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Mikhail Koshkin

The T-34 tank was developed at the design office of Plant No. 183 (now the Kharkiv Transport Machine-Building Plant named after V. Malyshev) under the supervision of Mikhail Koshkin. Koshkin did not live long, having managed to build only one tank, to which he gave all his strength and life itself. His grave was not preserved, and the name never rattled around the world. Despite the well-known name of the designer, in which the foundations of the T-34 were laid, little is known about his life course or even about the history of the creation of this legendary machine. Exceptionally undemanding in everyday life, in relation to his own needs, he was assertive, principled and demanding in his work. Did not tolerate sloppiness, negligence. He was a man obsessed. He did nothing half-hearted, half-power. ”

Mikhail Ilyich Koshkin was born on December 3, 1898 in a peasant family in the village of Brynchagi, Uglichsky district, Yaroslavl province. The family had a little land, and Mikhail's father, Ilya Koshkin, was engaged in crafts. Misha was not seven, when his father died in 1905, straining at logging. Mother stayed with three young children in her arms, and Michael had to help her earn a piece of bread. At fourteen, Misha Koshkin went to work in Moscow, becoming an apprentice in the caramel shop of the confectionery factory, now known as the "Red October".

The "Sweet Life" ended with the beginning of the Great War, which continued into the Civil War. In early 1917 he was drafted into the Russian Imperial Army, fought as part of the 58th Infantry Regiment on the Western Front. The former private of the 58th Infantry Regiment joined the Reds; he fought in the Red Army under Tsaritsyn, near Arkhangelsk, and fought with Wrangel's army.

A bold, enterprising and determined fighter was made a political worker. After several wounds and contracting typhus, he was sent to Moscow, to the Sverdlov Communist University. Koshkin was considered a promising manager. In 1924, a university graduate, Koshkin, was assigned the direction of ... a confectionery factory in Vyatka. There he worked until 1929 in various posts, and he married.

Until 1929 in the Soviet Union, the tank industry simply did not exist. Trophy machines, inherited from the White Army, a small own production, lagged behind the best world samples for ages. In 1929, the government decides - the situation must be changed radically. Without modern tanks to ensure the security of the country can not be. Mikhail Koshkin, a party worker, who was already past 30, was sent to the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute to study at the Automobiles and Tractors department.

In 1934 he graduated from the Leningrad Industrial Institute (now - St. Petersburg Polytechnic University of Peter the Great). In 1934-1937 he worked as a designer, deputy chief designer of the Leningrad plant of experienced mechanical engineering #185. He participated in the development of prototypes of the T-29 and the first domestic tracked tank with anti-rim armor - the medium tank T-46-5. For participation in the creation of a new tank T-46-5 received the Order of the Red Star.

The prewar period was a time of abundance of various concepts of the tank. The creators of the T-34 were able to look into the future and develop weapons, the most suitable for fighting the approaching war. Koshkin and his team were the only ones on the threshold of the Second World War who were able to guess what the battlefield would be, what means of destruction would be dangerous for the tank, what tasks the tank would have to solve. They foresaw the picture of the battle and understood what the tank should be like before -or other. On the basis of this vision, which was certainly accompanied by calculations and estimates, and created the T-34.

Quickly enough from the position of an ordinary designer, he reached the deputy head of the design bureau. On December 28, 1936, he was appointed head of the tank design bureau No. 190 at the Kharkov Locomotive Building Plant No. 183. Koshkin's appointment to the post occurred under rather tragic circumstances - the former head of the design bureau Afanasy Firsov and a number of other designers came under sabotage after the BT-7 tanks produced by the factory began to fail in large quantities.

Firsov managed to transfer the blame to Koshkin, and then this circumstance would be a reason for denigrating the name of the designer. They say that the T-34 was developed by Firsov, and not Koshkin, who was a “careerist and mediocrity”.

A team of about forty graduates of the Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization of the Red Army (VAMM) was sent from Moscow to Kharkov Plant No. 183 imeni Comintern. On the basis of this group, a separate group, not subordinate to Koshkin KB was created, with a number of Kharkov engineers, including A.A.Morozov. The management of these design bureaus was assigned to an adjunct (analogue of a graduate student in civilian universities) of WAMM by a military engineer of rank III Adolf Yakovlevich Dik. Yevgeny Anatolyevich Kulchitsky was appointed a consultant to the design bureau, and in the future - “the chief tank tester of the USSR”, deputy head of the armored research armored range. Additional space was not allocated to those who arrived, and the narrowness in which the staff were located significantly complicated the work.

Koshkin really had a hard time. The personnel structure of the design bureau was weak, and it was necessary to deal not only with promising developments, but also with the current mass production. Nevertheless, under the leadership of Koshkin, the BT-7 tank, which was equipped with a new engine, was upgraded.

Koshkin's independent project was not very successful - the BT-9 tank created under his leadership was rejected in 1937 due to constructive errors and non-compliance with the requirements of the task. The Muscovites failed to complete the task within the prescribed time limit. They saw this as malicious intent and sabotage, the newly-formed KB was disbanded, and its leader, having received the same charge of sabotage as Firsov, also ended up in prison.

In the autumn of 1937, the Red Army's Armored Directorate Directorate issued a task to the Kharkiv plant to develop a new wheeled-tracked tank. And here again emerged conspiracy: at the plant, in addition to Koshkin, at this moment Adolph Dik worked. According to one version, it was he who developed the design of the tank called the A-20, which met the requirements of the technical specifications. But the project was ready after the planned deadlines, after which Dik received the same charge as Firsov, and was in prison. True, Adolf Yakovlevich survived both Firsov and Koshkin, having survived until 1978.

The level of military engineering training of A.Ya.Dik was manifested in all the places where he had the opportunity to work - both in camp repair shops and in a settlement in Siberia, at a boiler plant in Biysk, where he was after serving his sentence. There are even memories of his participation in the development of domestic computers.

After Dick’s arrest, additional responsibility fell on the head of the Koshkin Design Bureau. The design bureau was reorganized and once again became one; M.I. Koshkin. He understood that no one would forgive his mistakes. The team led by M.I.Koshkin developed the project purely tracked vehicles. But the wheeled-tracked A-20 design was not suitable. In his view, the pursuit of wheeled vehicles, perfectly showing themselves on the highway, was not justified in a real war. The same high-speed BT-7, which flew perfectly through ravines, but possessed only anti-bullet armor, the Germans sarcastically called "high-speed samovars."

Koshkin headed the work on improving the light-wheeled-tracked tank A-20 (BT-20) and tracked tank A-32 (T-32). Along with Koshkin, his like-minded people were working, who continued his work afterwards - Alexander Morozov, Nikolai Kucherenko and engine designer Yuri Maxarev.

In February 1939, Kharkovites Koshkin and Morozov were invited to a meeting of the Defense Committee, where the fate of the future Kharkov tank was to be decided. At the meeting, Koshkin was given the floor to report on the implementation of the A-20 project. But, despite the energetic objections of the chairman - Deputy Commissar of Defense G.I. Kulik, he began his report by introducing the purely tracked A-32 project. At the Supreme Military Council in Moscow, where the projects of both the wheeled-tracked A-20 and the tracked A-32 were presented, the military is clearly not in awe of the “initiative” of the designers.

But in the midst of the controversy, Stalin intervened. Stalin, highlighting each syllable, said quietly: "I think we will give comrade Koshkin and his designers freedom of action. Let them experiment on two machines. Comparative tests will show who is right." Koshkin's ideas got the right to life. The designer was in a hurry, driving others. He saw - a big war is already on the threshold, a tank is needed as quickly as possible. The first samples of tanks were ready and entered for tests in the fall of 1939, when World War II had already begun. Experts recognized that both the A-20 and A-32 are the best of all the models previously produced in the USSR. According to the results of the tests, the A-20 showed slightly better mobility when driving on wheels, but lost to the A-32 in cross-country ability; moreover, the capabilities of the A-20 running gear did not allow for enhanced armor protection and armament. And on December 19, at a meeting of the Defense Committee, Resolution No. 443 was adopted, which ordered the Tank A-32 (tracked) to be adopted by the Red Army and assign the name T-34 to that tank.

Samples were tested in real conditions - during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. And here Koshkin's tracked version clearly took the lead. Taking into account the comments, the tank was finalized - they increased the armor to 45 mm, set the 76-mm cannon. As a result of the work of the designer and his closest assistants, Alexander Morozov and Nikolai Kucherenko, the T-34 tank appeared to improve the design of the A-32 tracked tank.

In May 1939, prototypes of the BT-20 and A-32 were manufactured. According to the results of their tests, on December 19, 1939, the Defense Committee of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR decided to assign the T-34 name to the A-32 prototype, to adopt it with the condition of refinement.

The surrounding people were amazed by Koshkin's fanaticism - he has a wife and daughters at home, and he only thinks about the tank. And the designer, who fought for every day, every hour, without knowing it, was already at war with the Nazis. Do not show it, stubbornness, zeal, dedication, who knows how the fate of the Motherland would turn? Troop tests of the tank began in February 1940. But in order for a tank to be put into serial production, prototypes must travel a certain number of kilometers.

Mikhail Koshkin made a decision - the T-34 will gain these kilometers, traveling from Kharkov to Moscow under its own power. In the history of domestic tank building, this run became a legend. On the eve Koshkin caught a bad cold, and a tank is not the best place for a sick person, especially in winter conditions. But it was impossible to talk him out of it - two tanks with lanes and a forest went to the capital. The military said: they will not reach, they will break down, and proud Koshkin will have to carry his child by rail. On March 17, 1940, both T-34 tanks, under their own power, arrived in Moscow, and presented themselves in front of the eyes of the top Soviet leadership in the Kremlin. Delighted Stalin called the T-34 "the first sign of our armored forces."

According to the results of the show, tanks were recommended for immediate mass production. However, for serial production, the experimental T-34 models lack another 3,000 kilometers. And the sick designer again climbs into the car, leading the column going to Kharkov. In April 1940, when the experimental tanks returned to the factory, one of the vehicles overturned into the water. A cold designer helped pull out a tank, after which he was hospitalized with pneumonia in Kharkov, while continuing to lead the revision of the T-34.

Pneumonia is a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection of one or both sides of the lungs that causes the air sacs, or alveoli, of the lungs to fill up with fluid or pus. Symptoms can be mild or severe and may include a cough with phlegm, fever, chills, and trouble breathing. Many factors affect how serious pneumonia is, such as the type of germ causing the lung infection, age, and overall health. Pneumonia tends to be more serious for children under the age of five, adults over the age of 65, people with certain conditions such as heart failure, diabetes, or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), or people who have weak immune systems.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, pneumonia was the leading cause of death due to infectious disease and the third leading cause of death overall. William Osler called pneumonia the “Captain of the Men of Death”. In 1892, Osler famously wrote of pneumonia, “It is a self-limited disease, and has its course uninfluenced in any way by medicine.” In the 1930s, the first antibacterial agent, sulfapyridine, was introduced. Sulfapyridine gained a lot of notoriety when it was used to treat Winston Churchill’s bacterial pneumonia in 1942.

In the 21st Century, pneumonia patients usually are treated at home with oral antibiotics. Chlamydia pneumoniae infection is routinely treated with antibiotics, although the mild form of disease is usually self-limiting. The disease is treated on a case-by-case basis, with macrolides (azithromycin) used as first-line therapy. Tetracycline antibiotics (tetracycline and doxycycline) are also used to treat C. pneumoniae respiratory infections. Most people respond quickly to treatment. With success of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, there are much less antibiotic-resistant pneumococcal infections. Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, one-third of all people who developed pneumonia subsequently died from the infection.

The pneumonectomy procedure (removal of the lung) is decades old. Pneumonectomy was primarily for lung cancer patients. Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection of the lungs. In severe cases, a surgery to remove the affected lung tissues may be required. For serious cases of congenital lobar emphysema, surgery was necessary, usually a lobectomy to remove the affected lung lobe. The natural history of severe pneumonia can result in formation of empyema and abscess, as well as lung necrosis and cystic disease that can compress the normal parenchyma.

In severer cases, these complications will not improve without surgical intervention. Necrotizing pneumonia (NP) is uncommon and has a very poor outcome in adults. There are no well-established indications for the surgical management of acute necrotizing pneumonia.

Despite an operation to remove the affected lung, it was not possible to save him. Koshkin died at the age of 41 on 26 September 1940, in a factory sanatorium near Kharkov.

Mikhail Koshkin was posthumously awarded the USSR State Prize in 1942 and Order of the Red Star. Mikhail Koshkin, Alexander Morozov and Nikolai Kucherenko were awarded with First Degree Stalin Prize in 1942 «for the creation of a new type of medium tank”. Half a century later, in 1990, the first and the last president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev awarded Mikhail Koshkin the title of Hero of Socialist Labor.



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Page last modified: 11-12-2018 19:07:12 ZULU