mills, a bakery, an alcohol and dairy plant were built.
“In just the first two five-year periods, the young Novosibirsk managed to overtake other Siberian cities with a long history,” says Vladimir Golovanov. “Moreover, unlike most cities in the Urals and Siberia, Novosibirsk was not specialized in any one production, but had multi-profile production facilities. This created unique opportunities for building up the industrial potential of the city, forming a corps of qualified specialists. And that is why, with the start of the Great Patriotic War in Novosibirsk, it was decided to place so many evacuated enterprises that they managed to re-launch as soon as possible. Plants, often unloaded literally in the open field, after a few months began to produce products that ensured the Victory.