Vasiliy Alekseevich Degtyarev
The weapons created by Degtyaryov played an exceptional role in strengthening the defensive power of the Soviet Armed Forces. Vasily Alekseevich Degtyarev was born on December 21, 1879 (January 2, 1880) in the city of Tula. In 1901 he was called up for military service. He served in the weapons workshop at the officers' rifle school in Oranienbaum. Since 1905, he worked as a mechanic in the workshop at the weapons range. Under the leadership of Vladimir Grigorievich Fedorov , he began manufacturing a sample of the first Russian automatic rifle. This work was then continued at the Sestroretsk Arms Plant. In 1916, he invented and successfully tested an automatic carbine.
In January 1918, V. G. Fedorov received an order to lead the production of machine guns of his own system at the Kovrov Machine Gun Plant (since 1927 - Tool Plant No. 2, then Plant No. 2 of the USSR People's Commissariat of Armaments). Together with him, Degtyarev also left for a new place of work. Since 1918, V. A. Degtyarev headed the experimental workshop of the weapons factory, and then the design bureau of automatic small arms, organized by V. G. Fedorov in the city of Kovrov. In 1924, he began work on the creation of the first sample of a 7.62-mm light machine gun, which was put into service in 1927 under the name DP (Degtyarev Infantry). On the basis of the light machine gun, the DA and DA-2 aircraft machine guns, the DT tank machine gun, and the RP-46 company machine gun were then created.
In 1929-1932, he created several samples of submachine guns, the best of which (PPD-34/38) in 1934 was adopted for partial armament of the troops, and later - modernized and found wide application as a model of 1940 (PPD-40). In 1930, he developed a 12.7-mm large-caliber machine gun DK (Degtyaryova large-caliber), improved in 1938 by G.S. Shpagin, the DShK machine gun was widely used as a powerful means of anti-aircraft defense, it was used in infantry (on wheeled machines and in anti-aircraft guns), on individual samples of armored vehicles, ships and armored boats of the Navy and military river flotillas. Modernized (taking into account the combat experience of the Great Patriotic War) modification of this machine gun at the beginning of the XXI century remains in service with the armies of a number of states, including the Russian Navy.
During the 1920s, V.A. Degtyarev continued to lead an experimental workshop at the design bureau. To focus on creative work, in 1931 he moved to the position of designer-inventor. In August 1940, he was appointed chief and chief designer of the Design Bureau No. 2 (KB-2; since 1948 - Experimental Design Bureau No. 2 - OKB-2), created at Plant No. 2 of the People's Commissariat of Armaments of the USSR by order of the People's Commissar. In this position, Degtyarev worked until the end of his life.
By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of January 2, 1940, for outstanding merits in the invention and design of new, especially important models of weapons of the Red Army, the Vasily Alekseevich Degtyaryov was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor with the award of the Order of Lenin. After the establishment of the badge of distinction for the Heroes of Socialist Labor, he was awarded the Gold Medal "Hammer and Sickle" for No. 2 on July 15, 1940.
In the same 1940 he was elected a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, in November 1940 he was accepted as a candidate, and in December 1941 - as a member of the CPSU(b).
At the very beginning of the Great Patriotic War, due to erroneous assessments of the power of German tanks, the Red Army was left without maneuverable anti-tank weapons. In record time, the Degtyaryov single-shot anti-tank rifle (PTRD) was developed and adopted on August 29, 1941. In 1944, modernized light and tank machine guns DPM and DTM were put into service and put into production. At the end of the war and the first post-war years, the Degtyarev RPD-44 light machine gun and the RP-46 company machine gun were developed and put into service, in which it was possible to abandon the rather complex and weighting disc magazines (used in DP, DA, DT) and switch to belt feeding (a principle that is used in the most modern models). For thirty years of design activity, V.A. Degtyarev developed 82 models of small arms, of which 19 were put into service. Doctor of Technical Sciences (1940, without defending a dissertation, on a set of inventions).
He lived in the city of Kovrov, Vladimir (until 1944 - Ivanovo) region. Died on January 16, 1949. He was buried in Pushkin Park in Kovrov (at that time - the territory of the old city cemetery).
General-Major of the Engineering and Artillery Service (18.11.1944). Awarded three Orders of Lenin (21.02.1933, 02.01.1940, 05.01.1944), the Order of Suvorov 1st (16.9.1945) and 2nd (18.11.1944) degrees, the Red Banner of Labor (03.06.1942), the Red Star (07.04.1932), medals.
Laureate of four Stalin Prizes of the USSR (1941, 1942, 1944, 1949 - posthumously).
In the city of Kovrov there is a monument to V.A. Degtyaryov; since 1978, a memorial museum has been opened in the house where he lived. A memorial museum has been named after him. The Kovrov Mechanical Plant, a park, a house of culture and a street in Kovrov, streets in Novosibirsk and Kharkov. A bust and memorial plaques have been installed on the territory of the plant in the city of Kovrov, on the stele of gunsmiths - bas-relief.The name of Vasily Alekseevich Degtyaryov since 2005 has been worn by the Kovrov State Technological Academy.