Gorky Automobile plant in the years of Great Patriotic war.

    The 22 of june, 1941. This sunday was unusually festive for workers  of
Automobile Plant. On the eve, on saturday, the  plant  personnel  marked  an
important labour achievement -  the  assembly  of  the  1,000,000th  engine.
Factory's newspaper Autogigant issued with  the  big  title  across  whole
strip:   There   is   the   millionth   engine!.   Gorkovskaya   kommuna
congratulated the plant personnel on a  big  labor  victory.  On  the  radio
there was a concert for the best  workers  of  the  plant.  Already  in  the
morning there were a lot of people on the bus'  stops.  Some  of  them  were
going to Striginski wood, the other - to the  Oka's  beach,  the  lovers  of
sports hurried to the stadium. Everywhere there  were  happy  faces,  music.
Who could think, that in a few hours everything would be changed? Who  could
know, that it had already changed
    An hour later it was a big meeting in front of the plant. We  declare
ourselves mobilized to defend our beloved Motherland and are ready  to  work
and to struggle,  , up to complete victory over the enemy!.
    And immediately there were the first applications requesting to  direct
people to the front. On the same day after the meetings  many  workers  went
to their work places. On the 22 of june  the  master  of  tools  and  stamps
Shabanov together with a  grinder  Dorogavtsev  and  a  fitter  Rykalin  and
others performed a huge work, without going  out  of  the  workshop  for  21
hours. In usual conditions four days were required for  this  work.  On  the
same day the planeman of  the  workshop  of  hot  stamps  N.  N.  Tulumbasov
completed three rates. V. D. Pastuhov surpassed the  rate  in  4  times  and
after the shift till the night he worked at the  another  task.  There  were
tens and hundreds of similar examples of labor heroism.
    In the hour of trouble hundreds of people went to the  Communist  Party
Commitee, Young Communist League commitee,  millitary  registration  office.
In their applications they asked to direct them as volunteers to the  front.
More than 100 applications were received from the workers  on  the  22nd  of
June and their number being increased every day.
    The bright manifestation of patriotism, readiness of people  to  defend
their  Motherland  was  the  creation  of  territorial  armies.  People   of
different ages and professions went there. They  were  united  by  a  common
ambition - to battle out liberty and independence  of  the  Motherland  with
weapons in their hands. In a short period  of  time  about  10  thousand  of
workers became territorial armies members. After a  hard  working  day  they
were trained to shoot,  to  master  a   rifle,  a  machine-gun,  a  grenade.
Hundreds of YCL members headed self-protection groups.  Special  detachments
for guarding the industrial objects, for struggling against fire, spies  and
saboteurs were created in workshops.

                               *      *      *
    War changed the conditions and tasks of working of all  enterprises  of
industry and transport. It was necessary in the shortest possible period  to
restructure industry to the military way, maximally  use  all  reserves  and
possibilities for the victory  over  the  enemies.  Gorky  Automobile  Plant
workers in the shortest time-limits had to  pass  to  the  output  of  light
tanks, of tanks engines, armoured cars, mortars, ammunition.  At  that  time
the director of the plant was Ivan Kuzmich Loskutov (was born in 1900).
    The restructuring of the enterprise was developed according  to  a  new
schedule. The equipment was placed in the workshops  according  to  the  new
plan. Technological chain of producing units and details  was  reconsidered.
Such  plants  as  Red  Sormovo,  Red  Etna,  Gorkovskii   metallurgical,
Pavlovsky  buses',  Kulebaksky  metallurgical  and  others   rendered   much
assistence in the timely supply of the steel bodies of tanks, rolled  metal,
normals, driving tools, various materials.
    Manifesting the greatest persistance,  energy,  initiative,  the  Gorky
Automobile Plant  staff  successfully  mastered  new  production  processes,
continuously increased the output of tanks and tanks  engines,  mortars  and
ammunition. It was impossible to  imagine,  that  a  man  is  able  to  work
continuously for 20-30 hours. But now workers, fulfilling the tasks  of  the
front, did not go out of the plant day and night. In the  foundry  the  oven
broke down. With the risk of his life electrician  N.  K.  Sorokin  together
with his assistant A. V. Lupov began repairing  the  oven,  without  cooling
it. The same day it was repaired. Emergent military order was  fulfilled  in
    The restructuring of manufacture to a military way  of  production  was
connected with the problem of cadres. Thousands of people went to  war,  and
the front imperatively required the new production. At the Gorky  Automobile
Plant, just like  nationwide,  powerful  patriotic  movement  of  women  for
mastering the new professions began. They replaced  husbands  and  brothers,
came to machine-tools, persistently mastering new specialities, for  a  long
time have not abandoned the workshops fulfilling military  orders.  Only  in
the first month of war more  than  1500  housewives  came  to  the  factory.
Practically there was no such profession which was not  mastered  by  soviet
patriots.  More  than  500  women  in  short  period  successfully  mastered
difficult (male) professions -  they  became  blacksmiths,  steel  founders,
warmers, etc. Amid the workers awarded at  the  end  of  1941  for  selfless
labor there were many  women:  P.  E.  Mokshina,  N.  V.  Vorobyova,  T.  I.
Maslennikova, D. K. Emelianova, M.  V.  Malysheva,  A.  V.  Alexandrova  and
    The factory's staff had difficult technical and  organizational  tasks.
If to pre-war preparing, setting up and mastering of the passenger  car  M-1
took two years  and  the  significant  quantity  of  import  equipment,  and
mastering of more difficult weaponry was ended at the plant in  five  months
without any additional equipment. At  the  enterprises  new  processes  were
arranged: the production of rubber  and  its  parts,  the  manufacturing  of
carbide, metal rolling etc. Because of absence of  metal  sheets  the  plant
had to begin the output of trucks with wooden cabins.
    Understanding the importance  of  Gorky  city  as  a  large  industrial
centre, enemy tried to  paralyze  the  activity  of  one  of  the  principal
armories of the country. Workers  met  courageously  the  first  air  raids.
Thousands of workers, engineers, technicians, housewives, students came  out
after work and learnt to construct bomb-proofs. The hundreds  of  groups  to
struggle with incendiary bombs functioned at  the  enterprise.  The  workers
gave more and  more  tanks,  tank's  engines,  military  machines,  mortars,
ammunition to the front every day.
    Thanks to the great organization work and selfless labor of  the  staff
of GAZ at the end of 1941 the restructuring of manufacture to  the  military
rails was mainly ended. The output of production for the front  (except  the
automobiles) grew from month to month.
    Movement for combining of professions at the plant was  increasing.  In
august  of  1941  there  were  668  people  who   were   mastering   several
specialities. At the beginning of october the members of YCL  of  the  plant
set a new form of socialist competition - front brigades.  In  a  few  days,
front brigades were created in many workshops. On  15  october  of  1941  32
front brigades were  functioning  at  the  plant,  which  united  256  young
patriots.  The  first  front  brigade  of  V.  Shubin,  V.  Tikhomirov,   I.
Yakimenko, V. Shabaev, P. Davydova, F. Liubavin  and  others  displayed  the
examples of genuine labor heroism.
    In the short time-limits the plant mastered the manufacturing of a  new
tank T-70 and armored car. For the development of the constructions  of  the
new types of light tanks and armored cars, the main designer  of  the  plant
A. A. Lipgart, deputy of the main designer N. A. Astrov and designer  V.  A.
Grachev were awarded The Goverment bonus.

                               *      *      *

    The summer of 1943 brought the difficult trials to the warriors of  the
Soviet Army and the workers of the plant.
    On the 4 of june, 1943 at 23.40 the air alert was declared.  The  enemy
dropped high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the  plant,  lighted  by  the
enemy's  missiles.  A  lot  of  workshops,  houses  of  Sotsgorod,  offices,
building  were  burnt.  Water-supply  was  broken,  there  was  nothing   to
extinguish the fires. In many workshops the wooden walls were set  in  fire.
The substation, which was receiving the electricity from Gorenergo  was  put
out of action by splinter of bomb. The plant was in  the  flame.  More  than
100 high-explosive bombs were dropped to the plant on the first day of  air-
bombing. Blacksmith 3,  chassis  workshop,  the  main  conveyer,  partially
spring workshop and another  workshops  were  put  out  of  action.  Several
houses,  children's  garden,  a  hospital  were  destroyed  in  the  plant's
    But the enemies continued air-bombing. From 4 to 22  of  june  of  1943
they appeared  at  the  same  time  over  the  plant.  Many  workshops  were
destroyed  or  capitally  damaged,  arterial  communication  networks   were
seriously damaged, the production cycle was impaired. At all  enterprise  50
buildings and constructions, more than 9 thousand metres of conveyers,  5900
units of process equipment, 8 thousand of engines, 28  cranes,  8  workshops
substations, 14 thousands  of  kits  of  instruments  and  many  other  were
destroyed or damaged.
    But despite the destructions, the plant continued to live and to  work.
The  largest Gorky factories: Red Sormovo,  The  engine  of  revolution,
Red Etna,  the aeronautic factory of  Orjonikidze  and  other  enterprises
were engaged in reconstructive work. Workers, restoring the  plant,  at  the
same time increased the tempoes of manufacturing. And on the  18  of  august
of 1943 all the workshops of the Gorky Automobile plant were working.
    28 of october, 1943 plant workers and builders reported to the national
Committee of Defense about the plant recovery. The manufacturing program  of
the IV quarter of 1943 to goods production was fulfilled 121%.  Annual  plan
was completed ahead of time, on the 17 of December.
    Victory was provided not only in the workshops of the factory, but also
in design bureaus. The outstanding designers  were  A.  A.  Lipgard,  V.  A.
Dedkov, V. A. Grachev, N. A. Astrov, A. M. Kriger, I. N.  Sorochkin,  L.  V.
Kostkin, V. K. Rubtsov, N. I. Efimov, N. F. Denisiuk. They all were  awarded
by the  local  authorities  and  the  government  for  their  work.  At  the
beginning of 1945 by efforts of the chief-designer A. A. Lipgard,  designers
A. M. Kriger, Y. N. Sorochkin , L. V. Kostkin and other  talanted  designers
new  lorry  automobiles  GAS-53  ,  GAS-AA,  GAS-63,  car  M-20  Victory
(Pobeda) were created.
    At that time Soviet soldiers  successfully  stormed  Berlin.  The  news
about our victory  was brought out among the workshops  of  the  plant.  Two
hours later the order which was the shortest one in  the  war  period  under
signature stamp urgently appeared -  1293.  The  factory  director  I.  K.
Loskutov congratulated workers on their great victory, and the  day  of  9th
of  May  was  declared  completely  out  of  work  for  all  workshops   and
departments. Thousands of tanks, automotive installations and  lorries  were
given to the front by GAZ during the years of the Great Patriotic  War.  For
success in the all-union socialist competition the Red  Banner  of  GCD  was
given to the GAZ staff for 33 times. The Red Banner GCD  as  the  symbol  of
courage and labor heroism was passed over to them for eternal storage.


    1. Gorky Automobile Plant, Moscow, 1981.
    2. Gorky Automobile Plant, Moscow, 1964.
    3. Labour and deed write the history, Gorky, 1981.
    4. The materials from the archive of GAZ.