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Isaac Moiseevich Salzman "King of tanks"
1942- 1943 People's Commissar of Tank Industry

Isaac Moiseevich Salzman / Saltzman, was a leading organizers of the tank industry during the Great Patriotic War. A statesman, minister of tank industry / People's Commisar for the tank industry, Major-General engineering services Tank (1945), Hero of Socialist Labor (1941), he was a winner of the Stalin Prize (1946). To understand the scale of the individual, it is enough to know his position - Director of Tankograd, the largest plant in Cheliabinsk where tanks were produced.

He was born 11/26/1905 in the settlement Tomashpol Yampolskogo County Podolia - July 1988. The son of a tailor, he was educated at the Odessa Industrial Institute (1933). From 1919 he worked in a sugar factory, and from 1924 at the Komsomol in Ukraine. In 1928 he joined the CPSU(b). Since 1933 he worked as an engineer at the factory "Red Putilovets" (Leningrad, 1934 - Kirov Plant).

After the arrest of the former plant director in 1938, Isaac Salzman was appointed Director of the Kirov Machine Building (formerly Putilov) factory in Leningrad. As Director of the largest factory of USSR for manufacture of tanks, Saltzman worked to increase their production, and in 1939 launched the mass production of the KV tanks and a number of others. In the first three months of the great patriotic war the Kirov Zavod produced more tanks than in the period from January to June 1941 year.

Salzman continued to lead the plant during the siege, and maintained production of much-needed weapons to defend the besieged city under continuous enemy air raids and shelling. A Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of September 19, 1941 year for outstanding achievements in ensuring the Red Army armored equipment in wartime hardship Isaac Moiseevicu Zaltzman, the 35-year-old director of the Kirov factory, was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor with the order of Lenin and medal with "hammer and sickle".

Isaac Salzmann directed the plant when a breakthrough of the enemy troops to the outskirts of Leningrad and at the beginning of the embargo and simultaneously, with the year 1941, worked as Deputy people's Commissar of tank industry of the USSR. He conducted the evacuation of the Kirov plant to Chelyabinsk and launched in the shortest possible time to manufacture tanks in unsuitable areas, with a deficit of workers, professionals, equipment and raw materials.

Tankograd. This city was not on the map, but it was reported in reports of the Soviet Information Bureau, which knew about it on the front of the soldiers. In September 1941, two large companies, one from Ukraine - Kharkiv engine, which produced diesel tank; another - from the banks of the Neva River, the famous Kirov factory, moved in the direction of Chelyabinsk. The effort to carry all the equipment from Leningrad failed - the city was in the ring of the blockade. Chelyabinsk tractor builders, in difficult conditions, had to merge three production teams into one, and to establish serial production of KV tanks.

Stalin ordered the evacuation of this industrial giant to Chelyabinsk, where it created the famous Salzman Tankograd on the basis of the Kharkov tractor diesel factory and the Moscow Machine-Tool Plant. After the evacuation of the plant for the Urals, he was factory director from 1942 of the Comintern Plant (Sverdlovsk region) and the Kirov machine-building and metallurgical plant (Chelyabinsk). In the most difficult days of the Battle of Moscow Chelyabinsk provided front with the necessary tanks.

In February 1942, Salzman was appointed Director of tank plant named after the Comintern in Nizhny Tagil (Sverdlovsk region). In the beginning of February 1942, at four o'clock in the morning Stalin telephoned. Interrupting a meeting with commanders, Salzman was expecting the question that is always put Stalin: "How many tanks did the Works send to the front yesterday?" But Stalin was not asking about the performance of yesterday's program. With an outwardly calm voice, though Salzman immediately caught it concealed the pain and irritation to some extent, the Supreme Leader first said:

" Comrade Salzman, all military says that it is very well-proven T-34. I know that you love heavy tanks, but I ask you to transfer to T-34. I called the Front commanders, armored generals and asked to increase the production of medium tanks T-34: They go well in deep snow, very manuverable - they fly like swallows. In Nizhny Tagil it built a large car-building factory, evacuated to a hundred and eighty third plant from Kharkov, but in February, but no tanks. We rented Maksareva director, we will judge him. Try utrechkom be in Nizhny Tagil, get the plant as a director. You have the right aa Deputy People's Commissar with broad powers, take any action with follow-up information of the Central Committee, but the T-34 tanks must begin to be produced in the near future. Regularly inform the Central Committee on progress, as appropriate, contact me directly. That's it, bye."

Engineering and technical personnel quickly sketched the contours of organizing workshops on the basis of mass production. Salzman went to Sverdlovsk to see that the evacuated plants were on track; a few days later trains with the necessary equipment, as well as all the staff arrived in Nizhny Tagil. Hardware was put in parallel with the construction of new buildings. The plant was relieved of making any orders not related to the production of tanks. Without lowering the rate of production of tanks, Saltzman organized production of T-34 tanks and in 33 days the rebuilt plant began production of a new model of tanks. In peacetime, this was done not less than a year.

Many drastic measures taken Salzmann seemed excessive, but that leadership style has been called cruel necessity. Giving unrealistic subordinates seemed to task, the director at the same time always provided the conditions for their implementation. For example, the plant was assigned several thousand farmers from Central Asia to be used in the production of military vehicles. But most of them had never seen a tank at all - what could the do? They still needed to learn the Russian language, a necessary function. And the tanks had to go to the front daily. The director went to military units, who expected new tanks, and tankers went to the assembly line - while they learned the ropes and helped workers to execute the program. And most importantly - the tank were made ??faster by the day and more and more came off the assembly line.

In June 1942 he was Deputy People's Commissar for Tank Industry of the USSR. From July 14, 1942 to June 28, 1943 Isaac Saltzman held the post of people's Commissar of tank industry of the USSR. Stalin phoned Zaltsman in Sverdlovsk and said that by the decision of Politburo of the CPSU (b) and the GKO he was appointed People's Commissar for Tank Industry of the USSR. The next day, Saltzman was summoned to Stalin, who gave him the task in his new role. On the very first and most important task was told the following: " You now have the experience of not only heavy tanks, but also for the T-34. Commissariat full you must expand and increase production at all plants. Immediately start with the Kirov Chelyabinsk."

Then he was released from his position and was again appointed to the post of Director of the Kirov plant in Chelyabinsk, which led up to the year 1949. In the same year 1943 at the factory started producing new tanks IS-2. The Kirov plant during the war produced 18,000 tanks and self-propelled guns, 45,000 tank engines, mastered the production of 13 types of tanks and self-propelled guns and six types of tank engines.

At the end of 1942 there were about 300 Tankograd front brigades, in 1943 there were 700, and by the end of the war - 1800. In 1943 the plant started serial production of a new heavy tank IS, having mastered its production in just 51 days. On August 5, 1944 for achievements in the organization of production and the development of new types of tanks, self-propelled artillery units (SAU) and tanks, the plant was awarded the Order of the Red Star.

During the war years Tankograd gave the front 18,000 tanks and self-propelled guns; developed six types of tank engines. Military production increased nine times. Homeland appreciated the feats of labor tank builders. Tankograd was awarded the Order of Kutuzov I degree. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Great Victory on Komsomolskaya Square Traktorozavodskiy District erected a monument to the heroes of Tankograd - Battle Tank IS-3 on a granite pedestal with the inscription: "Urals, you whose hands are golden, forged victory over the enemy."

In 1945 year he was promoted to major general engineer-service tank. From 1946 to 1950 he was a member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Since 1941, he was Deputy Commissar [07.14.1942 - 06.28.1943] of Industry of the USSR People's Commissar of the tank.

He was awarded Laureate of the State Prize. Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of the second (1946) convocation. Among the awards - three Orders of Lenin, Order of Suvorov (I degree), Kutuzov (II degree), two Orders of the Red Banner.

In September 1949 he was expelled from the CPSU (b) and fired. He claimed the reason was his failure to testify "Leningrad case" against some of those arrested were senior party and State leaders, and he himself was not arrested on the personal order of Stalin, who remembered his military merit.

He refused to write incriminating materials about the heads of the Leningrad factory, part of a far-fetched "case" from Moscow. After the lifting of the blockade of Leningrad the plant sent gifts to members of the Military Council of the Leningrad Military District and at the same time forgot the Supreme Commander. He refused to give up dirt on Kuznetsova in connection with the Leningrad "business" and was not tempted by the promise of once again taking a seat as minister.

He went to the master of the ordinary small factory in remote Murom. He was alone, without family, until Beria was shot. After the death of Stalin in 1953, he returned to Leningrad, eventually organized a mechanical factory, which provided the city taps, radiators. In 1955 he was reinstated in the party. Salzman was summoned to the Party Control Committee, apologized and restored in the party. However, these are usually not revived in its present form. From 1957 he worked in the trust Lengosles, since 1959 director of the Mechanical Plant Leningrad Executive Committee. the ex-Commissar became engaged in timber harvesting. Then he designed and built in the Leningrad Mechanical Plant, whose director then worked for twenty years, until his retirement.

He more than anyone knew how to make tanks, but was unable to fit Tankograd into civilian life. This person had done a lot for the region, for the entire country. His name - Isaac Salzman - was still in the memory of many of Chelyabinsk.

But Salzman's name is not found in the multivolume Great Soviet encyclopaedia. The Encyclopedia of the Great Patriotic War has only brief biographical information of him, ending with the phrase "then on other administrative work." The two-volume "Annals of the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant", released in 1982, has no word on when, where and why departed from Chelyabinsk legendary director of the legendary Tankograd. But when describing the life of the factory team in 1949 it was already mentioned the new director S. Skachkov, who arrived from Nizhny Tagil.

The farewell to the staff of the Chelyabinsk tractor builders came easy to Isaac Moiseevich. Although he played a significant role in the deployment of tank production in the Urals, he was not invited to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the CTZ.

In 1949 the plenum of the Chelyabinsk Regional Committee of the CPSU(b) dealt with the Salzmann. From his work on the CTZ he was released for political reasons and for specific omissions of another kind. Multiple folders with materials factory party organizations, Traktorozavodskiy district, the protocols of the regional committee of the CPSU(b) the time and vividly depict the unenviable economic position of the tractor, and to limit its tense atmosphere in the team.

In 1948, the plant completed the difficult path of post-war reconstruction. Noting this in his speech at the joint, and the factory district, report-election party conference, Director Saltzman was forced to admit that the company had not coped with the preparation of a plan for increased capacity, it owed more than three thousand tractors.

The plant received a 1948 mission - to bring the production of tractors to 65-75 pieces per day. Meanwhile, the project capacity of the plant to the end of the period (by 1951!) Was supposed to be only 50 cars per day. It is clear how difficult the task was put before the Directorate, headed by Isaac Salzman. By the scale of it is akin to the one that was solved in time of war. Only now it is not needed tanks and tractors.

Because the job is not party consider the real possibility of production, it was necessary to use the full power of the "human factor." This task director tried to solve the methods used in the war. But factory workers, particularly middle managers, then took a hard style and justified its inevitable costs harshness inf war, but under new peaceful conditions were not inclined to put up with excesses.

Isaac Moiseevich until his death (he lived to 82) to kept a clear mind and a good memory. To him often visited and writers, and journalists. But not in order to write a full biography of the former People's Commissar. They were more interested in the memories of Stalin, Beria, Malenkov, and other similar personalities.

He was very upset by the collapse of the Soviet Union. "Hitler with his powerful military machine, but our tanks were too tough, and Bush with pencil in hand won great power" - he repeatedly said bitterly. On April 25, 2005 in his address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said: "It must be admitted that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century."

He died in 1988, never having returned to Tankograd. Hero and People's Commissar, General Isaac Salzman was remembered by tank builders in many cities of the former Soviet Union. Nicknamed by the American ambassador to Moscow during World War II "tank king of Russia", this native Ukrainian deserved the gratitude of all those who were saved from fascism.

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Page last modified: 21-02-2016 20:06:11 ZULU