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Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin (1908-1979)

Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin ( 1908 - 1979 ) - Soviet designer of tanks and tractors . Hero of Socialist Labor . Winner of four Stalin Prizes, was born on February 26 ( March 10 ), 1908 in Pavlograd , Yekaterinoslav province (now Dnipropetrovsk region , Ukraine ). In a Jewish family, was the fifth child in a family (the other 4 girls); in childhood he bore the name Zelik. Escaping from bloody terror, violence and looting, the Kotin family fled from Pavlograd to Kharkov. He entered the medical institute at the insistence of parents, but then transferred to the automotive department of the Kharkov Polytechnic Institute. From 1927 he studied at the KPI. Since 1930 he was in the Red Army, and a Member of the CPSU(b) since 1931.

Z.Ya.Kotin's activities in the field of military equipment began immediately after graduating from the Dzerzhinsky Military Technical Academy in 1932. Prior to the Academy, where he was sent in 1930, Joseph Yakovlevich studied at the Kharkov Polytechnic Institute.

In the period 1932-1937. Zh.Ya.Kotin worked as part of the research department of the Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization of the Red Army, was the head of the design and engineering sector, and then head of the department. In the spring of 1937, Kotin was appointed to the post of head of SKB-2 at the Leningrad Kirov Plant. By that time, the Kirov factory mass-produced the medium T-28 tanks. These were quite sophisticated and sophisticated fighting vehicles as of the mid-30s. The arrival of Z.Ya.Kotin to the design bureau of the plant somewhat changed the focus of the work of the bureau. Verification calculations were made for the design of the T-28 tank, which made it possible to increase its reliability and to improve certain characteristics. At the same time, the bureau focused on the perspective design of tanks in accordance with the tasks highlighted in connection with the emergence of new, more effective means of destruction. The fighting in Spain, and then the military conflicts with Japan in the area of Lake Hassan and on the Khalkhin Gol River, confirmed the need for a significant increase in the level of armor protection of modern tanks and a revision of the concept of tank design in the first half of the 1930s.

Talented young designers nominated by Kotin for key positions in the bureau began developing fundamentally new units, began to make calculations of tank structures. Already in 1937, the plant began work on the creation of one of the first heavy tanks in the world practice with anti-shell armor. In August 1938, the USSR Defense Committee adopted a resolution on the system of tank armament of the Red Army. Industry plants were given the task by July 1939 to create samples of new tanks.

In 1938, at the Kirov factory, a project of a heavy 55-ton breakout tank was intensively developed, with one 76-mm and two 45-mm cannons installed in three towers. At the end of the year, the layout and drawings of the tank, called the QMS (Sergey Mironovich Kirov), were considered by members of the government. It was instructed to remove one turret and at the expense of the saved mass to additionally strengthen the armor protection of the tank. By that time, in SKB-2, in addition to the SMK tank, a project of a single-turret tank, called KB (Klim Voroshilov), was being developed.

The development of experimental units and systems, such as an individual torsion suspension, support rollers with internal damping, a planetary gear reducer, etc., contributed to raising the technical level of tanks. Ermolaev (according to the QMS) and N.L. Spirits (by KB). Moreover, the first layout of a single-tank tank in the framework of the graduation project was performed by students of the Military Academy. The first sample of the KB tank was manufactured in September 1939 and, together with the QMS and a number of other vehicles, was sent to the Karelian Isthmus to participate in the breakthrough of the Mannerheim line. Tolstobron tanks showed undeniable advantages in this operation, and the KB tank, equipped with a new diesel engine of type B-2, turned out to be more mobile and less vulnerable than the SMK tank.

On December 19, 1939, the heavy tank KB, like the new medium tank T-34, was adopted by a government decision to arm the Red Army. Serial production of KB was launched instead of the T-28 tank. However, in the battles on the Mannerheim line, there was an urgent need to use an even more powerful weapon than the 76-mm tank gun of the L-II KV tank. Therefore, to suppress enemy pillboxes in early 1940, the installation of a 152-mm howitzer M-10 in an oversized tower was urgently developed. Four samples of the new KV-2 tank at the beginning of 1940 were manufactured and tested at the final stage of the battles. They showed high combat effectiveness and complete invulnerability against enemy anti-tank artillery fire.

SKB-2, continuing to work on improving the heavy tank under the direction of Kotin, developed in 1940 an even more powerful tank — the product 220. It was equipped with an 85-mm tank gun, and a planetary transmission was used. In the years 1940-1941. SKB-2 developed a version of a light tank with anti-missile armor T-50. This period includes work in the field of casting towers, made at the Izhora plant. Work was also started on the creation of other heavy tanks and self-propelled artillery installations: the KV-3 tank, the self-propelled artillery gun with a 152-mm Br-2 cannon, etc. However, before the war, these works were not completed. The pre-war period of Kotin's activity as a whole can be described as aimed at the emergence of Soviet heavy tank building, which was far ahead of this area of production as in fascist Germany, so in the Allied countries of the anti-Hitler coalition during the Second World War. For the creation and development of the production of heavy tanks Z.Ya.Kotinu in 1941, was awarded the title Hero of Socialist Labor and was awarded the State Prize.

The Great Patriotic War began. As early as June 24-25, 1941, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B.) Adopted a series of measures aimed at expanding the production of tanks. By its Resolution No. 1 of July 1, 1941, the State Defense Committee took decisive measures to regulate the production of tanks, first of all KB and T-34. However, in the conditions of the beginning of the blockade of Leningrad, the supply of the production of heavy tanks with the necessary materials, and above all metal, was disrupted.

At this time, Joseph Yakovlevich, in the rank of Chief Designer of the People's Commissariat and Deputy Commissar of the Tank Industry, was engaged in setting up production of tanks in the Urals. There in October 1941 a significant group of designers was evacuated from Leningrad. The main base for the production of heavy tanks in the country became ChTZ, which since October 1941 was called the “Chelyabinsk Kirov Plant”. In addition to work to improve the heavy tank, there were urgent tasks to simplify its design, reduce labor intensity, search for substitutes for scarce materials. At the same time, it was necessary to ensure an increase in the reliability of the serial tank and to conduct search and prospective developments.

At the end of 1941 - 1942, new models of the tank were made with the installation of several guns in a non-rotating turret (KV-7), flamethrowing armaments (KV-8) and a 122-mm howitzer (KV-9) were installed in the tower. A more powerful 76-mm caliber ZIS-5 cannon, a cast turret, was placed on a serial KB tank, and additional armor was welded onto the front hull sheets. In the spring of 1942, the development of the new KB-13 tank began, which, being executed in the mass of the medium (about 30 tons), was supposed to possess the properties of a heavy one.

To improve the reliability of the KB tank, by the middle of 1942 many changes had been made to it. Since September, the lightweight tank KV-1C was put into mass production. In the second half of 1942, the design of a promising heavy IS tank (Iosif Stalin) with enhanced parameters was deployed at ChKZ, compared with an experienced KB-13 tank, and the installation of a new, more powerful tank gun was assumed. At the end of October, J.I.Kotin was entrusted with the task of organizing the design of a self-propelled unit designed to support and fire support T-34 medium tanks. For this purpose, a design team was formed at the Uralmash design bureau. Together with artillery designers, under the leadership of F.F. Petrov, based on the T-34, it developed the design of a self-propelled unit with a 122-mm howitzer M-30, which received the SU-122 index.

Following the SU-122, it was decided to design a heavy ACS with a 152-mm powerful tool (originally designated the KB-14 machine). The work was carried out in an extremely short time. Working design began on January 3, 1943, and on January 25 the first sample of ACS was assembled. It used the KB-1C chassis; a powerful case-howitzer ML-20, fitted for the self-propelled machine by FF Petrov, was put into the wheelhouse. SU-152 played a significant role in the destruction of the German Tiger, Panther, and Ferdinand self-propelled guns used on a large scale in the battles of 1943. For this work Z.Ya.Kotinu together with S.N. Makhonin, L. S. Troyanov, F.F. Petrov and S.P.Gurenko, by resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR dated March 22, 1943, was awarded the State Prize.

The fighting on the Soviet-German front in the summer of 1943 revealed the need to further increase the parameters of heavy tanks. In this situation, it was decided to launch into production at ChKZ instead of the KB-1C tank its modification KV-85 with a powerful D-5 gun designed by F. Petrov. At the end of the summer of 1943, J.J.Cotin became the chief designer and head of the experimental plant No. 100, and the chief designer of the Chelyabinsk Shipyard was H.L. Dukhov. Since that time, the work of the designers of the plant No. 100 under the leadership of Kotin was exclusively aimed at creating promising heavy machines. Following the IS tank, the ISU-152 artillery missile (instead of the SU-152) and the IS-2 tank with a powerful D-25 122-mm cannon designed by F. Petrov were developed and put into production at ChKZ. For the development of a new model of a heavy tank by decree of the CPC of the USSR on January 26, 1946 J. Ya. as well as N.F. Shashmurinu, G.N.Rybinu, N.G.Kastrulinu and others. The State Prize was awarded. Next, work was carried out on the creation of the IS-3, IS-6, IS-7 tanks, the powerful ISU-122, ISU-122-2, ISU-152-1, ISU-130, ISU-122BM and other tanks.

Machines developed during the Great Patriotic War and in the first post-war period at Kirovsky and at the pilot plant, led by Major General and then Lt. Gen. tank-engineer service J.Ya. Kotin, embodied many original ideas and constructive solutions. These include planetary transmissions and new types of turning mechanisms, shock absorbers built into the chassis balancers, an ejection cooling system, a mechanism for discharging projectile and charge, beam torsions and a number of other nodes and devices. In particular, an attempt was made to create an electric transmission for a heavy tank (product 253).

In the difficult years of the war on the part of Z.Ya.Kotin, such features as sensitive attitude towards the employees, the desire to ease the military life as much as possible, to maintain the morale and physical strength of the staff were especially vividly manifested along with a high sense of responsibility and duty.

The habitual, specific feature of the work of the KB team, headed by Kotin, was the high tension of all the staff - designers, payers, researchers and testers. Kotin considered the designer to be the central figure in solving the tasks. When solving particularly difficult questions, tasks were given in parallel to two performers. In case of failures, Joseph Yakovlevich always tried to morally support the designer. When solving fundamentally new questions, each designer, regardless of the work performed in the design bureau, could contribute his own ideas and suggestions.

In the activity of Z.Ya.Kotin, a preferential attitude to certain types of equipment, in particular to heavy tanks, is seen, aspiring to maximally saturate these machines with new design solutions. When, by order of the Ministry of Transport and Machinery of March 19, 1949, J. Y. Kotin was appointed director of the newly formed All-Union Scientific Research Institute (VNII-100), his activity remained focused primarily on the design of new tanks. Research work aimed at solving industry-wide problems was given a secondary place at the institute. In 1951, the VNII-100 was released from the design of production samples and design support for the production of the plant. In this regard, Z.Ya.Kotin focused his activities on the OKBT leadership separated from the institute. Work on the creation of new tanks T-10 and PT-76 and BTR-50P was completed. Later, under his leadership, powerful rocket and artillery installations were developed.

Along with work in the field of military tracked vehicles, Kotin in the first post-war years led the work to create a KT-12 skidder and, in the early 60s, a high-power wheeled tractor Kirovets.

A distinctive feature of Z.Ya.Kotin’s activities as the chief designer of the plant, and from 1968 to 1972. - Deputy Minister, was a constant creative search, the desire to see a new, promising, even where it is not yet explicitly visible. This also applied to the use of gas turbine engines, the development of stabilization systems, the control of URS, and a number of other works.

Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin was awarded scientific degrees and the title of Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Honored Worker of Science and Technology of the RSFSR, he headed for several years the department at the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute. Since 1965, he wore the military rank of colonel-general-engineer. Four times he was awarded the title of Laureate of the State Prize of the USSR, was awarded sixteen orders and many USSR medals.

Zh.Ya.Kotin gave a lot of energy to the state, party and socio-political activities. He was twice elected a deputy to the USSR Supreme Soviet.

J. Ya. Kotin died on October 21, 1979 . He was buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy Cemetery (station number 7). Joseph Yakovlevich had an energetic and sociable character, enjoyed great respect and authority of his subordinates. He brought up a large team of highly qualified specialists. A significant pleiad of prominent industry figures such as G.S.Efimov, P.A.Efimov, P.P.Isakov, N.S.Popov, N.M.Sinev, V.S. Starovoytov. In the memory of all those who came into contact with Z.Ya.Kotin, he left a deep impression as a talented engineer, a major organizer of industry.

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