Kondrashin Viktor Viktorovich, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, head of sub-department of Russian history, regional ethnography and history teaching methods, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia), email@example.com
Kornilov Gennadiy Egorovich, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, head of the sector of economic history, Institute of History and Archaeology of the Ural Branch of RAS (16 Sofyi Kovalevskoy street, Ekaterinburg, Russia), firstname.lastname@example.org
Mel'nikov Nikita Nikolaevich, Candidate of historical sciences, associate professor, Institute of History and Archaeology of the Ural Branch of RAS (16 Sofyi Kovalevskoy street, Ekaterinburg, Russia), meln2011kit@gmail
Mozokhin Oleg Borisovich, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, principal researcher, Institute of Russian History of the RAS (19 D. Ulyanova street, Moscow, Russia), email@example.com
Background. For many years theme of the Soviet military industry and history of sabotage were largely unavailable for researchers. This was facilitated by two factors: an ideological dictate, which prohibited study of these topics for ideological reasons, and closure of archives for researchers. Therefore, history of tank building as a whole, and the role of sabotage in its development in particular, remained practically not studied by historians. The situation changed in the 1990s, when both these factors eliminated, and researchers got a broad field for activity. The purpose of this work is history of development of tank production in 1929–1937 in the conditions of struggle against sabotage. The authors reveal main problems of development of national tank production.
Materials and methods. The authors solve the tasks on the base of previously unpublished documents of President Archive and the collection of documents “The development of defense industrial complex of the USSR (1927–1937)”. Methodology of the study. The problem-chronological method provides identification of origins of various trends and contradictions in the process of implementing the program of tank production, which is revealed on a general historical background. The principle of objectivity, as well as dialectical understanding of the process of historical development, recognition of the cause-and-effect pattern of events and phenomena, important role of subjective factor in history make it possible to study problems of Soviet military-defense complex as a whole and domestic tank production in particular.
Results. In the 1930s industry of the Soviet Union, relying primarily on foreign experience, began actively to develop its own tank-building program. However, the Soviet military and civil leadership initially had misconceptions about prospects for further development of armored vehicles and about possibilities of domestic industrial production and potential of engineering and design personnel for implementation of an ever-expanding tank-building program. Very soon it is became clear that plants, which received task to develop a new model of tank, to organize or to increase production of serial tanks or prototypes as well as components for them, were unable to fulfill the plan.
Conclusions. The Soviet leadership wanted to get into armament the volume of armored vehicles that domestic industry could not produce. Instead of recognizing the problem and taking appropriate decisions, the Soviet authorities began to look for “saboteurs”, which were declared the true culprits of disruption of development program for domestic armored vehicles in the framework of rearmament of Red Army.
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