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CHELYABINSK = TANKOGRAD
History of Tankograd
The Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant (ChTP) was built during the first 5-year Plan under the Decree of the SNK of the USSR of May 29, 1929.
On June 19, 1940, the Party Central Committee and the government decided on deploying at Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant (ChTP) the production line of heavy tanks of the KV type of Leningrad Kirov Plant design.
In-line assembly of the T-34 tank began on August 22 1942, and by the end of 1943 ChTP had provided daily production of 20 T-34 tanks and 10 KV heavy tanks.
On December 30, 1944, I. V. Stalin authorized the production of the IS-3 tank of the Chelyabinsk designer M. F. Balzhi.
Thousands of enterprises of all kinds were evacuated from European parts of USSR to the east of Ural mountains in 1941. More than two hundred of those evacuated enterprises were merged with local industries which resulted in creation of the giants of the industry - the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant, the Chelyabinsk Forge and Press Plant, the Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant, the Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant.
The People's Commissariat of the tank industry, one of the largest industrial commissariats of the USSR, was placed in Chelyabinsk since 1941 till 1945. In addition, the city housed the People's Commissariat of Ammunition, the People's Commissariat of medium engineering, and the People's Commissariat of power Plants.
Tankograd. The origin of the name.
Chelyabinsk acquired a second, unofficial name-Tankograd right at the beginning of the war. Once the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant accommodated two evacuated enterprises - the Leningrad Kirov Plant and Kharkiv Engine Plant - the huge production line of tractors switched to the production of tanks. Mass production of T-34 tanks was mastered in just 33 days. For the first time in the world practice of tank building, the assembly of a heavy KV tank was put on the conveyor. Since 1943, the ChTP started production of SU-152 and ISU-152 self-propelled artillery units. In total, during the war years, the plant produced more than 18,000 combat vehicles, which is a one fifth of all produced in the country.
Mass production of BM-13 installations — the well-known "Katyusha" - was mastered at the Kolyushchenko plant.
In 1944-1945 soviet engineers outplayed Western armor. No army in the world had machines like the IS-2 and IS-3 that were being produced by Tankograd in 1944-1945. No foreign design bureau or factory has managed to achieve such a great combination of the highest combat efficiency, cheapness and manufacturability in production. At the end of 1944 and the first months of 1945, it was the Chelyabinsk heavy tanks of IS series and "Zveroboi" (the so-called self-propelled artillery ISU-122 and ISU-152) that broke through the solid defensive wall of German cities with their armor and monstrous 122-mm and 152-mm shells.