Mikhail Timofeevitch Kalashnikov was born on November 10, 1919, in
the village of Kurya, Altai Territory, to a large peasant family. After finishing the
9th form of a secondary school, Kalashnikov went to work in the Matai depot as
an apprentice and was subsequently a technical clerk in the employ of a
Turkistan-Siberian railway department. In 1938, Kalashnikov was called up for
Red Army and served in a special military region in Kiev. There he finished the
tank mechanical school. During his service he invented a tank shot counter,
new aiming sight, and tank running time meter.
In June 1941, Mikhail, with his last invention, was directed by the
Commander-in-Chief General G.K. Zhukov to Leningrad to implement his recent
invention. With the beginning of The Great Patriotic War Senior Sergeant Mikhail
participated in battles with fascists as a commander of the tank. In October
1941, in fierce battles under Bryansk, he was heavily wounded and shell-
shocked. While in hospital, Mikhail thought up the idea of a sub-machine gun.
Later, while on a six-month sick leave, he arrived at the station Matai. He carried
out his idea in depot's workshops with the help of the leadership and comrades.
When the gun was ready Mikhail was directed to the Moscow Aviation Institute,
which had been evacuated to Alma-Ata.
Since 1949 Mikhail has been living and working in Izhevsk. He worked his
way from a self-taught-inventor up to the General Designer of small arms in the
Soviet Army. A range of the unified models of automatic small arms developed
by Mikhail was adopted by the Soviet Army in 1950.
The Government very much loved Mikhail's services to the country. He
was twice honored as Hero of Socialist Labor (1958 and 1976) and became
Stalin Prize (1949) and Lenin Prize (1964) laureate. In 1969 he was given the
rank of Colonel and in 1971 awarded degree of Doctor of...