Monday, 12 August 2013

I have been to ... the Artillery Museum, St Petersburg: The Kalashnikov Exhibit


It is said that the most well-known brand in the world is McDonalds ... but I suspect that the most well-know name in the world is probably Kalashnikov.



Mikhail Kalashnikov was born in Kuria on 10th November 1919. After training as a tank driver/mechanic in the Kiev special military district, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and posted to be a tank commander in the 108th Tank Division. During a battle near Briansk in September 1941 he was seriously wounded and sent to hospital to recover. It was whilst he was there that he conceived the design of his automatic weapon, a 7.62mm submachine gun.

His first design proved too complicated, but he persisted and designed a second, modified submachine gun whilst he was in the training workshops at the Moscow Aviation Institute, which had been evacuated to the city of Alma-Ata.


This submachine gun was not introduced into service with the Russian Army, but its design attracted the attention of General-Major of Artillery A A Blagonravov, a leading Soviet ballistics and small-­arms specialist. He arranged for Kalashnikov to be transferred to the Central Research Small Arms Range at the Main Artillery Administration, where he remained for the rest of his service.

Kalashnikov’s most famous weapon design is without doubt the AK47 assault rifle.


It first became operational in the Soviet Army in 1949, and soon afterwards Kalashnikov received the Stalin Prize in recognition of his work. It was the first of numerous awards that Kalashnikov has been given during his career.



Since then the rifle and its derivative designs have been manufactured in over sixty countries and it remains in front-line service across the world. The exhibit contains examples of the many variants and derivative designs that have been manufactured as well as examples of other firearms design by Kalashnikov.










The exhibit also contains Kalashnikov's personal UAZ-3151 car, his tarpaulin tent, and the camp-fire set he used when hunting.


8 comments:

  1. Excellent. The chap with him in the b/w photo is Eugene Stoner, inventor of the Armalite (compare and contrast their respective fortunes!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ian Drury,

    Thanks for the information. I thought that it might be Stoner in the photograph with Kalashnikov, but I was not sure.

    All the best,
    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  3. Many years ago I had to mentor an Abyssinian post graduate in IT skills. He said he had to learn three other things.

    One was veterinary medicine to look after his cows, two was how to maintain a Land Rover using nothing but a screwdriver and an open ended spanner and three was to maintain his AK47.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Even more jealous Bob, I may have to have a trip to the Royal Armouries to cheer myself up again.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jim Duncan,

    I suspect that the AK47 was the easiest of the three to look after!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pete,

    The Royal Armouries is somewhere that I have yet to go to ... and I feel jealous of you for being able to!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  7. When you do Bob please let me know, it's easy to for me to get to (walk, short train journey, walk) and it would be great to put a face to a name.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pete,

    Thanks for your very kind offer. If I ever manage to go to the Royal Armouries it would be nice to meet up and have a chat.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete