Mar 26 2020

The legends and myths. “Aviacargo”: God’s gift or the curse of Beria?

Легенды и мифы. «Авиашарага»: божий дар или проклятие Берии?

Surprise our “history” and our “historians”. It is clear that history is written by the winners, but here is the question: actually, who won? And where? When the war ended, after which began a total rewrite history?The fact that, despite all attempts something there to make the Constitution about the history and heritage that will make, and will keep. And they will make what they write. Including brew Solzhenitsyn, hard kanonizirovannogo modern power.

However, we have our own way, and we’ll have a go without looking at those who are interested to read stories about our past.

When writing the history of the emergence of the Tu-2 is not to get into sharaga was impossible, because that’s where he (Tu-2) and fed. And there, in the material, I promised that I would return to the topic of friend.

In General, the phenomenon itself is a kind of sharaga. But to consider it I want, perhaps, with an unconventional point of view.

Points is usually two. First from fans Solzhenitsyn and Radzinsky, which says that the bloody executioners of Stalin and Beria crowds were driven engineers and designers to the GULAG, and there they something invented.

The second is that the compound is evil, but evil is necessary in the spirit of the time. “It was such a time, otherwise it does.”

Not agree with both points of view and here’s why. With the followers of the sect Solzhenitsyn it’s simple: they prostrate in the dirt with facts and figures. With the Stalinists have sleeker.

There is a saying: “Winners are not judged”. But, alas, it is not suitable in our case.

The evaluation of Stalin and his associates, especially Beria, in the organization and implementation of powerful industrial recovery of Soviet industry immediately before and during the great Patriotic war.

If not for this huge leap forward in the industrialization of the country, we would have never defeated this team in Europe (and we know that in equipping Hitler and America was gathered in full), to exploit the potential of the industry across Europe and not just her.

Stalin and his associates is a true organizer of Victory. Unconditional. But they were tried and condemned. Almost immediately after Stalin’s death. Yes, proud to say that not everyone in our country has decided that “court”.

And sharaga – it was an integral part of the breakthrough that broke the back of fascism.

The definition of office is in Wikipedia, so if someone is fundamentally there. Because, in my opinion, is superfluous. Another question is whether these sharashka prison-a prison where the criminal Stalinist regime exploited the slave labor of prisoners, or it was a way to mobilize for the fulfillment of vital state objectives “irresponsible” part of the scientific and technical intelligentsia.

Here about the so-called scientific and technical intelligentsia I would like to say a few words. It was necessary to organize them or not?

In General, the idea of creating sharaga was very good. It turns out that Stalin’s government was interested in the fact that a wiz can do, even committing a crime and even shaking period. Let not always, but at least in the notorious sharashkas, the government has provided real opportunities for this.

Why? Yes, it’s simple! The times were such. And if it were not sharag, the designers, inventors, engineers, just to cut down the forest.

Probably for many it’s a secret, but if we are talking about the aviation industry, the system sharaga was very useful.

The fact that the 30-ies of the last century, as it was common in the USSR “knock”. A neighbor with his living space at a co-worker with his salary and so on. With the help of slanders and denunciations, people career did. Do not believe? Of course, as more than 5 million denunciations in the FSB archive is like?

But in aviation this is generally the case double flowers bloomed. Because timely written complaint was allowed to push his project to bypass the competitor. And what is the project implemented? Respect, money, order…

But the main thing – immunity to what tomorrow will believe the complaints about you.

But because he wrote all, or almost all. More precisely, it is easier to say who among the aircraft designers did NOT write denunciations. Personally, I have only two names: Grigorovich and Polikarpov. Took them first. The rest are highly questionable.

Perhaps Yakovlev, who moreover, that all when he was Deputy people’s Commissar fought back from the denunciations, and had their own ways to annoy your neighbor. Well, Mikoyan. With his support at the top…

So in a sense sharaga can be called an experiment for creative people, when a person is punished by imprisonment, but not a separation from creativity.

Here, incidentally, is a perfect example Polikarpov, Tupolev which will have separated from the design of aircraft and forced to do some thing. So for Nicholas sharaga with the ability to build planes by far was more acceptable than working at the factory, whom is unclear.

The more that worked as engineers and designers not in the basement. And in the same workshops, laboratories, KB… But under supervision. And have not slept at home.

Well, of course, unpleasant. As unpleasant and the effects, associated with arrests, interrogations and investigation.

But excuse me, but where was the NKVD to go? If the denunciations, complaints, slander flowed like a river? You think of the number “five million”. It’s not just a figure, it spent denunciations. How many of them were returned? And returned, especially gnarled and fantastic. Or ignored.

By the way, considering how we in the 30th of literacy was the case… In the republics of Central Asia, for example. There is not much to roam was the letter he knew not all. But where knew about it and had a blast.

Sometimes was effects very peculiar. Don’t know who wrote on Polikarpov himself hardly Tupolev, most likely, someone from subordinates, but Korolev – a classic of the genre. You know, who wrote to Sergei Pavlovich. Know why. Guys Tukhachevsky did not agree with the policy of the Queen, and here’s the result. Kostikov, who is the “inventor type” “Katyusha,” wrote the Queen and Langemak. Second is cost of living, the Queen was more fortunate. Judas No. 2, Kleimenov, nothing Kostikov was not inferior.

But the Affairs of RNII we can talk separately, materials enough.

Who said that in other industries it was different? I did not say. But in a rapidly developing aviation enough wanting to fight is not at the drawing Board, and anonymous letters.

By the way, not all pressed for falsely accusations. The same Tupolev was awarded deservedly, for causing economic harm to the country. Well, you see, if you were sent to buy equipment (gold and currency) for the subsequent licensed production, then, at least, it was necessary to arrange human.

And Tupolev has brought thousands of technical documents not only is not translated, although the translation of the American side was obliged to provide at his own expense, so also in inch system. That is brought Tupolev documents had to be translated. The loss of time and money, Tupolev was charged quite fair. Less I had to go shopping.

I can not keep silent about the blasts in 1938 scandal. When the magazine “the German guns” published a series of articles about military aviation of the Soviet Union.

The publications reviewed and our, then, I suspect, the NKVD was not ready the fact that boots kidneys to move constructors, and strangle them in the workplace. Author of articles, major of the German air force Each published secret information on the manufacture of Soviet aircraft factories.

Each of the cited articles many facts directly showing that secret data can easily flow abroad.

And here’s the interesting situation turned out. Designers, instead of relaxed and thoroughly to work for the benefit of his native country, by hook or by crook trying to snatch for themselves privileges, just what are whistleblowing on each other. Plus, in breach of secrecy or simply disclose information about Soviet military-industrial complex, whether doing it from the worst of motives. For the money, for example.

By the way, this prevailed not only in the aviation industry. In the red army and air force, the situation was no better, as evidenced by numerous documents. Drunkenness, theft, denunciations have become commonplace affair.

Dear readers, do you have for TT to take the hand is not stretched? Documents confirming the mess in the army, was enough.

In industry, too. Yes, the Soviet Union, where staff decided everything, the staff working were very active. The number of specialists with higher education has grown at an impressive pace, with 233 000 in 1928 to 909 000 in 1940. the only question is the quality.

Of course, in the agrarian the country was taken from? That’s right, there. Where did, for example, boy Sergei Ilyushin, who worked as a navvy on the construction of the airfield and of cases seen by the airplane for life? From the village. And, fortunately, his path was somewhat unconventional, but… well, we all know the biography of the Ilyushin.

Well, it’s true, honestly, very little has been technical intelligentsia of the nobility. Because knocking and the elimination of the nobility in Soviet Russia. And the merchant was also done. So he took where he could and had. And this, in my opinion, was very confident.

But in terms of education… With ethics was more difficult. Hence the rat race for a warm place, and thousands of denunciations. And divulging state secrets.

And it turns out we have a luxury utterly situation. It seems to be work going. Aircraft design, build, test. But: there is a shaft of denunciations, and half (or more) constructors should be put under investigation. And in the future – send to build a canal, or to cut timber.

But who will deal with the planes? Those who wrote slander? Possible. But who writes well of slander, he is unlikely to be well build aircraft. Who doesn’t? Grigorovich? Well, for a long time he did one was in seaplanes. Mikoyan? He has nothing more to do with such relatives. Yakovlev? Well with all the negativity to Alexander, the planes he was able to build. Plus post ogogo…

The question is, how much at them it was written. Although I, Grigorovich planted.

And you know who had a hand in. V. B. Shavrov, constructor, working under Grigorovich.

“…If the book was a pest, it would be worse to do but could not. So he laid the matter, having lost four years, deceiving the its Department hopes that it deserves and deserved earlier In this restraint… [he] has contributed a huge reputation and credibility, which were used by Grigorovich, and in the Imperial time, a few successful aircraft. The result is a real crisis… the achievements of the Division is zero.” (From Sharov denunciation.)

“Around this time, it seems even back in August, came to us pleasant news of the arrest of Grigorovich. Hateful head, the former is the cause of many unpleasant experiences, pportive I can say that whole period in my life, finally sat down, and as if firmly…”

Well, more or less Shavrov all clear from his statements and memoirs. And what is known to he an informer? Aircraft-amphibian sh-2, which was released on series 800 machines. It was created Shavrov not one, but co-author Korvin-Kerber somehow were planted…

Actually, after sh-2 Shavrov no longer noted, wrote books, starred in the film, but the aircraft was not built. Apparently, over technical inspiration. Or willing to help him.

By the way, his statements may well be a picture of the era. Not always “testimony” was beaten out in the dungeons of the NKVD executioners in the form. Not always been given under fear of arrest. But on the contrary, they often willingly given the very technical, in our case, and in other scientific and creative intelligentsia, which today opponents of Stalin’s pose as the innocent victim of the era.

Meanwhile, not especially touched. Sharaga in the CDB-29 worked… 316 specialists! It’s all of the profiles: the technician, tank builders, aviation and others. Three hundred sixteen people.

Where millions Where slaughtered at the root of intellectuals… Well, Yes, Solzhenitsyn. Actually, there are 316 people. That’s the whole sharaga.

If you think that it is “the brightest minds”, for which the NKVD hunted, wrong. Any one of the NKVD hunted, taking on a workplace denounced their colleagues in the main.

But there were exceptions. But do not strain, that is the exception.

Lev Landau, the future Nobel prize winner when, in the manufacture of anti-Soviet literature. Comparing Hitler and Stalin and called for the overthrow of the government. Yeah, maybe not all composed by Landau, according to some reports it’s all just edited. But the shot has turned out, no? And then, under the word Kapitza and intercession Niels Bohr was released.

Now try to compose a flyer where compare Putin with Pol pot, Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden, and calling for the overthrow. And then get caught with it. On the way to the Kremlin. I would love to hear your stories about the virtues of democracy and other life pleasures. Then, when you release.

Landau – only a consequence. With our aircraft – only tier. And as soon as the aircraft projects into the aircraft, started the Amnesty, money, medals, diplomas of the CEC and other fun.

Overall, had a whip, but there was a carrot. One of the participants of OTB or TSKB-29 died poor, humiliated and forgotten? Petlyakov? Myasishchev? Tupolev? Queens? Glushko?

Whether Beria stupid executioner? Judge for yourself: here are excerpts from special reports to Stalin from G. 04.07.1939 “Of prisoners-the experts used in the special technical Bureau of the NKVD of the USSR”.

“To resume the investigation of these cases and transfer them to the court in the ordinary way is impractical because, first, it will distract the arrested professionals for a long time from design of critical facilities and actually frustrate the work of the Special technical Bureau, and, secondly, the consequence will not give in essence positive results due to the fact that the suspects, being a long time in mutual communication during operation, have agreed among themselves on the nature of their testimony during the preliminary investigation.Meanwhile, the guilt of those arrested has been confirmed in the course of the preliminary investigation, the personal confessions of those arrested, the testimony of the accomplices (many of whom have already been convicted) and witnesses.

Accordingly, the NKVD of the USSR considers it necessary:

1) the arrested professionals in the amount of 316 people used to work in a Special Technical Bureau of the NKVD of the USSR not renewing the investigation, prosecute the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR;
2) depending on the severity of the crimes those arrested into three categories: to be condemned to terms of up to 10 years to 15 years to 20 years.”

On the one hand, sort of luxurious. Not judged necessary, by a military court to 10 years in a trunk, the most distinguished of up to 20 years. Ominous? Ominous. Whip.

But here it is, “the stick”:

“…to promote the work of the arrested experts in the Special technical Bureau, pinning them on the job and creating impetus for further work on the design of the most important objects of defensive value to grant the right of the NKVD of the USSR to sign a petition to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the application to the convicted professionals who have shown themselves to work in a Special technical Bureau as a full parole, and reduce the length of prison sentences”.

Well, actually…

It is on this petition in July 1941, was liberated with the removal of a criminal record Tupolev, Frankel, Chizhevsky and 27 people who participated in creating the aircraft of the 103-U/Tu-2.

Controversial? Yes, controversial. Many may say: what, couldn’t you just bugger all and get to work. So that’s what the NKVD was doing. Just a question of efficiency. Finger face and not take strict measures – know what ends?

And it ends in a President throws up his pens and says he has nothing to do with the vast salaries of top managers, otherwise they will flee and one will work.

But Stalin did not want to run. And lawlessness not wanted. Because each cricket knew the perch. And each could come. And with each ask.

Bad? Probably.

But now as well. Come find boxes of gold, bags with millions of apartments. And can’t do anything. Because it is not the 1937 year.

And it blows these gentlemen are not on the front. They are offshore and on neutral ground, run in case. And now some of our I will say that the type will not go away. Go. A classic of the genre, but leave.

Okay, back to the topic.

Given that Beria was a very good organizer, and reporting everything was perfect for him. The stick is not lost.

But because in the summer of 1944, all departments and divisions of the Central apparatus of the NKVD wrote a report on the work done during the war. And reports not burned, drowned and so today we can clearly imagine the picture of what was done by those who worked in sharagi.

From the report of the ESR of the NKVD.

During the period from 1939 to 1944, the 4th special Department for the tasks of the Government and the people’s Commissar of internal Affairs comrade. Beria L. P. executed and delivered the following:

1. Dive bomber PE-2 (the plane “100”). The project Manager V. M. Petlyakov
2. Front-line bomber Tu-2 (the plane “103У”). Head of project Tupolev A. N.
3. Distant high-altitude bomber (aircraft “102”). The project Manager V. M. Myasischev
4. Aircraft engines type MB-100. Project Manager Dobrotvorskaya A. M.
5. Aircraft jet engine RD-1. Project Manager V. P. Glushko
6. Armor tower BUR 10. Project leader ladkin S. I.
7. Versatile 152-mm artillery system M-U-2 for coastal and railway installations. Project Manager Ikonnikov E. P.
8. Universal 130-mm artillery system B-2-L-M for ship and shore installations. Project Manager Kudryashov V. I.
9. Upgraded 45-mm anti-tank gun M-42. Project Manager tsirulnikov M. Yu.
10. Tank 45mm gun BT-42. Project Manager tsirulnikov M. Yu.
11. Regimental 76-mm gun, model of 1943 ABOUT-25. Project Manager tsirulnikov M. Yu.
12. Cabinet 152-mm gun BL-7. Project Manager tsirulnikov M. Yu.
13. Submarine s-135. Project Manager Kasseler A. S.
14. Torpedo boat long-range STCD. Project Manager Hoinkis P. G.
15. Screw-press – new equipment and technology for the production of nitroglycerin propellants. Project managers Spurious A. E. and Bakayev A. S.
16. Universal absorbers UE-2 and UE-4 for military gas masks. Head of development Fishman YM
17. A new method of intensification of the tower process of sulphuric acid production. Project Manager Stupnikov S. D.
18. Small army radio of the “Mars”. Project Manager Vasiliev A. M.
19. Portable radio type “Protein”. Project Manager Vasiliev A. M.
20. The night of the battle of PNB. Project Manager Kuksenko, P. N.

In addition, the experts of 4-th special Department was involved in the construction, installation, start-up and organization of production in six new factories.

Probably, in such hard work all the participants sharaga received new deadlines were shot, drowned on a barge in the channel name of Moscow?


For successful work on creation of new types of weapons and for their integrity and dedication, at the request of the NKVD of the USSR (!) 156 prisoners of specialists released to the removal of criminal convictions, 23 of which are awarded with government awards.

After removal from their criminal records, they were returned to their former awards, which they were denied by the court.

Already in 1941, Beria addressed a petition to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the return of orders, medals of the USSR and certificates of USSR pardoned aircraft.

The individual objects developed in the 4th special Department was recognized as outstanding, and their authors were awarded the Stalin prize. Winners were Tupolev, Petlyakov, Charomsky.

It was a contribution to the Victory? No? Well, you know better.

In General, to objectively answer the question of the role of friend, need serious study. Not burdened by respect for Stalin as a whole. But overall, this is not a unique phenomenon, as sharaga, can be explained in several ways.

By the way, why is not unique? And just who wonder how the Americans did it the “Manhattan project”. Find the three differences with our sharaga.

Now about justifications and explanations.

Option 1. Some scientists and engineers have committed a crime under the criminal code, and was convicted, their work in prison decided to use wisely to benefit the state and himself, softening the conditions of the sentence.

Not much to get into it, but Tupolev and Korolev got quite reasonable. One poorly completed task, and the second for embezzlement.

Option 2. Scientists and engineers have brought the case specifically to put in the sharashka and get them to do there what they did before. Type the savings on salary.

Doubtful. Just because comrades, Soviet designers themselves quite well to send in the NKVD colleagues. I would say that they were good.

Option 3. Sharaga — the special form of organization of R & d, which has its advantages in terms of efficiency and secrecy.

Yes, it is. After all, sharaga worked and the availability of specialists.

Here’s an interesting photo where the organizer sharaga Menzhinsky seems to be photographed with the participants of sharaga. Yes, the photo is made there, so easily the head of the OGPU was photographed with nedsecure. Photo taken in the Butyrka prison, where it was organized by TSKB-39. Roughly – 1931.

So, among the marked in the photo is No. 10 Aram N. of Rafaelian, designer of the Yakovlev design Bureau and chief pilot of the Yakovlev design Bureau Yulian Piontkovsky I. (No. 6). These people were not among the professionals working in sharaga and not subjected to any reprisals. They just testify to the fact that in sharaga were involved and people not burdened by the terms and sentences.

So personally I am inclined to think that compound is still closed KB, which was the same design as on the outside. Mode only enhanced secrecy and those who are or have screwed up, or who have written a lot.

While it is possible to combine all options. But again, it is unlikely specifically planted in need of engineers. Salary sharaga still paid, and as you can see from the photo, if you needed a special chassis or test pilot, it was easier for them to borrow than to plant. I don’t think Yakovlev strongly resisted the request of the Menzhinsky.

And Yes, it is clear that behind the photographer could stand a platoon of OGPU officers with revolvers, but even in this case they don’t fit the people in the photo humiliated and abused by criminals. Yes, pleasant enough. But not an area with trees.

And avasarala not like the many thousands of camp, isn’t it?

By the way, really, is to compare with “Manhattan”. And at the same time to recall the closed cities physicists and chemists.

Well, the last. Topic may close and not worth it. About Korolev and his associates will separate conversation. As well as, probably, is to talk about who and when turned sharaga of the 316 people in a branch of the Gulag from 316 thousand people.

It is clear that now the Constitution will bring about historical heritage. And it will be guarded and cherished.

So the question arises: who is careful in history, those who are about 316 people, or those who are about 316 thousand and a million shot?

Anyone is wondering about the merits of the employees of the sharagi, I recommend this:t Kokurin, A. I., Organization and operation 4 special Department of the NKVD-MVD of the USSR / Telescope: Scientific almanac. Special issue: Historical archives to restore the names and achievements of the Fatherland. – Samara: Publishing house “NTC”, 2008. – 192 S. – ISBN 978-5-98229-188-2, pp. 58-66.

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