Seventy years ago, in the spring of 1946, events occurred in the USSR that initiated the implementation of two major defense projects - nuclear and missile.
9 of April was adopted Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 805-327ss, according to which sector No. 6 of laboratory No. 2 of the USSR Academy of Sciences was reorganized into Design Bureau No. 11. The head of the design bureau was appointed General P. M. Zernov, before that - Deputy Minister of Transport Engineering of the USSR. Professor Yu. B. Khariton became the chief designer of KB-11 “for the design and manufacture of pilot jet engines”. Thus, the largest Russian center for the development of nuclear weapons was founded - the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics in Sarov (Arzamas-16).
But when the country, rising from the ruins, began its atomic project, it immediately set the task of creating intercontinental means of delivering the “atomic argument” to the territory of the potential aggressor. And 29 of April, Stalin held a representative meeting, already related to missile issues. This history it is worth remembering, as is the fact that the curator of the Soviet atomic project, L. P. Beria, played a prominent role in the organization of rocket works.
At first there were Germans
Works on guided ballistic missiles (BR) in the USSR have been going on for a long time, in particular, the famous future Chief Cosmonautics Designer S. Korolev was involved in this. But we began to work seriously on the BR only after the end of the war, when we were able to fully find out how far from everyone, not only from the USSR but from the USA, the Germans with their fantastic for that time BR V-2 (Fau- 2).
In the spring of 1945, Soviet experts examined the German missile research center in Peenemuende, and on June 8 of that year, the People's Commissar aviation A.I. Shakhurin reported to the GKO Malenkov in industry: “The Institute was located on an area of about 80 square kilometers, with more than 150 buildings and structures with a total area of over 200 thousand square meters. The capacity of the Institute’s preserved power plant is 30 thousand kilowatts. The number of employees at the institute reached 7500 people. ”
Work began on the dismantling of equipment and its removal to the USSR from Peenemünde, from the Rheinmetall-Borsig rocket plant in the Berlin suburb of Marienfeld, from other places. They also took away those German missilemen whom the Americans did not manage to capture, although Werner von Braun, the general in Dornberger and many more, had already taken the lead in this regard in the Reich.
At that time, the Nordhausen institute operated in Germany itself, the chief of which was Guards Major General of Artillery L. Gaidukov, and the chief engineer was S. Korolev, the very one ... Soviet specialists and Germans worked there.
17 On April 1946, a note was sent to Stalin about the organization of research and experimental work in the field of missile weapons in the USSR. It was signed by L. Beria, G. Malenkov, N. Bulganin, D. Ustinov and N. Yakovlev - the head of the Main Artillery Directorate of the Red Army. Note that Beria first signed the document, and the point here was not in alphabetical order.
The note stated, in particular, that in Germany, 25 research organizations were engaged in rocket weapons issues, developed up to 15 samples, including the long-range Fau-2 rocket with a range 400 kilometers. The note ended with the words: “To discuss all these issues, it would be advisable to have a special meeting with you.”
On April 29, such a meeting with Stalin was held as part of: I. V. Stalin, L. P. Beria, G. M. Malenkov, N. A. Bulganin, M. V. Khrunichev, D. F. Ustinov, B. L. Vannikov, I. G. Kabanov, M. G. Pervukhin, N. N. Voronov, N. D. Yakovlev, A. I. Sokolov, L. M. Gaidukov, V. M. Ryabikov, G. K. Zhukov, A. M. Vasilevsky, L. A. Govorov.
The meeting went from 21.00 to 22.45, after which Stalin left only Bulganin and Malenkov. Soon the Special Committee on reactive technology under the USSR Council of Ministers was formed, headed first by Malenkov, and then (now as Committee No. 2) - by Bulganin.
Beria and without long-range missiles, the case was enough - he was already in full swing into the atomic project as his curator. But 28 December 1946-th, authorized by the Special Committee on reactive technology in Germany, N. E. Nosovsky, through Colonel-General I. A. Serov, who was leaving for Moscow for a new appointment, sent a detailed, multi-page report on the structure and operation of the rocket institute Nordhausen.
Ivan Serov on the cover letter to the report imposed a resolution, addressing one of Beria's assistants: “Comrade. Hordentsevu! When L. P. Beria will have free time, I ask for some of the documents, and most importantly, photographs, to show. 29.12.1946. Serov.
December 31 report arrived in the Secretariat of Beria, and from there - in the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) Malenkov. It is curious and revealing that Serov proposed to Ordaintsev to acquaint Beria with important, but directly to the People's Commissar, irrelevant documents when he has free time. In fact, less tiresome activities are associated with this concept than reading voluminous and rich business paper. But it turns out that Lavrentiy Pavlovich had a “free” pastime.
This is all to the fact that many people still have a persistent delusion that the “voluptuary” Beria in his spare time was fond of the harem only of the young Muscovites who were caught up in the “black craters”, who after the consolation were dissolved either in sulfuric, or in salt, whether in some more cunning acid. In reality, nothing like it was.
There was a daily work of many hours, which resulted in the growing power of the Soviet Union and the well-being of its peoples. Ivan Serov well knew the real, and not demonized Beria, and therefore put it that way. Serov understood what he wrote because he knew that in his working time Beria was busy with what was specifically entrusted to him by Stalin. But in the free will be able to escape for the study and those problems that are objectively important for the state, but in the sphere of working interests at the moment are not included. Especially since today, long-range missiles for Beria are optional, and tomorrow, you see, is a direct assignment of Comrade Stalin.
Beria, of course, read the report from Nordhausen, but the supervision of long-range rockets was then entrusted to another. However, as we shall see, these works were not without Lavrenty Pavlovich.
10 May 1947-th in the Special Committee of jet technology in the USSR Council of Ministers in accordance with a particularly important decree of the USSR Council of Ministers № 1454-388 "Issues of jet technology" occurred "changing of the guard." The first item of the document, the Special Committee of the reactive technology, was renamed Committee No. 2, but the essence was the second (there were five of them), saying: “Appoint N. Bulganin, Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, Chairman of the Committee No. 2 under the USSR Council of Ministers, satisfying the request of T. Malenkov G. M. for his release from this duty. "
This guiding leapfrog, perhaps, does not need any special comments - and it is so clear that Malenkov failed. But something needs to be clarified. Replacing Malenkov with Bulganin was in no way connected with the so-called aviation affair, when the former was removed from the secretariat of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B.) Due to the fact that he, as stated in the decision of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, "is morally responsible for those outrages" that were revealed in the Ministry aviation industry of the USSR and the Air Force. It turned out that during the war, the NKAP, Commissar Shakhurin had been let out, and the Air Force Marshal Novikov was receiving low-quality aircraft.
The point, however, is not that. He was the main "missile" Malenkov - became the main "missile" Bulganin. But the rockets still did not fly or flew badly. Why?
Neither Malenkov nor Bulganin were incompetent managers - they did not get into the Stalin team. Even Khrushchev over the years did not stand out from the general team. So both Malenkov and Bulganin worked a lot and sensibly before the war, during and after it. But with Special Committee No. 2, neither one nor the other went wrong.
Malenkov was loaded with work in the Central Committee, Bulganin - in the Council of Ministers, but after all, Beria, the chairman of the atomic special committee, also had extensive duties on the Council of Ministers of the USSR, like Bulganin. But Beria did everything in the Special Committee, and with the supervision of the development of the anti-ship cruise missile "Kometa", and later - the Moscow air defense system "Berkut". Why is that?
Is it not because by the turn of 40 – 50's, neither Malenkov, nor Bulganin, like the other members of the Stalinist team, already had neither the taste for the new that Beria had, nor such interest in people?
All post-war defense problems were distinguished by an unprecedented novelty: atomic weapons, jet aircraft, rocket technology of various classes, multifunctional radar, electronics, digital computers, exotic, previously unproduced materials. Even the tried-and-true Stalin Bison were lost, but Beria was not!
Firstly, because he was more talented — he had a quick and accurate reaction, immediately grasped the essence, widely thought. Secondly, it was allocated with phenomenal productivity and time, free from the assigned business, also used for work. And, finally, Beria was able not only to pick up people who, together with him, do what was entrusted to the Motherland and Stalin, but also did not waste time on trusts, trusting them. On this account there is, for example, the testimony of a man, to Beria, not located at all, - the famous rocket ship Boris Chertok. In the capital work "Rockets and People", he reports that Dmitry Ustinov, heading the emerging rocket industry, by 1949 understood the whole absurdity of the structure of the leading scientific research institute of the industry - Scientific Research Institute-88, but did not dare to reorganize, as the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) headed by Ivan Serbin, who had the nickname Ivan the Terrible. Without his sanction, no changes, encouragements, etc. were possible, and Chertok recalls that he had the opportunity to see for himself more than once: the ministers of this apparatchik were afraid and never risked arguing with him.
But atomic and in the Berkut project everything was, in Chertok's words, fundamentally different, and he even with some sadness reports that where Lavrenty was in charge, all personnel, for example, Vannikov made decisions, coordinating them with Kurchatov and presenting for approval by Beria.
Here Chertok, of course, went over - he made the key personnel decisions himself, starting with engaging Vannikov in atomic work and ending with the appointments of enterprise managers, as was the case, in particular, with B. Guz Muzrukov, director of the “plutonium” plant, whom Beria, knowing as an intelligent man still in war, stuck out with Uralmash.
But it is significant that, according to Chertok, the apparatus of Special Committee No. 1 was small. Many responsibilities fell on the secretariat of the Atomic Special Committee, including the preparation of draft resolutions of the USSR Council of Ministers, which Beria gave to Stalin for signature. But this small team worked extremely efficiently. Why?
Yes, because Beria's style was the credibility of those who deserved. And one more feature of his style was extremely productive, including because it’s not so common with the leaders and widespread, but valued by subordinates. This refers to Beria’s explicit taste for collective thinking, his ability to involve everyone who could usefully speak on the substance of the issue to develop solutions. “Every soldier must know his own maneuver” is still a more effective phrase than a business principle. But every officer, and especially the general, must know and understand his own maneuver firmly.
Beria did, and an analysis of his business resolutions says a lot about him. As a rule, in the resolutions of Beria there are words: “TT. so and so. Please discuss ... "," Please give your opinion ... ", etc.
As you know, the mind is good, but two is better. But analyzing the way Beria led, you are convinced: he accepted this truth in an improved version: “Mind is good, but twenty is better.” At the same time, what was said in no way means that he shared his personal responsibility for the decision with many. The final decision, if it demanded the level of Beria, was taken by himself, not hiding behind the backs of his subordinates.
Actually, Stalin also ruled the same way with the only difference that he was no longer responsible for his decisions to anyone personally, but to the people and history.
By the beginning of 1949, a close success was evident in the uranium problem, which was solved under the leadership of Beria, and at the end of August the first Soviet atomic bomb RDS-1 was tested. With the creation of rocket technology - under the leadership of Bulganin - things went much worse.
8 January 1949-th Chief of the head rocket scientific research institute-88 Lev Gonor and Party organizer of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) at the scientific research institute-88 Ivan Utkin turned to Stalin with a particularly important memorandum saying that the work on the development of reactive weapons is slow, 14 on April 1948 of the Year No. 1175-440c is under threat of failure ... “It seems to us,” said Honor and Utkin, “that this is due to the underestimation of the importance of work on jet weapons by a number of ministries ...” And further - what should be emphasized: “ Question about ... p bot major subcontractors ... have repeatedly been the subject of discussion by the Committee number 2 the USSR Council of Ministers ... but all attempts to dramatically improve their performance, and most importantly - to raise from the heads of departments and major enterprises of a sense of responsibility for the quality and timing of the works did not give the desired results. "
The reader remembers that in the USSR then led the work and the Beria Special Committee. And the possible measures of repressive (if we put the question this way) the impact on negligent Lavrentiy Pavlovich was not greater than that of the leadership of the Special Committee No. 2. And the results differed fundamentally.
It's not about repression
Those who think that the success of Special Committee No. 1 was achieved under pain of the death penalty will be interesting evidence of one of the eminent nuclear scientists, three times Hero of Socialist Labor KI Shchelkin: during the leadership of Beria atomic work, not a single person was repressed.
Honor and Utkin finished their note with the request: “For a fundamental improvement in the affairs of making missiles, we ask for your personal intervention.”
Everything, however, went on as before - neither shaky nor shakily. By the end of August, 1949 Committee No. 2 under the USSR Council of Ministers was liquidated, the responsibility for the development of long-range missiles by a particularly important Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 3656-1520 was assigned to the Ministry of Armed Forces. By order of its head, Marshal Vasilevsky No. 00140 of 30 of August 1949, the beginning of the formation of the Directorate of jet weapons of the USSR MFA.
Nothing good came of it, of course. And this could be understood, by the way, from the analysis of Vasilevsky’s order — there are many words, but few practical ideas and concrete ideas.
Today, no one can say for sure whether the liquidation of Committee No. 2 was connected with the fact that the atomic project under the leadership of Beria achieved the first historic success - the RDS-1 bomb exploded. It is not excluded that Stalin immediately wanted to load Beria with long-range missiles, as long as there was an encouraging light in atomic work ... However, it is possible that the military began to bail out and, having decided that they were “with a mustache”, they took the rocket works under their care.
So it was or not, but to develop new equipment and command the troops - the classes were different and there was no particular success with the Directorate of jet weapons of the USSR MIF. And then the Berkut air defense project arrived in time for which 3 February 1951 was implemented by Resolution of the USSR Council of Ministers No. 307-144ss / op. The Third Main Directorate was established, which closed on Beria.
The result was expected - 4 August 1951, Stalin signed the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 2837-1349 with the stamp “Top Secret. Of particular importance ", which began as follows:" The Council of Ministers of the USSR Decides:
1. Due to the fact that the development of long-range missiles P-1, P-2, P-3 and the organization of serial production of the P-1 rocket are related to the work on Berkut and Komet, to supervise the work of the ministries and departments to create these missiles Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Comrade Beria L.P. "
And the situation with the development of long-range missiles in the USSR, and this became an increasingly important task, immediately began to be corrected. Already 10 December 1951-th adopted a long-range missile P-1 with a range of 270 kilometers with a warhead containing 750 kilograms of explosives with scattering in range - plus or minus eight kilometers, plus-minus four kilometers. This was only the beginning - not very successful, but in the summer, Beria's predecessors could not start mass production of the P-1 at the Dnepropetrovsk Automobile Plant (future Yuzhmash).
Engineers began to prepare for the emerging rocket industry, improve the life of developers - everything went according to the business scheme developed by Beria and his colleagues ...
Back in the spring days of 1946, when 14 and 29 took place on April 2 in the Kremlin office of Stalin, there were two meetings on the missile theme, and on May 13 the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 1017-419ss "On the issues of jet armament" was issued.
As the reader already knows, the Special Committee on reactive technology was then formed under the chairmanship of G. M. Malenkov. The composition includes the ministers of armament and communications equipment industry D. F. Ustinov and I. G. Zubovich (vice-chairmen), head of the Main Artillery Directorate of the USSR MIF N. D. Yakovlev, deputy chairman of the USSR State Planning Board P. I. Kirpichnikov, member of the Council for Radiolocation at the USSR Council of Ministers, Academician A.I. Berg, Minister of Agricultural Engineering (the “peaceful” name covered the defense profile) P.N. Goremykin, deputy chief commander of the Soviet military administration in Germany (since December 1946 their affairs of the USSR) I. A. Serov, head of the 1 of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Armaments of the USSR N. E. Nosovsky.
We note here Peter Ivanovich Kirpichnikov (1903 – 1980). His Lawrence Pavlovich noticed at the beginning of the war. There were other people in the Malenkov Special Committee who were long and firmly connected with Beria in a businesslike manner: the same Ivan Serov and Dmitry Ustinov. We refer to P. I. Kachura, author of the article “Rocket technology of the USSR: the post-war period up to 1948 of the year” in the 6 number of the journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Energy” for 2007 year: “Actually, rocket science was headed by L. P. Beria. G.M. Malenkov did not deal with organizational and production issues and was the formal chairman of the committee "...
B. E. Chertok confirms that Malenkov and soon replaced him Bulganin "a special role in the development of ... the industry did not play. Their high role was reduced to viewing or signing draft resolutions that were prepared by the Committee’s staff. ”
Everything was repeated, as in the case of the "aviator" Malenkov and the "tankman" Molotov during the war. They then presided, and Beria pulled the cart, although this was not immediately formalized.
And the role of the latter in the development of the Soviet rocket industry is all the more significant because the developers of this technology, except for Beria, in the top leadership of the country had at first only one influential supporter - Stalin himself. Aircraft designers, excluding Lavochkin, looked at weapons of a new type, to say the least, with restraint. As, however, at first, and on jet aircraft. According to the testimony of the same Chertok, Alexander Sergeevich Yakovlev "unfriendly treated ... works on BI (missile interceptor Bereznyak and Isaev with Dushkin LRE. - S. B.) and works of A. M. Lyulka on the first domestic version of the turbojet engine" and even published in Pravda a sensational article that characterized German works in the field of jet aircraft as an agony of fascist engineering.
They did not like new equipment (which was yet to become a weapon) and the generals. In the 1948 year, at a meeting with Stalin, Marshal of Artillery Yakovlev sharply opposed the adoption of missiles for armament, citing the refusal of their complexity and low reliability, as well as the fact that the same tasks are solved by aviation.
Sergei Korolev was just as sharply in favor, but in 1948, Marshal Yakovlev and Colonel Korolev were very different calibers. But Beria supported the project immediately. Actually, the fact that rocket affairs initially began to supervise Ustinov, the People's Commissar of Armaments (which to some extent can be considered "Beria's man"), and not Shakhurin, Commissar of the aviation industry (so-called "Malenkov's protege"), immediately reveals the influence of Lavrentiy Pavlovich.
But in vain we will look for his name in the annals of Soviet rocket production. Well, at least the current "nuclear" history of our country as a "satrap" and "executioner" Beria did not disdain, and its prominent role in the national atomic project is now universally recognized. Meanwhile, this major figure of his time, badly accused in 1953, has not been rehabilitated to this day.
It's time to ...
After Beria became the officially appointed curator of not only the nuclear program, but also the missile program, the industry began to firmly get on its feet. The development of work on long-range missiles proceeded at an ever-increasing pace. February 13 of 1953 was adopted by the USSR Council of Ministers Decree No. 442-212cc / op “On the development plan for long-range missiles for 1953 – 1955 years”. Already by October, a P-5 ballistic missile with an aimed range of 1200 kilometers with a maximum deviation was required for valid tests: in range, plus or minus six kilometers, sideways, plus or minus five kilometers. It was already a success. And by August, the 1955 were expected to launch P-12 missiles with a range of 1500 kilometers, with the same maximum deviations from the target as for the P-5. But Lavrenty Pavlovich could not rejoice at the successful results, including his personal efforts.